May 24th, 2005

mini me + poo

Buying R18 videos by post / phone / internet

You're not supposed to sell R18 videos (porn, basically) in any other way apart from a licensed sex shop. A web browse or a look through the pages of various magazines, including the free gay press, will reveal that that's a condition that's not been listened to much.

So last year, when two firms were convicted of breaches of the Video Recordings Act 1984 for selling by post, they appealed. It's taken a while for the judgement to be published - the appeal hearing was three months ago, but the judgement only came through yesterday.

But the verdict is clear: for UK suppliers, even sending a catalogue of R18 videos is enough to get you fined - the act of offering to supply is just as naughty as actually doing so.

Similarly, loaning a copy of your R18 video to someone else is covered: "'Supply' means supply in any manner, whether or not for reward, and, therefore, includes supply by way of sale, letting on hire, exchange or loan..."

One of the arguments is that this will mean the business goes to suppliers in the Netherlands and elsewhere, and unless HM Customs and Revenue change their policies, this will undoubtedly happen. I'm tempted to try ringing our local sex shop (a branch of CloneZone) and seeing if they'll post me something.

And there are two firms who no doubt wish they'd checked the address they were being asked to send videos to against a list of trading standards offices...