UK’s Idea of Extreme Porn Still Undefined

Ericka Jensen

BIRMINGHAM, U.K. — On June 14, U.K.-based Consenting Adult Action Network (C.A.A.N.) went to West Midlands police headquarters to seek advice about the recent implementation of the Obscene Publications Act which outlaws “extreme” and “disgusting” pornography, effective January 2009.

The law is an amendment to the United Kingdom’s Criminal Justice and Immigration Act (CJIA). Offenders will be sentenced up to three years and be required to register as sex offenders if caught possessing or accessing adult material banned under the new law.

Under the legislation, material would need to be pornographic, explicit and real or appearing to be real. It must also involve intercourse or oral sex with an animal; sexual activity with a human corpse; or serious violence, meaning violence that appears to be life threatening or likely to result in serious, disabling injury.

Specifically, the group took with them a portfolio of images representing both fantasy and real acts of harm by amateur and professional photographers including erotic artists China Hamilton and Bob Flanagan. Various concerned citizens who feared their long-time collections of pornography would now result in their prosecution submitted the images to the group.

Staff at the police station was unaware of the change in the law, which passed last month, but CAAN said law enforcement treated them “respectfully.”

Law enforcement said that they did not believe the images submitted by CAAN broke current laws, but that they would be submitted to the Criminal Investigation Department for review.

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