Archive for the ‘ATVOD VOD Censor’ Category

Read more UK Internet Censorship at MelonFarmers.co.uk

tony bear explains uk video censorship to lady bear video In December 2014 the UK introduced new regulations to censor online videos. Tony Bear explains the new rules to Lady Bear. She doesn’t like it.

If you don’t like it either, find out more at Backlash .

Read more ATVOD Watch at MelonFarmers.co.uk

atvod annual report 2015 No wonderATVOD keep banging on about on about their campaign against hardcore porn websites. There’s not much else to do.ATVOD writes in its press release:

The Authority for Television On Demand , co-regulator of editorial content in UK video on demand services, has today published its annual report detailing steps taken by ATVOD in the year to 31 March 2015 to protect children from hardcore porn on regulated video on demand ( VOD ) services.

Twelve services, operating across 137 websites, were found to be in breach of the statutory rules in 2014-15 because they featured hardcore porn material which could be accessed by under 18’s.

Of the twelve services, eight acted to make changes to bring the service into compliance or closed, and two were the subject of ongoing enforcement activity at year end. The remaining two were transferred to the control of a person or company established outside the UK. ATVOD has no powers in relation to services operated from abroad and on-demand services provided from outside the UK are not required to have in place the sort of age verification and access control systems required by ATVOD in the UK to protect children from hardcore pornography.

Given the ability of adult website operators to place their services beyond the reach of current UK regulations, ATVOD counsels against complacency and has continued to encourage policy makers to consider how children might be better protected from pornography online.

ATVOD Chief Executive Pete Johnson said:

We have made good progress in ensuring that UK operators of regulated VOD services comply with rules designed to protect children from harmful content, but we are not complacent and will continue to monitor relevant services and act as required.

Our enforcement activity has sent a clear message that UK providers of hardcore pornography on demand must take effective steps to ensure that such material is not accessible to under-18’s. Asking visitors to a website to click an I am 18 button or enter a date of birth or use a debit card is not sufficient, if they are going to offer explicit sex material they must know that their customers are 18, just as they would in the offline world.

ATVOD will continue to discuss with policy makers further options for reducing the exposure of children to pornography and other potentially harmful VOD material on websites based both inside and outside the UK. We strongly support initiatives designed to improve the take up of parental control software and worked with the Department for Culture Media and Sport on the drafting of legislation introduced in December 2014 which prohibits on UK based, tv-like VOD services any material which would not be classified for sale on a DVD.

Looking forward, we note with interest the Conservative Party manifesto commitment to require age verification for access to all websites containing pornographic material.

Chairman Ruth Evans notes that she is standing down from the role in 2016.

Read more ATVOD Watch at MelonFarmers.co.uk

dreams of spanking logo They really seem to be going after young Pandora. The classic “you couldn’t make this up” bit is that they actually get their knickers in a twist over the free video made by Pandora and Amelia Rutherford (aka Ariel Anderssen) as a fundraiser for fighting against ATVOD!

And this on the day in which Carole Cadwalladr, interviewing Max Mosley in the Observer, says S&M has gone mainstream.

See the latest article from  dreamsofspanking.com

Read more UK Internet Censorship at MelonFarmers.co.uk

David Cameron Britons may soon face ID checks to access adult material on the internet, according to discussions between the government and groups from the beleaguered UK adult trade.

A scheme proposed by the industry group, The Digital Policy Alliance,  would see adult sites verifying visitors’ identity with organisations such as banks, credit reference agencies or even the NHS.  Adult websites would offer visitors a choice of identity providers — from Vodafone to the Department for Work and Pensions — to vouch for their age, O’Connell said. The user would sign in to the provider with a username and password, and a check would be run against the data it holds. To boost privacy, checks would pass through an anonymising hub . This strips identifying information in both directions of the request. In theory, the provider never knows the reasons for the checks, and the site never knows users’ true identities, just that they are over 18.

It comes ahead of an expected new law demanding age checks for online pornography and threatening a block on any sites which don’t comply. It is a key Conservative pledge. But critics say the plans are a privacy nightmare. Some warn they are a step towards Chinese-style internet restrictions. Myles Jackman, a lawyer specialising in obscenity law said:

This is cutting-edge censorship. We are now becoming the world leaders in censorship. And we are being watched very closely from abroad.

British-based sites have had to make stringent age checks since 2010, using credit cards, the electoral roll and credit reference agencies. It’s a quite intrusive means of identifying age, said Chris Ratcliff, chief executive of Portland TV, which runs Television X. Many customers simply go elsewhere, he said. Ratcliff, a key member of the DPA’s age verification working group, expects government action by the end of the year.

According to Tory proposals, a regulator would have the power to block sites that don’t use stringent enough checks. Observers believe this will be the Authority for Television on Demand (Atvod), which currently enforces age-check and obscenity rules on UK streaming video sites. The result of ATVOD’s ‘enforcement’ is that it is near impossible to run a UK site within the current rules and has led to the UK industry losing out to foreign operations.

The legal situation is also confused. Ratcliff said it was unclear whether new rules would make content not behind age filters illegal. Jackman added:

As a matter of international law, I don’t understand how it can possibly work. And I don’t understand how it can work under the Obscene Publications Act. It’s just being made up as they go along.

The stub of the UK adult trade that has been persevering with ludicrous British censorship required, eg Ofcom rules only allowing softcore TV, believe that acceptable age verification may be a benefit, but this seems unlikely. As with eBay, Amazon, Apple, and Google, once governments start making life tough with onerous rules and red tape, only the largest operation have large enough economies of scale to handle the burdensome expenses, so creating a natural monopoly. and as the US has the largest markets, so they can grab the lion’s share of the market.

And as for the kids, there’s already enough porn knocking around on hard drives to keep them happy for decades. Perhaps they will just go back to swapping porn mags, or themodern dayequivalent,64GByte memory sticks with enough porn to last a year.And as a final thought, It is not clear that the security services would be very impressed if half the population of Britain were forced into using VPNs and the like. It would make life an awful lot tougher to keep track of the bad guys.

Read more ATVOD Watch at MelonFarmers.co.uk

ATVOD with award for service to foreign industry Adult entertainment industry representatives met at a roundtable meeting with the UK VoD censors ofATVOD for a discussion over age-verification compliance.The discussion, instigated by ATVOD, IFFOR, ICM Registry and the Adult Provider Network, also took an inward look at how the adult entertainment industry, domestically in the U.K. and worldwide, could evolve and adapt with onerous new rules put in place and ones that could be on the way.

A central question was, Can the adult industry coalesce and work with the authorities over existing and proposed new rules?

Steve Winyard of ICM Registry, which operates the registry for .xxx, .porn, .adult and the upcoming .sex top-level domain sites, said that the real question is:

How far are people willing to be compliant when the hammer comes down?

Most of the big companies [in the online adult entertainment industry] control 80-90% of adult content across the world,. If they come to the table, the rest of the operators would have to follow.

The thinking is that in a world of ID theft, few customers will be willing to trust small websites with extensive personal details or else their credit card details. And even if they trust them, even fewer will want to make the effort of typing in such details just to browse a website to see what is on offer.

The natural final solution is that customers will only use, big, well known companies that  can be trusted with personal details, and that can offer a massive enough choice of porn such that customers don’t have to keep entering ID details for different websites.

And of course the end game will then be a US mega mall monopoly for porn along the lines of Amazon, eBay, iTunes and Play. And no doubt it will charge adult content providers the going rate of about 30%.

At the meeting, ATVOD’s Cathy Taylor fielded queries for 20 minutes on the new AVMS rules and the government statement over site blocking domestic and foreign adult websites. Taylor was joined by ATVOD chief censors, Ruth Evans and Pete Johnson, at the roundtable meeting.

Winyard of ICM Registry spent another 20 minutes on how the adult business worldwide is reacting to the AVMS directive and whether the industry can work with the British government on proposed new regs.

Chris Ratcliff of Portland TV (Television X) and the Adult Provider Network spent 10 minutes on what role should the adult trade play in the debate and whether age-verification is in the future for all adult sites.

The meeting was also attended by Sex & Censorship’s Jerry Barnett, obscenity lawyer Myles Jackman, Vince Charlton from the US trade group ASACP and IFFOR’s Sharon Girling.

Read more ATVOD Watch at MelonFarmers.co.uk

ATVOD with award for service to foreign industry ATVOD has announced actions against two adult services breached new Tory censorship laws banning material on UK video on demand services which would be banned on DVD under the police censorship rules implemented by theBBFC.Two providers of on-line porn have fallen vicyim of new regulations banning on a UK video on demand ( VOD ) service material which would be banned on DVD. The service providers also failed to keep strong fetish videos and hardcore porn images behind unviable and onerous age verification requirements.

Banned pornographic material made available on the UK based services included videos of whipping likely to cause more than trifling harm, and the infliction of pain on a person who ‘appears’ unable to withdraw consent, even if filmed under totally consensual and safe conditions. Also repeated strong kicks to the genitals which appear to draw blood. Such material has been prohibited on UK based VOD services since 1 December 2014 under new censorship rules introduced by the Tory government.

The findings by the Authority for Television On Demand ( ATVOD ) are the first it has made under the new prohibited material rule introduced by Government in December and comes as ATVOD issues new guidance on the statutory rules it enforces following a three month consultation.

The two online video on demand victims are Glasgow Mistress Megara Furie and Mistress R’eal were held to be in breach of statutory requirements incorporated into ATVOD’s censorship rulebook as Rule 11 (age verification) and the new Rule 14 (following BBFC R18 rules for VoD).

The UK based services allowed under 18s access to explicit hardcore and strong fetish porn videos which could be viewed on-demand. Yet the content of the videos was equivalent to, and in some cases went beyond, that which could be sold only to adults in licensed sex shops if supplied on DVD.

Both services allowed any visitor free, unrestricted access to hardcore pornographic video promos or still images featuring strong fetish material and real sex in explicit detail. Access to the full videos was open to any visitor who paid a fee. As the services accepted the most common payment methods, such as debit cards, which can be theoretically used by under 18’s. However nobody seems to have actually documented any cases of any under 18s actually paying for porn with a debit card.

The operator of Glasgow Mistress Megara Furie closed the service within three days of the breaches being brought to their attention.

Enforcement action regarding the Mistress R’eal service is ongoing. If it fails to become fully compliant in accordance with a timetable set by ATVOD, the service provider will be referred to Ofcom for consideration of a sanction, a procedure which can lead to operators being fined or having their right to provide a service suspended, as happened in relation to the service Jessica Pressley.

ATVOD has also published determinations that three further UK based adult websites – Lads Next Door, Panties Pulled Down and Montys POV , failed to keep hardcore porn videos and images beyond the reach of children.

Following enforcement action by ATVOD, the operator of the Lads Next Door service acted to bring the website into compliance with the relevant Rule. The operators of Panties Pulled Down and Montys POV failed to become fully compliant in accordance with a timetable set by ATVOD. The service providers have therefore been referred to Ofcom for consideration of a sanction.

The latest rulings come as ATVOD publishes new guidance on the rules it enforces. Publication of the new guidance follows a three month consultation which began when the new censorship rules came into force.

Comment: ATVOD, the self appointed Pornfinder General

9th May 2015. See  article from  independent.co.uk

backlash logo Critics of the new rules have long argued online viewers of niche pornography are still able to access content banned in the UK by watching videos filmed abroad, and new rules amounts to arbitrary censorship , while Myles Jackman, a British obscenity lawyer said that the case showed regulators were making up their interpretation of obscenity laws as they go along .

A spokesperson for Backlash UK, which is campaigning to defend freedom of sexual expression, added:

Atvod have erected themselves – pun intended – as the UK’s Pornfinder General…. The sole purpose of this new puritanism is mass control and surveillance, under the pretence of protection.

Megara Furie, who describes herself as a professional dominatrix, said that she had taken her site down immediately after she was informed by the censor. She now uses a more robust third-party operator to host her videos. She said:

The banned material, as far as I am aware was one ball kick, which resulted in the equivalent of a shaving cut and lots of blood because it was a testicle. I was happy to take that down. It was an eye-opener and I’ll now be more selective about my content. I wasn’t aware I was breaching the rules.

Comment: Mistress R’eal appeals against ATVOD censorship

9th May 2015.  See  article from  xbiz.com

mistress real logo Mistress R’eal, the dominatrix whose scenes on Clips4Sale.com were the subject of a recent ATVOD probe and determination, has appealed the U.K. video-on-demand regulator’s decision that she breached Rule 14.

With her appeal, Mistress R’eal also is challenging the legitimacy of the AVMS 2014 law. Currently, she faces a £10,000 fine and a ban on streaming online.

The videos that breached Rule 14 are:

  • A Bullwhipping in the Woods, parts 1 and 2,
  • Double Domme CBT and Pegs.

The scenes are explicit in the films, but they are like most BDSM content shown on a countless number of websites. For example, in Double Domme CBT and Pegs, a man is retrained against a cross and has weights attached to his bound scrotum, several pegs attached to his body, and a violet wand played over his genitals,. While his arms appear to be free initially, it’s implied (and seems to be the case) that his wrists are restrained quite early in the clip. He is also gagged (and appears to be unable to speak with any real clarity) and has his legs bound. Hence his means of clearly indicating a withdrawal of consent is not apparent.

Mistress R’eal yesterday appealed against ATVOD’s ruling that her site is in breach of regulations on the basis that the AVMS 2014 is not valid. Her appeal, according to SexAndCensorship.org , says the following:

I submit that the Audiovisual Media Services Regulations 2014, which introduced sections 368E(2) and (3) into the Communications Act 2003, were made ultra vires the Secretary of State’s power to pass secondary legislation under section 2(2) of the European Communities Act 1972. Section 2(2) gives the Secretary of State the power to pass secondary legislation for the purpose of implementing any EU obligation or for the purpose of dealing with matters arising out of or related to EU obligations. I note that the Audiovisual Media Services Directive (2010/13/EU) imposes an obligation on Member States to prohibit hate speech on ODPS (Art. 6); by contrast, it does not contain any obligation to ban content that may be harmful to minors from ODPS, only an obligation to ensure that access to such content is appropriately restricted (Article 12). In the premises, I fail to see how the 2014 Regulations (and, by extension, section 368E(2) & (3) of the 2003 Act), could be said to implement an obligation in the AVMS Directive or to deal with matters arising out of related to that Directive. The 2014 Regulations plainly go well beyond the scope of the directive — and, in doing so, subvert the appropriate democratic process for dealing with an important human rights (free speech) issue. In light of the foregoing, I submit that the 2014 Regulations and sections 368E(2)-(3), CA2003 are void — as so, by extension, is ATVOD’s Rule 14, which is based solely on the aforementioned sections of the Communications Act 2003.

Read more ATVOD Watch at MelonFarmers.co.uk

shebang tv logo ATVOD has identified two further adult services that breached its censorship rules requiring unviably onerous age verification.

The findings by the Authority for Television On Demand (ATVOD) – which came on Safer Internet Day – bring to more than 170 the number of porn websites against which the censor has acted over the past three years.

The two online video on demand services, Daisy Rock UK and She Bang TV, were held to be in breach of a ATVOD rule 11 which requires that material which ATVOD considers might seriously impair under 18’s can only be made available if access is blocked to children.

The services each broke the statutory rules in two ways. Firstly, they allowed any visitor free, unrestricted access to hardcore pornographic video promos/trailers or still images featuring real sex in explicit detail. Secondly, access to the full videos was open to any visitor who paid a fee via the most popular payment method of debit cards, which may be held by under 18s.

It would be interesting to know if any under 18s have ever actually paid for porn with debit cards.

Following enforcement action by ATVOD, the operator of Daisy Rock UK acted to implement the business killing rules and also lodged an appeal with Ofcom against a separate ATVOD ruling that the service falls within what ATVOD claims to be TV-like.

The operator of She Bang TV failed to become fully compliant in accordance with a timetable set by ATVOD. The service provider has therefore been referred to Ofcom for consideration of a sanction.