Pornography and Censorship

By David Copp; Susan Wendell | Go to book overview
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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 Council].
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.


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