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Pornography laws by region

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Laws on production of pornography:
  Generally legal with certain extreme exceptions
  Partially legal, under some broad restrictions, or ambiguous status
  Illegal
  Data unavailable

Pornography laws by region vary throughout the world. The production and distribution of pornographic films are both activities that are lawful in many, but by no means all countries so long as the pornography features performers aged above a certain age, usually eighteen years. Further restrictions are often placed on such material.

This page excludes child pornography. In most cases the legality of child pornography is treated as a separate issue, and it is usually subject to its own laws.

Africa

Country[Note 1] Sale Possession Production Short summary
Algeria Algeria No data No data No data
Angola Angola No data No data No data
Benin Benin No data No data No data
Botswana Botswana No data No data No data
Burkina Faso Burkina Faso No data No data No data
Burundi Burundi No data No data No data
Cameroon Cameroon No data No data No data
Cape Verde Cape Verde No data No data No data
Central African Republic Central African Republic No data No data No data
Chad Chad No data No data No data
Comoros Comoros No data No data No data
Democratic Republic of the Congo Democratic Republic of the Congo No data No data No data
Republic of the Congo Republic of Congo No data No data No data
Djibouti Djibouti Illegal Illegal Illegal

The sale, manufacture, or distribution of all pornography, including child pornography, is prohibited, and are punishable by one year's imprisonment and a fine of up to 200,000 DJF ($1,130).[1]

Egypt Egypt No data No data No data
Equatorial Guinea Equatorial Guinea No data No data No data
Eritrea Eritrea No data No data No data
Article 313. (Obscene or Indecent Publications)
  1. A person who publicly distributes, displays or traffics in writings, images, posters, films, possession, objects or other communications that are obscene or grossly indecent, is guilty of obscenity, a Class 1 petty offence, punishable with a definite term of imprisonment of not less than 6 months and not more than 12 months, or a fine of 20,001 – 50,000 Nakfas, to be set in intervals of 2,500 Nakfas.
  2. It is not an offence under sub-Article (1) where the conduct takes place in private, or where the material is artistic, literary or scientific in character.
Eswatini Eswatini No data No data No data
Ethiopia Ethiopia No data No data No data
Gabon Gabon No data No data No data
The Gambia The Gambia Illegal Illegal Illegal
Section 144B.
(2) A person who produces or participates in the production of, or trafficks in, publishes, broadcasts, procures, imports, exports or in any way abets pornography contrary to subsection (1) commits an offence and is liable on conviction to a fine of not less than twenty thousand dalasis or imprisonment not exceeding ten years or both.
Ghana Ghana Illegal Illegal Illegal
Article 281. (Further Offences Relating to Obscenity)
  1. Any person who:
    (a) for the purposes of or by way of trade, or for the purposes of distribution or public exhibition, makes, produces, or has in his possession any one or more obscene writings, drawings, prints, paintings, printed matter, pictures, posters, emblems, photographs, cinematograph films, or any other obscene objects [...]
     : shall be guilty of a misdemeanour.
Guinea Guinea No data No data No data
Guinea-Bissau Guinea-Bissau No data No data No data
Ivory Coast Ivory Coast No data No data No data
Kenya Kenya Illegal Illegal Illegal
Article 166. (Traffic in obscene publication)
  1. Any person who:
    (a) for the purpose of or by way of trade or for the purpose of distribution or public exhibition, makes, produces or has in his possession any one or more obscene writings, drawings, prints, paintings, printed matter, pictures, posters, emblems, photographs, cinematograph -films or any other objects or any other object tending to corrupt morals [...]
     : is guilty of a misdemeanour, and is liable, to imprisonment for two years or to a fine of seven thousand shillings.
Lesotho Lesotho No data No data No data
Liberia Liberia No data No data No data
Libya Libya No data No data No data
Madagascar Madagascar No data No data No data
Malawi Malawi No data No data No data
Mali Mali No data No data No data
Mauritania Mauritania No data No data No data
Mauritius Mauritius No data No data No data
Morocco Morocco
(including Western Sahara)
No data No data No data
Mozambique Mozambique No data No data No data
Namibia Namibia No data No data No data
Niger Niger No data No data No data
Nigeria Nigeria No data No data No data
Rwanda Rwanda No data No data No data
São Tomé and Príncipe São Tomé and Príncipe No data No data No data
Senegal Senegal No data No data No data
Seychelles Seychelles No data No data No data
Sierra Leone Sierra Leone No data No data No data
Somalia Somalia No data No data No data
South Africa South Africa No data No data No data
South Sudan South Sudan Illegal Illegal Illegal
Article 260. (Sale of Obscene Books etc.)
  1. Whoever, sells, distributes, possession, imports or prints, or makes for sale or hire or willfully exhibits to public view any obscene writing, book, newspaper, film, gramophone record or similar article, drawing, painting, representation or figure or attempts or offers so to do or has in his or her possession any such obscene book or other thing for the purpose of sale, distribution or public exhibition, commits an offence, and upon conviction, shall be sentenced to imprisonment for a term not exceeding three years or with a fine or with both.
Sudan Sudan Illegal Illegal Illegal
Article 235. (Sale etc. of Obscene Books etc)
  1. Whoever sells or distributes, imports or prints, or makes for sale or hire or willfully exhibits to public view any obscene writing, book, newspaper, film, gramophone record or similar article, drawing, painting, representation or figure or attempts or offers so to do or has in his possession any such obscene book or other thing for the purpose of sale, distribution or public exhibition, commits an offence and shall on conviction, be punished with imprisonment for a term not exceeding three years or with fine or with both.
Tanzania Tanzania Illegal Illegal Illegal
Article 175.
  1. Any person who:
    (a) for the purpose of or by way of trade or for the purpose of distribution or public exhibition, makes, produces or has in his possession any one or more obscene writings, drawings, prints, paintings, printed matter, pictures» posters, emblems, photographs, cinematograph -films or any other objects or any other object tending to corrupt morals [...]
     : is guilty of a misdemeanour, and is liable, to imprisonment for two years or to a fine of two thousand shillings.
Togo Togo No data No data No data
Tunisia Tunisia No data No data No data
Uganda Uganda No data No data No data
Zambia Zambia Illegal Illegal Illegal
Article 177. (Obscene matters or things)
  1. Any person who makes, produces or has in his possession any one or more obscene writings, drawings, prints, paintings, printed matter, pictures, posters, emblems, photographs, cinematograph films or any other object tending to corrupt morals is guilty of a misdemeanour and is liable to imprisonment for five years or to a fine of not less than fifteen thousand penalty units nor more than seventy-five thousand penalty units.
Zimbabwe Zimbabwe No data No data No data
Country[Note 1] Sale Possession Production Short summary

Asia

Country[Note 1] Sale Possession Production Short summary
Afghanistan Afghanistan No data No data No data
Armenia Armenia Illegal No data Illegal
Article 263. (Illegal dissemination of pornographic materials or items)
Illegal manufacture, sale as well as, dissemination of pornographic materials or items, as well as, printed publications, films and videos, images or other pornographic objects, and advertising, is punished with a fine in the amount of 200 to 400 minimal salaries, or with arrest for the term of up to 2 months, or with imprisonment for the term of up to 2 years
Azerbaijan Azerbaijan No data No data No data
Bahrain Bahrain No data No data No data
Bangladesh Bangladesh No data No data No data
Bhutan Bhutan Illegal No data Illegal
Article 381. (Lewd and lascivious conduct )
A defendant shall be guilty of the offence of lewd and lascivious conduct, if the defendant:
(b) Sells, manufactures, issues, distributes, displays or otherwise deals in obscene material.
Article 476. (Computer pornography )
A defendant shall be guilty of the offence of computer pornography, if the defendant:
(a) Publishes and distributes an obscene photograph or picture on the computer or over the internet; or
(b) Is an internet service provider, who knowingly acts as a host for pornographic material or acts as a channel for the image to be transmitted to an individual user.
Brunei Brunei No data No data No data
Cambodia Cambodia No data No data No data
China People's Republic of China (+HK, MAC) No data No data No data
Cyprus Cyprus No data No data No data
Georgia (country) Georgia No data No data No data
India India (including all states and union territories) Illegal No data Illegal
Indian Penal Code-1860 Section 292, 293 and IT Act-67B. (Illegal dissemination of pornographic materials) & (Illegal Child Pornography)
  1. Anyone who sells, lets to hire, distributes, exhibits or circulates to any person under the age of 20 years any such obscene object a Illegal manufacture, sale as well as, dissemination of pornographic materials or items, as well as, printed publications will severely punished with a fine in the amount of 2000 rupees fine for monthly term, or with imprisonment for the term of up to 7 years.
  2. Whoever browses, publishes, creates, downloads obscene content of child pornography which are strictly prohibited will be punished with imprisonment of 5 years and 10 lakh rupees fine.
Indonesia Indonesia Illegal Illegal Illegal
(Republic of Indonesia Law No. 44 Year 2008 on Pornography, Article 29 and 32)[2]

Pasal 29 (Article 29)

(Every person who produces, makes, reproduces, duplicates, spreads, airs, imports, exports, offers, trades, rents, or provides pornography as meant in Article 4 paragraph (1) shall be punished with imprisonment of at least 6 (six) months and at most 12 (twelve) years and/or a fine of at least Rp250.000.000,00 (two hundred fifty million rupiah) and at most Rp6.000.000.000,00 (six billion rupiah).)

Pasal 32 (Article 32)

(Every person who plays, displays, utilizes, possesses, or stores pornographic products as meant in Article 6 shall be punished with imprisonment of up to 4 (four) years and/or a fine of at least Rp250.000.000,00 (two hundred fifty million rupiah) and at most Rp6.000.000.000,00 (6 billion rupiah).)
[3]
Iran Iran No data No data No data
Iraq Iraq Illegal Illegal Illegal
Article 403. (: Immodest and shameful acts)
  1. Any person who produces, imports, publishes, possesses, obtains or translates a book, printed or other written material, drawing, picture, film, symbol or other thing that violates the public integrity or decency with intent to exploit or distribute such material is punishable by a period of detention not exceeding 2 years plus a fine not exceeding 200 dinars or by one of those penalties
Israel Israel (excluding Palestinian territories) No data No data No data
Japan Japan No data No data No data
Jordan Jordan No data No data No data
North Korea North Korea No data No data No data
South Korea South Korea Illegal Illegal Illegal
Article 243 (Distribution, etc. of Obscene Pictures)
  1. Any person who distributes, sells, lends, openly displays or shows any obscene documents, drawing, pictures, films or other things, shall be punished by imprisonment for not more than one year or by a fine not exceeding five million won.
Article 244 (Manufacture, etc. of Obscene Pictures)
  1. A person who, for the purpose of accomplishing the acts as prescribed in Article 243, manufactures, possesses, imports or exports obscene goods, shall be punished by imprisonment for not more than one year or by a fine not exceeding five million won.
Article 44-7 (Prohibition on Circulation of Unlawful Information)
  1. No one may circulate any of the following information through an information and communications network: 1. Information with obscene content distributed, sold, rented, or displayed openly in the form of code, words, sound, images, or motion picture;
[4][5]
Kuwait Kuwait No data No data No data
Kyrgyzstan Kyrgyzstan No data No data No data
Laos Laos Illegal, but unenforced Illegal, but unenforced Illegal, but unenforced
Article 138. (Dissemination of Pornographic Objects and Objects Contrary to Fine Traditions)
  1. Any person engaging in the widespread production, distribution, or dissemination of pornographic items, magazines, pictures, video cassettes and other materials contrary to fine traditions shall be punished by three months to one year of imprisonment and shall be fined from 200,000 Kip to 5,000,000 Kip.
Lebanon Lebanon No data No data No data
Malaysia Malaysia No data No data No data
Maldives Maldives Illegal Illegal Illegal
Article 622. (Producing or Distributing Obscene Material)
  1. A person commits an offense if, with knowledge of its obscene nature or content, he:

(1) Sells, delivers, or provides one or more obscene writings, pictures, records, or other representations or embodiments of the obscene; or [...]
(6) Creates, buys, procures, or possesses obscene matter or material with the purpose of distributing it in violation of this Section. [...] The offenses in Subsections (a)(1) through (a)(6) are Class 1 misdemeanors.
Mongolia Mongolia Illegal No data No data
Article 123. (Advertising and dissemination of pornography and prostitution)
  1. W Preparation, dissemination, sale, display to the public, crossing of the state frontier of the press, literature, films, video tapes and other items advertising pornography shall be punishable by a fine equal to 31 to 50 amounts of minimum salary or by incarceration for a term of 1 to 3 months.
Myanmar Myanmar No data No data No data
Nepal Nepal No data No data No data
Oman Oman No data No data No data
Pakistan Pakistan No data No data No data
Philippines Philippines No data No data No data
Qatar Qatar Illegal Illegal Illegal
Article 292. (Sale of obscene books, etc.)
  1. Whoever produces, imports, exports, possesses or transports immoral books, prints, writings, drawings, photos, movies or symbols for the purpose of exploitation, distribution or display shall be punished with imprisonment for a term not exceeding one year and/or a fine not exceeding five thousand Qatari Riyals (QR 5.000).
Saudi Arabia Saudi Arabia No data No data No data
Singapore Singapore Illegal Illegal Illegal
Article 292. (Sale of obscene books, etc.)
  1. Whoever sells, lets to hire, distributes, transmits by electronic means, publicly exhibits or in any manner puts into circulation, or for purposes of sale, hire, distribution, transmission, public exhibition or circulation, makes, produces, or has in his possession any obscene book, pamphlet, paper, drawing, painting, representation or figure, or any other obscene object whatsoever shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to 3 months, or with fine, or with both.
Sri Lanka Sri Lanka Illegal Illegal Illegal
Article 285. (Sale, &c. of obscene books .&c.)
  1. Whoever sells or distributes, imports, or prints for sale or hire, or wilfully exhibits to public view, any obscene book, pamphlet, paper, drawing, painting, photograph, representation, or figure, or attempts or offers so to do, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to three months, or with fine, or with both.
Article 286. (Having in possession obscene books, &c for sale or public exhibition. )
  1. Whoever has in his possession any such obscene book or other thing as is mentioned in the last preceding section for the purpose of sale, distribution, or public exhibition, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to three months. Or with fine, or with both.
Syria Syria No data No data No data
Taiwan Taiwan No data No data No data
Tajikistan Tajikistan No data No data No data
Thailand Thailand Illegal Illegal Illegal
Section 287.
  1. Whoever for the purpose of trade or by trade, for public distribution or exhibition, makes, produces, possesses, brings or causes to be brought into the Kingdom, sends or causes to be sent out of the Kingdom, takes away or causes to be taken away, or circulates by any means whatever, any document, drawing, print, painting, printed matter, picture, poster, symbol, photograph, cinematograph film, noise tape, picture tape or any other thing which is obscene [...] shall be punished with imprisonment not exceeding three years or fined not exceeding six thousand Baht, or both.
East Timor Timor-Leste No data No data No data
Turkey Turkey No data No data No data
Turkmenistan Turkmenistan No data No data No data
United Arab Emirates United Arab Emirates No data No data No data
Uzbekistan Uzbekistan No data No data No data
Vietnam Vietnam Illegal Illegal Illegal
Article 326. (Distribution pornographic materials)
  1. Any person who makes, duplicates, publishes, transports, deals in, or stores books, magazines, pictures, films, music, or other items that contain pornographic contents for the purpose of distributing them or distributes pornographic materials in any of the following cases shall be a fine of from VND 10,000,000 to VND 100,000,000 or face a penalty of up to 03 years' community sentence or 06 – 36 months' imprisonment
Yemen Yemen No data No data No data
Country[Note 1] Sale Possession Production Short summary

Europe

Country[Note 1] Sale Possession Production Short summary
Albania Albania Legal Legal Legal
Article 117.

Production, distribution, advertisement, export, import, sale, and publication of pornographic materials in environments with children, by any means or form, shall constitute criminal contravention and shall be punishable by imprisonment of up to two years. Production, import, offering, making available, distribution, broadcasting, use, or possession of child pornography, as well as the conscious creation of access in it, by any means or form, shall be punishable by three to ten years of imprisonment.

Recruitment, exploitation, compulsion, or the persuasion of a child to participate in pornographic shows, as well as the participation in such shows which involve the participation of children, shall be punishable by five to ten years of imprisonment.
Andorra Andorra Legal Legal Legal
Austria Austria Legal Legal Legal
Belarus Belarus Illegal Illegal Illegal
Belgium Belgium Legal Legal Legal
Bosnia and Herzegovina Bosnia and Herzegovina Legal Legal Legal
Bulgaria Bulgaria Illegal Legal Illegal
Article 159.
  1. A person who produces, displays, presents, broadcasts, distributes, sells, rents or otherwise circulates a pornographic material, shall be punished by deprivation of liberty of up to one year and a fine of BGN one thousand (1,000) to three thousand (3,000).
Croatia Croatia Legal Legal Legal
Czech Republic Czech Republic Legal Legal Legal
Denmark Denmark
(including all territories)
Legal Legal Legal
Estonia Estonia Legal Legal Legal
Finland Finland
(including Åland)
Legal Legal Legal
France France
(including all territories)
Legal Legal Legal
Germany Germany Legal Legal Legal
Greece Greece Legal Legal Legal
Hungary Hungary Legal Legal Legal
Iceland Iceland Illegal Illegal Illegal
Article 210, Icelandic Criminal Law[6]
If pornography is published in print, the person responsible for publishing it in accordance with printing laws shall be subject to fines or imprisonment for up to 6 months.
Republic of Ireland Ireland Legal Legal Legal
Italy Italy Legal Legal Legal
Latvia Latvia Legal Legal Legal
Article 166. Violation of Provisions Regarding the Demonstration of a Pornographic Performance, Restriction of Entertainment of Intimate Nature and Handling of a Material of Pornographic Nature
  1. For a person who commits violation of the provisions regarding demonstration of a pornographic performance or other provisions regarding the restriction of entertainment of intimate nature, or provisions regarding the handling of a material of pornographic nature, if it has been committed on a significant scale or substantial harm has been caused by committing it, the applicable punishment is the deprivation of liberty for a period of up to one year or temporary deprivation of liberty, or community service, or a fine.
  2. For a person who commits visiting or demonstration of such pornographic performance or handling of such materials of pornographic nature which contain child pornography, sexual activities of people with animals, necrophilia or sexual gratification in a violent way, the applicable punishment is the deprivation of liberty for a period of up to three years or temporary deprivation of liberty, or community service, or a fine, with or without the confiscation of property and with probationary supervision for a period of up to three years.
  3. For a person who commits encouraging, involvement, forced participation or utilisation of minors in a pornographic performance or the production of a material of pornographic nature, the applicable punishment is deprivation of liberty for a period up to six years, with or without confiscation of property and with probationary supervision for a period up to three years.
  4. For a person who commits encouraging, involvement, forced participation or utilisation of persons who have not attained the age of sixteen years in a pornographic performance or the production of a material of pornographic nature, the applicable punishment is deprivation of liberty for a period of three years and up to twelve years, with or without confiscation of property and with probationary supervision for a period up to three years.
  5. For a person who commits the acts provided for in Paragraph three or four of this Section, if they have been committed by an organised group or if they have been committed by means of violence, the applicable punishment is deprivation of liberty for a period of five and up to fifteen years, with or without confiscation of property and with probationary supervision for a period up to three years.
Liechtenstein Liechtenstein Legal Legal Legal
Lithuania Lithuania Illegal Illegal Illegal
Article 309. (Distribution of Pornographic Material)
  1. 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.
Luxembourg Luxembourg Legal Legal Legal
Malta Malta Legal Legal Legal
Moldova Moldova Legal Legal Legal
Article 175. Perverse actions
The perverse actions committed against a person who is certainly known not to have reached the age of 16, consisting in exhibition, indecent touches, obscene or cynical discussions with the victim regarding sexual relations, determination of the victim to attend or assist pornographic performances, the provision of pornographic materials to the victim, as well as for other sexual actions, shall be punished by imprisonment from 3 to 7 years.
Monaco Monaco Legal Legal Legal
Montenegro Montenegro Legal Legal Legal
Netherlands Netherlands
(including all territories)
Legal Legal Legal
Article 240a. (Crimes against morality)
With imprisonment of at most one year or a fine of the fourth category is punished he who gives, offers or shows an image, an object or a data carrier, containing an image of which the display is considered harmful for persons under the age of sixteen, to a minor of whom he knows or should reasonably suspect that this person is under the age of sixteen.
Article 240b. (Crimes against morality)
  1. With an imprisonment not exceeding four years or a fine of the fifth category is punished whoever distributes, offers, openly exhibits, manufactures, imports, implements, acquires, possesses or obtains access to an image – or a data carrier containing an image – of a sexual act, involving or seemingly involving someone who has evidently not reached the age of eighteen yet.
  2. A person who makes a profession or habit out of committing one of the offences described in paragraph 1 shall be punished with imprisonment of not more than eight years or a fine of category five.
Article 254a. (Crimes against morality)
  1. A person who distributes, openly exhibits, manufactures, imports, transports, implements or possesses an image – or a data carrier containing an image – of a lewd act in which a human being and an animal are involved or appear to be involved, is liable to a term of imprisonment not exceeding six months or a fine of the third category.
  2. A person who makes a profession or habit out of committing any of the offences described in paragraph 1 shall be liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding one year or to a fine of category four.
North Macedonia North Macedonia Legal Legal Legal
Norway Norway
(including all territories)
Legal Legal Legal
Poland Poland Legal Legal Legal
Article 200. (Offenses against sexual freedom and decency)
§3. Who produces, preserves or imports, stores or possesses, for the purpose of dissemination, distributes or presents pornographic content involving a minor or pornographic content related to the presentation violence or use of an animal is punishable by imprisonment from 2 to 12 years.
Portugal Portugal
(including all territories)
Legal Legal Legal
Romania Romania Legal Legal Legal
Russia Russia
(including Crimea)
Restricted Legal Restricted
Article 242. Illegal Making and Distribution of Pornographic Materials or Objects
  1. Illegal making and/or movement across the State Border of the Russian Federation for the purpose of distribution, public demonstration or advertising, or distribution, public demonstration or advertising of pornographic materials or objects, – shall be punishable with a fine in an amount of 100 thousand to 300 thousand roubles, or in the amount of a wage/salary, or any other income of the convicted person for a period of one to two years, or by compulsory labour for a term of up to two years, or by deprivation of liberty for the same term.
  2. Distribution, public demonstration or advertising of pornographic materials or objects to minors , or involvement of minors in distribution of pornographic materials effected by a person who has reached eighteen years of age – shall be punishable by deprivation of liberty for a term of two to five years with or without deprivation of the right to hold definite offices or to engage in definite activities for a term of up to ten years.
  3. The deeds provided for by Parts One or Two of this article committed:
    1. by a group of persons by previous concert or by an organised group;
    2. through the use of mass media, in particular information-telecommunication networks (including Internet);
    3. with making profit on a large scale
shall be punishable by deprivation of liberty for a term of two to six years with or without deprivation of the right to hold definite offices or to engage in definite activities for a term of up to fifteen years.
Note. As profit made on a large scale shall be deemed in this article, as well as in Article 242.1 of this Code, the profit in the amount exceeding fifty thousand roubles.
San Marino San Marino Legal Legal Legal
Serbia Serbia Legal Legal Legal
Article 185. (Showing, procuring and possession of Pornographic Material and Juvenile Pornography)
  1. Whoever sells, shows or publicly displays or otherwise makes available texts, pictures, audio-visual or other items of pornographic content to a minor or shows to a child a pornographic performance, shall be punished with a fine or imprisonment up to six months.
  2. Whoever uses a minor to produce photographs, audio-visual or other items of pornographic content or for a pornographic show, shall be punished with imprisonment from six months to five years.
  3. If the offence referred to in paragraphs 1 and 2 hereof has been perpetrated against a child, the offender shall be punished with imprisonment of six months to three years for the offence from paragraph 1 and with imprisonment of one year to eight years for the offence from paragraph 2.
  4. Whoever obtains for himself or another, possesses, sells, shows, publicly exhibits or electronically or otherwise makes available pictures, audio-visual or other items of pornographic content resulting abuse of a juvenile, shall be punished with imprisonment from three months to three years.
  5. Items specified in paragraphs 1 through 4 of this Article shall be confiscated.
Slovakia Slovakia Legal Legal Legal
Slovenia Slovenia Legal Legal Legal
Spain Spain
(including all territories)
Legal Legal Legal
Sweden Sweden Legal Legal Legal
Switzerland Switzerland Legal Legal Legal
Ukraine Ukraine Illegal Illegal Illegal
Article 301. (Importation, making, sale or distribution of pornographic items)
  1. Importation into Ukraine for sale or distribution purposes, or making, transportation or other movement for the same purposes, or sale or distribution of pornographic images or other items, and also compelling others to participate in their making, shall be punishable by a fine of 50 to 100 tax-free minimum incomes, or arrest for a term up to six months, or restraint of liberty for a term up to three years, with the forfeiture of pornographic images or other items and means of their making and distribution.
United Kingdom United Kingdom (including all territories) Legal Legal Legal
Vatican City Vatican City Illegal Illegal Illegal
Country[Note 1] Sale Possession Production Short summary

North America

Country[Note 1] Sale Possession Production Short summary
Antigua and Barbuda Antigua and Barbuda No data No data No data
The Bahamas The Bahamas No data No data No data
Barbados Barbados No data No data No data
Belize Belize Illegal Legal Illegal
Article 323. (Obscene publication)
  1. Every person who publishes or offers for sale any obscene book, writing or representation, shall be liable to imprisonment for two years.
Canada Canada Legal Legal Legal
Costa Rica Costa Rica No data No data No data
Cuba Cuba No data No data No data
Dominica Dominica No data No data No data
Dominican Republic Dominican Republic No data No data No data
El Salvador El Salvador No data No data No data
Grenada Grenada No data No data No data
Guatemala Guatemala No data No data No data
Haiti Haiti No data No data No data
Honduras Honduras No data No data No data
Jamaica Jamaica No data No data No data
Mexico Mexico No data No data No data
Nicaragua Nicaragua No data No data No data
Panama Panama No data No data No data
Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Kitts and Nevis No data No data No data
Saint Lucia Saint Lucia No data No data No data
Trinidad and Tobago Trinidad and Tobago No data No data No data
United States United States (including all territories) Legal Legal Legal
Country[Note 1] Sale Possession Production Short summary

Oceania

Country[Note 1] Sale Possession Production Short summary
Australia Australia (all states and territories) no data no data no data
Federated States of Micronesia Federated States of Micronesia No data No data No data
Fiji Fiji No data No data No data
Kiribati Kiribati Illegal Illegal Illegal
Article 166. (Traffic in obscene publication)
  1. Any person who:
    (a) for the purpose of or by way of trade or for the purpose of distribution or public exhibition, makes, produces or has in his possession any one or more obscene writings, drawings, prints, paintings, printed matter, pictures, posters, emblems, photographs, cinematograph -films or any other objects or any other object tending to corrupt morals [...]
     : is guilty of a misdemeanour, and is liable, to imprisonment for two years or to a fine of two hundred dollars.
Marshall Islands Marshall Islands No data No data No data
Nauru Nauru No data No data No data
New Zealand New Zealand (including all territories) Restricted Restricted Restricted
Palau Palau No data No data No data
Papua New Guinea Papua New Guinea No data No data No data
Samoa Samoa No data No data No data
Solomon Islands Solomon Islands Illegal Illegal Illegal
Article 173. (Traffic in obscene publication)
  1. Any person who:
    (a) for the purpose of or by way of trade or for the purpose of distribution or public exhibition, makes, produces or has in his possession any one or more obscene writings, drawings, prints, paintings, printed matter, pictures, posters, emblems, photographs, cinematograph -films or any other objects or any other object tending to corrupt morals [...]
     : is guilty of a misdemeanour, and is liable, to imprisonment for two years or to a fine of two hundred dollars.
Tonga Tonga No data No data No data
Tuvalu Tuvalu No data No data No data
Vanuatu Vanuatu No data No data No data
Country[Note 1] Sale Possession Production Short summary

South America

Country[Note 1] Sale Possession Production Short summary
Argentina Argentina No data No data No data
Bolivia Bolivia No data No data No data
Brazil Brazil No data No data No data
Chile Chile No data No data No data
Colombia Colombia No data No data No data
Ecuador Ecuador No data No data No data
Guyana Guyana No data No data No data
Paraguay Paraguay No data No data No data
Peru Peru No data No data No data
Suriname Suriname No data No data No data
Uruguay Uruguay No data No data No data
Venezuela Venezuela No data No data No data
Country[Note 1] Sale Possession Production Short summary

Africa

Botswana

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.[7]

Egypt

In Egypt, it is illegal to distribute pornography.[8] The possession and import of pornography are offences.[9] Unlike numerous African nations which have no laws against child pornography, Egypt blocks child pornography websites and dealing in child pornography carries a minimum sentence of five years and fines of US$29,000.[10]

Ethiopia

Distributing or selling pornographic materials is illegal in Ethiopia, and their production in the country is rare. There are no official laws regarding Internet pornography in Ethiopia making the Internet the only available source of pornography.[11]

Morocco

In 2004, Morocco introduced severe punishment for promoting pornography.[12]

Nigeria

Nigeria has no national laws prohibiting pornography, although the public display of graphic sexual material is illegal in Lagos. The country has a small indigenous pornography industry which produces exclusively heterosexual pornography as homosexual activity in Nigeria is illegal. Some Muslim politicians in the national government have proposed a nationwide block on pornographic websites.[13] There is significant piracy of pornography in Nigeria, with pirated pornographic DVDs being sold from roadside stalls in Lagos.[14] Pornography is also sold in Nigerian sex shops and some pornographic magazines are produced in the country, often reproducing pictures from foreign magazines.

The first officially acknowledged hardcore pornographic film produced in Nigeria was Better Lover Valentine Sex Party. It was not submitted to the National Film and Video Censors Board for classification and it was immediately banned on the grounds of obscenity and immorality.[15] Internet pornography is widely viewed in Nigeria. In 2015 the monthly average for the number of searches for pornography was 135,000, and in December 2014 and 2015 the proportion of searches for pornography (relative to other searches) was higher in Nigeria than in the United States. In 2013 Nigeria ranked second globally for Internet searches for gay pornography.[16]

South Africa

Pornography rated X18 is permitted by the law only if sold to persons over the age of 18 in registered stores. It is an offense 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. It is also unlawful to visually represent bestiality (also rated XX), but not in text descriptions. Supplying violent pornography is an offence in any form, but the law allows the production of pornography that is not prohibited.

Distribution of pornography is regulated by the Films and Publications Act of 1996,[17] which is enforced by the Films and Publications Board.[18]

Uganda

Pornographic DVDs have in the past been sold on the streets in Uganda.[19] However, an Anti-Pornography Act (popularly known as the "Anti-Miniskirt Law") was signed into law in 2014 with the stated objectives of defining what constitutes the offence of pornography and establishing a Pornography Control Committee.[20] The committee is responsible for the implementation of the law and for taking measures to detect, prohibit, collect and destroy pornographic materials.[21] The law broadly defines pornography as "any representation of the sexual parts of a person for primarily sexual excitement".[19] The law says that "a person shall not produce, traffic in, publish, broadcast, procure, import, export, sell or abet any form of pornography". Breaches of the law are punishable with up to ten years in jail.[22] Prior to the passing of the act there were a number of laws concerning aspects of pornography in Uganda, but this was the first law to create a specific offence of pornography.[23] The law repeals and replaces Section 166 of the Penal Code Act, widening the legal interpretation of pornography and prohibiting it comprehensively.[24] The law has been subject to challenge in the Constitutional Court on the basis of its vague wording and the broad powers of the committee.[25]

In July 2018, the Ugandan government directed the country's ISPs to block 27 pornographic websites.[26]

Americas

Bahamas

The Bahamian penal code prohibits the production and distribution of obscene publications.[27] Many types of pornography are prohibited in the Bahamas; however, law enforcement is relaxed and does not usually enforce the prohibition.[28][self-published source?] Pornography is available on Bahamian cable television[29] and in 2014 ZNS-TV broadcast a report on the establishment of a local pornography industry in the Bahamas.[30]

Brazil

Canada

The laws of Canada permit the sale of hardcore pornography to anyone over the age of eighteen. While persons below that age may have pornography in their possession, its sale to them is prohibited.

Most hardcore pornography is sold in adult stores or on adult websites.

Cuba

Pornography was illegal in Cuba during Fidel Castro's leadership of the country, but the laws were relaxed in the 2010s.[31]

United States

In the United States, pornography is not unlawful at the federal level, but is subject to the Miller test, which was developed in the 1973 case Miller v. California.[32] The Miller test was an effort to differentiate between pornography and 'obscenity.' It has three parts:

The work is considered obscene only if all three conditions are satisfied. Local areas are permitted to develop their own laws on the issue, as long as they do not conflict with federal law.

Asia

Bangladesh

By passing the "Pornography Control Act, 2012", the government of Bangladesh prohibited the carrying, exchanging, using, selling, marketing, distributing, preserving, filming etc. of pornography (sexually explicit materials, unless it has artistic and/or educational value). Penalties include a maximum of 10 years in prison and fines up to Tk.500,000/(US$6,410)

China

It is illegal to sell, distribute pornography or arrange for pornographic performances in mainland China, but it is not illegal to own or to watch it. Pornographic material in mainland China comes from outside mainland China, or was downloaded from Internet.

Hong Kong

Pornographic films in Hong Kong are referred to as Category III films, after the territory's motion picture rating system. Category III films would generally be considered softcore by American and Japanese standards, often featuring more elaborate and comical plots than foreign equivalents. In the early 21st century many of the roles involving sex scenes are actually performed by Japanese actresses, with any dialogue dubbed into Cantonese, rather than by local actresses.

Hardcore pornographic videos and films, in both physical and digital forms, can be legally sold in the territory.

India

  • The selling and distribution of pornographic material is illegal in India under section 292[34]
  • The distribution, sale, or circulation of obscene materials and the selling of pornographic content to any person under age 20 years are illegal under section 293 and IT Act-67B.[35]
  • Child pornography is illegal and strictly prohibited across the country under section 67B of the Information Technology Act, 2000[36]
  • The manufacturing, publishing and distribution of pornography is illegal in India under section 292, 293.[37]

In July 2015 the Supreme Court of India refused to allow the blocking of pornographic websites and said that watching pornography indoors in the privacy of one's own home was not a crime.[38] In August 2015 the Government of India issued an order to Indian ISPs to block at least 857 websites that it considered to be pornographic.[39] In 2015 the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) had asked internet service providers to take down 857 websites in a bid to control cyber crime, but after receiving criticism from the authorities it partially rescinded the ban. The ban from the government came after a lawyer filed a petition in the Supreme Court arguing that online pornography encourages sex crimes and rapes.[40]

In February 2016 the Supreme Court asked the Indian Government to suggest ways of banning all forms of child pornography.[41]

In October 2018 the government directed Internet service providers to block 827 websites that host pornographic content following an order by the Uttarakhand High Court. The court cited the rape of a 10th standard girl from Dehradun by four of her seniors. The four accused told police that they raped the girl after watching pornography on the Internet.[42]

Indonesia

Japan

Pornography is legal in Japan; however, there are restrictions. Genitalia must be pixelated or censored and all participants must be 18 years of age or older.

Nepal

Nepali law identifies pornography as illegal. The sharing, distribution and broadcasting of pornographic content through any medium is prohibited.[43] In 2010 it was reported that the Home Ministry had banned access to a list of websites including explicitly adult websites.[44] In September 2018, concerns about violence against women led the Government of Nepal to announce its intention to ban online pornography.[45] From 24 September, the Nepal Telecommunications Authority (NTA) began to put a block on all websites providing pornographic content on the orders of the Nepal Government Ministry of Communication and Information Technology (MOCIT). By 12 October more than 21,000 pornographic websites had been blocked.[43]

North Korea

Both domestic and imported works of pornography have been available in North Korea since recent decades.[46] Producing, distributing, importing and watching pornography is prohibited.[47]

Possession of pornography became widespread among elites during the late 1990s. Political and army elites are the most active consumers of pornography. Locally produced pornography initially appeared during the reign of Kim Jong-il. A typical North Korean-made pornographic film involves nude or scantily clad women dancing with music.[48]

Importing pornography to North Korea is harshly punished. Pornography is sold openly on the China–North Korea border regardless of regulations.[49] Despite attempts to curtail circulation of imported pornography, most of the pornography watched in North Korea is currently made abroad.[48] A significant part of pornographic media in circulation consists of Chinese bootleg recordings of poor quality.[46]

There is no access to foreign pornographic websites from within North Korea.[50]

North Korea has ratified the Optional Protocol on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography of the Convention on the Rights of the Child.[51] However, there are currently no specific laws to combat child pornography.[52]

Pakistan

Pornography in Pakistan is illegal and is subject to several legal provisions. Since November 2011 the Government has placed a complete ban on Internet websites containing pornographic material. The list of banned websites is updated on an ongoing basis. In 2019 Pakistan's Human Rights Minister, Shireen Mazari, said that Pakistan was ranked as the country with the largest numbers of child pornography viewers, although this has yet to be verified.[53][54] Despite this, child pornography is illegal and strictly forbidden in Pakistan and there are severe punishments for possessing or viewing child pornography which include a minimum of 14 years to 20 years in prison and a fine of 1 million Rupees.[55][56][57][58] Pakistan also has cyber unit to curb child pornography within the country. The unit has a team of 40 members and one director-level official, who independently investigate the issue. The unit is integrated with the National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) and Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA).[59][60]

Philippines

The Philippine penal code prohibits the production and distribution of obscene publications. Despite this, enforcement is lax. Some local productions of pornography are known to exist in the country.

As of January 14, 2017, several pornography sites, mostly mainstream ones such as Pornhub and XVideos, have been blocked in the Philippines as part of a government crackdown on child pornography. The Philippine government cites Republic Act 9775 or the Anti-Child Pornography Law as legal justification for the blocks. The list of sites blocked vary depending on the internet service provider enforcing them.

Saudi Arabia

Items considered pornographic by Saudi Arabian standards are forbidden in the country. Customs authorities enforce strict regulations concerning the importation of pornographic items into Saudi Arabia. Such items may be confiscated on arrival and the owner may be subject to a fine.[61]

South Korea

Pornography is banned by the government in South Korea, with laws strictly enforced. The distribution, sale or display of obscene materials via the Internet can be punished with up to one years' imprisonment, although there is no penalty for watching or possessing Internet pornography, The exception is child pornography, the possession of which carries a maximum one-year prison sentence, and the maximum sentence for distributing, selling or displaying it for commercial purposes is ten years. Many foreign pornographic websites are blocked, and those found to be operating from within the country are shut down.[62] The Korea Internet Safety Commission is responsible for instructing Internet service providers to block access to "pornography and nudity".[63] Google Search in South Korea filters search results for around 700 terms considered by the government to be adult in nature unless the user demonstrates that they are aged over 19.[64]

Sri Lanka

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. The production of local pornography is strictly illegal.

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.[citation needed]

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.

Turkmenistan

A law passed on 1 January 2015 bans access to internet pornography in Turkmenistan.[65]

Vietnam

Production, distribution, broadcasting, transport, import and advertisement of pornography, is strictly illegal in Vietnam. In 1996 officials became concerned about pornographic films in the country and launched a campaign, with courts awarding fines and prison sentences. Pornography in Vietnam is classed as a "social evil".[66]

Europe

Belarus

Production, dissemination and assembly of pornography is banned, with laws strictly enforced. Breaking the law is punishable with up to four years in prison.[67]

France

In France, pornography is overall permitted, but with distinctions:

  • Hardcore pornography 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 (value-added tax): 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 film 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.

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 VAT.

Germany

The constitution and law are very strict about hardcore pornography, especially when compared to very liberal laws about softcore pornography, prostitution and sex shops. Supplying hardcore pornography to people who are less than 18 years old is an offence, 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.[68]

Soft porn is less restricted, and may even be broadcast on TV at night. The age threshold is usually FSK-16. In contrast many uncut action films or video games easily reach the FSK-18 rating.

Hungary

Iceland

The production or sale of pornography is prohibited in Iceland. Heavy fines were applied in 2001 and ten years earlier a fine was applied to the first manager of the first private TV station (and the only case to present) in Iceland for showing the Danish "mainstream" Zodiac-films, I Tvillingernes tegn and I Tyrens tegn.[69] In early 2013 there was a draft proposal by Ögmundur Jónasson, the Minister of the Interior, to extend the ban to online pornography to protect children from violent sexual imagery.[70] The plan has been stalled since the change in government during the parliamentary election on 27 April 2013. Since then, there have been no changes to the relevant legislation, and no changes have been formally proposed.[71][72][needs update]

Italy

In Italy, it is illegal to distribute pictorial or video pornography to persons under the age of 18. However, persons over 18 years of age are permitted to view pornographic material.

Russia

According to Russian law, consumption of pornography is allowed though the production of it is not. The illegal production, distribution, and "public demonstration" of pornography is punishable by a 2- to 6-year prison term. Roskomnadzor, the Russian government's media overseer, has the power to order the blocking of pornographic websites. In 2015 the agency required the blocking of the Russian-language version of Pornhub and 10 other pornographic sites on the basis of a court ruling.[73]

There is nevertheless some uncertainty concerning the legal status of pornography in Russia. 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 permitted.[74]

Ukraine

Pornographic production, distribution, broadcasting (both audio and video), transportation, import and advertisement is forbidden by law in Ukraine.[75]

United Kingdom

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 banned 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 unsuccessfully prosecuted a man under the Obscene Publications Act (the R v Walker trial) for a textual story on a pornography website involving Girls Aloud.[76] 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.[77]

Oceania

Australia

In Australia, it is legal to possess pornographic material, except child pornography. However, it is illegal to sell, exhibit or rent X-rated pornographic material in all states (Victoria, South Australia, Western Australia, New South Wales, Tasmania, and Queensland) but it is legal to do so in the two territories (the Northern Territory and the Australian Capital Territory). As the Australian constitution prohibits states from regulating interstate commerce, it is permitted to purchase pornography in either territory and then bring it interstate. As a result, the majority of Australian mail-order operations for adult material operate from the ACT.[78]

In 2007, the Northern Territory National Emergency Response introduced by the Howard Government made the possession of RC and X18+ pornography an offence in some Aboriginal communities.[79]

New Zealand

In New Zealand, pornography is generally treated in a liberal manner and very little is banned by the Office of Film and Literature Classification. However, the most extreme forms of pornography (such as child pornography, rape, necrophilia, bestiality, urophilia and coprophilia) are classified as objectionable material by the Office of Film and Literature Classification, effectively banning them.[80] Indecency laws still criminalise some acts under the Crimes Act 1961. Pornographic DVDs and magazines that arrive in New Zealand need to be examined by either New Zealand Customs, Department of Internal Affairs, New Zealand Police or the Office of Film and Literature Classification before being given an R18 classification. Internet pornography is also regulated but only if websites are based in New Zealand, in which case they will need consent from Department of Internal Affairs. Possession of any material that has objectionable content (which is illegal in New Zealand) is punishable by up to 10 years in jail and a $50,000 fine, or 14 years in jail for distribution of same.

Papua New Guinea

In Papua New Guinea, the possession, import, export, and sale of pornography are all offenses. 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 possess, own, import, export, sell or exhibit 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.[81][self-published source?] 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.[81]

See also

Notes

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l This only includes sovereign states

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