8.24 For all these reasons, we conclude that the idea of a public good
defence, relating to artistic or literary merit, is basically misconceived, not
merely in the form presented by section 4 of the Obscene Publications Act,
but quite generally. We have argued earlier in this chapter that it is not to be
excluded in advance that pornographic or even obscene works can, to some
degree, possess serious artistic interest. If our argument is correct, the law
will have to accommodate that possibility, but without resting on the illusory hope of calling in experts to tell it when the possibility has come about.
A phrase which has also been used by Mrs. Enid Wistrich as the title of her book about
her experiences as Chairman of the Film Viewing Board of the GLC [ Greater London
Cmnd. 247, paragraph 249.
This point is very clearly shown by
Hart: Law, Liberty and Morality, pp. 45 following.
"Pornotopia": Encounter 1966. The concept of an "ideal type" is applied to Marcus's
account by Morse Peckham: Art and Pornography ( New York 1969).
Suggested in a paper by Antonia Phillips, commissioned by us, to which the present
chapter is indebted.
"Pornotopia": Encounter 1966. A similar point is made by St. Norman John-Stevas, Obscenity and the Law ( London 1957), page 137.
For details of the history of the interpretation of section 4 of the Obscene Publications
Act 1959, see paragraph 2.19 and following.
Questia, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning. www.questia.com
Book title: Pornography and Censorship.
Contributors: David Copp - Editor, Susan Wendell - Editor.
Publisher: Prometheus Books.
Place of publication: Buffalo, NY.
Publication year: 1983.
Page number: 205.
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