LONDON – Hardcore pornographic films may soon appear on British television for the first time if media watchdog Ofcom gives proposals the green light.
The TV regulator's draft report offers two options: continuing prohibition or, if appropriate safeguards are in place, to removing or changing the rules regarding R18 films and R18-standard material.
R18 refers to the most explicit pornographic material, including penetrative sex. This is currently banned across all UK TV channels, including premium rate subscription channels.
At present Ofcom recommends the ban should be kept in place till October 5, after which viewers will decide the outcome.
TV decency laws were relaxed in the 2003 Communications Act, which made much looser reference to "generally accepted standards".
This, combined with the fact that pornography is readily available on the internet, in magazines and from mainland Europe, could result in the relaxation of UK rules.
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