The Department of Culture, Media and Censorship…ATVOD provide a few clues to a cunning government plan to censor adult porn in the name of child protection

Posted: 25 July, 2014 in ATVOD VOD Censor
Tags: , ,
Read more ATVOD Watch at MelonFarmers.co.uk

DCMS logoATVOD has published brief minutes from its May 2014 board meeting. This includes a short report on what the government is up to in its plans to censor adult porn on the internet in the name of child protection.ATVOD board meeting minutes report:

Public policy on R18 and unclassified material

An updating report was tabled and the Board DISCUSSED the issue at length.

The Board NOTED the current position on the initiative to reduce children’s access to pornography online, with:

  • the introduction of legislation for UK based services to keep adult material out of reach of children;

  • the EU Commission encouraged to tighten up the AVMS Directive to have age verification measures for European based adult services; and

  • consideration of legislation which would enable the payments industry to prevent payments to services outside Europe which allowed under 18s to view R18 equivalent material.

Recommendations for further actions had been presented to DCMS and ATVOD had had received undertakings from the Creative Industries Minister immediately prior to the publication of the ATVOD research report For Adults Only? . Since publication of ATVOD’s research, DCMS had followed up on the undertakings given. In particular, the draft Statutory Instrument relating to UK based services had been developed and it was hoped that it would be in force by the end of 2014. It would put beyond doubt that R18 material can only be provided on an ODPS if persons under 18 will not usually see or access it.

As the Statutory Instrument would define material according to standards set by the BBFC, it was anticipated that Ofcom, BBFC and ATVOD would agree a Memorandum of Understanding. Any additional activity for ATVOD as a result of these changes will be reflected in revisions to ATVOD’s Rules and Guidance, which will require consultation.

The position on overseas providers based outside the EU had been discussed at a meeting between ATVOD, DCMS, Home Office, Ministry Of Justice, Crown Prosecution Service and the payments industry. As a result of that meeting, DCMS had agreed to consider the feasibility of introducing a licensing regime for foreign pornographic websites (similar to that being introduced for foreign gambling websites). A timetable had not been provided.

The Board AGREED that ATVOD should offer assistance to DCMS in its efforts.

The Board NOTED that the proposal had been taken up by a number of high profile third parties and that the Opposition had tabled an amendment to the Criminal Justice and Courts Bill which would establish a licensing regime for foreign porn services.

Note that the licensing provisions in Lords amendment of Criminal Justice and Courts Bill were in fact withdrawn but it is interesting to note the devious plan being hatched by the government.

It sounds ludicrous to expect foreign companies to submit to UK licensing when it would be very unlikely that the provisions could be enforced by prosecutions launched from Britain. However this is clearly not the point of the licensing. It is so that unlicensed foreign companies can deemed to be nominally breaking UK law (even if this can’t be enforced) so as to give the banks and payment services a legal excuse to deny payment services for at least the UK portion of the website’s trade.

Advertisements

Comments are closed.