UK Law: Video Recordings Act

 VHS, DVD and Blu-ray



 Update: The Video Recordings Act 1984 (Exempted Video Works) Regulations 2014...

Details of the new law that will come into force on 1st October 2014 requiring BBFC censorship for more music, sport, religion and documentary videos


Link Here 22nd August 2014  full story: VRA Exempt...Video Recordings (Exemption from Classification) Bill
UK Government arms The new law modifies section 2 of the Video Records Act to become something like:

Section 2: Exempted Works

(1) Subject to subsections (2) and (3) below, a video work is for the purposes of this Act an exempted work if, taken as a whole--

(a) it is designed to inform, educate or instruct;

(b) it is concerned with sport, religion or music; or

(c) it is a video game.

(2) A video work other than a video game is not an exempted work for those purposes if it does one or more of the following:

(a) it depicts or promotes violence or threats of violence;

(b) it depicts the immediate aftermath of violence on human or animal characters;

(c) it depicts an imitable dangerous activity without also depicting that the activity may endanger the welfare or health of a human or animal character;

(d) it promotes an imitable dangerous activity;

(e) it depicts or promotes activities involving illegal drugs or the misuse of drugs;

(f) it promotes the use of alcohol or tobacco;

(g) it depicts or promotes suicide or attempted suicide, or depicts the immediate aftermath of such an event;

(h) it depicts or promotes any act of scarification or mutilation of a person, or of selfharm, or depicts the immediate aftermath of such an act;

(i) it depicts techniques likely to be useful in the commission of offences or, through its depiction of criminal activity, promotes the commission of offences;

(j) it includes words or images intended or likely to convey a sexual message (ignoring words or images depicting any mild sexual behaviour);

(k) it depicts human sexual activity (ignoring any depictions of mild sexual activity);

(l) it depicts or promotes acts of force or restraint associated with human sexual activity;

(m) it depicts human genital organs or human urinary or excretory functions (unless the depiction is for a medical, scientific or educational purpose);

(n) it includes swearing (ignoring any mild bad language); or

(o) it includes words or images that are intended or likely (to any extent) to cause offence, whether on the grounds of race, gender, disability, religion or belief or sexual orientation, or otherwise.

(3) For the purposes of subsection (2):

A video work promotes something if the work is likely (to any extent) to stimulate or encourage that thing.

Human or animal character means a character that is or whose appearance is similar to that of:

(a) a human being, or
(b) an animal that exists or has existed in real life, but does not include a simple stick character or any equally basic representation of a human being or animal;

Imitable dangerous activity means an activity which:

(a) if imitated by a person, may endanger the welfare or health of any person or animal, and
(b) may be easily imitated by a person; and violence does not include any violence that is:

(a) mild, or
(b) not directed towards human or animal characters, unless it is sexual violence. .

Note: the original definition of an exempted work is retained for video games.

 

13th February
2010
  

Digital Economy Bill...


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Changes to the Video Recordings Act being debated in Parliament
Link Here  full story: Amending the VRA...Digital Economy Bill and video censorship

House of Lords logoThe Digital Economy Bill has started its progress in Parliament starting in the House of Lords. It has already been discussed in committee and will next be heard at the Report Stage in the Lords on the 1st March 2010.

There are several sections of interest to Melon Farmers:

  • Online infringement of copyright

    This includes open ended and general powers for the government to censor the internet in the name of copyright protection
     
  • Powers in relation to internet domain registries
    Setting up another tool for the government censorship of the internet
     
  • Video recordings Act

The Government are making the following basic changes

  • This section separates out video censorship into two sections, video games censorship (PEGI ratings will be implemented by the Video Standards Council) and video works censorship (as implemented by the BBFC).
     
  • The current exemptions from mandatory games classification will be reduced so that anything that would be rated 12 or upwards will now be subject to mandatory vetting by the games censors.
     
  • The government seem to be adding a new power for the censors to revoke as well issue certificates
     
  • People submitting video works are to be forced to agree to a 'code of practice' re the labelling of their products.
     
  • There's also added complex wording targeting more complex mixtures of media
     
  • And of course the government have added the power to change the Video Recordings Act at any time in the future via an order of the secretary of state

40 Classification of video games etc

(1) Section 2 of the Video Recordings Act 1984 (exempted video works) is amended as follows.

(2) In subsection (1)—

(a) after video work insert other than a video game,
(b) after paragraph (a) insert or, and
(c) omit paragraph (c) (and the word or before it).

(3) After that subsection insert—

(1A) Subject to subsection (2) or (3) below, a video game is for the purposes of this Act an exempted work if—

(a) it is, taken as a whole, designed to inform, educate or instruct;
(b) it is, taken as a whole, concerned with sport, religion or music; or
(c) it satisfies one or more of the conditions in section 2A.

(4) After section 2 of that Act insert—

2A Conditions relating to video games

(1) The conditions referred to in section 2(1A)(c) are as follows.

(2) The first condition is that the video game does not include any of the following—

(a) depictions of violence towards human or animal characters, whether or not the violence looks realistic and whether or not the violence results in obvious harm,
(b) depictions of violence towards other characters where the violence looks realistic,
(c) depictions of criminal activity that are likely, to any extent, to stimulate or encourage the commission of offences,
(d) depictions of activities involving illegal drugs or the misuse of drugs,
(e) words or images that are likely, to any extent, to stimulate or encourage the use of alcohol or tobacco,
(f) words or images that are intended to convey a sexual message,
(g) swearing, or
(h) words or images that are intended or likely, to any extent, to cause offence, whether on the grounds of race, gender, disability, religion or belief or sexual orientation or otherwise.

(3) In subsection (2) human or animal character means a character that is, or whose appearance is similar to that of—

(a) a human being, or
(b) an animal that exists or has existed in real life, but does not include a simple stick character or any equally basic representation of a human being or animal.

(4) The second condition is that the designated authority, or a person nominated by the designated authority for the purposes of this section, has confirmed in writing that the video game is suitable for viewing by persons under the age of 12.

(5) The Secretary of State may by regulations amend this section—

(a) by amending the first condition, or
(b) by adding a further condition (or by amending or removing such a condition).
(6) Regulations under this section may make provision by reference to documents produced by the designated authority.

(5) In section 3 of that Act (exempted supplies), after subsection (8) insert—

(8A) The supply of a video recording in the form of a machine of a type designed primarily for use in an amusement arcade is an exempted supply unless the video game (or, if more than one, any of the video games) that it contains—

(a) depicts, to any significant extent, anything falling within section 2(2)(a), (b), (c) or (d) or (3), or
(b) is likely to any significant extent to stimulate or encourage anything falling within section 2(2)(a) or, in the case of anything falling within section 2(2)(b), is likely to any extent to do so. The supply of any other video recording is an exempted supply if the recording is supplied for the purpose only of its use in connection with a supply that is an exempted supply under subsection (8A).

(6) At the end of that section insert—

(13) The Secretary of State may by regulations amend this section and the regulations may, in particular—

(a) add a case in which the supply of a video recording is an exempted supply for the purposes of this Act, or
(b) repeal a provision of this section.

41 Designated authority for video games etc

(1) After section 4 of the Video Recordings Act 1984 insert—

4ZA Designated authorities for video games and other video works

(1) The power to designate a person by notice under section 4 includes power to designate different persons—

(a) as the authority responsible for making arrangements in respect of video games (the video games authority), and
(b) as the authority responsible for making arrangements in respect of other video works (the video works authority).

(2) Where there are two designated authorities, references in this Act to the designated authority, in relation to a video work, are references to the designated authority responsible for making arrangements in respect of the video work, taking account of any allocation in force under section 4ZB.

4ZB Designated authorities: allocation of responsibility for video games

(1) Where there are two designated authorities, the video games authority may, with the consent of the video works authority, allocate to that authority responsibility—

(a) for a class of video games, or
(b) for video games, or a class of video games, when (and only when) they are contained in a video recording that is described in the allocation (whether by reference to its contents, to the manner in which it is, or is to be, supplied or otherwise).

(2) If an allocation is in force—

(a) the video works authority is responsible for making arrangements under this Act in respect of the allocated video games, and
(b) the video games authority ceases to be responsible for making such arrangements.

(3) An allocation—

(a) must be made by a notice, and
(b) may be withdrawn at any time by a notice given by the video games authority with the consent of the video works authority.

(4) When making or withdrawing an allocation under this section, the video games authority must have regard to any guidance issued by the Secretary of State.

(5) A notice under this section must be—

(a) sent to the Secretary of State, and
(b) published in such manner as the video games authority considers appropriate.

(6) A question as to which designated authority is responsible for making arrangements in respect of a video game may be conclusively determined by the video games authority.

4ZC Designated authorities: video works included in video games

(1) The video games authority may make such arrangements in respect of video works included in video games as it considers are necessary for the purposes of fulfilling its responsibilities in respect of video games.

(2) Where there are two designated authorities, the arrangements made by the video games authority under section 4 must, to the extent that the video games authority considers appropriate, include either or both of the following—

(a) arrangements for having regard to any classification certificate issued by the video works authority in respect of a video work included in a video game;
(b) arrangements for obtaining and having regard to a determination by the video works authority as to the suitability of all or part of a video work included in a video game.

(3) For the purpose of determining the extent to which arrangements described in subsection (2)(a) or (b) are appropriate, the video games authority must—

(a) consult the video works authority, and
(b) have regard to any guidance issued by the Secretary of State.

(4) In this section, suitability means suitability for the issue of a classification certificate or suitability for the issue of a classification certificate of a particular description.

(2) Schedule 1 (which contains further amendments of the Video Recordings Act 1984) has effect.

Schedule 1 Classification of video games etc: supplementary provision

1 The Video Recordings Act 1984 is amended as follows.

2

(1) Section 4 (authority to determine suitability of video works for classification) is amended as follows.

(2) In subsection (1)(b)—

(a) in sub-paragraph (i), after issue insert or revocation, and
(b) in sub-paragraph (ii), after issuing insert and revoking.

(3) After subsection (1B) insert—

(1C) The arrangements made under this section may require a person requesting a classification certificate for a video work to agree to comply with a code of practice, which may, in particular, include provision relating to the labelling of video recordings.

(4) After subsection (3) insert—

(3A) The Secretary of State must not make a designation under this section unless satisfied that adequate arrangements will be made for taking account of public opinion in the United Kingdom.

(5) For subsection (5) substitute—

(5) No fee is recoverable by, or in accordance with arrangements made by, the designated authority in connection with a determination in respect of a video work or the issue of a classification certificate unless the designated authority has consulted the Secretary of State about such fees.

(6) Omit subsection (6).

(7) After that subsection insert—

(6A) When making arrangements under this section, the designated authority must have regard to any guidance issued by the Secretary of State.

(6B) The Secretary of State may not issue guidance about the matters to be taken into account when determining the suitability of a video work for the issue of a classification certificate or a classification certificate of a particular description.

(8) In subsection (8)—

(a) after Act insert—

(a) , and

(b) at the end insert , and

(b) references to the designated authority, in relation to a  classification certificate, are references to the person or persons designated under this section when the certificate is issued, (but see also section 4ZA(2)).

3 In section 7 (classification certificates), at the end insert—

(3) For the purposes of this Act, a video work is not a video work in respect of which a classification certificate has been issued if every classification certificate issued in respect of the video work has been revoked.

4 After that section insert—

7A Classification certificates for particular video recordings

(1) A classification certificate issued in respect of a video work may be issued so as to have effect only for the purposes of a video recording that is described in the certificate (whether by reference to its contents, to the manner in which it is, or is to be, supplied or otherwise).

(2) For the purposes of this Act, a video recording contains a video work in respect of which a classification certificate has been issued if (and only if) a classification certificate that has been issued in respect of the video work has effect for the purposes of the video recording.

5 In section 8 (requirements as to labelling etc), omit subsections (2) and (3).

6

(1) Section 11 (supplying video recording of classified work in breach of classification) is amended as follows.

(2) In subsection (1)—

(a) for containing substitute , or no video recording described in the certificate, that contains,
(b) for a video recording containing that work substitute such a video recording, and
(c) after unless insert—

(a) the video work is an exempted work, or
(b) .

(3) In subsection (2), after paragraph (b) (but before or) insert—

(ba) that the accused believed on reasonable grounds that the video work concerned or, if the video recording contained more than one work to which the charge relates, each of those works was an exempted work,.

7

(1) Section 12 (certain video recordings only to be supplied in licensed sex shops) is amended as follows.

(2) In subsections (1) and (3)—

(a) for containing substitute , or no video recording described in the certificate, that contains, and
(b) for a video recording containing the work substitute such a video recording.

(3) In subsection (6)—

(a) for containing substitute , or no video recording described in the certificate, that contains, and
(b) for a video recording containing that work substitute such a video recording.

8

(1) Section 13 (supplying video recording not complying with requirements as to labels etc) is amended as follows.

(2) In subsection (1), after unless insert—

(a) the video work is an exempted work, or
(b) .

(3) In subsection (2), before paragraph (a) insert—

(za) believed on reasonable grounds that the video work concerned or, if the video recording contained more than one work to which the charge relates, each of those works was an exempted work,.

9

(1) Section 14 (supplying video recording containing false indication as to classification) is amended as follows.

(2) In subsection (1), after unless insert—

(a) the video work is an exempted work, or
(b) .

(3) In subsection (2)(a), after sub-paragraph (i) (but before or) insert—

(ia) that the video work concerned or, if the video recording contained more than one work to which the charge relates, each of those works was an exempted work,.

(4) In subsection (3)—

(a) after unless insert—

(a) the video work is an exempted work, or
(b) .

(5) In subsection (4)(a), before sub-paragraph (i) insert—

(ai) that the video work concerned or, if the video recording contained more than one work to which the charge relates, each of those works was an exempted work,.

10

(1) Section 22 (other interpretation) is amended as follows.

(2) In subsection (1), at the end insert—

video games authority and video works authority have the meaning given in section 4ZA.

(3) In subsection (2), after Act insert (and subject to regulations under subsection (2A)).

(4) After subsection (2) insert—

(2A) The Secretary of State may by regulations make provision about the circumstances in which, for the purposes of this Act, a video recording does or does not contain a video work.

11 After section 22 insert—

22A Regulations

(1) Regulations under this Act are to be made by statutory instrument.

(2) Every power of the Secretary of State to make regulations under this Act includes—

(a) power to make different provision for different purposes, and
(b) power to make transitional or saving provision.

(3) A statutory instrument containing regulations under section 2A or 3 may not be made unless a draft of the instrument has been laid before, and approved by a resolution of, each House of Parliament.

(4) Any other statutory instrument containing regulations under this Act is subject to annulment in pursuance of a resolution of either House of Parliament.

12 Until such time as section 2A of the Video Recordings Act 1984 comes into force, section 22A(3) of that Act has effect as if the words 2A or were omitted.

 

23rd January
2010
  

Update: Video Recordings Act 2010...


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VRA given Royal Assent and is back in force
Link Here  full story: Video Recordings Act Erased...VRA was not properly enacted

House of Lords logoThe Video Recordings Bill was given Royal Assent as scheduled on 21st January 2010.

The law comes into force immediately.

 

7th January
2010
  

Update: Video Recordings Bill...


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Replacement video recordings law completes in the Commons
Link Here  full story: Video Recordings Act Erased...VRA was not properly enacted

House of Commons logoThe Video Recordings Bill was presented to Parliament on 15 December 2009. There was no debate on the Bill at this stage.

This Bill completed all Parliamentary stages in the House of Commons on 6 January 2010 without opposition and has now passed to the House of Lords for consideration.

Summary of the Bill:

The Bill repeals and revives, without amendment, the Video Recordings Act 1984. Its purpose is to rectify a procedural error made during the passage of the 1984 Act, thereby making the age-rated classification and supply controls contained in that Act enforceable in UK courts. The Bill would also allow the 1984 Act to be amended by the Digital Economy Bill 2009-10.

Video Recordings Bill:

1 Repeal and revival of provisions of the Video Recordings Act 1984

(1) On the commencement of this Act, sections 1 to 17, 19, 21 and 22 of the Video Recordings Act 1984 (regulation of the distribution of video recordings)—

(a) cease to be in force, and

(b) having been notified to the European Commission in accordance with the Technical Standards Directive on 10 September 2009, come into force again by virtue of this subsection.

(2) In subsection (1) the Technical Standards Directive means Directive 98/34/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 22 June 1998 laying down a procedure for the provision of information in the field of technical standards and regulations.

(3) The Schedule to this Act contains transitional provision.

2 Short title, commencement and extent

(1) This Act may be cited as the Video Recordings Act 2010.

(2) This Act comes into force on the day on which it is passed.

(3) This Act extends to England and Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

 

25th August
2009
  

Video Recordings Act Erased...

1984 Act governing video censorship was never properly enacted
Link Here  full story: Video Recordings Act Erased...VRA was not properly enacted

Shock Horror T he discovery of a Whitehall blunder means that the 1984 law regulating the video industry was never enacted.

The disclosure that for 25 years the Video Recordings Act governing the classification and sale of videos, video games and now DVDs was never brought into force is a big embarrassment to both Conservative and Labour governments.

It also leaves the industry in disarray with the classification system no longer officially in operation.

Police and Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs are to be told to stop bringing any prosecutions until the Government brings in emergency legislation to re-enact the 1984 Video Recordings Act. Until then people will be able to sell videos, including violent and pornographic ones, to people without fear of prosecution.

The video industry was stunned by the Government's admission that the Act was not properly enacted 25 years ago. Officials in the Home Office had failed to notify the European Commission of the existence of the Act as they were required to do so under an EU directive.

The mistake was not spotted on two subsequent occasions, in 1993 and 1994. It was finally discovered during plans to update the law and introduce a new video-game classification system.

Barbara Follett, Minister for Culture and Tourism, said last night: Unfortunately, the discovery of this omission means that, a quarter of a century later, the Video Recordings Act is no longer enforceable against individuals in United Kingdom courts. In a letter to representatives of the video industry, Follett said: As the then British Government did not notify the European Commission of the VRA's classification and labelling requirements, they cannot now be enforced against individuals in UK courts.

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport said that it had received legal advice that people who had previously been prosecuted and convicted would be unable to overturn their convictions or seek compensation. [Sounds like bollox to me, how can you not fail to overturn a conviction for a law that was not enacted].

The British Video Association said that it is urging members to continue submitting work to the British Board of Film Classification and to continue labelling them under the system.

 

23rd May
2005
  

Offsite: Interfact vs Liverpool Council...

Legal appeal against law banning mail order R18s from a licensed sex shop
Link Here

Old BaileyLORD JUSTICE MAURICE KAY:

For the reasons set out in the judgment now handed down, these appeals are dismissed.

A draft order has been agreed by counsel and we shall now put it into effect with one modification. It recites the dismissal of the appeals, the fact that the appellants shall pay the respondent's costs of the appeals to be taxed if not agreed, and it says that this court certifies a point of general public importance. We do indeed so certify, but we are going to do it in slightly different terms from the ones drafted by counsel. We propose to certify the following question as a point of law of general public importance:

Is it a breach of section 12(1) of the Video Recordings Act 1984 for a licensed sex shop, in response to a mail or telephone order from an adult customer, to supply or offer to supply R18 videos to the customer other than when the customer is physically present in the sex shop, having regard to Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights as applied by the Human Rights Act 1998?

...Read the full judgement



Video Recordings Act 1984

The law has since been amended: 


VHS logoInterpretation of terms

1.--(1) The provisions of this section shall have effect for the interpretation of terms used in this Act.

(2) "Video work" means any series of visual images (with or without sound)-

(a) produced electronically by the use of information contained on any disc or magnetic tape, and

(b) shown as a moving picture.

(3) "Video recording" means any disc or magnetic tape containing information by the use of which the whole or part of a video work may be reproduced.

(4) "Supply" means supply in any manner, whether or not for reward, and, therefore, includes supply by way of sale, letting on hire, exchange or loan; and references to a supply are to be interpreted accordingly.

BBFC Exempt examplesExempted works

2.--(1) Subject to subsection (2) [94+ or (3) +94] below, a video work is for the purposes of this Act an exempted work if, taken as a whole--

(a) it is designed to inform, educate or instruct;

(b) it is concerned with sport, religion or music; or

(c) it is a video game.

(2) A video work is not an exempted work for those purposes if, to any significant extent, it depicts--

(a) human sexual activity of acts of force or restraint associated with such activity;

(b) mutilation or torture of, or other acts of gross violence towards, humans or animals;

(c) human genital organs or human urinary or excretory functions;

(d) techniques likely to be useful in the commission of offences;

or is likely to any significant extent to stimulate or encourage anything falling within paragraph (a) or, in the case of anything falling within paragraph (b), is [94- designed -94][94+ likely +94] to any extent to do so.

(3) A video work is not an exempted work for those purposes if, to any significant extent, it depicts criminal activity which is likely to any significant extent to stimulate or encourage the commission of offences.

Exempted Supplies

3.-(1) The provisions of this section apply to determine whether or not the supply of a video recording is an exempted supply for the purposes of this Act.

(2) The supply of a video recording by any person is an exempted supply if it is neither-

(a) a supply for reward, nor

(b) a supply in the course or furtherance of a business

(3) Where on any premises facilities are provided in the course or furtherance of business for supplying video recordings, the supply by any person of a video recording on those premises is to be treated for the purposes of subsection (2) above as a supply in the course or furtherance of a business.

(4) Where a person (in this subsection referred to as the `original supplier') supplies a video recording to a person who is in the course of a business, makes video works or supplies video recordings, the supply is an exempted supply-

(a) if it is not made with a view to any further supply of that recording, or

(b) if it is so made, but is not made with a view to the eventual supply of that recording to the public or is made with a view to the eventual supply of that recording to the original supplier. For the purpose of this subsection, any supply is a supply to the public unless it is-

(i) a supply to a person who, in the course of a business, makes video works or supplies video recordings.

(ii) an exempted supply by virtue of subsection (2) above or subsections (5) and (10) below, or

(iii) a supply outside the United Kingdom.

(5) Where a video work-

(a) is designed to provide a record of an event or occasion for those who took part in the event or occasion for those who took part in the event or occasion or are concerned with those who did so,

(b) does not, to any significant extent, depict anything falling within paragraph (a), (b) or (c) of section 2(2) of this Act, and it is not designed to any significant extent to stimulate or encourage anything falling within paragraph (a) of that subsection or, in the case of anything falling within paragraph

(c) of that subsection is not designed to any extent to do so, the supply of a video recording containing only that work to a person who took part in the event or occasion or is connected with someone who did so is an exempted supply.

(6) The supply of a video recording for the purpose only of the exhibition of any video work contained in the recording in premises other than a dwelling-house-

(a) being premises mentioned in subsection (7) below, or

(b) being an exhibition which in England and Wales or Scotland would be an exempted exhibition within the meaning of section 5 of the Cinematograph Act 1952 (cinematograph exhibition to which public not admitted or are admitted without payment), or in Northern Ireland would be an exempted exhibition within the meaning of section 5 of the Cinematograph Act (Northern Ireland) 1959 (similar provisions for Northern Ireland).

BBFC logoDesignated authority

Authority to determine suitability of video works for classification

4.--(l) The Secretary of State may by notice under this section designate any person as the authority responsible for making arrangements-

(a) for determining for the purposes of this Act whether or not video works are suitable for classification certificates to be issued in respect of them , Having special regard to tlie likelihood of video works in respect of which such certificates which have been issued being viewed in the home

(b) in the case of works which are determined in accordance with the arrangements to be so suitable--

(i) for making such other- determinations as are required for the issue of classification certificates, and

(ii) for issuing such certificates, and

(c) for maintaining a record of such determinations (whether determinations made in pursuance of arrangements made by that person or by any person previously designated under this section), including video recordings of the video works to which the determinations relate.

(2)the power to designate any person by notice under this section includes power

(a) to designate two or more persons jointly as the authority responsible for making those arrangements, and

(b) to provide that any person holding an office or employment specified in the notice is to be treated as designated while holding that office or employment.

(3) The Secretary of State shall not make any designation under this section unless he is satisfied that adequate arrangements will be made for an appeal by any person against a determination that a video work submitted by him for the issue of a classification certificate-

(a) is not suitable for a classification certificate to be issued in respect of it, or

(b) is not suitable for viewing by persons who have not attained a particular age,

or against a determination that no video recording containing the work is to be supplied other than in a licensed sex shop.

(4) The Secretary of State may at any time designate another person in place of any person designated under this section and, if he does so, may give directions as to the transfer of any record kept in pursuance of the arrangements referred to in subsection (I) above; and it shall be the duty of any person having control of any such record or any part of it to comply with the directions.

(5) No fee shall be recoverable by the designated authority in connection with any determination falling within subsection (1)(a) or (1)) above or the issue of any classification certificate unless the fee is payable in accordance with a tariff approved by the Secretary of State.

(6) The Secretary of State may for the purposes of subsection (5) above approve a tariff providing for different fees for different classes of video works and for different circumstances.

(7) Any notice under this section shall be published in the London, Edinburgh and Belfast Gazettes.

(8) In this Act, references to the designated authority, in relation to any transaction, are references to the person or persons designated under this section at the time of that transaction.

Criteria for suitability to which special regard to be had

4A.--(1) The designated authority shall, in making any determination as to the suitability of a video work, have special regard (among the other relevant factors) to any harm that may be caused to potential viewers through their behaviour, to society by the manner in which the work deals with--

(a) criminal behaviour

(b) illegal drugs

(c) violent behaviour or incidents;

(d) horrific behaviour or incidents; or

(e) human sexual activity.

(2) For the purposes of this section-- "potential viewers" means any person (including a child or young person) who is likely to view the video work in question if a classification certificate of a particular description were issued;

"suitability" means suitability for the issue of a classification certificate or suitability for the issue of a certificate of a particular description;

"violent behaviour" includes any act inflicting or likely to result in the infliction of injury;

and any behaviour or activity referred to in subsection 1(a) to

(e) above shall be taken to include behaviour or activity likely to stimulate or encourage it.

Review of determinations as to suitability

4B.--(1) The Secretary of State may by order make provision enabling the designated authority to review any determination made by them, before the coming into force of section 4A of this Act, as to the suitability of a video work.

(2) The order may in particular provide--

(a) for the authority's power of review to be exercisable in relation to such determination as the authority think fit;

(b) for the authority to determine, on any review, whether, if they were then determining the suitability of the video work to which the determination under review relates, they--

(i) would issue a classification certificate, or

(ii) would issue a different classification certificate;

(c) for the cancellation of a classification certificate, where they determine that they would not issue a classification certificate;

(d) for the cancellation of a classification certificate and issue of a new classification certificate, where they determine that they would issue a different classification certificate;

(e) for any such cancellation not to take effect until the end of such period as may be determined in accordance with the order;

(f) for such persons as may appear to the authority to fall within a specified category of person to be notified of any such cancellation or issue in such manner as may be specified;

(g) for treating a classification certificate, in relation to any act or omission occurring after its cancellation, as if it had not been issued;

(h) for specified provisions of this Act to apply to determinations made on a review subject to such modifications (if any) as may be specified;

(i) for specified regulations made under section 8 of this Act to apply to a video work in respect of which a new 94+ classification certificate has been issued subject to such modifications (if any) as may be sepcified.

(3) In subsection (2) above "specified" means specified by an order made under this section.

(4) The Secretary of State shall not make any order under this section unless he is satisfied that adequate arrangements will be made for an appeal against determinations made by the designated authority on a review.

(5) The power to make an order underthis section shall be exerciseable by statutory instrument which shall be subject to annulment in pursuance of a resolution of either House of Parliament.

(6) In this section "suitability" has the same meaning as in section 4A of this Act.

Parliamentary procedure for designation

5.--(l) Where the Secretary of State proposes to make a designation under section 4 of this Act, he shall lay particulars of his proposal before both Houses of Parliament and shall not make the proposed designation until after the end of the period of forty days beginning with the day on which the particulars of his proposal were so laid.

(2) If, within the period mentioned in subsection (1) above, either House resolves that the Secretary of State should not make the proposed designation, the Secretary of State shall not do so (but without prejudice to his power to lay before Parliament particulars of further proposals in accordance with that subsection).

(3) For the purposes of subsection (1) above

(a) where particulars of a proposal are laid before each House of Parliament of different days, the later day shall be taken to be the day on which the particulars were laid before both Houses;

(b) in reckoning any period of forty days, no account shall be taken of any time during which Parliament is dissolved or prorogued or during which both Houses are adjourned for more than four days.

Annual Report

6.--(1) The designated authority shall, as soon as it is reasonably practicable to do so afler 31st December, make a report to the Secretary of State on the carrying out in the year ending with that date of the arrangements referred to in section 4(1) and (3) of this Act (together with a statement of accounts) and on such other matters (if any) as the designated authority consider appropriate or the Secretary of State may require.

(2) The Secretary of State shall lay a copy of any report made to him under this section before each House of Parliament.

15 certificateClassification and labelling

Classification certificates

7.-(1) in this Act "classification certificate" means a certificate-

(a) issued in respect of a video work in pursuance of arrangements made by the designated authority; and

(b) satisfying the requirements of subsection (2) below.

(2) Those requirements are that the certificate must contain

(a) a statement that the video work concerned is suitable for general viewing and unrestricted supply (with or without any advice as to the desirability of parental guidance with regard to the viewing of the work by young children or as to the particular suitability of the work for viewing by children); or

(b) a statement that the video work concerned is suitable for viewing only by persons who have attained the age (not being more than eighteen years) specified in the certificate and that no video recording containing that work is to be supplied to any person who has not attained the age so specified; or

(c) the statement mentioned in paragraph (b) above together with a statement that no video recordin containing that work is to be supplied other than in a licensed sex shop.

Requirements as to labelling, etc.

8.--(1) The Secretary of State may, in relation to video works of which classification certificates have been issued, by regulations require such indication as may be specified by the regulations of any of the contents of any classification certificate to be shown in such a manners as may be so specified on any video recording containing the video work in respect of which the certificate was issued or any spool, case or other thing on or in which such a video recording is kept.

(2) Regulations under this section may make different provision for different video works and for different circumstances.

(3) The power to make regulations under this section shall be exerciseable by statutory instrument which shall be subject to annulment in pursuance of a resolution of either House of Parliament.

Offences and penalties

Supplying video recording of unclassified work

9.--(1) A person who supplies or offers to supply a video recording containing a video work in respect of which no classification has been issued is guilty of an offence unless--

(a) the supply is, or would if it took place be, an exempted supply, or

(b) the video work is an exempted work.

(2) It is a defence to a charge of committing an offence under this section to prove that the accuse believed on reasonable grounds--

(a) that the video work concerned or, if the video recording contained more than one work to which the charge relates, each of those works was either an exempted work or a work in respect of which a classification certificate had been issued, or

(b) that the supply was, or would if it took place be, an exempted supply by virtue of section 3(4) or (5) of this Act.

(3) A person guilty of an offence under this section shall be liable-

(a) on conviction on indictment, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years or a fine or both.

(b) on summary conviction to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months or a fine not exceeding £20,000 or both.

Possession of video recording of unclassified work for the purposes of supply

10.-- (1) Where a video recording contains a video work in respect of which no classification certificate has been issued, a person who has the recording in his possession for the purpose of supplying it is guilty of an offence unless

(a) he has it in his possession for the purpose only of a supply which, if it took place, would be an exempted supply, or

(b) the video work is an exempted work.

(2) It is a defence to a charge of committing an offence under this section to prove-

(a) that the accused believed on reasonable grounds that the video work concerned or, if the video recording contained more than one work to which the charge relates, each of those works was either an exempted work or a work in respect of which a classification certificate had been issued,

(b) that the accused had the video recording in his possesion for the purpose only of a supply which he believed on reasonable grounds would, if it took place, be an exempted supply by virtue of section 3(4) or (5) of this Act, or

(c) that the accused did not intend to supply the video recording until a classification certificate had been issued in respect of the work concerned.

(3) A person guilty of an offence under this section shall be [liable-

(a) on conviction on indictment, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years or a fine or both,

(b) on summary conviction, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months or a fine, not exceeding £20,000 or both.

Supplying video recording of classified work in breach of classification

( see generally [QUEEN'S BENCH DIVISION] ( TESCO STORES LTD. v. BRENT LONDON BOROUGH COUNCIL 1993 Feb. 5; 8 ( Staughton L.J. and Buckley J.

11.--(1) Where a classification certificate issued in respect of a video work states that no video recording containing that work is to be supplied to any person who has not attained the age specified in the certificate, a the person who supplies or offers to supply a video recording containing that work to a person who has not attained the age so specified is guilty of an offence unless the supply is, or would if it took place be an exempted supply.

(2) lt is a defence to a charge of committing an offence under this section to prove--

(a) that the accused neither knew nor had rcasonable grounds to believe that the classification certificate contained the statement concerned,

(b) that the accused neither knew nor had reasonable grounds to believe that the person concerned had not attained that age, or

(c) that the accused believed on reasonable grounds that the supply was, or would if it took place be, an exempted supply by virtue of section 3(4) or (5) of this Act.

(3) A person guilty of an offence under this section shall be liable, on summary conviction, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months or a fine level 5 on the standard scale or both.

R18 StoryCertain video recordings only to be supplied in licensed sex shops

12.--(1) Where a classification certificate issued in respect of a video work states that no video recording containing that work is to be supplied other than in a licensed sex shop, a person who at any place other than in a sex shop for which a licence is in force under the relevant enactment--

(a) supplies a video recording containing the work, or

(b) offers to do so,

is guilty of an offence unless the supply is, or would if it took place be, an exempted supply.

(2) It is a defence to a charge of committing an offence under subsection (1) above to prove

(a) that the accused neither knew nor had reasonable grounds to believe that the classification certificate contained the statement concerned,

(b) that the accused believed on reasonable grounds that the concerned was a sex shop for which a licence was in force under the relevant enactment, or

(c) that the accused believed on reasonable grounds that the supply was, or would if it took place be, an exempted supply by virtue of section 3(4) of this Act or subsection (6) below.

(3) Where a classification certificate issue in respect of a video work states that no video recording containing that work is to be supplied other than in a licensed sex shop, a person who has a video recording containing the work in his possession for the purpose of supplying it at any place other than in such a sex shop is guilty of an offence, unless he has it in his possession for the purpose only of a supply which, if it took place, would be an exempted supply.

(4) It is a defence to a charge of committing all offence under subsection (3) above to prove-

(a) that the accused neither knew nor had reasonable grounds to believe that the classification certificate contained the statement concerned,

(b) that the accused believed on reasonable grounds that the place concerned was a sex shop for which a licence was in force under the relevant enactment, or

(c) that the accused had the video recording in his possession for the purpose only of a supply which he believed on reasonable grounds would, if it took place, be an exempted supply by virtue of section 3(4) of this Act or subsection (6) below.

(4A) A person guilty of an offence under subsection (1) or (3) above shall be liable, on summary conviction, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months or a fine not exceeding level 5 on the standard scale or both.

(5) in this section "relevant enactment" means Schedule 3 to the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1982 or, in Scotland, Schedule 2 to the Civic Government (Scotland) Act 1982, and "sex shop" has the same meaning as in the relevant enactment.

(6) For the purposes of this section, where a classification certificate issued in respect of a video work states that no video recording containing that work is to be supplied other than in a licensed sex shop, the supply of a video recording containing that work-

(a) to a person who, in the course of a business, makes video works or supplies video recordings, and

(b) with a view to its eventual supply in sex shops, being sex shops for which licences are in force under the relevant enactment,

is an exempted supply.

Supply of video recording not complying with requirements as to labels, etc.

13.--(1) A person who supplies or offers to supply a video recording or any spool, case or other thing on or in which the recording is kept which does not satisfy any requirement imposed by regulations under section 8 of this Act is guilty of an offence unless the supply is, or would if it took place be, an exempted supply.

(2) it is a defence to a charge of committing an offence under this section to prove that the accused--

(a) believed on reasonable grounds that the supply was, or would if it took place be, an exempted supply by virtue of section 3(4) or (5) of this Act, or

(b) neither knew nor had reasonable grounds to believe that the recording, spool, case or other thing (as the case may be) did not satisfy the requirement concerned.

Supply of video recording containing false indication as to classification

14.--(1) A person who supplies or offers to supply a video recording containing a video work in respect of which no classification certificate has been issued is guilty of an offence if the video recording or any spool, case or other thing on or in which the recording is kept contains any indication that a classification certificate has been issued in respect of that work unless the supply is, or would if it took place be, an exempted supply.

(2) it is a defence to a charge of committing an offence under subsection (1) above to prove-

(a) that the accused believed on reasonable grounds

(i) that a classification certificate had been issued in respect of the video work concerned, or

(ii) that the supply was, or would if it took place be, an exempted supply by virtue of section 3(4) or (5) of this Act, or

(b) that the accused neither knew nor had reasonable grounds to believe that the recording, spool, case or other thing (as the case may be) contained the indication concerned.

(3) A person who supplies or offers to supply a video recording containing a video work in respect of which a classification certificate has been issued is guilty of an offence if the video recording or any spool case or other thing on or in which the recording is kept contains any indication that is false in a material particular of any statement falling within section 7(2) of this Act (including any advice falling within paragraph (a) of that subsection) contained in the certificate, unless the supply is, or would if it took place be, an exempted supply.

(4) It is a defence to a charge of committing an offence under subsection (3) above to prove--

(a) that the accused believed on reasonable grounds-

(i) that the supply was, or would if it took place be, an exempted supply by virtue of section 3(4) or (5) of this Act, or

(ii) that the certificate concerned contained the statement indicated, or

(b) that the accused neither knew nor had reasonable grounds to believe that the recording, spool, case or other thing (as the case may be) contained the indication concerned.

(5) A person guilty of an offence under subsection (1) or (3) above shall be liable, on summary conviction, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months or a fine not exceeding level 5 on the standard scale or both.

Old BaileyPenalties

15.--(1) A person guilty of an offence under section 9 or 10 of this Act shall be liable, on summary conviction, to a fine not exceeding £20,000

(2) In relation to England and Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland, the Secretary of State may by order amend subsection (1) above so as to substitute for the sum specified in that subsection (whether at the passing of this Act or by a previous order made under this subsection) such other sum as appears to him to be justified by a change in the value of money appearing to him to have taken place since the passing of this Act or the date of the previous order made under this subsection, as the case may be.

(3) A person guilty of an offence under any other provision of this Act shall be liable, on summary conviction, to a fine not exceeding level 5 on the standard scale.

In this "the standard scale" has the meaning given by section 75 of the Criminal Justice Act 1982.

(4) The power to make an order under subsection (2) above shall be exercisable by statutory instrument which shall be subject to annulment in pursuance of a resolution of either House of Parliament.

(5) An order under subsection (2) above shall not affect the punishment for an offence committed before that order comes into force.

Miscellaneous and supplementary

Offences by bodies corporate

16.--(1) Where an offence under this Act committed by a body corporate is proved to have been committed with the consent or connivance of, or to be attributable to any neglect on the part of, any director, manager, secretary or other similar officer of the body corporate, or any person who was purporting to act in any such capacity, he as well as the body corporate shall be guilty of the offence and shall be liable to be proceeded against and punished accordingly.

(2) Where the affairs of a body corporate are managed by its members, subsection (1) above shall apply in relation to the acts and defaults of a member in connection with his functions of management as if he were a director of the body corporate.

Police ramming house doorEntry, search and seizure

17.--(1) If a justice of the peace is satisfied by information on oath that there are reasonable grounds for suspecting

(a) that an offence under this Act has been or is being committed on any premises, and

(b) that evidence that the offence has been or is being committed is on those premises,

he may issue a warrant under his hand authorising any constable to enter and search the premises within one month from the date of issue of the warrant.

(2) A constable entering or searching any premises in pursuance of a warrant under subsection( 1) above may use reasonable force if necessary and may seize anything found there which he has reasonable grounds to believe may be required to be used in evidence in any proceedings for an offence under this Act.

(3) In subsection (1) above:-

(a) the reference to a justice of the peace is, in Scotland, a reference to the sheriff or a justice of the peace and, in Northern Ireland, a reference to a resident magistrate, and

(b) the reference to information is, in Scotland, a reference to evidence and, in Northern Ireland, a reference to a complaint.

Arrest (Repealed in Video Recordings Act 2010)

18.--(1) If a constable has reasonable grounds for suspecting that a person has committed an offence under this Act, he may require him to give his name and address and, if that person refuses or fails to do so or gives a name and address which the constable reasonably suspects to be false, the constable may arrest him without warrant.

(2) This section does not extend to Scotland.

Evidence by certificate

19.--(1) In any proceedings in England and Wales or Northern Ireland for an offence under this Act, a certificate purporting to be signed by a person authorised in that behalf by the Secretary of State and stating--

(a) that he has examined--

(i) the record maintained in pursuance of the arrangements made by the designated authority, and

(ii) a video work (or part of a video work) contained in a video contained in a video recording identified by the certificate, and

(b) that the record shows that, on the date specified in the certificate, no classification certificate has been issued in respect of the video work concerned,

shall be admissible as evidence of the fact that, on the day, no classification certificate had been issued in respect of the video work concerned.

(2) A certificate under subsection (1) above may also state--

(a) that the video work concerned differs in such respects as may be specified from another video work examined by the person so authorised and identified by the certificate, and

(b) that the record shows that, on a date specified in the certificate under subsection (1) above, a classification certificate was issued in respect of that other video work;

and, if it does so, shall be admissible as evidence of the fact that the video work concerned differs in those respects from the other video work.

(3) In any proceedings in England and Wales or Northern Ireland for an offence under this Act, a certificate purporting to be signed by a person authorised in that behalf by the Secretary of State and stating--

(a) that he has examined--

(i) the record maintained in pursuance of arrangements made by the designated authority, and

(ii) a video work (or park of a video work) contained in a video recording identified by the certificate, and

(b) that the record shows that, on the date specified in the certificate under this subsection, a classification certificate was issued in respect of the video work concerned and that a document identified by the certificate under this subsection is a copy of the classification certificate so issued,

shall be admissible as evidence of the fact that, on that date, a classification certificate in terms of the document so identified was issued in respect of the video work concerned.

(4) Any document or video recording identified in a certificate tendered in evidence under this section shall be treated as if it had been produced as an exhibit and identified in court by the person signing the certificate.

(5) This section does not make a certificate admissible as evidence in proceedings for an offence unless a copy of the certificate has, not less than seven days before the hearing, been served on the person charged with the offence in one of the following ways--

(a) by delivering it to him or to his solicitor, or

(b) by addressing it to him and leaving it at his usual or last known place of abode or place of business or by addressing it to his solicitor and leaving his office, or

(c) by sending it in a registered letter or by the recorded delivery service addressed to him at his usual or last known place of abode or place of business or addressed to his solicitor at his office, or

(d) in the case of a body corporate, by delivering it to the secretary or clerk of the body at its registered or principle office or sending it in a registered letter or by recorded delivery service addressed to the secretary or clerk of that body at that office.

Evidence by certificate in Scotland

Section 20 was released by the Video Recordings Act 2010

20. At the end of Schedule 1 to the Criminal Justice (Scotland) Act 1980 there is added--

A person authorised to do so by the Secretary of State, and who has--

(a) in relation to the matters certified in paragraph (a) or (c) of Column 3, examined--

(i) the record maintained in pursuance of the arrangements made by the designated authority; and

(ii) a video work (or part of a video work) contained in a video recording identified by the certificate;

(b) in relation to the matters certified in paragraph (b) of Column 3 examined a video work other than the video work concerned in the proceedings.

In respect of a video work concerned in the proceedings--

(a) that on the date specified in the certificate, no classification certificate had been issued;

(b) where a certificate is given in respect of the matter referred to in paragraph (a) above, that the video work differs in such respects as may be specified from the other video work mentioned in paragraph (b) of Column 2;

(c) that on the date specified in the certificate a classification certificate in terms or a document identified by the certificate as a copy of the classification certificate was issued.

21.--(1) Where a person is convicted of any offence under this Act, the court may order any video recording--

(a) produced to the court, and

(b) shown to the satisfaction of the court to relate to the offence, to be forfeited.

(2) The court shall not order any video recording to be forfeited under subsection (1) above if a person claiming to be the owner of it or otherwise interested in it applies to be heard by the court, unless an opportunity has been given to him to show cause why the order should not be made.

(3) References in this section to a video recording include a reference to any spool, case or other thing on or in which the recording is kept.

(4) An order made under subsection (1) above in any proceedings in England and Wales or Northern Ireland shall not take effect until the expiration of the ordinary time within which an appeal may be instituted or, where such an appeal is duly instituted, until the appeal is finally decided or abandoned; and for this purpose--

(a) an applications for a case to be stated or for leave to appeal shall be treated as an institution of an appeal; and

(b) where a decision on appeal is subject to a further appeal, the appeal is not finally decided until the expiration of the ordinary time within which a further appeal may be instituted or, where a further appeal is duly instituted, until the further appeal is finally decided or abandoned.

(5) An order made under subsection (1) above in any proceeding in Scotland shall not take effect until the expiration of the time within which, by virtue of any statute, an appeal may be instituted or, where such an appeal is duly instituted, until the appeal is finally disposed of or abandoned; and for this purpose the lodging of an application for a stated case or note of appeal against sentence shall be treated as the institution of an appeal.

Other Interpretation

22.--(1) In this Act--

"business", except in section 3(4), includes any activity carried on by a club; and

"premises" includes any vehicle, vessel or stall.

(2) For the purposes of this Act, a video recording contains a video work if it contains information by the use of which the whole or a part of the work may be produced; but where a video work includes any extract from another video work, that extract is not to be regarded for the purposes of this subsection as a part of that other work.

(3) Where any alteration is made to a video work in respect of which a classification certificate has been issued, the classification certificate is not to be treated for the purposes of this Act as issued in respect or the altered work.

In this subsection, "alteration" includes addition.

Short title commencement and extent

23.--(1) This Act may be cited as the Video Recordings Act 1984.

(2) This Act shall come into force on such day as the Secretary of State may by order made by statutory instrument appoint, and different days may be appointed for different provisions and for different purposes.

(3) This Act extends to Northern Ireland.



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