Does the "Cartoon Law" really affect furries?
Today FurteanTimes.com reported that a new law just pasted by the British government will make paedophilic depictions of furry pornographic illegal. But does it really do this?
The law in question is the Coroners and Justice Act 2009 and the bit covering this new law is Sections 62 to 68. Now, it has been reported by some sources, such as The Register and FurteanTimes.com that this law will ban depictions of under-age children and people, which will be a worry to some anime/manga fans.
However, what is actually meant be "people" and "children"?
A "child" is defined by the act (Section 65.5) as "a person under the age of 18". According to my dictionary - Collins English Dictionary: Complete and Unabridged - a "human" can be defined as "an individual human being" or "the body of a human being, sometimes including his or her clothing". Let us call these meanings "Definition A".
However, Collins also defines a "person" as “a being characterized by consciousness, rationality, and a moral sense, and traditionally thought of as consisting of a body and a mind or soul.” This is classed as a philosophical definition, which we shall call "Definition B".
Now, the act bans the following depictions (Section 62.7): intercourse, oral sex, masturbation, penetration of the vagina or anus (either with a child or in the presence of one), and intercourse or oral sex with an animal, “whether dead or alive or imaginary” (either with a child or in the presence of one).
Taking this into account, it would appear that the act makes it perfectly clear that you cannot depict a child having sex with an imaginary, and for that reason I can assume, anthropomorphic, animal, so bestiality is illegal. However, this in a way was already banned by the “extreme pornography” bill brought in last year.
But now, let us return to the definitions. If we take Definition A, and a human is an individual human being or body of a human. With the definition of a child as stated in the act, it would appear to me that "cub yiff" would still be legal because an animal is not recognised as a person. If they were, then that would mean that, for example, the government's position on animal rights would have to be that animals and humans are equal. This is not the case.
If we take Definition B however, it would appear that an anthropomorphic animal would count as a person; therefore cub yiff would count and therefore would be illegal. However, as has been stated, this is only a philosophical viewpoint and not one that everyone will share.
I therefore believe that examining this law closely, it would appear that furry pornography is not covered by this law, except in the case of bestiality. As with extreme pornography, so long as humans and animals do not appear together in the same picture, you should be OK.
It should be stated however that the maximum penalty for breaking this law is three years in jail and a fine, so you still may want to be careful out there.