ATVOD Propose Changes to Law to License Adult Sites

ATVOD Chief Executive, Pete Johnson, explained to the BBC that his agency plan to prose a system of licensing for adult sites in a bid to restrict underage access.

Under the proposal, any operator who was not a notified provider with ATVOD would not be able to obtain credit or debit card processing services and therefore be severely hindered.

Of course, this proposal, along with many other Government backed ideas on stopping children watching porn, simply fails before it begins. Tube sites and forums don’t require payment or age verification and present streaming hardcore almost immediately.

Johnson said the licensing proposal was such an important one that it is crucial the legislation is enacted during the current parliament and before the next general election.

Clearly ATVOD are already busy marketing their proposal as the magical solution, they commissioned market research of 45,000 internet users which found that six percent of children aged 15 years or younger had accessed an adult website.

I have no faith in statistics, Politicians have seen to that over the years, but for me rather than taking the percentage as a definitive illustration I ask questions – if only more would.

Questions like what actually constitutes an adult site in the context of the survey? We have to remember that this Government and most ISP’s for that matter consider the lingerie pages of high street retailers such as H&M, Marks and Spencer’s and La Senza as ‘adult content’ that should be restricted.

Their own research also tells us that PornHub is by far the most popular among an underage demographic – we already knew this, I was telling ATVOD this three years ago yet they have made little progress on levelling the playing field between regulated providers and free content that continues to trade in the Global adult industry.

We already know how useless the ISP filter has been in this regard and I can’t help but feel that ATVOD deserves to be disbanded for their stupidity and utter lack of understanding in regards to the Internet and the online industries.

Johnson admits to the BBC that a multi-layered approach is best and one where the Parents take the lead is best however ATVOD, as an industry funded body, have yet to take any of the funds generated from the industry it regulates and sponsor, fund or contribute to Parental and minor outreach in relation to Internet access or Internet safety.

Surely before any other ham-fisted policies or legislation is introduced ATVOD she be made to explore a different approach. I think they’ll find it is a lot more complex than ‘we need more power to do our job’ and actually access and consumption of pornography is more indicative of social, cultural and personal problems that can not simply be fixed by a limp-firewall or law.

ATVOD have demonstrated that they are a small group punching above their weight in a Worldwide industry where more than half don’t even know who they are. It is an organisation that looks more and more like it was set up as a way to generate an income for an industry that was still making money during the recession and where the entire top-tier of management not only exceed the number of actual employees but their combined salary is one similar to a bankers annual income, minus the bonus of course.

8 thoughts on “ATVOD Propose Changes to Law to License Adult Sites”

  1. First mentioned here in this video from last Septembers XBiz Convention in Lonon https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K3h6fib7mXo

    In February the banks refused to comply preferring not to act like censors. Pete Johnson obviously decided to push this further by attempting to make it law.

    Ultimately this is not about porn or the protection of kids. Its all about control, censorship and making money out of those who sign up

    What more proof do you need knowing that the free sites are left off the table and free porn continues to exist on web browser search engines.

    My question is: Whats the point if it doesnt do nothing but ruin what business is left for legitimate producers who are already regulated by billing companies and net parental controls already.

    What these people should do (with the porn industry if needs must), is promote education that puts the parent back in the seat of responsibility for their child.

    I dont agree with government quangoes solutions to problems resulting in fees to finance its fatuous organisation so that its agents and can line their pockets when in effect they are doing nothing about the problem of protecting children from porn at all

    1. Agreed. Hopefully given the mainstream exposure ATVOD have had this last week more people will realise they actually can’t deliver what they say they will – an internet free from porn for children and that they struggle to understand the industry nearly five years after they were first established.

      I do believe last week’s appearances was the first mainstream news coverage of ATVOD and Sex and Censorship. I think that’s awesome progress in the fight.

  2. An argument made by ATVOD is that the default ISP porn filters are not good enough because they are easy to get around, but if blocking payments to adult sites outside the UK led to those sites blocking adult content to UK users, it would be as easy to get around using the same methods to change the users IP address to view the uncensored non-UK version of the site.

    1. It would unless the Government and ATVOD compel the credit card issuers to block cards assigned to UK holders – which will never happen.

      It is worth pointing out too that ATVOD are only pursuing payment restrictions to beat and force the industry to comply with ATVOD’s regulation (and fees).

      The free tube and affiliate sites that offer content for free will once again escape any Government pressure as they do not rely on a subscription or payment model – their revenue is generated through ads. So, blocking the ability for PornHub to process a credit card will make zero difference.

      I think it is this lack of understanding of the industry they are charged to regulate that frustrates me the most about ATVOD.

      1. I dont think they give a damn. Their remit to protect children is a flimsy ruse to make money and show their paymasters what a damn fine job theyve done reigning the porn business in while in effect doing nothing about it at all and being seen by those who dont know any better (parents and voters) so they can chalk this up as a win anyway

  3. You are correct, and what you said relates to the point I was trying to make, which is that if UK card payments were blocked then “tube” sites (which are the main providers of unrestricted content) are not likely to change the way their websites can be accessed on a global scale, at most they might block access to content by UK IP addresses, but that also seems unlikely since they could still advertise penis enlargement pills, hookup sites etc. which visitors could presumably still pay for. By banning payments to legitimate content, paying consumers are likely to use tube sites more. Content producers would lose money, consumers would lose access to safe high quality content, and parents would see tube sites booming while ATVOD rakes in the cash regardless.

    Aside from that, I think this campaign by ATVOD represents a worrying threat to people’s freedoms to access the internet freely, send money and access legal content as they wish. I think ATVOD would like to run the internet as a TV network where everything has to be pre-approved and charged a licence fee by them. You say it “will never happen.” that the UK government will block their citizens from using their own money to buy legal merchandise, and I hope you are correct, although the shadow culture minister Helen Goodman almost immediately came out in support of ATVOD’s nauseating campaign, and the government have been easily persuaded by pro-censorship campaigners in the past.

    The news coverage of Sex and Censorship (with thanks to ATVOD) is good to see though!

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