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In What Countries Watching Porn Movies Is Prosecuted

Adult sites, that is, platforms with porn videos and other erotic content are leaders in terms of online traffic they get every day. The global volume of adult business online in 2018 reached almost $4 billion, and it keeps growing every day. Despite the fact that there is criminal liability for watching porn in some countries, a lot of people still visit “adult” websites on a regular basis.

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In this article, we will talk about the criminal law policy of modern states with regard to the so-called “adult” content. Since one of the newest trends in the development of criminal legislation is the formulation of the term “pornography,” the criminal law regulation should be the subject of independent research. Different states have a different formulation of the term, thus, consider different types of content to be pornographic.

What Does Pornography Mean to States?

In most states, pornography is traditionally viewed as a crime against public morality (CIS countries, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Côte d’Ivoire, Lithuania, Japan, etc.). However, this claim has nothing to do with watching porn; it is more about creating and distributing porn videos, taking part in the action, and sponsoring adult movies.

Corresponding regulations are existing in:

  • the Criminal Code of Austria, Azerbaijan, Belgium, Lithuania in the chapter “Crimes against public morality”;
  • the Criminal Code of Albania – “Crimes against morality and dignity”;
  • the Criminal Code of Georgia, the Russian Federation – “Crimes against public health and public of morality,”;
  • the Criminal Code of Armenia, Belarus, Ukraine – “Crimes against public order and morality”;
  • the Criminal Code of Latvia – “Criminal acts against morality and sexual inviolability.”

In the second group of countries, creating, taking part, and distributing pornography is associated with a series of sexual crimes (Argentina, Spain, Germany, Switzerland, Thailand). In the third group of countries, pornography is considered to be the encroachment of public order. Thus, in the Criminal Code of Vietnam, pornography is related to crimes against public peace and public order; in the Criminal Code of China creating adult content is associated with crimes against public order and management. Of course, the creation of adult content is prosecuted; however, those who watch porn movies are not subject to criminal sanctions.

In some states, pornography is seen as an encroachment of the family. Accordingly, in the Criminal Code of Hungary, this act is included in the chapter “Crimes against marriage, family, and youth.” Some countries even carry a penalty in a form of imprisonment or fine. The maximum term of imprisonment for the creation and distribution of pornography is:

  • 2 months – the Netherlands;
  • 6 months – Iceland, Sweden;
  • 1 year – Bulgaria, Hungary, Venezuela, Iran, Spain, Lebanon, Lithuania, Poland, Republic of Korea, Romania.

Although the creation and distribution of porn lead to serious problems with the law, watching porn videos and erotica doesn’t make you a criminal.

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Grace • April 18, 2018


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