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Mao Zhu Photography is off-line
30 April 2015 02:47
MaoZhu
Photographer

Location
United Kingdom
Wiltshire
Warminster

Quote from SMILESPHOTO
Just on a point of law, you couldn't be put on the SOR for having old copies of the Sun with pics of 16 year old girls topless, since prior to (I think 2004) it was legal, and the law can't be retrospective.



Taking them back then was not against the law, but being in possession of them now is. Possession now is not retrospective. It is the possession that is illegal.


Mao Zhu Photography is off-line
30 April 2015 03:05
MaoZhu
Photographer

Location
United Kingdom
Wiltshire
Warminster

Quote from redbaron
But it is and MaoZhu was making a perfectly valid point. When the law was revised to lower the age to 16 all the agencies and professional glamour photographers felt oblidged to destroy negatives and prints of any models under 18 that could be suspect because it was personally and commercially to dangerous to have them in their files.

Also he was raising another important point. It is not simply about legality in front of the court. First you have to get there which would mean a harrowing few months of police investigation and 'leaked' stories by them intended to destroy your character and break any resistance. Many people are so traumatised by this that they plead guilty rather than face the trial and even if aquitted their professional reputation would have been destroyed. All of this before getting to court and based soley on the pinion of a police officer who may be more concerend with his conviction rates and promotion than justice.

A few years back a reputable professional family photographer was asked to take some 'fairy' portraits a a couples little girls. I think they were under 5, certainly well before puberty and they were topless but wearing a skirt to match the theme as fairy wings. Perfectly innocent and the sort of photos I an many other photographers would have no concerns about taking. Someone reported them and the photographer was charged and convicted of taking indecent images of a child. His only appearance in court was to plead guilty. Later one of the magistrates admitted that had he pleaded not guilty they would have thrown the case out. It was patently absurd. Unfortunately the photographer had beeb broken well before that by the police.

Of course those defending the action will mutter uncorroborated suggestions that there was 'more to it' but the simple truth is this man was destroyed without even having the chance of a fair trial. You can bet for example that if the OP had taken anything even vaguely risque' that the police decided were indecent they would also have trawled through all the rest of his photos. The would have asserted some were underage and demanded he  prove they were not. They may well have implied others broke some law or other.

You can be certain that they would have leaked his details to the local press to ensure extrajudicial pressure was added to their formidable resources. You can be sure too that he would have been fired from his job for brining th ecompany into disrepute.

Is any of this fair? Of course not its a grotesque intrusion into a persons right to live how they please and enjoy the life they choose providing they operate within what most sensible people would consider the law. Unfortunately for most of us without access to heavyweight legal teams the law is what the local police decide it is going to be not what some far off supreme court thinks.



This is my point exactly, indecent images are classified as such by a police officer sitting at a desk imagining what you were thinking. When they trawl through a computer using specialist software they do not look at every image they just get a long list of images that fall within the parameters they set. If your friend has been sat at your computer going through children's wear looking for underwear for her kids, Bingo, the police have images that they can class as indecent. They do not look at the context in which they were viewed. The image is added to a list of images on the computer. They then go thorough every piece of software you have on the computer, that same image may crop up many times. As a thumbnail in photoshop, as a thumbnail in picasa, as a thumbnail in firefox, as a thumbnail in windows explorer. So now we have 5 images not one. That why those done for possession have so many images on their computers, the police will add together all the automatically generated thumbnails. They then go to court saying the owner of the computer must be guilty as they have thousands of images of children on their computer. The owner of the computer is probably unaware they even existed. Some come down into your browser cache without you being aware. I doubt whether there is a computer user without images that could be if wanted be construed by the police as being indecent. They will argue that if you are collecting all these images you must be having obscene thoughts. The law also states that images of someone appearing to be under 18 is illegal, another legal minefield as again the decision is down to the police.
They way out of this is not to give the police the slightest opportunity of taking your computer. Dont shoot people under 18 unless as said before you are a known child photographer and don't shoot adult glamour etc. Also make sure you have photos of the model holding her relevant photo i.d. that shows her age.
All sounds a bit OTT but it is not as OTT as having to fight your way out of an arrest pertaining to indecent images. As was stated above many plead guilty even when innocent as they cannot take the stress.


Rich G is off-line
30 April 2015 03:08
SMILESPHOTO
Photographer
SMILESPHOTO
Location
United Kingdom
Kent


Fortunately, common sense still governs most issues. Technically, an image of a three year old girl topless is illegal.
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Mao Zhu Photography is off-line
30 April 2015 03:12
MaoZhu
Photographer

Location
United Kingdom
Wiltshire
Warminster

Quote from SMILESPHOTO
Fortunately, common sense still governs most issues. Technically, an image of a three year old girl topless is illegal.



Police and Common Sense. Sorry in my mind those two things just do not go together.


Ian MACFADYEN is off-lineSilver Member
30 April 2015 03:31
Kiboko
Photographer
Kiboko
Location
United Kingdom
Surrey
GUILDFORD

Quote from MaoZhu
Police and Common Sense. Sorry in my mind those two things just do not go together.



Exactly. Which is what I said in the first place. Not just the police, those who formulated this legislation. Now, those of you who said they couldn't understand what underage pregnancy has to do with it,-  do you not see now why I compared the topic with something else that's very akin to it?  There is no argument that the law is the law and I don't disagree with any comments regarding the inadvisabilty of photographing under 18's, - it just makes my blood boil that photographers such as those described above are in peril of arrest and prosecution, while a guy who makes an underage girl pregnant can so blatetly get away with it and absolutely NOTHING happens on the grounds that it was "consentual". Off topic? NO! These are my thoughts and feelings having read and considered the posting. I'm not disagreeing with what anyone's said on here.  


Rich G is off-line
30 April 2015 03:50
SMILESPHOTO
Photographer
SMILESPHOTO
Location
United Kingdom
Kent


About three years ago, my pc, laptops, cameras and mobile phone were taken by the police in connection with an enquiry. My pc was over 20 years old and it took them 3 months to go through everything. Even knowing you've never accessed or taken anything illegal, it was a worrying 3 months, especially when the police told me that over 75% of people possess images which could technically be classed as illegal.

As you can imagine, I was somewhat relieved when I was told that nothing illegal had been found. Whilst I felt angry and frustrated, at least I still had faith in the justice system. On a lighter note, since I have a job which requires a regular CRB check, so I just look back on the incident as 'the ultimate CRB check'
HAPPY TO WORK UP TO OPEN WALLET LEVELS


Mao Zhu Photography is off-line
30 April 2015 03:58
MaoZhu
Photographer

Location
United Kingdom
Wiltshire
Warminster

Quote from SMILESPHOTO
especially when the police told me that over 75% of people possess images which could technically be classed as illegal.



Now consider how many of that 75% have been innocently prosecuted by a police officer on a drive to increase his arrest rate and PRP. That why I argue so strongly about steering clear of trouble.


Rich G is off-line
30 April 2015 04:04
SMILESPHOTO
Photographer
SMILESPHOTO
Location
United Kingdom
Kent


Quote from MaoZhu
Now consider how many of that 75% have been innocently prosecuted by a police officer on a drive to increase his arrest rate and PRP. That why I argue so strongly about steering clear of trouble.







You've still got to get a prosecution through the courts and that would probably need something more than just a picture of, say, your 5 year old grand-daughter playing topless on the beach.


HAPPY TO WORK UP TO OPEN WALLET LEVELS


Mao Zhu Photography is off-line
30 April 2015 04:25
MaoZhu
Photographer

Location
United Kingdom
Wiltshire
Warminster

So the police take you to court for possession of indecent images. Its a bit late your name is all over the local paper, but you go to court thinking I will clear my name. You have had your not guilty plea rejected by the magistrates court so you have been referred to crown court for trial. You get to crown court and the jury consists of 12 staunch conservative woman who attend the local strict evangelical church and consider anything more than a flash of ankle to be morally wrong. The national press is sat in the gallery.
The police start by saying you have been found in possession of 1500 level one images. you have 5 separate pieces of software on your machine that creates 5 separate thumbnails, so in truth you have 250 full sized images taken over the last three years of your kids and their friends on holiday. What are the jury going to think. Forget the truth the jury are already convinced you are guilty. They do not know that a level one image can be yours or your next door neighbours kid playing with your kids in bathing suits in a paddling pool and they are not interested in asking what it is or seeing what it is. The police are smirking all over their faces, a bonus is on its way.

Please don't suggest that fighting something like this in the courts is a viable option, its not, its a last chance saloon option, and one that normally fails. Just look up how many of these cases get not guilty verdicts.

The justice system does not work with these cases, in my opinion they fall into two categories those that are ignored by the authorities such as the well known and politically connected and the ordinary person that is going to get smashed regardless of the truth in order to create a smokescreen for the previous.

The last words from me on this subject are don't shoot under 18's unless you have considered all of the above and are sure there is no way the image can be construed as indecent and you know the child parents and have their written permission to photograph that child.


Rich G is off-line
30 April 2015 04:51
SMILESPHOTO
Photographer
SMILESPHOTO
Location
United Kingdom
Kent


Finding 12 women as you described in this neck of the woods might be difficult!!

I can understand the point you're making but it would be pretty extreme. The UK is still a wonderfully free place, especially when compared to many other countries.
HAPPY TO WORK UP TO OPEN WALLET LEVELS



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