LONDON — The British Board of Film Classification has lost a landmark legal case which will force a loosening of its ban on hard-core sex videos.
Two companies successfully appealed the BBFC’s refusal to grant a certificate for seven pornographic videos.
The Video Appeals Committee, an independent body, ruled that the videos should have been rated R18, permitting them to be sold in licensed sex shops.
This is a huge blow to the BBFC and its new director Robin Duvall, who has declared his intent to take a harder line on video porn than his predecessor, James Ferman.
Abandoning the traditional argument that such videos should be banned for “obscenity,” Duvall based his case against the seven titles on the grounds that they could potentially harm young children.
But in a majority verdict, the VAC said, “We do not, in general, prevent adults having access to material just because it might be harmful to children if it fell into their hands.”