Letter: Defining porn

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Sir: It is vital to remember that the child pornography which is being "censored" on the Internet ("Make it safe but keep it free", 4 September) is actually the record of crimes being committed. These crimes, which would still be crimes if there were no photographs, should be pursued as vigorously as possibly.

With "ordinary" pornography, the situation is different. Provided that what is being shown is consensual heterosexual sex the actual actions are not illegal in any part of the world - what may be illegal is the showing of them, and showing them to people who do not want to see them is certainly not a good thing.

Pictures and films of explicit sex should be judged by asking, "What would I think if I had been told that these actions had taken place?" If I were to be told that a couple had gone to a room down the corridor from my hotel room, taken off their clothes and copulated, I am sure that my reaction would be "So what? People do."

Pictures of women being raped or beaten are in the same category as the child pornography: they are evidence of a crime, and the criminals should be prosecuted.

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