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UK Porn Laws Follow-Up


A short time ago I wrote an article detailing some new laws proposed for the UK. For that article I reached out to some producers and got a great response from one in particular. You can read their full response below for further insight into the porn industry. Names have been withheld at personal request.

LG >The first question I would like to ask about was the banning of certain sex acts being performed on film: spanking, caning, penetration with an “object associated with violence”, etc. How do you feel that has impacted you (if at all) and what is your opinion on this law?

Pr >This hasn’t really affected us at all, as we produce R18 material for about 98% of our history. We work closely with the BBFC regulators and keep to their somewhat grey-area guidelines as we produce DVD’s for the UK market as well as online, so it’s just easier for us to toe the line than to have different cuts for different arenas. However, the law itself doesn’t quite change any law; it’s merely an amendment to allow the internet to be as regulated as DVDs are in UK shops. It’s quite a ridiculous enterprise to even enter into as we all know the internet is a non-geographical arena so UK law is easily bypassed even if it’s enforceable in any way, which is still a matter of debate.

The banning of excessive violence can be seen as the right thing to do, however it’s such an opinion based law which will ultimately be targeting consensual acts on the basis of someone watching it might not in into it. The same goes for the continual banning of fisting, which was shot down in the courts with the Michael Peacock case as not being illegal, but the CPS hasn’t updated its own ruling, with the precedent-setting case not updating our unwritten law books, and therefore the BBFC still having to ban it. That’s a far bigger worry, that our laws, written in the courts, aren’t actually being written in cases they are designed to follow. It’s strange how an act you can do in your bedroom, or wherever is not allowed to be shown on film, otherwise you’re breaking an arbitrary law based on outdated cases.

LG > The second is with regard to more recent regulation that has not yet been passed, but could potentially be soon. The current government has pledged to restrict access to under 18s via an ID system; you will be required to produce ID at your post office or at your local bank, in order for them to verify and pass the information on so your property is unblocked. Again, how do you think this will impact you as producers, and do you think this will be in any way effective?

Pr > This would and could only be enforced with a wide-sweeping censorship of the internet, or with the industry allowing themselves to be coerced into performing this action themselves. I struggle to see how the UK government will be able to justify a barrier to entry and trade barriers on an international and non-geographic entity such as the internet to a media that isn’t itself illegal.  Porn is a mostly mainstream form of entertainment directed at adults by adults. The reasoning for ‘child protection’ is a very clever one for the government to place this under as no opposition MP would in their right mind oppose a law purportedly for child protection even if it is obviously not for that reason and just to censor or administer an industry. It’s been reported many times over and even at the European level that porn doesn’t lead to children being affected and the head of a child protection agency investigating this found no links between porn studios and their websites and a click-through to child porn in any of her cases. Porn studios struggle at the best of times to make profit, and the best ones take care of their audience and their models just as well as any other industry.

The government should instead of pushing the adult industry out of the UK, help it by tackling the huge problem of piracy and tube sites that upload content illegally. If only porn wasn’t so embarrassing to these people, perhaps we’d have a stronger more co-operative situation. I don’t see how this law will in fact become real, there are too many gray areas, with even the regulator self-imposed to sort this out unable to say what solution studios should use to self-regulate, and even if this was OK, why would we then need to pay the regulator an annual fee for the pleasure of them restricting our access to our audience. It’s a bit stupid really – shouldn’t they focus their attention on the security of underage viewers and education, rather than punishing hard working studios and their adult viewers, making both these parties lives harder and more restricted for the sake of something they openly acknowledge and agree won’t be 100%, they are actually happy at 80% effectiveness or less.

LG > Thank you for your perspective guys. Do you have anything more you would like to add? We’d really love to hear from someone in the know.

Pr > We don’t have any websites or administer any sites based in the UK or abroad, we have been forced to move our revenue streams into third party hands for them to do as they want with, again another reason why our profits are dwindling fast.  Think of all the VAT studios in the UK could offer the treasury and supporting industries like hosting sites if they were able to stay here without all these laws that are so easily skirted around.  It’s not protecting anyone except the moral dignity of a few close-minded people under the guise of child protection.  Where will all these end, will they then ban producers from the UK?  It’s an open door to total censorship, and porn is the perfect testing ground as we’re all too embarrassed to stand up and say we don’t want to lose porn from our lives!  The area is just far too grey to stick our heads up above the parapet just yet.

As always, leave a comment on how you feel about restrictions in porn and how this might affect the industry. Thanks for reading guys, and be sure to stay up to date by following us on Twitter at @LewdGamer.

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