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Author Topic: EU considers ban on porn  (Read 654 times)

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Offline TentacleFanTopic starter

EU considers ban on porn
« on: March 08, 2013, 01:55:05 PM »

Offline gaggedLouise

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Re: EU considers ban on porn
« Reply #1 on: March 08, 2013, 04:30:51 PM »
I don't think there's any real risk that it would go through and actually become part of the body of law within the EU. Lots of strange proposals are formally put before the EU parliament by various committes and by parliamentarians themselves, and most of the wilder ones don't pass. A few years ago there was a similar proposal that anyone having a blog or making comments online would be required to disclose their real name and address if approached by any kind of legal instance or police. That one was essentially just a suggestion, although it was billed as if it had some kind of solid backing from Brussels.

And even if this broad proposal would win a majority, there's a long and convoluted path before it would become law: the parliament doesn't really have the power to push legislation through on its own, it must get the support of the EU commission (the "government" in a loose sense) and the council of ministers. I don't see those two instances wishing to take the EU into an all-out war on the global presence of pornography, putting up a media iron curtain on what EU citizens are allowed to access online etc, and few of the actual member state cabinets would want to have that on their hands either. But just as with the "state your real name and ID" proposal, it provides for drumming up a good sense of "fight for your right to internet freedom" among champions of the cause (yes, I support freedom online of course, but I think those groups can be a bit too quick to cry wolf sometimes).
« Last Edit: March 08, 2013, 04:35:30 PM by gaggedLouise »

Offline TentacleFanTopic starter

Re: EU considers ban on porn
« Reply #2 on: March 08, 2013, 09:19:13 PM »
I'm not that familiar with the process when it comes to the EU and passing such laws. I was thinking more along the lines of the SOPA/PIPA debacle over here in the states last year. In that case it sounded very much like they would be passed through if people hadn't made their voices heard. I guess with it being less than likely to get backing and even if it were to be backed there would be the additional issue of the member nations having to ratify it it sounds less likely to go anywhere.

The part that really bugged me, beyond the general idea of the loss of freedoms for people to choose for themselves what they view of course, was the part where the IT department began blocking incoming emails of those who wanted to be heard on the issue from reaching members of the European Parliament. This was apparently done at the request of some of the members. So much for representing their constituency.

Offline gaggedLouise

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Re: EU considers ban on porn
« Reply #3 on: March 09, 2013, 04:56:12 AM »
It appears that what's up for vote is a report on how to further women's rights and equality between the sexes; that one has a paragraph stuck in that urges member states, and the EU overall, to "push harder for the adhesion to" a Euro-parl resolution passed back in 1997 against gender stereotypes on women /why only women?/ in advertising, and said resolution, in turn, contained a sentence about "prevent(ing) any form of pornography in the media". Those are kind of dodgy and vague formulas for any kind of legal intent, and the resolution in question was passed almost in the internet's iron age. I haven't read that old resolution but I bet it doesn't make much reference to the web, and its impact in *any* sense , during fifteen years, has been zero.

Those kinds of vague and sometimes rethorically far-reaching statements are typical of a way that EU matters have often been spelled out in public in southern Europe. It's a French tradition, or Latin, kind of: you state things broadly and imposingly but there isn't necessarily a lot of precision or real intention to implement what the words seem to mean. And that's kind of confusing to us people from the north - northern Europe or much of the U.S. - where the idea is that "if things are put into resolutions and programs those resolutions, goals and boasts should have practical effects, they should 'mean just what they say' ".

Anyway, even if this report and its proposals would pass in the EUP, that doesn't make it any kind of finished and baked law. Not by a long way. Unlike some national parliaments the EU parliament can't push through its own written texts into law, all on their own, even if there is a solid majority on the floor for the suggestion. They have to work it over in committes with suggestions for writing the actual proposed legal directive, suggestions or alternatives that are submitted or fleshed out to them by/in cooperation with the EU commission; there would be a couple rounds of that, like on a thorny issue in the US congress but with the EUP having much less authority to say "it's my way or the highway" than the senate sometimes has vs the cabinet and the president, and there'd be lots of haggling. In that kind of tumbling, any residue of a real risk for a hardline ban on porn or sexualized pictures, music, writings or films is likely to get pushed out or rubbed off the books. I'm not up to spped on just where the current proposal is in terms of political road stations on its way through that process but it does look like it's an early stage, considering that no one has heard about it before. So I don't think there's much of a risk, though I will keep an eye on it of course.

And ultimately, it's governments, national parliaments and national supreme courts that decide just how, and how far, they will implement EU laws. I don't see any chance that countries such as Germany, Italy, France or - hell, pretty much any country in northern or western Europe - would put a crusade against porn on its legal books and commit to fighting for purity that way.


The EU actually has a pretty good track record when it comes to standing up against attempts to tamper with civic rights on the internet, freedom of information online and guarding against "three-strikes out" policies about controversial practices by web users (such as the French HADOPI law for instance, which was meant to cut off any household from the web if one of its members had been caught filesharing copyrighted material, or attempts by governments to allow blocking of 'disturbing' sites)


Quote from: TentacleFan
The part that really bugged me, beyond the general idea of the loss of freedoms for people to choose for themselves what they view of course, was the part where the IT department began blocking incoming emails of those who wanted to be heard on the issue from reaching members of the European Parliament. This was apparently done at the request of some of the members. So much for representing their constituency.

Yes, I just read about that and I thought it was bad parctice too. Of course they wanted to avoid what they would see as a deluge of mail triggered by sex site entrepreneurs, actual spammers and various mailing lists, but that doesn't make it better. And there's no doubt that there are some puritans and stolid people in the EUP. I understand some of the mail traffic on this from citizens is coming through now though.
« Last Edit: March 09, 2013, 05:53:06 AM by gaggedLouise »

Offline gaggedLouise

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Re: EU considers ban on porn
« Reply #4 on: March 09, 2013, 06:59:53 AM »
Just looking through the actual report (here in English) and its lofty aims and recommendations. Seriously it looks like there are huge amounts of hot air in it - typically vague, catch-all and peremptory "we want", "the EUP calls for" and so on about everything from school to media publicity, job recruitment and corporate governing boards, but without anything much on how it would be put into effect. The report calls for a ban on "sexualizing stereortypes of women and girls in publicity for alcoholic drinks" - do you see any government wanting to roll up its sleeves and do some serious stuff to adhere to that? Even recent James Bond movies would fall prey to what the report is asking for, not to mention video games, but the reality is they won't get even 1/20 of this.  ::)
« Last Edit: March 09, 2013, 07:25:09 AM by gaggedLouise »

Offline owen84

Re: EU considers ban on porn
« Reply #5 on: March 09, 2013, 12:28:38 PM »
It would be to hard to police for start. The media always get what they want. you can Wright any law but money wins in the end and this will cost them money ad bring little to no in.

Offline Callie Del Noire

Re: EU considers ban on porn
« Reply #6 on: March 09, 2013, 12:45:56 PM »
Not to mention what you define as porn isn't going to stick across the border of say.. England, France, Spain and so on. It's a very.. ambiguous and flexible thing.


Offline gaggedLouise

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Re: EU considers ban on porn
« Reply #7 on: March 09, 2013, 01:11:09 PM »
Not to mention what you define as porn isn't going to stick across the border of say.. England, France, Spain and so on. It's a very.. ambiguous and flexible thing.

*nods* Stuff that counts as essentially innocent or at least no serious danger to anyone in Germany, Sweden or France can easily get relegated to getting sold only under the counter or screened at special closed shows in Hungary, Spain or Portugal.

Ken Russell's The Devils (which I've seen twice in the theatre over the years, it's built on a historical power showdown in 17th centuiry France, the age of Cardinal Richelieu: great film) would have been dismissed as scandalous and obscene by many people in Italy or Spain both when it came in 1971 and now, even at the top of society.

[noembed]The Devils (Ken Russell, 1971)[/noembed] (just one scene: I don't think this video counts as PG-13, it's definitely not safe for work.anywhere, not even in the UK...)


« Last Edit: March 09, 2013, 01:45:56 PM by gaggedLouise »

Offline gaggedLouise

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Re: EU considers ban on porn
« Reply #8 on: March 13, 2013, 02:44:02 AM »
The vote came out somewhat ambiguous, but with very little outright support for a ban on porn or for trying to enlist ISPs to enforce anything or report on customers. Those points were dropped from the text of the report before it went to the vote. The only 'censorship' bit that is left on that is indirect, in a vague reference to keeping at work the 1997 resolution (which called for the EU to combat porn in all kinds of media) - too bad that one is practically unenforceable, it is impossibly wide of course and the police don't have anythiung like the resources required, anywhere in the EU.


And the import of this vote is that it recommends (not 'orders') the EU Commission to introduce proposals for legislation along the lines of the report, in its amended shape. Hard measures for fighting porn or even stereotypes in advertising, music or literature is hardly going to be any kind of top priority there.

Offline Formless

Re: EU considers ban on porn
« Reply #9 on: March 13, 2013, 10:33:35 AM »
So they want to ban " nudity " in its pronographic form.

there's and eternal quest for seeking the joy of watching a naked body .

What they'll do - if this one get approved anyway - is ban one source of it.

Offline vtboy

Re: EU considers ban on porn
« Reply #10 on: March 13, 2013, 12:59:05 PM »
Perhaps the EUP needs something to take its collective mind off real world problems it might actually be able to do something about.   

Experience teaches that legal prohibition of stuff with strong appeal to human appetites -- like  alcohol, drugs, prostitution and pornography -- tends, at best, to be ineffective and, if pursued seriously by government, a tremendous waste of resources that might otherwise go to more salutary purposes. Prohibition is also often an impetus to the creation or strengthening of  criminal enterprises which not only distribute the contraband efficiently, but may engage in even more pernicious conduct. 

Such bans are nice illustrations of my favorite definition of insanity -- repeating failed behavior in the expectation of a different result.

Offline Zakharra

Re: EU considers ban on porn
« Reply #11 on: March 13, 2013, 01:04:31 PM »
So they want to ban " nudity " in its pronographic form.

there's and eternal quest for seeking the joy of watching a naked body .

What they'll do - if this one get approved anyway - is ban one source of it.

 Wouldn't this ban include shows on ancient, classical, and medieval statues and paintings? How many of them show nude or nearly nude people?

Offline Formless

Re: EU considers ban on porn
« Reply #12 on: March 13, 2013, 05:43:24 PM »
@ Zakharra : Aphordite's statue alone is an eternal icon. let's see what they would do about that.

But Maybe they think no one would ummm ... you know look at it the same way they'd look at ... whatever they look at on the internet .... i guess  :-\

Offline gaggedLouise

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Re: EU considers ban on porn
« Reply #13 on: March 13, 2013, 05:50:10 PM »
@ Zakharra : Aphordite's statue alone is an eternal icon. let's see what they would do about that.

But Maybe they think no one would ummm ... you know look at it the same way they'd look at ... whatever they look at on the internet .... i guess  :-\


Pretty much any number of classic paintings from Giorgione's The Storm (five hundred years old) to Picasso's Women of Avignon could be set up as sexually suggestive, I think any broad war on porn online is going to be dead in the water.

Offline Formless

Re: EU considers ban on porn
« Reply #14 on: March 13, 2013, 05:58:34 PM »
Internet cannot be controlled , perhaps this is why they're taking a different approach?

Offline gaggedLouise

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Re: EU considers ban on porn
« Reply #15 on: March 13, 2013, 06:03:43 PM »
Internet cannot be controlled , perhaps this is why they're taking a different approach?

What different approach? That they are not going to be sitting as models for any hot paintings or pictures themselves?  ;D

Offline Formless

Re: EU considers ban on porn
« Reply #16 on: March 13, 2013, 06:10:35 PM »
You'd be surprised how some people think when they are set to believe they can make a difference.

Some would try to alter the way people behave. I'm sure everyone have seen an example of this already.