Thursday, October 23, 2008


You may, or may not, be aware of the law regarding the publication of obscene material - called obviously enough The Obscene Publications Act. The OPA also extends to t'internet, although up until now it had not been used in that context.

Yesterday, however, a Civil Servant from South Shields (had to be a fucking sand dancer, didn't it?) was in court for a trial over a blog posting he made, regarding the kidnap, torture and murder of "pop group" Girls Aloud.

John Ozimek from The Register noted
This is the first such prosecution for written material in nearly two decades – and a guilty verdict could have a serious and significant impact on the future regulation of the internet in the UK.

The case originated in summer 2007, when Mr Walker allegedly posted a work of fantasy – titled Girls (Scream) Aloud - about pop group Girls Aloud. The story describes in detail the kidnap, rape, mutilation and murder of band members Cheryl Cole, Nadine Coyle, Sarah Harding, Nicola Roberts and Kimberley Walsh, and ends with the sale of various body parts on eBay.

The piece was brought to the attention of the Internet Watch Foundation, whose remit includes the monitoring of internet material deemed to be criminally obscene: they in turn handed details over to the Police.

The true significance of this case – and the reason for our interest – is that it is the first prosecution under the Obscene Publications Act 1959 in respect of written content since 1991, when Manchester magistrate Derrick Fairclough ordered the seizure under section 3 of the OPA of David Britton’s Lord Horror. This would have allowed the book to be destroyed without jury trial. Again, the decision was overturned by the Court of Appeal.

The significance of this prosecution cannot therefore be understated. At present, the UK effectively has no sanction against written material, no matter how apparently obscene. The implication for UK surfers is immense. If a not guilty verdict is returned, then written material on the internet – as written material elsewhere – will return to its present near-privileged status. On the other hand, a guilty verdict could change much.
Interestingly, there are many 'swear bloggers' that may have to change their style quite significantly if a guilty verdict is returned.

I may be one of them. Cunts.

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