High Court blocks web porn sales

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Adult-only porn videos and DVDs cannot be sold in the UK by mail order, the web or phone, the High Court has ruled.

Lord Justice Maurice Kay and Mr Justice Newman said "R18" sexually explicit recordings had to be sold in person in licensed sex shops.

They said the aim of the law was to stop the material falling into the hands of children.

It was argued at a recent hearing that the law harmed UK mail order firms and benefited overseas sex companies.

Lord Justice Kay said: "We have no doubt that one of the main reasons for the restriction is to ensure that the customer comes face-to-face with the supplier so that there is an opportunity for the supplier to assess the age of the customer.

"It is a disincentive to a visibly under-age customer to seek out the forbidden material."

He said that it was no answer to say that the restrictions were unjustified because they could be circumvented.

"Whilst they do no make it impossible for a determined minor to come into possession of an R18 video, they make it more difficult," he added.

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