text messages are publishing

In very related new to the recent porn trial reports, it would seem that our enlightened judiciary are once more extending the law. For they have decided on an appeal ruling that sending a text message counts as publishing as far as the obscene publications act is concerned. The full details are over at the The Register, but basically text based communications to an audience of one counts as publishing, and it could be up to a jury to decide if the text is capable of “depraving or corrupting”. If it were a chat session then both parties could be liable for prosecution for publishing to the other, so best tone down those racy chat sessions if you think the police might have interest in you. What it might do for the sex chat business is another interesting question.

The judges we have to thank for this enlightened ruling that puts the boot into freedom of speech once more: Lord Justice Richards, Mr Justice Kenneth Parker and Mr Justice Lindblom. I would suggest after all that if it’s established that it’s publishing for the obscence publications act then it won’t take it much as extending to count as publishing for all acts – which wouldn’t be a welcome development. Obscenity Lawyer has the full judgement.

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