Pornography by region

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World map of pornography (18+) laws
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The production and distribution of pornographic movies are economic activities of some importance. The exact size of the economy of pornography and the influence that it plays in political circles are matters of controversy. In many countries, it is legal to both produce and distribute pornography featuring performers age 18 or older; however, there are often restrictions placed upon such material.

Contents

Americas

Canada

The sale of hardcore pornography is legal in Canada to anyone over the age of 18 (or 19 in some provinces). Otherwise, such sales are prohibited. However, persons below that age may own or possess porn. Most hardcore pornography is sold in adult stores or on adult websites.

Latin America

In Latin America, pornography production is somewhat limited. However, pornography is abundant, especially pirate DVDs from the USA and Europe, which are available on the streets of most capitals in Latin America.

In Brazil, pornographic film actors must be 18 or older. Pornography which does not involve bestiality (snuff) is legal when sold in public places. Depiction of sex with animals is legal.[1]) However, magazine and DVD covers that depict genitalia must not be visible from public view; and pornography can only be sold to people 18 or older.

Guyana

Pornography is illegal in Guyana. The distribution, possession, sale, import of pornographic magazines, DVDs, books, photographs, etc. or simply browsing for pornographic websites on the internet can lead to a variety of punishments ranging from community service, a fine of up to 45,0000 Guyana Dollars or up to 2 years imprisonment. Guyana is the only country in South America where pornography is illegal. [2]

United States

In the United States, pornography is a large industry that involves major entertainment companies such as Time Warner[citation needed], which offers pornography films through its cable channels and in-room movies in hotels. Pornography distribution changed radically during the 1980s, with VHS and cable television largely displacing X-rated theaters. VHS distribution, in turn, has been replaced by DVD and Internet distribution for niche markets.

Pornography generates billions of dollars in sales in the United States alone. An estimated 211 new pornographic films are made every week in the United States.[3]

Restrictions

Publication of hardcore material is only illegal at the federal (national) level if it meets the Miller test of obscenity, which is rare. Bestiality, simulated rape, urination and defecation are deemed obscene, and pornography depicting such acts is not legal or available legally in the United States, however such publications are widely available in the United States on the internet. Pornographic materials may not be made available to minors. Some attempts at restricting pornography on the Internet have been made, but most have been struck down by the courts.

Prosecution for and tolerance of pornography distribution varies widely from state to state and city to city.

Child pornography

Producing child pornography involving minors engaged in sex acts, or posing in an obscene manner, is a crime on the federal level punishable by a minimum of 5 years and a maximum of 40 years, making U.S. law on child pornography among the harshest in the world.

While child pornography is illegal, photographs of nudist children are not, creating some confusion as to where the legal line is drawn.[4]

The law prohibiting simulated child pornography was struck down by the Supreme Court in 2002 in the case Ashcroft v. Free Speech Coalition; however, this opinion seems to have been superseded by the adoption of the PROTECT Act of 2003.

Europe

European hardcore pornography is dominated by a few pan-European producers and distributors, the most notable of which is the Private Media Group. Most European countries also have local pornography producers, from Portugal (Naturalvideo) to Romania (Floyd-Agency), all of which compete with larger, international organizations with varying levels of success.

The once popular style of Euro-chic pornography created by directors Lasse Braun, Joe d'Amato, and Michel Gentil has lost ground and the Pierre Woodman style of video porn now attracts a larger audience. A few directors like Luca Damiano, Mario Salieri, and Alain Payet have continued with the "older" cinematographic and dramatic styles that often distinguish European pornography from that of other cultures.

Throughout Europe, ostensibly private "stolen" videos, featuring celebrities having sex, are very popular on the Internet and in the black market. It is unclear whether these videos were truly released without their participants' permission, or whether they constitute a type of publicity stunt planned by the principals themselves, most of whom are TV and music stars. In recent years, starting with the Severina Vučković "incident" in 2004, the country of Croatia has seen an explosion of these videos, causing an imitation by teenagers.

Many U.S.-based pornography websites distribute primarily European pornography, or porn which features actresses from primarily Eastern European countries. These actresses (often advertised as "Eurobabes"[5]) may conform more to a look usually seen in U.S. actresses than European ones, although they may still be considered to look "more natural" (European pornography typically de-emphasizes breast implants, among other aesthetic factors).

Albania

In Albania, pornography is illegal and is punishable by up to 1 year in Prison.[6][7]

Austria

In Austria, "youth-imperiling" materials or those which violate human dignity may not be displayed or sold to people under 16 years of age. Nudity does not fall under this restriction.

Azerbaijan

In Azerbaijan, in accordance with article 3 of the Media Act of December 7, 1999, the "pornographic materials" are defined as works of art, photographic reproductions of paintings, information and other materials the main content of which is the crude and undignified depiction of the anatomical and physiological aspects of sexual relations. Pornography in Azerbaijan is easily and cheaply obtainable in Baku, although not in most other places. Pornographic images, either printed or recorded may cause problems when crossing the border. Taking the soft-core materials should have no problems, but Azeri borders guards can require a few extra euros.[8] Meanwhile the legal activity to combat child pornography is governed by 1998 Rights of the Child Act, 1999 Media Act, the Plan of Measures to Solve the Problem of Homeless and Street Children and the National Plan of Action to Combat Trafficking in Persons.[9]

Belarus

Pornography is illegal in Belarus. Production, distribution, promotion, exposition as well as possession with intent of distribution or promotion of pornographic materials or objects of pornographic nature is punished by Belorussian criminal law and results in compulsory community service, fine or up to 4 years of imprisonment.[10]

Belgium

Pornography is legal in Belgium, but child pornography is totally forbidden with legal pursuits. The different supports (magazines and DVD's) are essentially import products from Europe (France, Germany, the Netherlands) or North America. There is also a little local production, mostly amateur.

Bulgaria

Authorities tolerate illegal distribution of hardcore porn in designated shops, and on TV after 11 pm. Softcore material is rarely censored. Magazines and pornographic papers have become increasingly available since the fall of communism in 1989, and local editions of many international porn magazines are published. Society is often exposed to sexual content in commercials and ads. However, porn production and distribution is illegal in Bulgaria. Before 2007 law was unclear about what is pornography. All porn movie shootings including cams and online sex are illegal. There are no Bulgarian porn production companies. The penalty for porn production or distribution is up to one year imprisonment (or up to two years if criminal had used the Internet) and a fine of 1000 BGN to 3000 BGN. The penalty for distribution or possession of child pornography is up to one year imprisonment or a fine of up to 2000 BGN.

Croatia

Pornography is legal in Croatia. Hardcore pornographic material may not be sold to persons under the age of 18. Distribution or possession of child pornography or pornography involving minors (under 18) is illegal and punishable by a maximum of 10 years imprisonment.[citation needed]

Czech Republic

Pornography is legal in the Czech Republic. Sale and distribution of child pornography is illegal and is punishable by imprisonment for up to 3 years. Possession of child pornography was made illegal in 2007 and carries penalty up to 2 years in prison. The Czech penal code also bans sale and distribution of pornography depicting sexual intercourse with an animal and pornography depicting violence or disrespect to human beings, with penalty of up to 1 year in prison.[11]

Denmark

A ban on pornographic literature was lifted in 1967. In 1969, Denmark became the first country in the world to legalize pornography.[12] People in Denmark have free access to pornography; it is sold in most convenience stores[citation needed], and is available for purchase or rental in practically every video store, including Blockbuster. Pornography including minors younger than 18 years is prohibited, even possession is illegal.

Finland

In Finland, child, violent, and bestial pornography is banned.[13] It is legal to sell pornography in any store, but magazines may not be sold to buyers under 15 years of age, and hardcore is restricted to buyers 18 years or older.

Prior to 1 January 1999, all indecent publishing, including the import and export thereof, was banned.[14]

France

In France, porn is legal. Hardcore porn must not be sold to minors under the age of 18. Softcore porn is allowed for people 16 and over. Extremely violent or graphic pornography is considered X-rated, and so may be shown only in specific theaters, and may not be displayed to minors. Some pornography has a special VAT: a 33% tax is levied on X-rated movies, and a 50% excise is placed on pornographic online services. The ratings system has caused controversy; e.g., in 2000 the sexually explicit and violent Baise-moi was initially rated only as "restricted" by the French government. This classification was overturned by a Conseil d'État ruling in a lawsuit brought by associations supporting Christian and family values. Notice that some movies are forbidden to minors under 18, without the X rating, like Baise Moi, Ken Park or Saw 3, so that these movies can be viewed in theaters and not attract the value-added tax.

Germany

German law is very strict about hardcore pornography, especially when compared to very liberal laws about softcore pornography, prostitution and sex shops. Providing hardcore pornography to a person under 18 is illegal, and shops selling it must keep people under the age of 18 from entering their premises. If only a part of the shop is dedicated to pornography, it must be completely closed off from the rest of the premises. Alternatively, shops may choose not to display their goods or advertise that they sell them, in which case minors may be admitted. Websites hosting pornographic material within Germany must comply with very strict rules about verifying that viewers are over 18.[15]

Germany has a very broad definition of child pornography, which includes images and writing of all real or fictional people who either are under the age of 18 or who appear to be below 18 to an "average viewer". Distribution of such material is prohibited, although possession is only banned if the material shows a real person below 18. But the law differentiates between child pornography (under age of 14, § 184b criminal code) and youth pornography (14 to under 18, § 184c criminal code). Pornography involving violence or bestiality may not be produced or distributed, but is legal to possess.

Greece

In Greece, softcore magazines, calendars, and decks of cards are sold openly at roadside kiosks and tourist shops. Hard core pornography is also freely distributed in convenience stores, kiosks and video stores and can also be shown in encrypted channels and adult cinemas. Some years ago hardcore pornography DVDs were given as a gift with some Greek newspapers, but later this practice was stopped by the state.[citation needed] Selling pornographic material to people under 18 years old is illegal, but in practice the law is not always enforced.[citation needed] Child pornography is strictly illegal. There are no other restrictions to pornography distribution and possession. The legal status about local porn DVDs productions was uncertain until 2008 and at that time there were only rare amateur productions.[citation needed] In 2008 the first legal pornographic company in Greece was established and in one of its films in 2010, the famous Greek model Julia Alexandratou performed in a hard core scene making a scandal in Greek show-biz.[citation needed]

Hungary

In Hungary, pornography is illegal if sold or shown to children under 18 years of age. However, displaying the genitals openly, as on the cover of a magazine, is not prohibited.

Iceland

Publication of pornography is illegal in Iceland,[16] and is punishable by a fine or imprisonment for up to 6 months. Publication of child pornography is punishable by a fine or imprisonment for up to 2 years.

Ireland

Other than regulations regarding pornographic movies, no laws against pornography, other than child pornography (a child is defined as someone under 18), exist.[citation needed]

Italy

In Italy, it is illegal to distribute pictorial or video pornography to persons under the age of 18. Hardcore and softcore movies and magazines are available not only through sex shops, but also in normal video stores, newsstands, certain gas stations and vending machines.

Latvia

In Latvia, the distribution of pornographic material is allowed under very similar legal conditions as in Poland.[17] Pornographic or erotic material is rarely to never sold in places accessible to general public.

Lithuania

In Lithuania, commercial distribution of pornographic material is prohibited by the Article 309 of the country's Criminal Code which states that "A person who, for the purpose of distribution, produces or acquires pornographic material or distributes such material shall be punished by community service or by a fine or by restriction of liberty or by imprisonment for a term of up to one year.".[18]

Erotic material, however, does not fall into this category and is widely accessible in shops and supermarkets.[citation needed]

Malta

In Malta, pornography and obscene material is outlawed regardless of whether it has a commercial interest or whether it is directed to an adult audience. The relevant law in this respect is Article 208 (1) of the Criminal Code of Malta which prohibits the manufacture, print, importation, circulation and exportation of pornographic or obscene print, painting, photograph, film, book, card or writing, or any other obscene article whatsoever, whether for gain, or for distribution, or for display in a public place. The law envisages a criminal punishment of imprisonment between six and twelve months, or to a fine not less than one thousand (€1,000) euros but not exceeding three thousand (€3,000) euros, or to both such imprisonment and fine.[19] In a decision given on 21 February 2011,[20] the Maltese Court of Criminal Appeal upheld the criminal conviction of Mr. Alexander Baldacchino who was found guilty of exhibiting soft and hardcore pornographic films at the City Lights Theatre in Valletta.[21] In another judgement, student editor Mark Camilleri and author Alex Vella Gera were found not guilty under Article 208 (1) of the Criminal Code and Article 7 of the Press Act (obscene libel) for the publication of an obscene story entitled Li Tkisser Sewwi (translated in English to 'Repair that which you break') in student newspaper Realtà (distributed for free on campus at the University of Malta) by the Court of Magistrates (Malta). The decision was upheld by the Court of Criminal Appeal.[22]

The offence of child pornography carries stricter penalties. Article 208A of the Criminal Code of Malta criminalises the manufacture, production, distribution, dissemination, importation and exportation, sale, etc. of indecent photographs, films, video recordings or electronic images of persons under age (minors, for the purposes of Maltese law, are persons under the age of eighteen years). The offence carries with it a criminal punishment of imprisonment of a term of twelve months to five years or of a term between two to eight years when the offence is aggravated (e.g. when the offence involves violence or grievous bodily harm on such person). In case of simple possession of such items the criminal punishment envisaged is that of imprisonment not exceeding three years.[23]

Netherlands

Norway

In Norway, hardcore material was illegal for years de jure to produce, distribute, or sell, but legal to possess. One could acquire it abroad, on the Internet, or via satellite TV. Illegal porn shops also existed, especially in larger cities. To satisfy legal requirements, editors of erotic magazines, domestic TV channels, and cable TV obscured sexual organs in activity using black rectangles and the like. However, after the Norwegian Supreme Court unanimously acquitted a former magazine editor on 7 December 2005 for publishing unobscured hardcore pornography in 2002, it became understood that printed hardcore pornography was no longer illegal. Pornographic magazines and movies were introduced in general stores in 2006. Regular and cable TV tend to abide by the old standards, and is not yet clear if the Supreme Court decision will affect television.

The depiction of illegal sexual activities, including those involving children, animals, necrophilia, rape, violence, or the use of force, remains illegal.[28][29][30]

Poland

In Poland, as of September 1998, Article 202 of the national Penal Code makes pornography legal except for the production or possession of pornographic materials containing minors, bestiality (zoophilia), and "scenes of violence/rape". Also illegal is presenting or showing pornographic materials to people who do not want to have any contact with them, and to persons under 15 years of age. Pornographic magazines and movies are sold in transparent plastic bags openly in kiosks, gas stations, etc..[citation needed]

Portugal

In Portugal, hardcore pornographic movies can only be shown in adult cinemas. Videos and magazines are openly sold in newsstands but are forbidden by law to be supplied to minors of 18 years. Additionally, hardcore pornographic movies are banned from open-channel TV and can only be broadcast through encrypted/pay-per-view channels. Child pornography is illegal.[citation needed]

Romania

Pornography is legal in Romania. Magazines must be enclosed in plastic bags (or something equivalent) with a small red square printed on the enclosing material. Pornographic TV channels offered by cable operators must be encrypted. Pornographic materials cannot be sold to minors under 18. Also, porn actors and actresses must be at least 18 years of age.[citation needed]

Russia

The legal status of pornography in Russia is uncertain. The law criminalizes only the 'illegal' production and selling of pornography (which implies that it sometimes can be legal), but two circumstances make enforcement of the law difficult: (1) the lack of a legal definition of pornography, and (2) no law defining when production or selling is legal.[citation needed]

Serbia

Pornography is legal in Serbia. Hardcore pornographic material may not be sold to persons under the age of 18. Distribution or possession of child pornography or pornography involving minors (under 18) is illegal and punishable by law.[citation needed]

Spain

Pornography in Spain is legal, and enforcement of obscenity laws is lax. It is illegal to display pornographic material at newsstands, but the great majority do so. In many city centers sex shops may be found. E-commerce merchants from all around the world use I.P.S.P. (Internet clearing services) from Spanish banks. The headquarters of Private Media Group, Europe's biggest pornographic company, are in Barcelona.[citation needed]

Pornography is forbidden in all forms to those under 18 years old.[citation needed]

Sweden

Sweden has no age laws for the possession or viewing of pornography. Some shops follow a voluntary limit and do not sell to minors. Material that involves animals is de facto legal, though it is subject to animal-welfare laws. BDSM is classified as an "illegal depiction of violence".[31]

It is illegal for people under the age of 18 to act or pose for pornography. Pornography depicting children filmed and photographed, is illegal, even if the material was legal in the originating country. However, according to a 2012 Supreme Court ruling, pornographic drawings portraying children is not by definition illegal because the cartoons represent imaginary figures that can not be mistaken for real children.[32]

Turkey

Turkey, which is a secular state with a Muslim majority, was the first country to legally produce pornographic materials in the Muslim world. After a long period of producing Italian-inspired softcore comedies in the 1970s, the hardcore film Öyle Bir Kadın Ki was distributed in 1979.[citation needed]

Ukraine

Pornography was outlawed in Ukraine in 2009, when Victor Yushchenko, then president, signed the new legislation.[33] The new law has been approved overwhelmingly by the Verkhovna Rada (the Ukrainian parliament), it was signed by the president in July 2009.[34] The possession, distribution, sale and manufacture of pornographic materials are illegal carrying a fine or a jail sentence up to 3 years. Pornography is defined by the law as "vulgar, candid, cynical, obscene depiction of sexual acts, pursuing no other goal, the explicit demonstration of genitals, unethical elements of the sexual act, sexual perversions, realistic sketches that do not meet moral criteria and offend honor and dignity of the human by inciting low instincts. "[35] Pornography for 'medical purpose', however, remains legal.[36]

United Kingdom

In England and Wales, the main legislation on pornographic materials is the Obscene Publications Act 1959, the Obscene Publications Act 1964, and the Indecent Displays (Control) Act 1981. Video-oriented depictions of hardcore material (with certain exceptions for works considered primarily 'artistic' rather than pornographic) were illegal until 1999, when the removal of trade barriers with other European Union member states allowed for the relatively free movement of such goods for personal use. R18-rated videos are only available in licensed sex shops, but hardcore pornographic magazines are available in shops selling newspapers and magazines. In 2008, the Crown Prosecution Service prosecuted a man under the Obscene Publications Act for a textual story on a pornography website involving Girls Aloud.[37] Also that year, the Home Office introduced legislation to criminalize possession of what it has labelled extreme pornography; these laws are now contained in sections 63 to 68 of the Criminal Justice and Immigration Act 2008.[38]

Child pornography is illegal ("child" is defined as a person under 18) to possess, produce (in terms of electronic copies), or to distribute, and is punishable by up to 10 years' imprisonment. In England and Wales, the law on this type of material is strictly defined by the Protection of Children Act 1978, Section 160 of the Criminal Justice Act 1988, further amended by the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 to include pseudo-photographs, and the Sexual Offences Act 2003 which raised the age for appearing in pornographic material from 16 to 18 (while the age of consent in the UK remains 16). Sale of pornography is restricted to adults. In Scotland, similar provisions are to be found in sections 52 and 52A of the Civic Government (Scotland) Act 1982, which was also amended by the 1994 Act and by the Protection of Children and Prevention of Sexual Offences (Scotland) Act 2005.

Asia

East Asia

Democratic People's Republic of Korea

Production and distribution of pornography in the DPRK (North Korea) is illegal.[39] It has been rumoured that an officer was executed for selling porn.[40]

South Korea

Pornographic websites, books, writings, films, magazines, photographs or other materials of a pornographic nature are illegal in South Korea, with laws strictly enforced. Possession of pornographic objects with result in a fine or a two year prison sentence. Since 2009, All pornographic websites are blocked by the South Korean government. Recently, the Ministry of Public Administration and Security released statistics that cited 39.5% of South Korean children having experienced watching online pornography, with 14.2% of those who have viewed online pornography reportedly "wanting to imitate" it.[41]

People's Republic of China

Internet pornography was outlawed in the People's Republic of China effective 2002, when state censors issued guidelines requiring that all websites remove any pornographic material.[42] Enforcement is strict and the laws are inflexible, with the government stance being hard-line opposition to pornography. The government started a crackdown in 2004, which included the jailing of a woman.[43]

Since 2008, the production of pornographic movies has been banned by state censors, the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television's prohibition on pornography has been complete, and the government has shown no signs of changing course. Directors, producers, and actors involved in pornographic movies have been barred from competing in any film competitions. Any movie studio found in violation may have its license revoked.[44] As a result of this regulation and censorship, adult films and media can only obtained through the Internet and on the black market. Possession of pornography is punishable by up to 3 years in prison, a fine of 20,000 yuan, or even execution for large underground distributors. In 2010 China shut down 60 000 porn sites according to Reuters, arresting almost 5,000 suspects in the process.

Hong Kong

In Hong Kong, pornography is illegal if sold or shown to children under 18 years of age, if it is publicly displayed (except within the confines of and only visible from inside a "bona fide art gallery or museum"), or if it is sold without being wrapped completely with an "easily noticeable" warning stating that the material may be offensive and may not be distributed to minors.[45]

Japan

As in Europe, photographs of nudes are not uncommon in the mainstream media. In the 1970s and 1980s, the strongest prohibition was against showing pubic hair or adult genitalia. Imported magazines would have the pubic hair scratched out, and even the most explicit videos could not portray it. Starting around 1991, photobook publishers began challenging this ban to the point where pubic hair is now fairly well accepted. Close-ups of genitalia remain proscribed. In 1999, the government enacted a law banning photos and videos of naked children, which were a fairly common sight in mainstream media before that time. Manga and anime remain largely unregulated, although large publishers tend to self-censor or specify that characters are at least 18 years of age.

The 1960s, in Japanese pornography, was the era of the independent Pink film. In the years since the end of World War II, eroticism had been gradually making its way into Japanese cinema. The first kiss to be seen in Japanese film—discreetly half-hidden by an umbrella—caused a national sensation in 1946.[46] Nevertheless, until the early 1960s, graphic depictions of nudity and sex in Japanese film could only be seen in single-reel "stag films", made illegally by underground film producers such as those depicted in Imamura's film The Pornographers (1966).[47] Nudity and sex would officially enter the Japanese cinema with the independent, low-budget softcore pornographic films which would come to dominate domestically produced films in the 1960s and 1970s.[48] These films were called eroductions during the early 1960s, but are now more commonly referred to as pink films.[49] The first true pink film, and the first Japanese movie with nude scenes, was Satoru Kobayashi's controversial and popular independent production, Flesh Market (Nikutai no Ichiba, 1962), starring Tamaki Katori.[50] Katori would go on to star in over 600 pink films throughout the 1960s, earning the nickname the "Pink Princess".[51] In 1964 Tetsuji Takechi made the first big-budget, mainstream pink film, Daydream. Takechi would remake Daydream as Japan's first theatrical hardcore film in 1981, starring Kyoko Aizome.[52]

Future "Nikkatsu Queens" Kazuko Shirakawa and Naomi Tani both made their debuts in 1967. Both actresses would appear in many pink films in the 1960s before beginning their work with Nikkatsu in the 1970s, for which they best known today.[53] By the end of the 1960s, Naomi Tani was already known as the "Queen of Pink."[54]

The 1970s decade was the era of big-studio softcore pornography in Japan. Facing bankruptcy, Japan's major studios took over the pink film market. In 1971 Toei entered the sexploitation market with its "Pinky Violence" series,[55] and Nikkatsu, Japan's oldest major film studio, started its Roman Porno line of pink films. As the popular star of Toei's sukeban (delinquent girl boss) series,[56] Reiko Ike became one of the "icons of Pinky Violence."[57] With its high production values, professional acting talent and talented directors like Tatsumi Kumashiro, Noboru Tanaka, Masaru Konuma and Kōyū Ohara, Nikkatsu produced nothing but these often critically acclaimed and award-winning softcore pornographic films for the next 17 years.[58] This introduction of pornography into mainstream Japanese movie theaters has been credited with saving Nikkatsu from collapse at that time.[59] Nikkatsu created a "Queen" ranking for its leading Roman Porno actresses. Kazuko Shirakawa, Junko Miyashita, and Naomi Tani were the leading Nikkatsu queens of the 1970s.[60]

The 1980s were a period of transition in adult entertainment in Japan. With the widespread private ownership of VCRs, theatrical pornographic films had a new competitor for adult audiences in the form of the Adult Video (AV). By 1982 the AVs had already attained an approximately equal share of the adult entertainment market with theatrical erotic films.[61] Early AV performers were often struggling actresses who could not find work in the theatrical Roman Porno films and girls from the soaplands.[62] By the late 1980s, prominent AV actresses like Hitomi Kobayashi and Kaoru Kuroki were becoming multi-media stars, and creating a mainstream image for AVs and pornographic actresses.[63] Though traditionally not partial to large breasts, in the mid-1980s busty models suddenly become popular in Japan.[64] In 1989, the "Big Bust Boom" (巨乳ブーム - "Kyonyu Buumu") was set "on fire" with the AV debut of Kimiko Matsuzaka,[65] leading to a "Big Bust" genre in Japanese adult entertainment.

Japan is the largest producer of pornography in Asia. The Japanese pornography industry features more natural looking women, usually wearing little makeup. In Japan, fetish pornography has a panoply of variations, ranging from well-known bukkake to tamakeri. The Gay market caters to mostly Twink audiences with sites like Japan Twinks being very popular.

Republic of China (Taiwan)

The sale or display of pornographic material is illegal in the Republic of China. Also import of obscene or indecent books, magazines, films, pictures and other articles of such nature is strictly prohibited. However shops selling these prohibited pornographic articles can be found in Taiwan. Pornographic DVD's and VCD's sold in these shops do tend to be copies. Contradictory, some Taiwan companies and American companies based in Taiwan do manufacture pornographic DVD's for export to the U.S. Prostitution is no longer illegal in Taiwan. Many KTV are operating as a cover for prostitution, as well many Japanese gentlemen clubs can be found in Taipei. Taiwan is clearing up indecency. An example are the betel nut girls sellers, who are no longer allowed to dress sexily while selling their products.[citation needed]

Southeast Asia

Brunei

Due to the high number of expatriates in this country, pornography from various regions such as the Americas, Africa and Europe are easily available in retail shops known as 'kedai runcit'. However, it is illegal to sell to minors, and it is illegal to produce pornography unless for personal use.[citation needed]

Indonesia

Pornographic material is prohibited by law from the KUHP, the law controlling pornography concerns over the potential danger of criminal offence by pornography as well as preventing under age citizens exposed to pornography. Suggestive materials in Indonesian media are rare. Current laws prohibits the selling and buying of pornographic materials. There is a Undang-Undang Anti-Pornografi (The Law of Anti-Pornography), but this has become controversial as it is seen to objectify women, and it can affect the local culture including some traditional art.[66] What was concerned in that RUU such as child abuse is already recognized in KUHP (Kitab Undang-undang Hukum Pidana)[67]

Pornography in Indonesia is prohibited in terms of creating, distribution, selling, and rental of explicit materials. On October 30, 2008, the People's Representative Council passed Bill against Pornography and Pornoaction, which is aimed at preventing pornography on widespread Indonesian media. A controversial material from the bill was a definition of pornography.[68] In 2010 the anti-pornography law was challenged but Indonesia's Constitutional Court upheld the ban and stated that the law's definition of pornography was clear and did not violate the constitution.[69]

The broadness of the law has concerned practitioners of sensual regional traditions such as the nightclubs in Bali, West Javan jaipong dance, and New Guinean penis gourd wearing.[70]

Malaysia

In Malaysia, it is illegal to sell or possess[71] pornography. Possessing pornographic material is subject to prosecution with fine up to RM10,000. Internet pornography-viewing however is not a crime under the Multimedia Act and is rarely censored. There are numerous pornographic websites aim to cater for Malaysian audiences. The materials depicted in the websites are normally the home videos made by amateurs.

Condom shops selling sex toys and many sex-related products are illegal in Malaysia. However there are some shops selling them discreetly and can only be found in major towns and cities such as Kuala Lumpur, Penang, Kuching and Kota Kinabalu.[citation needed]

Philippines

Any kind of pornography is illegal in the Philippines. This is due to the influence of conservative Christian groups and churches, such as the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines, more commonly the Roman Catholic Church and many others.[72] However, the current law does not specifically outlaw webcam sex sites, which are often based in the Philippines. Plus enforcement is lax, and pornography is available often through black markets and the Internet. There are also some areas in urban areas that are publicly known to sell these kinds of films.[73]

Despite the existing laws, some reports claim that the porn industry in the country is now earning around $1 Billion annually, making it the 8th largest porn industry in the world and the 4th in Asia. This also means that it currently holds the top rank in the whole Southeast Asia, despite the fact that almost every month, the OMB confiscates hundreds of thousands of counterfeit VCDs and DVDs. From January to September 2008, the OMB has confiscated 4,807,012 CDs costing P1.4 billion ($29,400,000; based on the prevailing peso-dollar exchange rate in September 17, 2008).[74]

Singapore

Visiting pornographic websites and viewing their content is not an offence in Singapore, although it is deemed illegal to provide and/or supply any form of pornography from within the country.[75] It is also an offence to be in possession of pornographic material.[76]

Thailand

Pornography laws in Thailand prohibit all types of pornography. Production, distribution and possession with an intention to show to the public are criminalized. However, possession for personal use is legal. The law enforcement is relatively lax. Other forms of pornography such as yaoi and hentai are illegal but are common over the internet.[citation needed]

Vietnam

Pornography is illegal in Vietnam and enforcement against it is strict. According to legislatures, pornography harms Vietnamese standard values.[77][dead link]

West Asia

Azerbaijan

In Azerbaijan in accordance with article 3 of the Media Act of December 7, 1999, the "pornographic materials" are defined as works of art, photographic reproductions of paintings, information and other materials the main content of which is the crude and undignified depiction of the anatomical and physiological aspects of sexual relations. Pornography in Azerbaijan is easily and cheaply obtainable in Baku, although not in most other places. Pornographic images, either printed or recorded may cause problems when crossing the border. Taking the soft-core materials should have no problems, but Azeri borders guards can require a few extra euros.[8] Meanwhile the legal activity to combat child pornography is governed by 1998 Rights of the Child Act, 1999 Media Act, the Plan of Measures to Solve the Problem of Homeless and Street Children and the National Plan of Action to Combat Trafficking in Persons.[9]

South Asia

Bangladesh

Pornography is illegal in Bangladesh, however there has been an increase in the numbers of pornographic movies known as 'blue movies'. In March 2002, authorities planned a drive against the pornography business. There are severe punishments given to those caught selling pornography.[78] Concern over the rise of pornography has hinted at actions by the government. The then Home Secretary Altaf Hossain Choudhury said, "We have never really had this problem in the country before, but now it appears that one or two people or agencies are selling pornography all over Bangladesh." Pornography is particularly popular in the capital Dhaka, where many pornographic films are available in shopping plazas. Reports from the press have also suggested that people have used digital cameras to film sex scenes and sell copies in the black market, which many have been convicted of. The issue concerns most of the population of Bangladesh.[79]

India

In India, possession or watching of pornographic materials is completely legal, but distribution of pornography is prohibited and attracts several penal provisions.[80] But, enforcement is extremely lax and pornographic materials are easily available in public places. Softcore pornography and hardcore pornography movies/photos are easily accessible through magazines, DVDs, or Internet. Buying and selling sex toys are illegal, nonetheless sex toys are sold at selected places in India.[81][82]

Pornographic films in India are referred to as Blue Films and are available virtually anywhere; especially in areas where pirated material is already being sold. Despite the illegality, stores selling X-rated material are abundant in major cities, advertising openly and rarely are the laws enforced in this case.[83][84] However, in 2010 Bombay high Court ruled that watching pornography in private is legal [85]

Child pornography

Child pornography is illegal ("child" is defined as a person under 18) to possess, produce (in terms of electronic copies), or to distribute and is labelled as crime. Section 67 of the "Information Technology Act" deals with "publishing obscene information in electronic form". This law has been interpreted to criminalize posting of pornographic content online. However, accessing of "obscene" content within one's privacy is legal. The IT Act was amended by the Parliament on 2008, and Section 67B was inserted, which criminalizes browsing, downloading, creation, publishing child porn. Therefore while it is legal to watch adult porn, it has been made illegal to watch child porn. Child anime porn has not been explicitly criminalized.[86]

Pakistan

Pornography is illegal. It is not easily accessible, and the Government has put a 100% ban on internet website containing such material since November 2011.[87] The list of banned pornographic websites is updated on an ongoing basis.

Sri Lanka

The laws against pornography in Sri Lanka are strict. Under the Explicit Literature Ordinance, sale or possession of pornographic material can be classified as illegal. However, due to this being a very old law, the punishments are very lenient.[citation needed]The production of local pornography is strictly illegal.

However, child pornography is considered to be illegal under the National Child Protection act and the punishments are very severe. This act covers the rights of children, but not pornography per se. Therefore, the same act cannot be used as an anti-pornographic law.[citation needed]

In the year of 2009, The government banned more than 100 local and international porn sites and the Sri Lankan Police arrested nearly 80 Sri Lankan Porn-Stars. They were all sentenced to fines, community service and jail sentences up to 2 years.

Middle East

Israel

In Israel, pornographic films began to be produced in the 1990s, but most of the films were shot in the 2000s. Technically, pornography has been illegal since the enactment of the British Mandate for Palestine, but in fact, at least since the 1990s, every large city in Israel has several sex shops.[citation needed]

Gaza Strip

In 2008, Hamas have attempted to implement internet filters to block access to pornography.[88][89]

Iran

In Iran, the possession of any type of pornography is illegal and is charged with a fine. Iranian made pornography is very limited but is existent. Due to the widespread Internet access and introduction of worldwide satellites, porn is easily accessible in Iran.[90]

Lebanon

In Lebanon, the production and distribution of pornography films are illegal.

In September 2011, four members of a criminal ring involved in the sale of pornographic films were arrested by Lebanese authorities. The men, of Lebanese and Syrian nationality, had been promoting the sale of pirated copies of pornographic DVDs in different areas of the country, particularly Jbeil, north of Beirut, where they were apprehended. The men were referred to the relevant authorities, with the case investigated to uncover the remaining members of the ring and anyone else involved in the distribution of the pornographic films.[91]

Saudi Arabia

The Islamic state of Saudi Arabia bans all forms of pornography due to Islam's opposition to pornography. In 2000 Saudi authorities said that they were 'winning the war against pornography on the internet. '[92] Offenders are typically punished with lashes.[citation needed]

Oceania

Australia

Possession of pornography material is legal, but it is illegal to sell or rent X-rated pornography material in all states of Australia except the Northern Territory and ACT. As the Australian constitution prohibits states from regulating interstate commerce, it is legal to purchase pornography from stores in either territory and bring it interstate. This law means the majority of Australian mail order operations for adult material operate from the ACT. Despite the illegality, stores selling X-rated material are abundant in major cities, advertising openly and rarely are the laws enforced in this case.

Ratings for the X18+ category were tightened in 2000 to ban material featuring some fetishes or which appeared to include minors. In 2007 the Howard Government made the possession of X18+ pornography illegal in some Aboriginal communities.[citation needed]

New Zealand

Illegal for sale under 18 years of age, however rarely enforced and "softcore porn" can be sold to anybody of any age unrestricted. Generally liberal, although the most extreme forms of pornography (pedophilia, rape, bestiality, etc.) are classified as objectionable material by the law. Cyber units of the NZ Police actively target online child pornography rings.[93] New Zealand law is permissive, and magazines and other print copy are sold openly at newsstands.

Papua New Guinea

The possession, import, export, and sale of pornography is illegal. Control is strict. According to the government, All websites containing pornography, nudity or depictions of sex are blocked and the government has been blocking such sites since early 2009.[citation needed]

Africa

Botswana

The possession of "Indecent and obscene material such as pornographic books, magazines, films, videos, DVDs and software" is prohibited in Botswana. Possession or import of such material is illegal and punishable by a fine or up to 4 years imprisonment. [94]

South Africa

Pornography rated X18 is legal if sold to persons over the age of 18 in registered stores. It is illegal to host a pornographic web site in South Africa because of the difficulty of age-verification and the requirement that pornography only be distributed from designated, licensed physical premises. Child pornography is completely illegal (rated XX) in any form, including the written word. It is illegal to visually represent bestiality (also rated XX), but not illegal in text descriptions. Violent pornography is illegal in any form. It is legal to produce pornography that would be legal to consume.

Distribution of pornography is regulated by the Films and Publications Act of 1996 [95] which is enforced by the Films and Publications Board.[96]

Egypt

The distribution, possession or import of pornography is strictly illegal in Egypt.

Sudan

Pornography is illegal in Sudan and the laws are strict.

See also

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    Students
    14. Would I be arrested if I accidentally enter a pornographic website?
    No, as there is no restriction on the websites you can visit. However, do note that it is an offence to download and store pornographic materials."
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