Pornography by region
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The production and distribution of pornographic movies are economic activities of some importance. The exact size of the economy of pornography and the influence that it plays in political circles are matters of controversy. In many countries, it is legal to both produce and distribute pornography featuring performers age 18 or older; however, there are often restrictions placed upon such material.
- 1 Americas
- 2 Europe
- 2.1 Albania
- 2.2 Austria
- 2.3 Azerbaijan
- 2.4 Belarus
- 2.5 Belgium
- 2.6 Bulgaria
- 2.7 Croatia
- 2.8 Cyprus
- 2.9 Czech Republic
- 2.10 Denmark
- 2.11 Estonia
- 2.12 Finland
- 2.13 France
- 2.14 Germany
- 2.15 Greece
- 2.16 Hungary
- 2.17 Iceland
- 2.18 Ireland
- 2.19 Italy
- 2.20 Latvia
- 2.21 Lithuania
- 2.22 Malta
- 2.23 Netherlands
- 2.24 Norway
- 2.25 Poland
- 2.26 Portugal
- 2.27 Romania
- 2.28 Russia
- 2.29 Serbia
- 2.30 Spain
- 2.31 Sweden
- 2.32 Turkey
- 2.33 Ukraine
- 2.34 United Kingdom
- 3 Asia
- 3.1 East Asia
- 3.2 Southeast Asia
- 3.3 West Asia
- 3.4 South Asia
- 3.5 Middle East
- 4 Oceania
- 5 Africa
- 6 See also
- 7 References
The sale of hardcore pornography is legal in Canada to anyone over the age of 18 (or 19 in some provinces). Otherwise, such sales are prohibited. However, persons below that age may own or possess porn. Most hardcore pornography is sold in adult stores or on adult websites.
Possessing, owning, importing, selling, distributing, exhibiting or producing pornography in Cuba is strictly illegal. Punishments for pornographic offenses range from large fines and long term prison sentences. The punishment for child pornography carries even more severe punishments. The possible sentences for child pornography in Cuba is a prison sentence of 7 years to 30 years or death.
In Brazil, pornographic film actors must be 18 or older. Pornography which does not involve bestiality is legal when sold in public places. Depiction of sex with animals is legal. However, magazine and DVD covers that depict genitalia must not be visible from public view, and pornography can only be sold to people 18 or older.
Pornography is illegal in Guyana. The distribution, possession, sale, import of pornographic magazines, DVDs, books, photographs, etc. or simply browsing for pornographic websites on the Internet can lead to a variety of punishments ranging from community service, a fine of up to 45,000 Guyana Dollars or up to 2 years imprisonment. Guyana is the only country in South America where pornography is illegal.
In the United States, pornography is a large industry that involves major entertainment companies such as Time Warner, which offers pornography films through its cable channels and in-room movies in hotels. Pornography distribution changed radically during the 1980s, with VHS and cable television largely displacing X-rated theaters. VHS distribution, in turn, has been replaced by DVD and Internet distribution for niche markets.
Pornography generates billions of dollars in sales in the United States alone. An estimated 211 new pornographic films are made every week in the United States.
Publication of hardcore material is only illegal at the federal (national) level if it meets the Miller test of obscenity, which is rare. Bestiality, simulated rape, urination and defecation are deemed obscene, and pornography depicting such acts is not legal or available legally in the United States, however such publications are widely available in the United States on the Internet. Pornographic materials are not to be made available to people under 18. Some attempts at restricting pornography on the Internet have been made, but most have been struck down by the courts. Prosecution for and tolerance of pornography distribution varies widely from state to state and city to city.
Producing child pornography involving minors engaged in sex acts, or posing in an obscene manner, is a crime on the federal level punishable by a minimum of 5 years and a maximum of 40 years, making U.S. law on child pornography among the harshest in the world. While child pornography is illegal, photographs of nudist children are not, creating some confusion as to where the legal line is drawn. The law prohibiting simulated child pornography was struck down by the Supreme Court in 2002 in the case Ashcroft v. Free Speech Coalition; however, this opinion seems to have been superseded by the adoption of the PROTECT Act of 2003.
European hardcore pornography is dominated by a few pan-European producers and distributors, the most notable of which is the Private Media Group. Most European countries also have local pornography producers, from Portugal (Naturalvideo) to Romania (Floyd-Agency), all of which compete with larger, international organizations with varying levels of success.
The once popular style of Euro-chic pornography created by directors Lasse Braun, Joe d'Amato, and Michel Gentil has lost ground and the Pierre Woodman style of video porn now attracts a larger audience. A few directors like Luca Damiano, Mario Salieri, and Alain Payet have continued with the "older" cinematographic and dramatic styles that often distinguish European pornography from that of other cultures.
Throughout Europe, ostensibly private "stolen" videos, featuring celebrities having sex, are very popular on the Internet and in the black market. It is unclear whether these videos were truly released without their participants' permission, or whether they constitute a type of publicity stunt planned by the principals themselves, most of whom are TV and music stars. In recent years, starting with the Severina Vučković "incident" in 2004, the country of Croatia has seen an explosion of these videos, causing an imitation by teenagers.
Many U.S.-based pornography websites distribute primarily European pornography, or porn which features actresses from primarily Eastern European countries. These actresses (often advertised as "Eurobabes") may conform more to a look usually seen in U.S. actresses than European ones, although they may still be considered to look "more natural" (European pornography typically de-emphasizes breast implants, among other aesthetic factors).
In Austria, "youth-imperiling" materials or those which violate human dignity may not be displayed or sold to people under 16 years of age. Nudity does not fall under this restriction.
In Azerbaijan, in accordance with article 3 of the Media Act of December 7, 1999, the "pornographic materials" are defined as works of art, photographic reproductions of paintings, information and other materials the main content of which is the crude and undignified depiction of the anatomical and physiological aspects of sexual relations. Pornography in Azerbaijan is easily and cheaply obtainable in Baku, although not in most other places. Pornographic images, either printed or recorded may cause problems when crossing the border. Taking the soft-core materials should have no problems, but Azeri borders guards can require a few extra euros. Meanwhile the legal activity to combat child pornography is governed by 1998 Rights of the Child Act, 1999 Media Act, the Plan of Measures to Solve the Problem of Homeless and Street Children and the National Plan of Action to Combat Trafficking in Persons.
Pornography is illegal in Belarus. Production, distribution, promotion, exposition as well as possession with intent of distribution or promotion of pornographic materials or objects of pornographic nature is punished by Belarusian criminal law and results in compulsory community service, fine or up to 4 years of imprisonment.
Pornography is legal in Belgium, but child pornography is totally forbidden with legal pursuits. The different supports (magazines and DVD's) are essentially import products from Europe (France, Germany, the Netherlands) or North America. There is also a little local production, mostly amateur.
Authorities tolerate illegal distribution of hardcore porn in designated shops, and on TV after 11 pm. Softcore material is rarely censored. Magazines and pornographic papers have become increasingly available since the fall of communism in 1989, and local editions of many international porn magazines are published. Society is often exposed to sexual content in commercials and ads. However, porn production and distribution is illegal in Bulgaria. Before 2007 law was unclear about what is pornography. All porn movie shootings including cams and online sex are illegal. There are no Bulgarian porn production companies. The penalty for porn production or distribution is up to one year imprisonment (or up to two years if criminal had used the Internet) and a fine of 1000 BGN to 3000 BGN. The penalty for distribution or possession of child pornography is up to one year imprisonment or a fine of up to 2000 BGN.
Pornography is legal in Croatia. Hardcore pornographic material may not be sold to persons under the age of 18. Distribution or possession of child pornography or pornography involving minors (under 18) is illegal and punishable by a maximum of 10 years imprisonment.
Pornography is legal in Cyprus. Selling pornographic material to people under 18 years old is illegal. Child pornography is strictly illegal.
Pornography is legal in the Czech Republic. Sale and distribution of child pornography is illegal and is punishable by imprisonment for up to 3 years. Possession of child pornography was made illegal in 2007 and carries penalty up to 2 years in prison. The Czech penal code also bans sale and distribution of pornography depicting sexual intercourse with an animal and pornography depicting violence or disrespect to human beings, with penalty of up to 1 year in prison.
A ban on pornographic literature was lifted in 1967. In 1969, Denmark became the first country in the world to legalize pornography. People in Denmark have free access to pornography; it is sold in most convenience stores, and is available for purchase or rental in practically every video store, including Blockbuster. Pornography including minors younger than 18 years is prohibited, and possession is illegal.
Pornography is legal, distribution or production is regulated by law. 
In Finland, child, violent, and bestial pornography is banned. It is legal to sell pornography in any store, but magazines may not be sold to buyers under 15 years of age, and hardcore is restricted to buyers 18 years or older.
Prior to 1 January 1999, all indecent publishing, including the import and export thereof, was banned.
In France, porn is legal. Hardcore porn must not be sold to minors under the age of 18. Softcore porn is allowed for people 16 and over. Extremely violent or graphic pornography is considered X-rated, and so may be shown only in specific theaters, and may not be displayed to minors. Some pornography has a special VAT: a 33% tax is levied on X-rated movies, and a 50% excise is placed on pornographic online services. The ratings system has caused controversy; e.g., in 2000 the sexually explicit and violent Baise-moi was initially rated only as "restricted" by the French government. This classification was overturned by a Conseil d'État ruling in a lawsuit brought by associations supporting Christian and family values. Notice that some movies are forbidden to minors under 18, without the X rating, like Baise Moi, Ken Park or Saw 3, so that these movies can be viewed in theaters and not attract the value-added tax.
German law is very strict about hardcore pornography, especially when compared to very liberal laws about softcore pornography, prostitution and sex shops. Providing hardcore pornography to a person under 18 is illegal, and shops selling it must keep people under the age of 18 from entering their premises. If only a part of the shop is dedicated to pornography, it must be completely closed off from the rest of the premises. Alternatively, shops may choose not to display their goods or advertise that they sell them, in which case minors may be admitted. Websites hosting pornographic material within Germany must comply with very strict rules about verifying that viewers are over 18.
Germany has a very broad definition of child pornography, which includes images and writing of all real or fictional people who either are under the age of 18 or who appear to be below 18 to an "average viewer". Distribution of such material is prohibited, although possession is only banned if the material shows a real person below 18. But the law differentiates between child pornography (under age of 14, § 184b criminal code) and youth pornography (14 to under 18, § 184c criminal code). Pornography involving violence or bestiality may not be produced or distributed, but is legal to possess.
In Greece, softcore magazines, calendars, and decks of cards are sold openly at roadside kiosks and tourist shops. Hard core pornography is also freely distributed in convenience stores, kiosks and video stores and can also be shown in encrypted channels and adult cinemas. Selling pornographic material to people under 18 years old is illegal, but in practice the law is not always enforced. Child pornography is strictly illegal.
In Hungary, pornography is illegal if sold or shown to children under 18 years of age. However, displaying the genitals openly, as on the cover of a magazine, is not prohibited.
Publication of pornography is illegal in Iceland, and is punishable by a fine or imprisonment for up to 6 months. Publication of child pornography is punishable by a fine or imprisonment for up to 2 years. In February 2013, Iceland's parliament began debating a ban on online pornography.
Other than regulations regarding pornographic movies, no laws against pornography, other than child pornography (a child is defined as someone under 18), exist.
In Italy, it is illegal to distribute pictorial or video pornography to persons under the age of 18. Hardcore and softcore movies and magazines are available not only through sex shops, but also in normal video stores, newsstands, certain gas stations and vending machines.
In Latvia, the distribution of pornographic material is allowed under very similar legal conditions as in Poland. Pornographic or erotic material is rarely to never sold in places accessible to general public.
In Lithuania, commercial distribution of pornographic material is prohibited by the Article 309 of the country's Criminal Code which states that "A person who, for the purpose of distribution, produces or acquires pornographic material or distributes such material shall be punished by community service or by a fine or by restriction of liberty or by imprisonment for a term of up to one year.".
Erotic material, however, does not fall into this category and is widely accessible in shops and supermarkets.
In Malta, pornography and obscene material is outlawed regardless of whether it has a commercial interest or whether it is directed to an adult audience. The relevant law in this respect is Article 208 (1) of the Criminal Code of Malta which prohibits the manufacture, print, importation, circulation and exportation of pornographic or obscene print, painting, photograph, film, book, card or writing, or any other obscene article whatsoever, whether for gain, or for distribution, or for display in a public place. The law envisages a criminal punishment of imprisonment between six and twelve months, or to a fine not less than one thousand (€1,000) euros but not exceeding three thousand (€3,000) euros, or to both such imprisonment and fine. In a decision given on 21 February 2011, the Maltese Court of Criminal Appeal upheld the criminal conviction of Mr. Alexander Baldacchino who was found guilty of exhibiting soft and hardcore pornographic films at the City Lights Theatre in Valletta. In another judgement, student editor Mark Camilleri and author Alex Vella Gera were found not guilty under Article 208 (1) of the Criminal Code and Article 7 of the Press Act (obscene libel) for the publication of an obscene story entitled Li Tkisser Sewwi (translated in English to 'Repair that which you break') in student newspaper Realtà (distributed for free on campus at the University of Malta) by the Court of Magistrates (Malta). The decision was upheld by the Court of Criminal Appeal.
The offence of child pornography carries stricter penalties. Article 208A of the Criminal Code of Malta criminalises the manufacture, production, distribution, dissemination, importation and exportation, sale, etc. of indecent photographs, films, video recordings or electronic images of persons under age (minors, for the purposes of Maltese law, are persons under the age of eighteen years). The offence carries with it a criminal punishment of imprisonment of a term of twelve months to five years or of a term between two to eight years when the offence is aggravated (e.g. when the offence involves violence or grievous bodily harm on such person). In case of simple possession of such items the criminal punishment envisaged is that of imprisonment not exceeding three years.
- Article 240a indirectly prohibits giving pornographic pictures to children younger than 16 years. Maximum imprisonment is one year, or a fine of the fourth category (€ 19,500).
- Article 240b prohibits child pornography, which is defined as a picture with a child (0–11 years old) or teenager (12–15 years old) performing sexual acts. Maximum imprisonment is 4 years or a fine of the fifth category (€ 78,000). It also prohibits making a profession or habit of it. The maximum imprisonment in that case is 6 years or a fine of the fifth category (€ 78,000).
- Article 248e prohibits online dating with minors (0–15 years old) in order to have sex or to make porn with him/her. The maximum imprisonment in that case is 2 years or a fine of the fourth category (€ 19,500).
- Article 254a prohibits bestiality porn. Maximum imprisonment 6 months or a fine of the third category (€ 7,800).
In Norway, hardcore material was illegal for years de jure to produce, distribute, or sell, but legal to possess. One could acquire it abroad, on the Internet, or via satellite TV. Illegal porn shops also existed, especially in larger cities. To satisfy legal requirements, editors of erotic magazines, domestic TV channels, and cable TV obscured sexual organs in activity using black rectangles and the like. However, after the Norwegian Supreme Court unanimously acquitted a former magazine editor on 7 December 2005 for publishing unobscured hardcore pornography in 2002, it became understood that printed hardcore pornography was no longer illegal. Pornographic magazines and movies were introduced in general stores in 2006. Regular and cable TV tend to abide by the old standards, and is not yet clear if the Supreme Court decision will affect television.
In Poland, as of September 1998, Article 202 of the national Penal Code makes pornography legal except for the production or possession of pornographic materials containing minors, bestiality (zoophilia), and "scenes of violence/rape". Also illegal is presenting or showing pornographic materials to people who do not want to have any contact with them, and to persons under 15 years of age. Pornographic magazines and movies are sold in transparent plastic bags openly in kiosks, gas stations, etc..
In Portugal, hardcore pornographic movies can only be shown in adult cinemas. Videos and magazines are openly sold in newsstands but are forbidden by law to be supplied to minors of 18 years. Additionally, hardcore pornographic movies are banned from open-channel TV and can only be broadcast through encrypted/pay-per-view channels. Child pornography is illegal.
Pornography is legal in Romania. Magazines must be enclosed in plastic bags (or something equivalent) with a small red square printed on the enclosing material. Pornographic TV channels offered by cable operators must be encrypted. Pornographic materials cannot be sold to minors under 18.
The legal status of pornography in Russia is uncertain. The law criminalizes only the 'illegal' production and selling of pornography (which implies that it sometimes can be legal), but two circumstances make enforcement of the law difficult: (1) the lack of a legal definition of pornography, and (2) no law defining when production or selling is legal.
Pornography is legal in Serbia. Hardcore pornographic material may not be sold to persons under the age of 18. Distribution or possession of child pornography or pornography involving minors (under 18) is illegal and punishable by law.
Pornography in Spain is legal, and enforcement of obscenity laws is lax. It is illegal to display pornographic material at newsstands, but the great majority do so. In many city centers sex shops may be found. E-commerce merchants from all around the world use I.P.S.P. (Internet clearing services) from Spanish banks. The headquarters of Private Media Group, Europe's biggest pornographic company, are in Barcelona.
Pornography is forbidden in all forms to those under 18 years old.
Sweden has no age laws for the possession or viewing of pornography. Some shops follow a voluntary limit and do not sell to minors. Material that involves animals is legal, though it is subject to animal-welfare laws. BDSM is classified as an "illegal depiction of violence" (olaga våldsskildring).
It is illegal for people under the age of 18 to act or pose for pornography. Pornography depicting children filmed and photographed, is illegal, even if the material was legal in the originating country.
Turkey, which is a secular state with a Muslim majority, was the first country to legally produce pornographic materials in the Muslim world. After a long period of producing Italian-inspired softcore comedies in the 1970s, the hardcore film Öyle Bir Kadın Ki was distributed in 1979.
Pornography was outlawed in Ukraine in 2009, when Victor Yushchenko, then president, signed the new legislation. The new law has been approved overwhelmingly by the Verkhovna Rada (the Ukrainian parliament), it was signed by the president in July 2009. The possession, distribution, sale and manufacture of pornographic materials are illegal carrying a fine or a jail sentence up to 3 years. Pornography is defined by the law as "vulgar, candid, cynical, obscene depiction of sexual acts, pursuing no other goal, the explicit demonstration of genitals, unethical elements of the sexual act, sexual perversions, realistic sketches that do not meet moral criteria and offend honor and dignity of the human by inciting low instincts. " Pornography for 'medical purpose', however, remains legal.
In England and Wales, the main legislation on pornographic materials is the Obscene Publications Act 1959, the Obscene Publications Act 1964, and the Indecent Displays (Control) Act 1981. Video-oriented depictions of hardcore material (with certain exceptions for works considered primarily 'artistic' rather than pornographic) were illegal until 1999, when the removal of trade barriers with other European Union member states allowed for the relatively free movement of such goods for personal use. R18-rated videos are only available in licensed sex shops, but hardcore pornographic magazines are available in shops selling newspapers and magazines. In 2008, the Crown Prosecution Service prosecuted a man under the Obscene Publications Act (the R v Walker trial) for a textual story on a pornography website involving Girls Aloud. Also that year, the Home Office introduced legislation to criminalize possession of what it has labelled extreme pornography; these laws are now contained in sections 63 to 68 of the Criminal Justice and Immigration Act 2008.
Child pornography is illegal ("child" is defined as a person under 18) to possess, produce (in terms of electronic copies), or to distribute, and is punishable by up to 10 years' imprisonment. In England and Wales, the law on this type of material is strictly defined by the Protection of Children Act 1978, Section 160 of the Criminal Justice Act 1988, further amended by the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 to include pseudo-photographs, and the Sexual Offences Act 2003 which raised the age for appearing in pornographic material from 16 to 18 (while the age of consent in the UK remains 16). Sale of pornography is restricted to adults. In Scotland, similar provisions are to be found in sections 52 and 52A of the Civic Government (Scotland) Act 1982, which was also amended by the 1994 Act and by the Protection of Children and Prevention of Sexual Offences (Scotland) Act 2005. In 2013 prime minister David Cameron announced that filters would be put in place to block pornography, and that this would be an opt out system where account holders would have to ask their internet service provider to permit access to pornography.
Democratic People's Republic of Korea
Pornographic websites, books, writings, films, magazines, photographs or other materials of a pornographic nature are illegal in South Korea, with laws strictly enforced. Possession of pornographic objects will result in a fine or a two-year prison sentence. Since 2009, All pornographic websites are blocked by the South Korean government. Recently, the Ministry of Public Administration and Security released statistics that cited 39.5% of South Korean children having experienced watching online pornography, with 14.2% of those who have viewed online pornography reportedly "wanting to imitate" it.
People's Republic of China
Internet pornography was outlawed in the People's Republic of China effective 2002, when state censors issued guidelines requiring that all websites remove any pornographic material. Enforcement is strict and the laws are inflexible, with the government stance being hard-line opposition to pornography. The government started a crackdown in 2004, which included the jailing of a woman.
Since 2008, the production of pornographic movies has been banned by state censors, the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television's prohibition on pornography has been complete, and the government has shown no signs of changing course. Directors, producers, and actors involved in pornographic movies have been barred from competing in any film competitions. Any movie studio found in violation may have its license revoked. As a result of this regulation and censorship, adult films and media can only obtained through the Internet and on the black market. Possession of pornography is punishable by up to 3 years in prison, a fine of 20,000 yuan, or even execution for large underground distributors. In 2010 China shut down 60 000 porn sites according to Reuters, arresting almost 5,000 suspects in the process.
In Hong Kong, pornography is illegal if sold or shown to children under 18 years of age, if it is publicly displayed (except within the confines of and only visible from inside a "bona fide art gallery or museum"), or if it is sold without being wrapped completely with an "easily noticeable" warning stating that the material may be offensive and may not be distributed to minors.
As in Europe, photographs of nudes are not uncommon in the mainstream media. In the 1970s and 1980s, the strongest prohibition was against showing pubic hair or adult genitalia. Imported magazines would have the pubic hair scratched out, and even the most explicit videos could not portray it. Starting around 1991, photobook publishers began challenging this ban to the point where pubic hair is now fairly well accepted. Close-ups of genitalia remain proscribed. In 1999, the government enacted a law banning photos and videos of naked children, which were a fairly common sight in mainstream media before that time. Manga and anime remain largely unregulated, although large publishers tend to self-censor or specify that characters are at least 18 years of age.
The 1960s, in Japanese pornography, was the era of the independent Pink film. In the years since the end of World War II, eroticism had been gradually making its way into Japanese cinema. The first kiss to be seen in Japanese film—discreetly half-hidden by an umbrella—caused a national sensation in 1946. Nevertheless, until the early 1960s, graphic depictions of nudity and sex in Japanese film could only be seen in single-reel "stag films", made illegally by underground film producers such as those depicted in Imamura's film The Pornographers (1966). Nudity and sex would officially enter the Japanese cinema with the independent, low-budget softcore pornographic films which would come to dominate domestically produced films in the 1960s and 1970s. These films were called eroductions during the early 1960s, but are now more commonly referred to as pink films. The first true pink film, and the first Japanese movie with nude scenes, was Satoru Kobayashi's controversial and popular independent production, Flesh Market (Nikutai no Ichiba, 1962), starring Tamaki Katori. Katori would go on to star in over 600 pink films throughout the 1960s, earning the nickname the "Pink Princess". In 1964 Tetsuji Takechi made the first big-budget, mainstream pink film, Daydream. Takechi would remake Daydream as Japan's first theatrical hardcore film in 1981, starring Kyoko Aizome.
Future "Nikkatsu Queens" Kazuko Shirakawa and Naomi Tani both made their debuts in 1967. Both actresses would appear in many pink films in the 1960s before beginning their work with Nikkatsu in the 1970s, for which they best known today. By the end of the 1960s, Naomi Tani was already known as the "Queen of Pink."
The 1970s decade was the era of big-studio softcore pornography in Japan. Facing bankruptcy, Japan's major studios took over the pink film market. In 1971 Toei entered the sexploitation market with its "Pinky Violence" series, and Nikkatsu, Japan's oldest major film studio, started its Roman Porno line of pink films. As the popular star of Toei's sukeban (delinquent girl boss) series, Reiko Ike became one of the "icons of Pinky Violence." With its high production values, professional acting talent and talented directors like Tatsumi Kumashiro, Noboru Tanaka, Masaru Konuma and Kōyū Ohara, Nikkatsu produced nothing but these often critically acclaimed and award-winning softcore pornographic films for the next 17 years. This introduction of pornography into mainstream Japanese movie theaters has been credited with saving Nikkatsu from collapse at that time. Nikkatsu created a "Queen" ranking for its leading Roman Porno actresses. Kazuko Shirakawa, Junko Miyashita, and Naomi Tani were the leading Nikkatsu queens of the 1970s.
The 1980s were a period of transition in adult entertainment in Japan. With the widespread private ownership of VCRs, theatrical pornographic films had a new competitor for adult audiences in the form of the Adult Video (AV). By 1982 the AVs had already attained an approximately equal share of the adult entertainment market with theatrical erotic films. Early AV performers were often struggling actresses who could not find work in the theatrical Roman Porno films and girls from the soaplands. By the late 1980s, prominent AV actresses like Hitomi Kobayashi and Kaoru Kuroki were becoming multi-media stars, and creating a mainstream image for AVs and pornographic actresses. Though traditionally not partial to large breasts, in the mid-1980s busty models suddenly become popular in Japan. In 1989, the "Big Bust Boom" (巨乳ブーム - "Kyonyu Buumu") was set "on fire" with the AV debut of Kimiko Matsuzaka, leading to a "Big Bust" genre in Japanese adult entertainment.
Republic of China (Taiwan)
Due to Taiwan's avocation for freedom of speech, much of the laws regarding pornography have been loose. However, the public display of adult material is strictly prohibited. The National Communications Commission (NCC), Taiwanese media regulator does monitor and categorize the level of media and public material into four levels. The sale of pornographic material is not illegal in Taiwan, however, due to the lack of copyrights for adult contents, much of the adult materials on sale are not authorized. Thus adult material for sale are not seen in authorized shops, but only in small and hidden places. Due to the lack of copyrights, adult content produced in Taiwan have stayed in the form of "WebCam Chat". Prostitution is illegal in Taiwan. The Taiwanese government have planned to set up a zone for prostitution; however, local governments have lacked interests to cooperate due to public influences.
Due to the high number of expatriates in this country, pornography from various regions such as the Americas, Africa and Europe are easily available in retail shops known as 'kedai runcit'. However, it is illegal to sell to minors, and it is illegal to produce pornography unless for personal use.
Pornographic material is prohibited by law from the KUHP, the law controlling pornography concerns over the potential danger of criminal offence by pornography as well as preventing under age citizens exposed to pornography. Suggestive materials in Indonesian media are rare. Current laws prohibits the selling and buying of pornographic materials. There is a Undang-Undang Anti-Pornografi (The Law of Anti-Pornography), but this has become controversial as it is seen to objectify women, and it can affect the local culture including some traditional art. What was concerned in that RUU such as child abuse is already recognized in KUHP (Kitab Undang-undang Hukum Pidana)
Pornography in Indonesia is prohibited in terms of creating, distribution, selling, and rental of explicit materials. On October 30, 2008, the People's Representative Council passed Bill against Pornography and Pornoaction, which is aimed at preventing pornography on widespread Indonesian media. A controversial material from the bill was a definition of pornography. In 2010 the anti-pornography law was challenged but Indonesia's Constitutional Court upheld the ban and stated that the law's definition of pornography was clear and did not violate the constitution.
In Malaysia, it is illegal to sell or possess pornography. Possessing pornographic material is subject to prosecution with fine up to RM10,000. Internet pornography-viewing however is not a crime under the Multimedia Act.
Condom shops selling sex toys and many sex-related products are illegal in Malaysia. However there are shops selling them in towns and cities such as Kuala Lumpur, Penang, Ipoh, Kuching and Kota Kinabalu.
Any kind of pornography is illegal in the Philippines. This is due to the influence of conservative Christian groups and churches, such as the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines, more commonly the Roman Catholic Church and many others. However, the current law does not specifically outlaw webcam sex sites, which are often based in the Philippines. Plus enforcement is lax, and pornography is available often through black markets and the Internet. There are also some areas in urban areas that are publicly known to sell these kinds of films.
Despite the existing laws, some reports claim that the porn industry in the country is now earning around $1 Billion annually, making it the 8th largest porn industry in the world and the 4th in Asia. This also means that it currently holds the top rank in the whole Southeast Asia, despite the fact that almost every month, the OMB confiscates hundreds of thousands of counterfeit VCDs and DVDs. From January to September 2008, the OMB has confiscated 4,807,012 CDs costing P1.4 billion ($29,400,000; based on the prevailing peso-dollar exchange rate in September 17, 2008).
Visiting pornographic websites and viewing their content is not an offence in Singapore, although it is deemed illegal to provide and/or supply any form of pornography from within the country. It is also an offence to be in possession of pornographic material.
Pornography laws in Thailand prohibit all types of pornography. Production, distribution and possession with an intention to show to the public are criminalized. However, possession for personal use is legal. The law enforcement is relatively lax. Other forms of pornography such as yaoi and hentai are illegal but are common over the internet.
In Azerbaijan in accordance with article 3 of the Media Act of December 7, 1999, the "pornographic materials" are defined as works of art, photographic reproductions of paintings, information and other materials the main content of which is the crude and undignified depiction of the anatomical and physiological aspects of sexual relations. Pornography in Azerbaijan is easily and cheaply obtainable in Baku, although not in most other places. Pornographic images, either printed or recorded may cause problems when crossing the border. Taking the soft-core materials should have no problems, but Azeri borders guards can require a few extra euros. Meanwhile the legal activity to combat child pornography is governed by 1998 Rights of the Child Act, 1999 Media Act, the Plan of Measures to Solve the Problem of Homeless and Street Children and the National Plan of Action to Combat Trafficking in Persons.
Pornography is illegal in Bangladesh, however there has been an increase in the numbers of pornographic movies known as 'blue movies'. In March 2002, authorities planned a drive against the pornography business. There are severe punishments given to those caught selling pornography. Concern over the rise of pornography has hinted at actions by the government. The then Home Secretary Altaf Hossain Choudhury said, "We have never really had this problem in the country before, but now it appears that one or two people or agencies are selling pornography all over Bangladesh." Pornography is particularly popular in the capital Dhaka, where many pornographic films are available in shopping plazas. Reports from the press have also suggested that people have used digital cameras to film sex scenes and sell copies in the black market, which many have been convicted of. The issue concerns most of the population of Bangladesh.
In India, possession or watching of pornographic materials is completely legal, but distribution of pornography is prohibited and attracts several penal provisions. But, enforcement is extremely lax and pornographic materials are easily available in public places. Softcore pornography and hardcore pornography movies/photos are easily accessible through magazines, DVDs, or Internet. Buying and selling sex toys are illegal, nonetheless sex toys are sold at selected places in India.
Pornographic films in India are referred to as Blue Films and are available virtually anywhere; especially in areas where pirated material is already being sold. Despite the illegality, stores selling X-rated material are abundant in major cities, advertising openly and rarely are the laws enforced in this case. However, in 2010 Bombay high Court ruled that watching pornography in private is legal 
Child pornography is illegal ("child" is defined as a person under 18) to possess, produce (in terms of electronic copies), or to distribute and is labelled as crime. Section 67 of the "Information Technology Act" deals with "publishing obscene information in electronic form". This law has been interpreted to criminalize posting of pornographic content online. However, accessing of "obscene" content within one's privacy is legal. The IT Act was amended by the Parliament on 2008, and Section 67B was inserted, which criminalizes browsing, downloading, creation, publishing child porn. Therefore while it is legal to watch adult porn, it has been made illegal to watch child porn. Child anime porn has not been explicitly criminalized.
Pornography is illegal. It is not easily accessible, and the Government has put a 100% ban on internet website containing such material since November 2011. The list of banned pornographic websites is updated on an ongoing basis.
The laws against pornography in Sri Lanka are strict. Under the Explicit Literature Ordinance, sale or possession of pornographic material can be classified as illegal. However, due to this being a very old law, the punishments are very lenient.The production of local pornography is strictly illegal.
However, child pornography is considered to be illegal under the National Child Protection act and the punishments are very severe. Child pornography possession, production and distribution is punishable by up to 20 years imprisonment, severe fines and in some cases, even forfeiture of property. This act covers the rights of children, but not pornography per se. Therefore, the same act cannot be used as an anti-pornographic law.
In the year of 2009, The government banned more than 100 local and international porn sites and nearly 80 Sri Lankan porn stars were arrested by the local authorities. They were all sentenced to fines, community service and prison sentences up to 2 years.
In Israel, pornographic films began to be produced in the 1990s, but most of the films were shot in the 2000s. Technically, pornography has been illegal since the enactment of the British Mandate for Palestine, but in fact, at least since the 1990s, every large city in Israel has several sex shops.
In Iran, the possession of any type of pornography is illegal and is charged with a fine. Iranian made pornography is very limited but is existent. Due to the widespread Internet access and introduction of worldwide satellites, porn is easily accessible in Iran.
In Lebanon, the production and distribution of pornography films are illegal.
In September 2011, four members of a criminal ring involved in the sale of pornographic films were arrested by Lebanese authorities. The men, of Lebanese and Syrian nationality, had been promoting the sale of pirated copies of pornographic DVDs in different areas of the country, particularly Jbeil, north of Beirut, where they were apprehended. The men were referred to the relevant authorities, with the case investigated to uncover the remaining members of the ring and anyone else involved in the distribution of the pornographic films.
The Islamic state of Saudi Arabia bans all forms of pornography due to Islam's opposition to pornography. In 2000 Saudi authorities said that they were "winning the war against pornography on the internet".
Possession of pornography material is legal, but it is illegal to sell or rent X-rated pornography material in all states of Australia except the Northern Territory and ACT. As the Australian constitution prohibits states from regulating interstate commerce, it is legal to purchase pornography from stores in either territory and bring it interstate. This law means the majority of Australian mail order operations for adult material operate from the ACT. Despite the illegality, stores selling X-rated material are abundant in major cities, advertising openly and rarely are the laws enforced in this case.
Ratings for the X18+ category were tightened in 2000 to ban material featuring some fetishes or which appeared to include minors. In 2007 the Howard Government made the possession of X18+ pornography illegal in some Aboriginal communities.
Illegal for sale under 18 years of age, however rarely enforced and "softcore porn" can be sold to anybody of any age unrestricted. Generally liberal, although the most extreme forms of pornography (pedophilia, rape, bestiality, etc.) are classified as objectionable material by the law. Cyber units of the NZ Police actively target online child pornography rings. New Zealand law is permissive, and magazines and other print copy are sold openly at newsstands.
Papua New Guinea
The possession, import, export, and sale of pornography is illegal. Control is strict. According to the government, All websites containing pornography, nudity or depictions of sex are blocked and the government has been blocking such sites since early 2009. Under the law, Persons who possesses, owns, imports, exports, sells or exhibits pornography to the public are subject to arrest and trial and can face up to 6 months imprisonment and/or a fine up to 50,000 to 100,000 Papua New Guinean kina. In PNG, pornography is subject to legal restraints to publication on grounds of obscenity. Laws relating to pornography in Papua New Guinea are vague. The main legislation used in dealing with cases relating to pornographic nature refer back to the Chapter 262 Criminal Code of Papua New Guinea, Lukautim Pikinini Act 2009, Classification of Publication Censorship Act 1989 and the National ICT Act, 2009. Improper Use of ICT Services. Although there are specific laws on child pornography, the law is indistinct with adults associating in pornography. Charges range from 2years to 15 years maximum.<Chapter 262 Criminal Code><Lukautim Pikinini Act 2009>
The possession of "Indecent and obscene material such as pornographic books, magazines, films, videos, DVDs and software" is prohibited in Botswana. Possession or import of such material is illegal and punishable by a fine or up to 4 years imprisonment.
Pornography rated X18 is legal if sold to persons over the age of 18 in registered stores. It is illegal to host a pornographic web site in South Africa because of the difficulty of age-verification and the requirement that pornography only be distributed from designated, licensed physical premises. Child pornography is completely illegal (rated XX) in any form, including the written word. It is illegal to visually represent bestiality (also rated XX), but not illegal in text descriptions. Violent pornography is illegal in any form. It is legal to produce pornography that would be legal to consume.
Pornography is illegal in Sudan and the laws are strict. Pornographic websites are blocked by the government and pornography is largely inaccessible and porn possession, production, distribution and sale can lead to fines, prison or corporal punishment.
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9. Is accessing pornography on the Internet illegal?
- The MDA does not monitor or track users' access to any sites on the Internet and does not interfere with what individuals access in the privacy of their homes. We are primarily concerned with the purveyors and distributors of pornography. Unless you engage in such activities, the mere act of visiting such sites is not an offence."
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14. Would I be arrested if I accidentally enter a pornographic website?
- No, as there is no restriction on the websites you can visit. However, do note that it is an offence to download and store pornographic materials."
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