An unpublished ATVOD newsletter reveals further censorship horror…UK adult websites are facing the prospect that they will only be able to offer a few hundred BBFC censored titles to compete with foreign websites offering tens of thousands of uncensored titles

Posted: 21 December, 2014 in ATVOD VOD Censor, Internet, Internet Censorship
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Read more ATVOD Watch at MelonFarmers.co.uk

ATVOD with award for service to foreign industry The UK’s new internet censorship rules banning much mainstream porn content don’t always ban face-sitting, ATVOD said in a closed newsletter disseminated yesterday.ATVOD, which censors video-on-demand in Britain, revealed draconian new rules for the porn industry nearly three weeks ago. Under the new rules, introduced through the Audiovisual Media Services Regulations 2014, content that would be cut by the BBFC is banned from UK VOD services.

Now as the BBFC cuts at least some content from about 15% of all mainstream R18’s then at least this percentage of mainstream porn videos are now illegal to include on UK websites. In addition websites will probably have to self censor another 15% just in case the material may cross undefined lines.

Actually the BBFC cut 50% of R18s in the last calendar week for trivial and largely unpredictable reasons. This unpredictability could leave British webmasters with the only practical option to only include videos with an official BBFC R18 rating and all the trivially prohibited bits obligingly cut out. (Which is probably one of the intentions of the new law). Of course the rub is then that there are relatively few official R18s. A British website offering a few hundred censored videos would be competing with US websites offering a tens of thousands of uncensored videos.

UK media censor Ofcom has issued a revised designation allowing ATVOD the powers it needs to enforce the new rules.

Yesterday, in its newsletter, ATVOD clarified some details of what it will be focusing on while enforcing the new censorship rules:

Contrary to some press reports, the new regulations do not ban outright activities such as ‘face-sitting’ or ‘spanking. …HOWEVER… they do mean that pornographic material which focuses on the restriction of blood or oxygen to the brain (which is potentially fatal) or on the infliction of lasting physical harm is now prohibited on U.K.

VOD services, as are pornographic scenarios featuring simulated incest [currently a very popular genre], rape or role playing as a child.

The new discriminatory rules also forbid U.K.-based online adult operators from distributing content that includes acts of female ejaculation, fisting and other types kinky content.

In the newsletter, ATVOD also hinted what might be next for foreign porn sites that allow access in the U.S.: A licensing regime. ATVOD said that it has worked with the U.K. payments industry — including Visa Europe, MasterCard, PayPal, UK Cards Association, British Bankers’ Association and Payments Council — to design a process which would enable payments to be prevented from the U.K. to foreign porn services that allow children to access hardcore pornography.

Preventing payments from U.K. customers would disrupt the existing business model which is based on providing some content free of charge in order to attract visitors who are then encouraged to purchase premium subscription services. It would provide an incentive for foreign porn websites to introduce age-verification mechanisms in order to restart the flow of funds from the U.K.

The payments industry has made clear that in order to put such a process into place there would need to be greater clarity that foreign websites which allow children in the U.K. to view hardcore porn are acting in breach of U.K. law.

Representatives of the payments industry proposed that a licensing regime for foreign porn websites — similar to that recently introduced for foreign gambling websites — would be the best way of achieving such clarity.

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