As expected, the High Court has ordered British ISPs to block access to The Pirate Bay. Five ISPs – Virgin Media, TalkTalk, BSkyB, Everything Everywhere and Telefonica – are involved in this case, which was brought by nine record labels.…
(Via The Register – Public Sector.)
German court finds parent liable for child’s file-sharing: “Parents can be legally responsible for the unlawful behaviour of their children using home internet connections, a German court has ruled. It said that a woman had a duty to monitor the use to which her internet connection was put.”
(Via OUT-LAW News.)
Just when you thought it was safe to dip your toe back in the waters of internet smut, along comes a bunch of vigilantes who could be about to make life a great deal more worrying. Or perhaps not – read on and make your own mind up.…
(Via The Register – Public Sector.)
New Parliament, new legislation – and time for the government’s favourite pastime of ‘closing loopholes’. This time it’s about even more dangerous pictures, or maybe less dangerous, given that the subject matter is – allegedly – cartoons.…
(Via The Register – Public Sector.)
Here we go again…. More nonsense criminal provisions introduced based on previous nonsense provisions. The below provisions were introduced within the Coroners and Justice Bill on 14 January, 2009. Note clauses 48-56.
The following text has been taken from the Explanatory Note for the Coroners And Justice Bill.
Note also the Ministry of Justice pages on the Coroners and Justice Bill.
Clause 48 and Schedule 10: Encouraging or assisting suicide: providers of information society services
332. Clause 48 and Schedule 10 ensure that the provisions outlined in clauses 46 and 47 above are consistent with the UK’s obligations under the E-Commerce Directive.
333. Schedule 10 ensures that providers of information society services who are established in England, Wales or Northern Ireland are covered by the offence of encouraging or assisting suicide even when they are operating in other European Economic Area states. Paragraphs 4 to 6 of the Schedule provide exemptions for internet service providers from the offence in limited circumstances, such as where they are acting as mere conduits for information that is capable, and provided with the intention, of encouraging or assisting suicide or are storing it as caches or hosts.
Clause 49: Prohibited images
334. Subsection (1) creates a new offence in England and Wales and Northern Ireland of possession of a prohibited image of a child.
335. Subsections (2) to (8) set out the definition of a “prohibited image of a child”. Under subsection (2) in order to be a prohibited image, an image must be pornographic, fall within subsection (6) and be grossly offensive, disgusting or otherwise of an obscene character. The definition of “pornographic” is set out in subsection (3). An image must be of such a nature that it must reasonably be assumed to have been produced solely or mainly for the purpose of sexual arousal. Whether this threshold has been met will be an issue for a jury to determine. Subsection (4) makes it clear that where (as found in a person’s possession) an individual image forms part of a series of images, the question of whether it is pornographic must be determined by reference both to the image itself and the context in which it appears in the series of images.
336. Subsection (5) expands on subsection (4). It provides that, where an image is integral to a narrative (for example a mainstream or documentary film) which when it is taken as a whole could not reasonably be assumed to be pornographic, the image itself may be not be pornographic, even though if considered in isolation the contrary conclusion would have been reached.
337. Subsection (6) and (7) provide that a prohibited image for the purposes of the offence is one which focuses solely or principally on a child’s genitals or anal region or portrays any of a list of acts set out in subsection (7).
338. Subsection (8) provides that for the purposes of subsection (7) penetration is a continuing act from entry to withdrawal.
339. Subsection (9) requires proceedings to be instituted by or with the consent of the Director of Public Prosecutions.
What else do you expect from the Daily Mail?
By Lorraine Fisher,Last updated at 1:33 AM on 03rd January 2009
Perhaps it was the bondage trousers his mother was so famous for creating in the 1970s but photographer Ben Westwood has made a career of depicting what some might see as the more explicit end of soft pornography.
Now he is moving onto the political frontline by spearheading a campaign against anti-pornography legislation that is due to come into force some time next year. He believes it will make possession of his own photography and other art illegal.
Westwood, 45, eldest son of fashion designer Vivienne and her first husband, Derek Westwood, has joined the campaign Caan – the Consenting Adults Action Network – which claims he is the first of several artists and celebrities planning to lend their names to the battle to overturn section 63 of the Criminal Justice and Immigration Act 2008, which gained royal assent earlier this year. It was intended to target people who view illegal hardcore pornography websites. Under the new rules, criminal responsibility shifts from the producer – who is already responsible under the 1959 Obscene Publications Act – to the consumer. It makes it illegal to have pornographic material that depicts necrophilia, bestiality or violence that looks life-threatening or likely to result in serious injury to the breasts or genitals.
Campaigners fear the new law will criminalise thousands of people who use violent pornographic images as part of consensual sexual relationships. ‘They say this is about violence but it’s distinctly about sex,’ said Westwood. ‘I feel the stick is always pointed at pornography as this terrible corrupting influence, this idea that it makes people do things that they wouldn’t have done otherwise.
‘My work has always been a campaign against that view. Now I find that someone is deciding to make owning my work a criminal offence. I don’t think there should be laws, any laws, about sexuality. There are plenty of laws against physically damaging a person.’
Westwood’s book of fetish-themed photography, F**K Fashion, published in 2005, contains images of women bound and gagged. ‘The women are all beautiful consenting models,’ said Westwood. ‘Effectively, anyone who has a copy of my book could soon find they are breaking the law.’
The law means artists such as the Chapman brothers and Tracey Emin could find their work falling foul of the law. The Home Office insists the act is meant to target only internet porn.
The outlawing of ‘extreme pornography’ was itself the result of a three-year campaign by Liz Longhurst and MP Martin Salter who collected 50,000 signatures on a petition and won backing from police and the Home Office. Longhurst’s 31-year-old daughter, Jane, was brutally murdered in 2003 by Graham Coutts, who had been viewing extreme pornographic sites depicting scenes of strangulation and faked murder and rape before he killed. He was jailed for at least 26 years.
Mrs Longhurst has said she is aware that many people see her as ‘a horrible killjoy’ but believes that if Coutts, who was referred to a psychiatrist as a teenager because of his murderous fantasies, had not had access to the porn sites her daughter would still be alive.
Salter said the ban was not a moral crusade but just plugging a legal loophole. ‘This is not widening the law on anything that isn’t already illegal, these sites are illegal but we can’t block them because they take place in cyberspace, outwith the UK,’ he said. ‘People like Westwood need to understand we are not being prudish, we are not ratcheting up any bans on porn, just extending the law to cover people using it and trying to reduce the market for this stuff. No one is trying to stop consenting adults doing whatever they want in the bedroom.’
One of the sites used by Coutts is still available and another has simply changed its name after a campaign by the Mail of Sunday to close it down