Porn ban vote

March 13, 2013
By Ante

Yesterday the European Parliament voted on a non-binding report on eliminating gender stereotypes in the EU. EDRi wrote the draft resolution supported “a ban on ‘all forms of pornography’ (paragraph 17), with online policing being done by private companies (paragraph 14)”. See EDRi’s excellent post for the background.

The Parliament rejected paragraph 14 about online policing being done by private companies.

The Parliament rejected the second half of paragraph 17. Paragraph 17 now reads: “Calls on the EU and its Member States to take concrete action on its resolution of 16 September 1997 on discrimination against women in advertising.”

The resolution adopted yesterday refers to the 1997 “Resolution on discrimination against women in advertising“, which contains:

“5. Calls for statutory measures to prevent any form of pornography in the media and in advertising and for a ban on advertising for pornographic products and sex tourism;”

Strangely, point 5 of the 1997 resolution goes beyond the scope of that resolution (beyond advertising). The 1997 resolution also mentions New Media, including the Internet (considerations L to N).

Yesterday’s resolution calls to take concrete steps on the earlier resolution, which called for statutory measures to prevent any form of pornography in the media. In a somewhat covert way, the Parliament asked for statutory measures to prevent any form of pornography in the media, arguably including the Internet.

What resolution will the Parliament adopt 15 years from now? Concrete steps on the 2013 resolution?

Update: EDRi writes about the debate: “Actually, it turns out that this was not the intention at all. During the debate, Kartika Liotard, the Parliamentarian that proposed that particular text, made it clear that she didn’t mean the proposal to be taken seriously. Instead it is simply meant to draw attention to the issues at stake.”

98 Members of parliament abstained in the final vote on the report as a whole. She got her attention, but less votes. The report would have gotten more support if paragraph 17 would have been fully deleted. Jan Albrecht: “Only first part of para. 17 is still in as a general reference to the 1997 resolution. That is why Greens abstained in the end.”

EDRi notes a positive development: “These two votes represent a change of approach from the European Parliament. Whereas it voted at the beginning of the current term of office for more online policing (in the Gallo report) by internet intermediaries, the Parliament has now twice voted, by a significant majority, in plenary session against this approach.”

See also Falkvinge.

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