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Child Pornography the rules have changed In the UK


The definition of "child pornography" differs from country to country. Most prohibit visual depictions of sexual activities involving actual children under a specified age. Some countries go further and prohibit all depictions of nudity of minors , whether or not the minor is depicted in an erotic pose or as engaging in a sex act. The broader prohibitions have led to controversy over pictures that are considered to have artistic merit; works by several prominent photographers, including Sally Mann and Jock Sturges , have been challenged as child pornography and sometimes banned. Still, in some countries, naturist magazines with depictions of nude children do not fall under the definition of child pornography, and are easily available.

Some countries prohibit visual depictions even when no actual children were involved in the making of the image. Such depictions may including paintings, drawings, or computer-generated images. (See "Simulated child pornography" below.) In some countries, not only visual depictions but, also, written works may fall within the definition of child pornography.

The minimum legal age for a depicted person varies from country to country. Some countries set one age for "hardcore" pornography and another for softcore "pornography" .

Most countries' laws provide an exception for materials that have artistic merit. Some prominent examples of this principle are Romeo and Juliet (the play and films), and Lolita (the novel and films). Subsequently, "Lolita" has become a common codeword for child pornography, legal or not.

United States

In the United States , child pornography is prohibited under both federal and state laws with some state laws including more or less restrictive definitions compared with federal law. Under federal law, child pornography is defined as visual depiction of minors (i.e. under 18) engaged in a sex act such as intercourse , oral sex , or masturbation as well as the lascivious depictions of the genitals. Various federal courts in the 1980s and 1990s have concluded that "lewd" or "lascivious" depiction of the genitals does not require the genitals to be uncovered. Thus, for example, a video of underage teenage girls dancing erotically, with multiple close-up shots of their covered genitals, can be considered child porn.

Questions arose during the 1990s as to whether depictions of mere nudity of minors - such as those found in some nudist magazines and videos - were legal under federal child porn laws. A court case in 1999 determined that mere nudity involving minors does not come under the federal definition of child porn, nor does it necessarily qualify as obscene, as the Supreme Court had ruled previously that mere nudity in and of itself does not constitute obscenity. This ruling does not specifically address state laws, which may differ. For example, broader definitions in some states have created controversy when parents were arrested for taking photographs in which their small children were depicted nude during usual daily activities, such as bathing.

Further complicating the issue in the U. S. is that there is no clear legal definition in federal or state law as to what exactly constitutes a "lewd" or "lascivious" exhibition. In addition, these terms are often to be interpreted according to "contemporary community standards." Defining the standards of a community where residents come from a wide variety of ethnic and cultural backgrounds, and where moving from place to place is commonplace so that the nature of a community is continually changing, has proved extremely challenging.

United Kingdom

Under United Kingdom law, a "child pornography" image is an " indecent photograph of a child "; there is no specific requirement of sexual content, as nudity can be sufficient for an image to be indecent. Similarly, "bikini" shots might be considered indecent. With a 2003 Act, the word pornography is used for the first time, defined to mean that "indecent images are recorded". Indecent photographs are defined in the Protection of Children Act 1978 , which forbade the creation, showing, distribution, possession for showing or distribution, and advertisement of such material; the Act was later amended so as to include such things as simulated images, known by the law as indecent pseudo-photograph of a child . The mere possession of such material was prohibited by the Criminal Justice Act 1988.

Age of consent

In many countries, including the US, Canada, the UK, and the Netherlands; "children" are defined to be persons below the age of 18. In Australia, child pornography is defined to include persons under 16 years. However, although material depicting 16 and 17 year olds is not legally considered child pornography, it is still illegal. It is rated as "Refused Classification", and thus illegal to sell or distribute. The European Union recommends the harmonization of the age limit to 18 years. The Netherlands raised the age limit of a "child" to that number in October 2002. The UK Sexual Offenses Act 2003 did the same. It was compulsory to dispose of possessions that became illegal. The age limit in Germany and Iceland is 14 years.

Images of legal activities are not always legal. For example, in the U.S., child porn includes anyone under 18; however, many states have an age of consent lower than 18. For some states the age of consent depends on the age gap between partners as well as the age of the young partner. Therefore, it may be legal to have sex with someone under 18 but not to take pictures of that person in sexual situations. The young person is not even allowed to make such a picture of themselves for personal use. One main reason for this disparity is that child pornography is primarily addressed under federal law, while age of sexual consent is solely a state issue.

Since the passage of the Sexual Offences Act 2003, UK law in general prohibits images of 16 and 17 year olds as child pornography, even though they are above the age of consent (16). However, there is an exception to the law, which provides that a person (who may be over 18) who is married to, or in an enduring family relationship with, a 16 or 17 year-old child may take or make indecent photographs showing the child with no other person than themselves with the child's consent, although it is illegal for the sexual partner to show or distribute them to any other person (Source: paragraphs 72-92, Explanatory Notes to Sexual Offences Act 2003). There is no explicit defense where the child has photographs of themselves, but it is a general principle of English law that the person whom a law is intended to protect cannot be prosecuted for an offence created by that law.

Social perception

In the late 1970s Jacqueline Livingston, a photography professor at Cornell University ,was accused of child pornography. She wrote: "I was scorned by my friends, accused of child pornography and fired from my teaching job after exhibiting photographs of my son, my husband and my father in law in the nude.".

A US couple were indicted for the production and possession of child pornography after a photo store clerk reported "suspicious" pictures containing images of the mother breast-feeding her child.

A teenager, who made photos of herself (involving nudity and sexual activity) and sent them to people she met in chat rooms, was charged with sexual abuse of children, possession and dissemination of child pornography.

An anti-piracy hologram on the Windows 95 box had an animation of a baby sitting next to a computer and then pointing to the computer where the Windows 95 logo appeared. The model, who was the infant son of the photographer, wasn't wearing a shirt, which led some people to the belief that he wasn't wearing pants either, even though he was visible only from the waist up. After government complaints, Microsoft had to change the hologram to one that didn't feature "naked children".

An Australian local council in New South Wales decided to ban photography on certain council-owned property under the pretext that photographs of children at school events could "fall in to the wrong hands". Parents were advised that, in order for them to obtain photographs of their own children at such events, they would have to pay for official photographs.


This was not written by a lawyer please do not depend on it


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