Question for Ian B


I’m just finishing a book on freedom of speech. Can you give me chapter and verse on the law that bans possession of line drawings of young people in acts of indecency?

20 thoughts on “Question for Ian B

  1. Ok I’ve read the Act now. Love this bit; “(8) References to an image of a child include references to an image of an imaginary child.” I would have said that an ‘image’ refers to a photograph. A drawing would constitute a ‘representation’. That would be one for the lawyers to have fun with in court. The argument against indecent photographs of course is that a child must be harmed in some way to produce the photograph. So even if you buy an image which is already ‘out there’, it still propagates the trade in child abuse.
    I can’t for the life of me see who is harmed by a doodle of an imaginary child though.

  2. Hugo,

    The purpose of the law was not to protect anyone, or based on any harm. You’re making the mistake of trying to apply rational motivations to crusading fanatics 🙂 The purpose of it was simply to criminalise Japanese Hentai- instantly criminalising millions of people with such cartoons on their computers- to allow arbitrary “raiding” by the authorities (a style of policing beloved of the American Progressive model- the FBI, ATF etc).

    Indeed, no sooner was this awful law passed than the police raided the broken elderly remnant of the Paedophile Information Exchange for having hentai on their computers, and sent them all to jail- one of them on an indefinite sentence. Of course both the Daily Fail and Guardian were ecstatic, which reminds us how little difference there really is between the nominal left and right in the media.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2002181/Stephen-Freeman-convicted-making-drawings-children-raped.html

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2011/jul/15/paedophiles-jailed-child-abuse-drawings

    and of course there’s the usual hysterical yellow journalism, in which a handful of dirty old men become a “network” and a “ring”.

    You can just imagine the investigative process Plod went through before this raid. “Who do we reckon will have some hentai then?”

    “I bet those PIE blokes have”.

    “Okay, pull their addresses up on computer. Tuesday morning suit you for a raid?”

    “Fine, I’ll phone the Mail and let them know, then”.

    This is basically how Proggies work. They start off with somebody they want to “get”, then either find an old law they can use or pass a new one. It’s very much “outcomes focussed”.

  3. I must have led a sheltered life – I had to google “Japanese Hentai”. Let’s hope nobody was watching!

  4. “However, while the cartoon characters were elves and pixies, they were also clearly young elves and pixies, …….”
    I want to comment but I am simply lost for words!

      • I think it has (in UK law) to pass the test of being made “primarily for the purposes of sexual arousal”. I think the drawings only apply (currently) to “persons”. But bestiality is illegal.

        So I think if you edited one of David Attenborough’s shows down just to show the animals shagging, and sold it as “Life On Earth: The Naughty Bits” (like those compilation videos of motor racing crashes) you’d be guilty of very serious porn. Possibly.

        When rules are made by mad people, it’s very hard to be sure what they mean in practise.

  5. “However, while the cartoon characters were elves and pixies, they were also clearly young elves and pixies, …….”
    So the prosecution must believe Elves and Pixies actually exist?

  6. “But Justice Adams agreed with the magistrate, finding that while The Simpsons characters had hands with four fingers and their faces were “markedly and deliberately different to those of any possible human being”, the mere fact that they were not realistic representations of human beings did not mean that they could not be considered people…. ”
    Ok, what about Aliens? ‘Greys’? Do they count? Young Aliens, I mean. But what is ‘young’ in terms of an Alien life-span? What is the Alien age of consent? Maybe the courts could rule on this?
    Think I need to go and lie down….

    • Oh, it’s quite mad.

      One interesting aspect of that Aus case, so far as I can tell, is that they don’t even have a specific cartoon porn law like our C&JA2009. The judge simply decided to define “person” himself as including imaginary cartoon characters.

      As you point out, where is the boundary defining a person? Centaurs? Mermaids? Is an imaginary ghost a person? Aliens? It’s barking mad, utterly barking mad.

  7. Nope-

    “An image is “pornographic” if it is of such a nature that it must reasonably be assumed to have been produced solely or principally for the purpose of sexual arousal.”

    This is the famously not-objective test of pornishness that translates as “it’s porn if us upright god-fearin’ pillars of the community think it’s porn”.

    An interesting example is the aforementioned Simpons gifs. I would argue that they fail this test, and are principally for the purpose of subversive humour. I would think that the proportion of people watching a little gif animation of the Simpsons are doing so for masturbatory purposes is very small indeed.

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