Feeds

Cartoon smut law to make life sucky for Olympic organisers

Internet + iffy logo = Ha ha!

Remote control for virtualized desktops

In the first instance, any image claiming to be "child porn" is evidence of child abuse, and those possessing such images are considered to be fuelling the trade for such material by creating an economic demand for it. In the second instance, one of the justifications for the new law was the harm being done to participants in extreme pornographic images, or the presumed harm that might result from copycatting.

In this case, the view was expressed that copycatting might be an issue. However, both in the committee stage of this legislation and in the consultation paper (pdf) advocating it, there was also a strong inclination toward punishing individuals on the basis of their proclivities, irrespective of harm done, or even potential for copycatting.

The law will apply where "the impression conveyed by the image is that the person shown is a child". In debate in committee, those arguing for the law were clear that they hoped it would apply even to a few lines scrawled by an individual on a piece of paper for their own enjoyment: and Government Minister Maria Eagle wanted the widest possible interpretation of the law to prevent individuals adding alien characteristics to images, and claiming they were not human.

Given how widespread is the belief in the indecent nature of the Olympic logo, some degree of public embarrassment seems inevitable. First, because the internet is home to what can best be described as an "awkward squad" tendency which does not much like increased regulation of what can be seen and downloaded from the web, this issue is a gift: an opportunity to stick two fingers up at what is seen by many as a legislative step too far.

Second, given the number of individuals who subscribe to groups on this subject, the likelihood that someone will formally complain to the police cannot be ruled out - and there could well be a case to answer. The "strict liability" nature of the law coupled with widespread publicity over this image means that there may be no room for the ignorance defence.

El Reg asked various government bodies for a comment. The Ministry of Justice said it could not help: it was responsible for policy, but how a law would be used in future was a matter for police and Crown Prosecution Service.

The latter was equally unable to help, as although the law has received Royal Assent, it has not yet been "commenced" - that is, it still requires a Minister of State to sign it into active status - and therefore no guidelines have yet been issued. However, it is expected that that will happen in the next few months.

We approached the Olympic Organising Committee for comment. A London 2012 spokesperson said: “The London 2012 logo depicts the figure 2012 and nothing else.” ®

Remote control for virtualized desktops

More from The Register

next story
Facebook pays INFINITELY MORE UK corp tax than in 2012
Thanks for the £3k, Zuck. Doh! you're IN CREDIT. Guess not
Big Content outs piracy hotbeds: São Paulo, Beijing ... TORONTO?
MPAA calls Canadians a bunch of bootlegging movie thieves
Google Glassholes are UNDATEABLE – HP exec
You need an emotional connection, says touchy-feely MD... We can do that
Just don't blame Bono! Apple iTunes music sales PLUMMET
Cupertino revenue hit by cheapo downloads, says report
US court SHUTS DOWN 'scammers posing as Microsoft, Facebook support staff'
Netizens allegedly duped into paying for bogus tech advice
Feds seek potential 'second Snowden' gov doc leaker – report
Hang on, Ed wasn't here when we compiled THIS document
Verizon bankrolls tech news site, bans tech's biggest stories
No agenda here. Just don't ever mention Net neutrality or spying, ok?
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
New hybrid storage solutions
Tackling data challenges through emerging hybrid storage solutions that enable optimum database performance whilst managing costs and increasingly large data stores.
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.