This news will reassure fans of Pornhub, xHamster and xVideos

As reported by our colleagues from SudOuest, Justice has just rejected on appeal the request to block 9 pornographic sites. Since December 2021, Arcom, the new entity resulting from the merger between the CSA and Hadopi has been trying to force the pornographic sites available in France to do what is necessary to prevent, as provided for by law, minors from consulting them. For lack of a satisfactory reaction, the authority is now trying to obtain the blocking of several sites. Currently most porn sites in France are satisfied with a not very dissuasive disclaimer on their homepage.

However, article 227-24 of the penal code specifies that “le fact either of manufacturing, transporting, disseminating by any means whatsoever and whatever the medium, a message of a violent nature, inciting to terrorism, pornographic, including pornographic images involving one or more animals, or likely to seriously undermine human dignity or to incite minors to play games that put them in physical danger, or to trade in such a message, is punishable by three years’ imprisonment and 75,000 euros in fines. ‘fine when this message is likely to be seen or perceived by a minor.

Pornhub, xHamster, xVideos, Tukif… porn sites available in France win a first battle

Therefore, 5 pornographic sites threaten to be blocked in mainland France by Arcom. These are namely Pornhub, xHamster, xVideos, Cliphunter and Xnxx. A hearing is scheduled for the case on May 24. However, at the same time, two child protection associations, e-Enfance and La Voix de l’enfant also demanded the blocking of 9 pornographic sites for the same reasons. The procedure of the associations, based on the same law, directly addressed the operators accused of having “not acted, nor attempted to act” against the owners of these sites.

And yet, last Thursday, the Paris Court of Appeal confirmed the rejection of the request to block these sites. The court has in fact considered that blocking by internet service providers can only occur as a last resort. However, the two associations have clearly failed to demonstrate “the impossibility of acting effectively and quickly against the host, against the publisher or against the author of the disputed content”, as reported by our colleagues from SudOuest. A short-lived victory – pending the outcome of the other procedure launched by Arcom, whose hearings begin next Monday.

Read also – Pornhub, xHamster, TuKif… it’s official, Arcom requests the blocking of 5 porn sites in France

Nevertheless, this judgment could very well influence the conclusion of the Arcom procedure against the targeted sites. Technical solutions to effectively block minors’ access to pornographic sites remain to be invented for the time being. Especially since any measure seems rather easy to circumvent through VPN access. Among the possible options, the purchase of a card with a special code in a tobacco shop could become compulsory for all Internet users. Another likely option: verification by credit card – which seems de facto the easiest measure to generalize.


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