ATVOD Charges 21 U.K. Porn Sites

ATVOD Charges 21 U.K. Porn Sites
Rhett Pardon

LONDON — ATVOD, the British authority charged with requiring video-on-demand operators to make sure those under 18 can't access hardcore porn, said today that it has brought up charges against 21 U.K. adult websites.

The 21 sites that have run afoul with the U.K. media regulator are operated by eight adult brands. Each of the sites were charged today with violating Rule 11, which requires an effective credit card system that verifies that the user is 18 or over at the point of registration.

Two of the 21 websites also were found to have violated Rule 14, which outlaws VOD websites that contain "prohibited material," or content that would be denied a British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) certificate.

The two websites found in breach of Rule 14 include TheBondageMistressClub.com, a site operated by Mystic Online Media Ltd. that offers more than 1,000 BDSM videos, and DreamsofSpanking.com, which is owned by Pandora Blake, a staunch free speech advocate who last year joined protesters outside the House of Parliament to show displeasure over the new regs over “prohibited material.”

In a statement today, ATVOD said that the two sites charged with Rule 14 violations “allowed free and unrestricted access to extreme BDSM material — including videos of genitals being pierced with needles and heavy caning causing injury — which has been banned outright on U.K. VOD services since December 2014.”

“Such material is also banned for sale on DVD in the UK, even in licensed sex shops. Further prohibited material was available to visitors to the websites who paid a fee.”

ATVOD noted that the two services are the subject of “ongoing enforcement action.”

“If they fail to become fully compliant in accordance with a strict timetable set by ATVOD, the service providers will be referred to Ofcom for consideration of a sanction, a procedure which can lead to operators being fined,” the VOD regulator said.

The other sites fingered by ATVOD for breaking statutory rules regarding Rule 11 include JoyBear.com, LukesLair.com, MyBizarreClips.com, TheBondageMistress.com, LisaCross.com, SundaySportXXXtra.com, GlamandGlossyXXtra.com, TropicalBabesXXXtra.com, Page4Classics.com, GlamandGlossy.com, EternalFire.xxx, PussyGaloreXXXtra.com, PlatinumBabesXXXtra.com, SplatBukkake.com, UKPornParty.com, SexyUKPornStars.com, UKXXXPass.com, EnglishLads.com and LucyZara.com, as well as the pair of sites also charged with Rule 14 violations, TheBondageMistressClub.com and DreamsofSpanking.com.

The services "had all failed to have in place robust mechanisms for preventing under 18s from accessing pornographic material which would be restricted to adult licensed sex shop customers if distributed on a DVD,” ATVOD said. “Four of the services — LukesLair, UKXXX Pass, TheBondageMistressClub and DreamsofSpanking — had allowed any visitor to view such material free of charge.”

“The remaining four restricted access to hardcore porn or strong fetish material to paying customers only, but accepted forms of payment which could be used by under 18s.”

ATVOD said that other than TheBondageMistressClub.com and DreamsofSpanking.com, which are subject to the ongoing enforcement action, the remaining six services acted to make changes to bring their service into compliance or closed until such action could be completed.

“Of these, JoybearPictures and UKXXXPass acted in advance of the final breach ruling, while the remaining four acted in accordance with deadlines set in enforcement notifications issued at the time the breach was confirmed.”

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