TopTV botched own porn application

2012-03-09 08:38
Thinus Ferreira
Cape Town - The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa) just published the reasons for refusing On Digital Media's (ODM) application for three pornographic channels that TopTV wanted to launch as a separate bouquet.

Icasa said TopTV fatally damaged its own application by not adhering to the rules, not showing up for its own public hearing and not "taking Icasa's public consultation process seriously".

Icasa also said that the consumption of pornography by law, through the Film and Publications Act, places limits on how and where pornography may be distributed.

"Accordingly Icasa sees no reason to expand access to pornography on the airwaves into the home," said the regulator, who indicates that TopTV didn't submit any statistical information or research showing how many South Africans want pornographic channels.

Pertinent issues

Icasa chairperson Dr Stephen Ncube severely criticised TopTV for the amateur way in which the pay TV operator approached the application.

Icasa said TopTV "for some inexplicable reasons, did not participate in the public hearings held on 16 January. It must further be noted that the regulator did not receive a courtesy of a communique of the licencee's decision not to participate in the public hearings.

"This has hamstrung the ability of the licencee or applicant to respond to some of the pertinent issues or questions that other stakeholders and members of the committee wanted to pose or raise to the applicant."

Material of an adult nature can only be sold in shops

Icasa said the Film and Publications Act states that material of an adult nature can only be sold and distributed by a vendor with a licence to distribute pornographic material. "This is neither an infringement on privacy nor does it amount to censorship.

"By limiting the right to porn to adult shops, the possibility of premature consumption of porn by minors is considerably reduced," said Icasa.

Icasa, which said the regulator undertook a public consultation process for the channels application, "received no submissions from parties who were expressly in favour of pornographic channels, either from individuals or by way of statistical information by the applicant".

Impact on children

Icasa said the regulator also considered at length "how to balance the right of the applicant in terms of its right to freedom of expression with the rights of women to equality and human dignity".

According to Icasa, TopTV's "failure to attend the public hearing meant that Icasa could not question it about the representations of women".

Icasa went further, saying "TopTV's failure to attend the public hearing meant that Icasa could not question TopTV about the extent to which its proposed parental blocking mechanism with a double digit pin code would in practice protect children from viewing the channels.

"Icasa is concerned about the possible impact on children through the delivery of pornography into the homes over the airwaves."
 

Comments

  • Citroes - 2012-03-09 09:15

    "By limiting the right to porn to adult shops, the possibility of premature consumption of porn by minors is considerably reduced," said Icasa. Uhm... yes... but a minor with access to the internet can get to porn within seconds. Your argument doesn't hold water Icasa.

      Rainbow - 2012-03-09 09:41

      ag sjampies citroes are we sulking coz you wont be getting a perv channel in your home anymore .......... Well done Icasa, You have made the right moral decision. Thank you jesus for prayers answered.

      Ebon - 2012-03-09 10:32

      rainbownation, I don't think Icasa's decision had as much to do with morals so much as process and law. Personally I don't care for a porn channel either way, but as a matter of principle, outlawing such a thing on the basis of good religious values would violate the freedoms that we living in the rainbow nation (don't think I haven't noted the irony) have fought so hard for. Be very careful what you wish for. I could very quickly compile a list of attrocious policies and acts which have been celebrated by religious people as being a "victory for morality".

      Citroes - 2012-03-09 10:49

      @rainbownation - Uhm... did I state anywhere in my comment that I am against or for pornography? Did I say I am happy or unhappy with Icasa? No... I simply stated that their argument of keeping porn in adult shops to keep it away from minors are flawed. You obviously did not comprehend my statement. "Sjampies" (sic) - too dumb? Work on it big guy, one day you might make the jump to adult conversation. By the way - the word is "because" not "coz" - nothing screams intelligence like text speak.

      Ebon - 2012-03-09 11:06

      Citroes: It is not Icasa's argument. Icasa were the adjudicator. I this particular case, only the complainants pitched up for the hearing. Therefore only the complainant's arguments were heard. It doesn't matter whether or not children with internet access can or cannot access porn already. It remains TopTV's responsibility to demonstrate that their channel will not make this problem worse. By failing to attend the hearing TopTV failed to present an argument to demonstrate that their channel would not increase the likelihood of children being exposed to porn. So they lost the argument by default. I don't think Icasa really had much of a choice but to find as they did.

      hayden.cajee - 2012-03-09 12:32

      These guys need to get with the times, You might as well regulate the WEB.

      shudusO - 2012-03-09 13:44

      Apparently the kids get to see porn In the Streets of our town(s) with woman wearin almost nothing to: pornographic material sold every street conner, that should be the 1st concern.

      Dakey - 2012-03-09 16:20

      Where did you learn logic? Putting rapists in jail considerably reduces the number of woman that get raped. But there are still so many rapists out there, so we may as well not bother? This isn't logic at all. The vast MINORITY of SOUTH AFRICANS have access to internet (fact), so restricting an 'easier' medium which facilites porn (correctly) will considerably reduce access to it. Don't worry, you can still wank three times a day to internet porn, no-one is taking that away from you.

      Ebon - 2012-03-09 16:49

      @Dakey: Your logic is sound. Your assumptions are questionable though. Which makes your conclusions inconclusive. If one assumes that children would have had easy access to the TopTV porn channel then your conclusions would be sound. But how can you make that assumption? The fact is that TopTV, as the article states, botched their process. They never presented a case demonstrating that their porn channel would be safe from kids. They never presented any case at all. Should Icasa place those kinds of restrictions on a porn channel, and even ban a porn channel that cannot demonstrate a reasonable level of security that will prevent kids from accessing it? Absolutely! Would TopTV have made the grade? Indeterminate. Is it possible that a porn channel could be introduced that could meet these criteria? Surely. I absolutely agree that if any broadcaster wants to introduce a porn channel that it should provide the ability for any responsible parent to lock that content securely and easily so that their children can't view it without their knowledge. If a broadcaster could meet this criterion, I do not see how it could objectively viewed as "correct" to ban their service on the grounds of protecting children.

  • jansen.shane - 2012-03-09 09:40

    I dont agree. Cellphone porn?Internet porn?..let alone porn at schools. On top tv there is passwords parents can protect with such instances. This argument is invalid.

      Grant - 2012-03-09 12:11

      Not only that... When I was a kid, cellphones didnt exist...the INTERNET didnt exist!! DVD's and Flashdrives didnt exist, and porn wasnt sold in many shops (if at all). But ask me how many of us didnt get access to it anyway!? One guy's cousin's stepdad hides it in his garage... manages to organise a copy, and brings it to school to show the rest of us!

      Dakey - 2012-03-09 16:24

      @jansen And then what? You run out of bandwitdh after 2 days and your parents take your cell away from you... Responsible parents don't equip their children with devices which allow them to browse the internet on their phone, nor do they allow their children to surf the internet without adequate child filters, it is very easy to set up.

      jansen.shane - 2012-03-10 08:02

      Dakay,your reasoning is correct to some extent,however these days bandwidth is uncapped and as you said "responsible" parents.Although if they still wanted to view porn there is friends cellphones,cellphones at school. I'm not saying all kids want to watch porn,im just saying you cant stop your kids from everything..you block there phone they will go and find a way to unblock it or view porn on another place.Kids will be kids.Its reality.

  • Vaughan - 2012-03-09 10:22

    What do you expect from an outfit that has Cosato as one of its largest shareholders. Bunch of idiots appointed to TopTV positions based on who they know and not what they know. But then again that is the South African way now...

      Ebon - 2012-03-09 12:24

      Lol - I just noticed the typo you made for Cosatu. Considering that it is an acronym which stands for "Congress of South African Trade Unions" your typo would have them renamed as: "Congress of South African Trade Onions". Classic!

  • Ebon - 2012-03-09 10:26

    Personally I reckon that it should be the right of individuals to choose whether they want to subscribe to a porn channel, and I do not believe it is the place of the Christian churches to impose their morals values on people regarding something that essentially involves consenting adults (Child pornography is another matter). That being said, if TopTV want the license to distribute this medium, they have to at least come to the party and make sure they do their due dilligence. For that reason alone, I agree with Icasa. TopTV didn't even pitch up at their own hearing. How do they expect to get anything when they aren't even prepared to argue their own case, or to make sure they are at least compliant with the law? They don't deserve anthing.

      Fred - 2012-03-09 12:28

      The irony is that these same sensitive "moral" Christians are quite happy to allow children uncontrolled access to the most graphic violence on TV, in newspapers, the internet etc. In the US the pro gun lobby, the pro torture lobby and the pro war lobby are predominantly christians. What does that say. Violence, killing and murders are OK but Jesus hates sex. Hypocrites, the lot of them. In the US (where research is done) the regions where there is the highest number of christians consume the most online porn. http://furiouspurpose.me/the-religious-do-love-their-porn/ US again. The more religious the state, the higher the rates of teen pregnancy. http://www.google.co.za/search?q=bible+belt+teenage+pregnancies&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=org.mozilla:en-GB:official&client=firefox-a

      danamalan - 2012-03-09 13:13

      @Fred: Not only that, but they force the most violent, pornographic, mysogynistic, evil book in the world down these same children's throats...the bible!

  • marshall.one - 2012-03-09 13:13

    "By limiting the right to porn to adult shops, the possibility of premature consumption of porn by minors is considerably reduced," said Icasa. - Wait, WHAT!? "Icasa is concerned about the possible impact on children through the delivery of pornography into the homes over the airwaves." ICASA also seems to have lots of answers when it comes to how adults should run their own homes. Maybe, they should be put in charge of Social Development.

  • Dakey - 2012-03-09 16:33

    I shudder to think what a mostly uneducated South African youth population would get up to if they grow up on porn. In only a couple of decades television and bad rolemodels have already turned a number of our youths to gang rapists, tik users and murderers. To all you so blissfully fighting for your right to watch porn, don't cry when your wife, daughter, mother or sister gets gang raped... all because some uneducated guy with no status or power gets it into his head sees on TV how you treat a woman. As much as you might protest , there is only one reason this country hasn't had every last white person killed, and that is because the majority of our African brothers and sisters have been raised with the tenants and principles of forgiveness... they didn't get that from watching porn, they got it somewhere else.

      tasmouse - 2012-08-14 14:22

      Having read the above...I agree that Top Tv should have gone to the hearings - i myself have Top Tv in my home - and I have a son in High School, so I use the parental control on the Top Tv remote and this is secured with a 4 digit pin that only I know. Free TV channels such as E-Tv has taken the South African homes by storm with their freely available, anytime to tune into porn channels and advertised numbers that pops up on the screen saying "SMS Sex to 3677...or whatever the nuber is. Icasa have granted E-Tv free reigns to do while at the same time E-Tv themselve's frequently screen the advert that " If you feel that E=Tv is not living up to the blah-blah-blah...viewers can complain by contacting the Broadcasting Complaints Commission. How much good did that do? i still think that DSTV and TopTv are paid service providers and have a responsibility to satisfy the viewer. What the viewer watch in his own home is a personal choice. Incidently both DSTV and TopTv have parental control in the form of a 4 digit pin code.Last but not least...fell free to criticise my typing errors :)Mr. T

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