The Regulation of Internet Pornography: Issues and Challenges

1st Edition

Abhilash Nair

Routledge
Published November 8, 2018
Reference - 220 Pages
ISBN 9780415745772 - CAT# Y161661
Series: Routledge Research in Information Technology and E-Commerce Law

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Summary

The regulation of pornography has always been a contentious issue, which has sparked wide-ranging debates surrounding the acceptability and place of pornography in society. The use of the internet to distribute and access pornography has magnified this debate and has presented a number of challenges for the law in terms of effective and proportionate regulation. Following unsuccessful attempts by states to transpose traditional laws to cyberspace, a new and radical regulatory framework eventually evolved for regulating internet pornography. In this process, the focus of the law has changed from merely controlling the publication and distribution of obscene material to a model that aims to deter private consumption of illegal content. In addition, various self- and co-regulatory initiatives have been introduced with the involvement of non-state actors, imposing a certain degree of de facto liability on intermediaries, all of which raise interesting issues.

This book examines the relevant regulatory responses to internet pornography, with particular reference to the UK, but also drawing comparisons with other countries where relevant. It argues that the internet has fundamentally, and in many ways irreversibly, changed the regulation of pornography. Classifying internet pornography into three broad categories – child pornography, extreme pornography, and adult pornography – the book provides an in-depth analysis of the legal issues involved in regulating internet pornography, and argues that the notions of obscenity and indecency on their own will not provide an adequate basis for regulating online pornography. The book identifies the legitimising factors that will lend credibility and normative force to the law in order to successfully regulate pornography in cyberspace. It is the only comprehensive text that rigorously addresses the regulation of internet pornography as a whole, and offers valuable insights that will appeal to academics, students, policy makers, and those working in the areas of broader internet governance and online child protection.

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