Digital Ecomony Bill is a law set to come into place on the 27th October 2016. This bill will see that commercial companies (even small ones) will have to put age verification on to their site, so visitors will have to prove that they are of legal age to view pornographic content from still and moving images to even plain audio. While many Mistresses already have some form of age verification in place, sadly simple tick boxes and or date of birth forms will no longer apply, meaning that the site owners will have to look into more extreme ways to verify their viewers age. The company who will be the regulator and the company who will decide if content is commercial and pornographic will be the BBFC (British Board of Film Classification). They are yet to reveal which system will be put into place to verify people’s age. The whole point of the bill is apparently to protect children from “harmful” pornographic content, however, it is very likely that those determined to view porn will still find ways around it easily. Whilst this is a UK law, those outside the UK will have to provide age verification to UK residents too.
Myles Jackman, an award-winning specialist in obscenity law, commented that:
“Whilst the Kink Olympixxx was conceived as a playful protest, the Digital Economy Bill poses a serious risk of users’ personal sexual preferences being leaked; will adversely affect sexual minorities’ ability to freely express their sexuality; and most frighteningly, imposes State censorship and surveillance of consensual adult sexual content in the UK.”
“Chinese State censors and surveillance agents will envy this Hadrian’s Firewall.”
Pandora Blake, the feminist pornographer and sexual liberty campaigner, added that:
“The Digital Economy Bill will introduce compulsory age verification for all adult content without any measures to safeguard the privacy of web users. Consensual adult sex should not be criminalised, yet this Bill will prohibit the publication of depictions of sexual activities that are legal to perform.”
“We are calling for a Joint Committee on Adult Liberty to update our retrograde sex laws.”
What it could mean for Mistresses:
There are many issues that even Mistresses may encounter when this bill is inforced. Whilst we can all hope that they will focus more on the larger companies, the bill states that even smaller companies will have to follow the guidelines. Finically, due to many methods of age verification costing per visit some Mistresses may have to abandon their own personal sites if they prefer using pornographic images on it and stick with adult listing sites, where companies will only have to do one age check per visitor and allow them to view multiple Mistresses, rather than having to be age verified each time they view a separate Mistresses website. It’s predicted that the age verification process could cost between 20-60 p per visitor. Not all directories will include age verification and therefore will still not allow pornographic images on them. Those that do allow nude images and pornographic audio / clips may up their prices.
As those from outside the UK will also have to provide age verification it also could mean that Mistresses will miss out one travelling clients who are visiting for business or pleasure.
It is unclear what commercial really means within this law; it could mean anything from web camming to selling old worn clothing. Even a paid ad on your site which doesn’t provide much revenue could be classed as sufficient enough classification to require age verification.
We also have to consider how social media sites such as twitter will be affected due to allowing explicit content. Many Fin Dommes and Mistresses who find clients through these avenues may have to look for other solutions when it comes to making money.
The Digital Economy Bill could mean that Mistresses wishing to completely avoid age verification on their site will have to remove any pornographic content (yep the content that generally helps sells many Mistresses services). Members areas will no longer be possible as a unique bonus for providing such in-depth info with age verification, when most of these are purchased by credit cards which are adult only, and many are by long standing subs who the Mistress themselves has seen on a number of occasions.
How it may affect submissives:
As the form of age verification system has yet to be been determined, there are a number of ways in which this may be done. The submissives visiting a Mistresses site or even adult directory may have to produce credit card information, passport info, or even just a phone number which will be checked to see if it’s registered to someone 18+. However, there’s one big problem with any of the possible options and that is that they may be targets for hackers. While due to the data protection act any information provided for these checks can’t be shared or kept, there is no 100% guarantee that submissives sexual preferences and personal information won’t be leaked out somewhere along the line.
It has been mentioned that if a person is using a credit card or similar that the card company can even block transaction / put them on hold and even halt the card if they suspect that someone may be under 18+. This is a great inconvenience for both submissives and Mistresses.
Some submissives may also be saddened by the fact many of their favourite Mistresses will not be sharing pornographic images particularly free and easily accessible, as many Mistresses may take these down as a way to avoid expensive age verification.
Kink Olympixxx Protest:
On the 17th October between 12pm – 2pm there will be a protest outside parliament Westminster London. This Protest will be for a demand in change of outdated Obscenity Laws. If this bill is passed, our sexual preferences will be exploited for commercial gains, as well as consensual sex will be criminalised. Smaller companies may even die. The protest will host a series of speakers, including Pandora Blake (pornographer), Myles Jackman (obscenity lawyer), Siobhan Knox and Alex Etchart (sex workers Opera English Collective of Prostitutes), Dr Clarissa Smith (Professor of Sexual Cultures), and many more. There will also be a series of fun activities at the event, from spanking relay, to fisting volleyball. The turn-out is predicted to be huge and many will be attending in BDSM attire.
So if you’ve able to make it, head to London this Monday and help support the kink community by taking part in the Kink Olympixx.