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An interesting essay on pornography  [message #66992] Tue, 11 September 2012 18:56 Go to next message
timmy   United Kingdom

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The title is provocative. The essay is worth reading. But read all of it, don't start, assume, and stop. At the end there is a link to his follow-up essay. That needs to be read as well.

[Updated on: Tue, 11 September 2012 19:01]




Author of Queer Me! Halfway Between Flying and Crying - the true story of life for a gay boy in the Swinging Sixties in a British all male Public School
Re: An interesting essay on pornography  [message #66993 is a reply to message #66992] Tue, 11 September 2012 22:40 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Kitzyma is currently offline  Kitzyma   United Kingdom

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I read the essay and the follow-up article and agree that they are both well worth reading. Some good points are made. The absurd situations that can and do occur are predictable, given the sledgehammer-to-crack-a-nut nature of the legislation involved.

It seems to me that the situation described has parallels with laws and regulations introduced supposedly to combat terrorism. My belief is that many such laws and regulations were introduced for ulterior motives, using fear of terrorism to persuade people to accept legislation that they would otherwise have rejected.

Unfortunately, I fear that the strongly emotive nature of the arguments used to enact the laws will prevent any logical arguments from being effective in overcoming them.
Re: An interesting essay on pornography  [message #66994 is a reply to message #66993] Wed, 12 September 2012 08:04 Go to previous messageGo to next message
timmy   United Kingdom

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The challenge is that it is obvious that abuse of children is a bad thing. With that as a wholly valid starting point, how woudl one phrase the laws differently in order to protect children correctly and to be able to prosecute the adults and indeed where necessary the other children who exploit them?



Author of Queer Me! Halfway Between Flying and Crying - the true story of life for a gay boy in the Swinging Sixties in a British all male Public School
Re: An interesting essay on pornography  [message #66995 is a reply to message #66994] Wed, 12 September 2012 10:41 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Kitzyma is currently offline  Kitzyma   United Kingdom

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The essay linked in the original post provides some thoughts that are relevant to the consideration of how the laws could be better.

First of all, to frame and phrase suitable laws it should first be necessary to go through certain steps:

Define the terms to be used in a sensible way (e.g. what is 'child', what is 'porn', etc) and ask sensible questions (e.g. is nudity always porn?).

Define what goals exactly the law is proposed to accomplish and divorce it from any 'hidden agendas'. e.g. many of those who wish to restrict or monitor file sharing say it is to prevent spread of such porn when in fact their real agenda is their financial interest in copyright infringement.

Assess how effective the proposed wording will be in achieving the desired goals.

Assess if the proposed law is too draconian - e.g. one could prevent car accidents by banning cars.

Before enacting a proposed law, the lawmakers should consider possible absurd outcomes. It is clearly absurd that two sixteen year olds who are legally having sex together cannot share photos of themselves naked. It is even more absurd that the same law and life-ruining consequences apply to them as apply to those who take pictures of themselves abusing children.

The current laws do not seem to be reducing child abuse, and often lead to absurd situations...
e.g.
Apparently, "More than 200 schools are using CCTV cameras in toilets or changing rooms"
http://uk.news.yahoo.com/concern-over-cctv-school-toilets-23 0347358.html

It seems that any naked photo of a child, even one's own toddler  playing in a bath, is illegal, and that parents can be prevented from taking photos of their own clothed children on school premises. Yet it is apparently acceptable for 'officials' to record children dressing and undressing.

Re: An interesting essay on pornography  [message #66996 is a reply to message #66995] Wed, 12 September 2012 12:06 Go to previous messageGo to next message
timmy   United Kingdom

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The clothed children on school premises is a mixture of urban myth and fact. The facts are here, at least for the UK and probably all members of the EC. Put broadly, it is entirely lawful for any parent or relative to take a picture or video of their own child in any school for private purposes. That photo, including other children, is a lawful thing to possess. This includes sporting events, swimming galas and other normal school events. Obviously it does not include following the kids into what are normally private areas such as changing rooms and toilets.

There are areas where a school may make it a policy for pictures not to be taken, but this ought to be limited to areas where that act of photography is an intrusion. Some fool standing up in the front row of the school play to video the performance would be one such area.

So it is an absolute myth that it is unlawful. That myth was created by imbecilic schools who misinterpreted the law and created a brouhaha over nothing.

However there are children where the parent insists, often for good reason, that they may not be photographed at all.  This insistence needs to be backed by the courts, and is for children at risk, unspecified risk, whose whereabouts must be concealed. Under those circumstances the school has a duty to take reasonable steps in conjunction with the parent to prevent the accidental inclusion of such a child in any photographs.

It is also lawful for a parent to have a picture of their own naked child in the UK. The Sexual Offences Act 2003 is the relevant instrument here. It is a complex instrument.

It appears that two over 16 but under 18 year olds who are married or are in an enduring family relationship are exempt from prosecution, but those having casual sex are not. It is not clear whether a civil partnership is required for two gay lads or lasses in a relationship to legitimise their possession of naked pictures of the other. It looks as if a kid, even under 16, having naked pictures of himself or herself is exempt because, if they took the picture, they consented!

One thing strikes me, though. I find simple nudity to be an irrelevance. It is when the nudity is used or intended to be used in order to titillate that it moves towards being eligible to be considered to be pornography. A Rubens painting is, genuinely, the pornography of its era, but it is art. The art of Otto Loehmuller has been considered to be prongraphy because it features nude paintings of children. It seems that a child is a sacred cow. I wonder if this is because childhood itself is a recent concept. It was not that long ago that children were disposable possessions, to be used and abused at will by their owners, often the parents.



Author of Queer Me! Halfway Between Flying and Crying - the true story of life for a gay boy in the Swinging Sixties in a British all male Public School
Re: An interesting essay on pornography  [message #66997 is a reply to message #66996] Wed, 12 September 2012 13:33 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Kitzyma is currently offline  Kitzyma   United Kingdom

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Quote:
timmy wrote on Wed, 12 September 2012 12:06
It appears that two over 16 but under 18 year olds who are married or are in an enduring family relationship are exempt from prosecution, but those having casual sex are not. It is not clear whether a civil partnership is required for two gay lads or lasses in a relationship to legitimise their possession of naked pictures of the other. It looks as if a kid, even under 16, having naked pictures of himself or herself is exempt because, if they took the picture, they consented!


--


Although not illegal for parents to take photos of school plays etc, schools have been known to prevent it. This is probably due to an hysterical reaction rather than law or common sense, much like the banning of potentially 'dangerous' games such as playing conkers on school grounds.

I don't think consent is taken into account when dealing with naked pictures of a child, especially one under 16. Indeed, as pointed out, "It appears that two over 16 but under 18 year olds who are married or are in an enduring family relationship are exempt from prosecution, but those having casual sex are not." So it would seem that, outside that specified exception, an under-18 cannot consent to having naked photos taken of himself or herself.

As far as I've been able to find, there is nothing in Section 1 of the Protection of Children Act 1978 (PCA 1978) or section 160 of the Criminal Justice Act 1988 (CJA 1988) which give a child under 16 exemption from prosecution for having indecent images of a child, even themselves. However, a child under the general legal age of criminal responsibility (10 in England) could not be prosecuted.

Although there may not be a specific exemption in law, generally, it would seem that police and prosecutors in the UK would show discretion. e.g.
ACPO_Lead_position_on_Self_Taken_Images states that:
"Although there is no evidence of this occurring in significant numbers in the UK, CEOP is aware of cases in the US where teenagers have been prosecuted for sending indecent images of themselves to friends and partners.  The risk is that a purely criminal justice focused approach to this problem may result in the prosecution of children in the UK."

To me, this indicates that the law, as it currently exists, would enable children to be prosecuted but the recommendation is that:
"ACPO does not support the prosecution or criminalisation of children for taking indecent images of themselves and sharing them.  Being prosecuted through the criminal justice system is likely to be distressing and upsetting for children, especially if they are convicted and punished. The label of 'sex offender' that would be applied to a child or young person convicted of such offences is regrettable, unjust and clearly detrimental to their future health and wellbeing."

So, though it is possible the UK for a child over 10 to be prosecuted for taking indecent pictures of himself or herself, "there is no evidence of this occurring in significant numbers in the UK". However, in other jurisdictions the risks of prosecution may be considerably greater - e.g. in the USA...

PROSECUTING MINORS UNDER CHILD PORNOGRAPHY LAWS
http://tinyurl.com/8lx9zp8
"A sixteen-year-old, A.H., and her seventeen-year-old boyfriend, J.G.W., engaged in consensual legal sex. 1 They took digital pictures of themselves naked and engaged in sexual conduct, 2 and afterwards, A.H. emailed the pictures to her boyfriend. 3 The couple showed the images to no one, but somehow word about the photos' existence came out, and the police obtained a warrant to search J.G.W.'s computer. 4 A.H. was convicted 5 of "producing, directing or promoting a photograph or representation that she knew included sexual conduct of a child."

Girl, 15, Faces Child Porn Charges for Nude Cell Phone Pictures of Herself
http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,434645,00.html

Boy, Girl Charged With Child Porn
< http://www.nbcchicago.com/news/local/indiana-middle-school-s exting-82949612.html>
Conkers - a side issue  [message #66998 is a reply to message #66997] Wed, 12 September 2012 16:56 Go to previous message
timmy   United Kingdom

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Location: UK, in Devon
Registered: February 2003
Messages: 13515



"Quote:"
Kitzyma wrote on Wed, 12 September 2012 14:33... This is probably due to an hysterical reaction rather than law or common sense, much like the banning of potentially 'dangerous' games such as playing conkers on school grounds.

--The "Conkers must be played with protective clothing" story is also an urban legend, one which the media and other schools picked up as the truth. A wise head staged pictures to show how ludicrous alleged health and safety precautions could be. Much like the cult of political correctness, a thing which started out as satire, some fuckwits picked it up as fact! After that it 'became a fact' though the Health and Safety Executive in the UK will tell you that it is ludicrous. The Wikipedia article shows how fuckwitted some schools can be, of course.

[Updated on: Wed, 12 September 2012 16:57]




Author of Queer Me! Halfway Between Flying and Crying - the true story of life for a gay boy in the Swinging Sixties in a British all male Public School
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