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INFORMATION: possession of extreme porn images

Posted by C_A_A_N on Sat 26 Sep 2009 (modified Sun 27 Sep 2009) to C_A_A_N's blog

Thought it might be useful to repost this and start to add some FAQ below as they come up, as we receive regular queries about the extreme porn ban. If you know any other good links to information, please share them here. Cheers :-)

The extreme pornography possession offense commenced 26th January, it covers England, Northern Ireland and Wales. this is the commencement notice. For information about Scotland see below *

Links to further information:

CJIA clauses which criminalise extreme pornography:

Government guidance:

CPS extreme image advice is online. It us the CPS who actually take the decision whether to prosecute or not. CPS advice here

Backlash legal advice - covers arrest and what kind of material is illegal:

Guide to cleaning your computer, from Backlash:

CAAN gives some general advice too:

* Scottish extreme porn law.

Scotland is still drafting its legislation, which if it gets through maybe slightly different (and possibly tighter going by some of the suggested chenages). The above is probably sound advice for people in Scotland who are pessimistic and wish to prepare for the upcoming legislation, but IT HAS NOT YET TAKEN EFFECT. You do not need to do anything if you possess material in Scotland at this stage.

For more information about Scotland, see here:

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Reply by C_A_A_N on Sat 26 Sep 2009

anon wrote:

If I were to download movies from sites, such as ultimate surrender, rather tame but I do like girl/girl wrestling, hey I'm a perv!, and some from, would I be breaking this law and liable to end up with a visit from pc plod? Or am I safe with such sites?

I'm wary of getting myself into bother with the law.

Could You advise please?

If the material on sites you are wanting to download from is not held in UK then they do not have to consider whether their material meets UK regulation - only you have to consider what you are willing to possess because the extreme porn law only covers possession of material. If you download a video it is in your computer and you possess it. The question becomes then whether the content is illegal or not. (See links above as it contains most of the information you need to know about what sorts of images may fall into the 'extreme' catergory)

We don't check websites for content, so without knowing the exact contents of the video it is impossible to guess whether it is illegal pornography - and even then for exact accuracy, at this stage even lawyers could not be totally sure which images could lead to prosecutions or not. You need to see what the guidance says (in the links above) about what kind of material is illegal to possess and we each have to do our best to work out what will be safe to download.

The law does criminalise some consensual BDSM pornography and acts which are staged as well as actual harm if they appear to be realistic. For example, the law bans faked images of necrophilia which look real (unless you yourself feature in the image). The images must be produced for the purposes of arousal, but once you have created a new copy (eg in your computer) of an image/images for the purposes of arousal that counts as production (which means an excerpt from a legal (BBFC rated) film could become extreme porn).

Sign up to our statement of principles for the freedom of consenting adults to express themselves!

Please see our new website: