A major test case relating to censorship in the UK will be held in 2009, with the trail date set for March 16th 2009.
The trial is that of Darryn Walker (aged 35), who wrote a 12 page blog article detailing the kidnap, rape, mutilation, and murder of the entire girls aloud band.
Darryn was initially labelled as stalking Girls Aloud in July 2008, by a vareity of websites. But, by stalking these news articles mean “writing stories about”, rather than the following and watching with binoculars type of stalking. Its also interesting to see the sites running this original story; its was not hard hitting news and the legal press, rather it is the entertainment news sites. Could it be that the PR staff of Girls Aloud put this story out, rather than being asked for it?
However, despite any additional actions (apparently) by the the author of the blogs, Darryn Walker. He, Darryn Walker, was tracked down and arrested for writing the articles. Most interestingly Walker was been charged under the Obscene Publications Act. At his original hearing Walker did not enter a plea (i.e did not say guilty or not guilty), and a full trial has been set for March 16th 2009.
This trial is interesting for several reason. Firstly the Obscene Publications Act is not really aimed at targeting text, but rather images, photographs and the like, and its most famous for the “Lady Chatterley Case”, which it failed in. If the CPS win the case, they could bring in a whole new set of powers to stop “offensive” stories being published.
Secondly, this is interesting due to what they are determining as obscene. Clearly, the nature of the material is disgusting to all but a very select few, but it does not involve children, and a simple search for sex stories sites, will quickly reveal stories about incest, abuse, rape, child abuse, humiliation, etc.
These sites do not have illegal pictures, but lots and lots of stories, some of a very harrowing nature.
These stories are easy to access, with no payment, passwords, or security, and available from the front page of Google, they could not be easier easy to find. But the police have never taken action against these sites and, perhaps more interestingly the IWF has never blocked these sites.
So why are the police and CPS now taking action in this case? This case is against one individual, instead of entire companies making money from this material? Its not the worst story on the internet, and until recently it was not the easiest to access, it does not involve children, though it is horrific. Is it because the Girls Aloud team pushed for it?
Also, how does this story differ in nature from the “Torture Porn” genere of movies, such as Saw or Hostel, which feature the kidnap, murder and mutilation of girls.
Whatever the reason it will be major test case for the country.
The CPS are probably hoping that Walker will plead guilty before March, and not have to run the gauntlet of setting case law, on such a major issue, for the next generation.
The additional irony to this is that UMG ( Girls Aloud belong to UMG) and Lionsgate ( Saw is owned by LionsGate), got together in 2005 to throw their weight behind BlueRay DVD, to bringing us, the sexy but decent Girls Aloud , and torture porn of Saw, straight to your home, in High Def!