Pandora Blake, award-winning activist and feminist pornographer, has won her appeal to Ofcom against ATVOD and can reinstate her site Dreams of Spanking, which was banned under the AVMS guidelines in August 2015, triggering widespread anger among
free speech advocates as well as porn fans.
The controversial Audiovisual Media Services Regulations came into effect in December 2014, banning consensual sex acts from online porn including facesitting, female ejaculation, and
spanking that leaves marks. Pandora Blake took part in the facesitting protest outside Westminster, and also spoke on Newsnight and Women's Hour challenging the sexist and regressive nature of the regulations. She believes that speaking out made
her a target for censorship.
ATVOD - the Association for TV on Demand - were tasked with regulating online porn in 2010. While porn critics often focus on the mainstream industry, ATVOD made a point of targeting independent
niche and fetish porn producers, including a disproportionate number of female filmmakers. In January 2016, Ofcom shut down the quango amid rumours that it was acting beyond its remit.
Pandora Blake said:
The point of Dreams of Spanking was to make ethical porn based on my own fantasies. I'm not ashamed of being kinky and there's no harm in adults sharing consensual BDSM films. The AVMS regulations effectively criminalised my
sexuality. I was singled out because I criticised the new laws. ATVOD tried to shut me up, but they failed.
Now I've won my appeal I feel vindicated. It proves that it's worth standing up to bullies. The war against intrusive and
oppressive state censorship isn't over, but this decision is a landmark victory for feminist porn, diversity and freedom of expression.
Update: Candy Girls tool
3rd October 2016. From Xbiz
The operator of Candy Girl Productions, Laura Jenkins, also won her appeal involving two online adult sites AllTeensWorld.co.uk and CandyGirlPass.com as well as 33 other affiliated adult subscription sites.
Ofcom reversed decisions made by
previous co-regulator ATVOD and decided the sites listed in the appeal cases were not on-demand video websites and subject to regulation, including requiring a system that verifies that the user is 18 or over at the point of registration. Each of the
online adult companies were subject to fines prior to the appeal cases.
Ofcom said in the rulings that it proposed to quash previous ATVOD determinations in the cases and replace it with the current determinations.
Video on Demand censor ATVOD has taken action against 8 adult companies operating 21 websites. 6 of the services didn't abide by ATVOD's unviable and onerous age verification requirements and 2 contained spanking material, which ATVOD claims is banned
under an undemocratically introduced government decree.
In fact spanking material is banned because the Crown Prosecution Service unilaterally claims that it can be successfully prosecuted under the Obscene Publications Act. This claim is surely not
backed up by recent jury trials, but is maintained by offering attractive plea bargains to victims being prosecuted to accept a guilty rap rather than go to jury trial. The Crown Prosecution Service writes the porn censorship rules used by the BBFC, and
ATVOD in turn, uses the same CPS defined rules as maintained by the BBFC.
Ultimately ATVOD and the government are making the bollox claim that spanking videos are somehow likely to 'deprave and corrupt' viewers. A claim that's provably nonsense as
for all the many people that enjoy the likes of Dreams of Spanking, there simply aren't any examples of people who have been depraved and corrupted its viewing, not even ATVOD staff.
The two services which featured 'banned' material -- The
Bondage Mistress Club and Dreams of Spanking are the subject of ongoing enforcement action. If they fail to become fully compliant in accordance with a strict timetable set by ATVOD, the service providers will be referred to Ofcom for
consideration of a sanction, a procedure which can lead to operators being fined or having their right to provide a service suspended.
The six other services -- Joybear Pictures, Sunday Sport XXXtra, UK XXX Pass, Lisa Cross, Luke's Lair and
Lucy Zara -- had all failed to have in place robust mechanisms for preventing under 18s from accessing pornographic material which would be restricted to adult licensed sex shop customers if distributed on a DVD. Two of the services -- UK XXX Pass
and Luke's Lair - had allowed any visitor to view such material free of charge. The remaining four restricted access to hardcore porn to paying customers only, but accepted the most common forms of payment which theoretically could be used by under 18s.
Following ATVOD's intervention, all six services acted to make changes to bring the service into compliance or closed until such action could be completed. Of these, Joybear Pictures and UK XXX Pass acted in advance of the final breach ruling,
while the remaining four acted in accordance with deadlines set in Enforcement Notifications issued at the time the breach was confirmed.
ATVPD notes that two of the providers recently brought into compliance have since submitted claims --
currently under investigation - that the services have now been transferred to the control of persons based outside the UK. ATVOD has no powers in relation to services operated from abroad and on-demand services provided from outside the UK -- but
accessible within the UK - are rarely required to have in place the sort of age verification and access control systems required by ATVOD.
Comment: Amongst the authoritarian, sanctimonious twats of this world
August 2015. Thank to Alan
I write from a civilised country, in which material illegal under the Dangerous Pictures Act can be shown on terrestrial telly, with the kiddiwinks protected only by the late hour of broadcast. Maybe I should extend my holiday.
first reaction to reading the ATVOD determination was laughter. How could anybody write this sanctimonious, po-faced drivel without rolling on the floor pissing his boxers (or her knickers) with uncontrollable, hysterical mirth? Among the authoritarian,
sanctimonious twats of this world, Johnson has shown himself to be the Michelangelo of authoritarianism, the Leonardo of sanctimony and the Raphael of twattishnesss.
One small mercy, I suppose, is that Pandora's real name is
redacted. She was seriously concerned that it might be released. (I know of only two models/actresses in the spanking field who have let their demonstrable real name be known, and a couple of others who have used the same name -- real or assumed -- for
spanking and other modelling work.) The more serious aspect, of course, is that PB has had to put Dreams of Spanking on hold until she can win an appeal against this idiocy. My acquaintance with the woman is extremely limited -- confined to the exchange
of a couple of emails -- but she comes across as a thoroughly likable person.
Update: Ariel's Sponsored Caning
24th August 2015. Thank to Alan
It is interesting to note that one of the films
singled out for a kicking was Ariel's Sponsored Caning - produced specifically to raise money for the fight against ATVOD, and made available free under Creative Commons.
I built this site so I would have something that was completely my own. This is the project that was meant save me from having to compromise myself, my alternative to spending the best years of my
life working for other people. Dreams of Spanking represents my creative independence, my sexual self-acceptance, and my financial stability. It's mine, I made it, it works, it was the biggest thing I'd ever done - and just as it started to pay me a
wage, it's being taken away from me.
They really seem to be going after young Pandora. The classic "you couldn't make this up" bit is that they actually get their knickers in a twist over the free video made by Pandora and Amelia Rutherford (aka Ariel Anderssen) as a fundraiser
for fighting against ATVOD!
And this on the day in which Carole Cadwalladr, interviewing Max Mosley in the Observer, says S&M has gone mainstream.