Sky News: Jackman, Rose Discuss U.K. Porn Protest

LONDON — U.K. attorney Myles Jackman and #pornprotest organizer Charlotte Rose made appearances on "Sky News Tonight" this evening to discuss why there was a porn protest outside Parliament today.

The video is available here.

Jackman, a criminal defense attorney who specializes in "obscenity" law, said on "Sky News Tonight" that the protest was based upon unworkable legislation spelled out in the new Audiovisual Media Services Regulations 2014, which took effect Dec. 1.

The new regs forbid U.K.-based online adult operators from distributing content that includes acts of female ejaculation, spanking, fisting, water sports, face-sitting, full bondage and other types of strong explicit content. The rules mirror BBFC R18 requirements for physical content sold at brick-and-mortar stores.

Jackman noted that the issue of "consensual adult material viewed by adults" has morphed into a regulatory matter — "so it's about fining people so that ATVOD can line their pockets."

Under Audiovisual Media Services Regulations 2014, ATVOD — the U.K.'s appointed regulator for video-on-demand content — is charged with enforcement of the new rules that can  mean large fines, up to £100,000, for violators.

"The bigger issue here is censorship of the Internet. It's not just the issue of pornography," Jackman said. "Pornography is the canary in the coalmine of free speech. If it dies, other freedoms will fall as well."

Jackman further said on "Sky News Tonight" that the new regs could spell trouble for foreign porn sites if ATVOD is able to get major credit cards on board with a plan to block payments.

"An unelected quango have declared trade sanctions against foreign countries' trade so they have coerced banking institutions to prohibit payments of U.K. credit and debit card users from purchasing material from abroad," Jackman said.

ATVOD officials in the past have had talks with MasterCard, PayPal and Visa Europe on designing a process that could be used to prevent payments to foreign websites that don't employ an effective system that verifies that the user is 18 or over at the point of registration.

But the credit cards have been resistant to employ such a plan without greater certainty over the illegality of such websites under U.K. law.

Rose told "Sky News Tonight" that participation at the protest by those from the adult entertainment industry, as well as from the supporting public, was much stronger than expected.

"The public today has been just absolutely amazing; the passion people had was fantastic," Rose said. "We all are going to be doing it again. This is just the beginning. At the end of the day nobody has the right to censor us without our consent."

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