Loophole puts 18-rated DVD law into question

Retailers to avoid prosecution selling to the underage

DVD and videogames retailers in the UK cannot be prosecuted for selling adult certificated films and games due to a loophole in a 25-year-old law, it has been revealed.

The 1984 Video Regulations Act, which outlines that it is illegal to sell 18-rated media to anyone under this age, has been found to be unenforceable by the Liberal Democrats as the European Commission has not been notified about how exactly these products are labelled.

The law was put together while Margaret Thatcher was Prime Minister and leader of the Conservative Party, and was meant to regulate adult content purchased in high-street stores and licensed sex shops.

Saucer of milk

The Liberal Democrats have now thrown doubt on the legislation, explaining that it needs to be changed, and also had a little dig at its opposition in the process: "The Conservatives' incompetence when they were in government has made laws designed to prevent video piracy and protect children from harmful DVDs unenforceable and has thrown film censorship into chaos," explained LibDem spokesman Don Foster.

"This must be a massive embarrassment to the Tories, especially as David Cameron was the special adviser to the home secretary in 1993 when the law was amended."

While steps are being put in place to amend the law, stores up and down the country have said they will enforce the law on a voluntary basis until then, so no sneaking in to Blockbuster to get the copy of Watchmen, then.



Content Team Lead

Marc (Twitter, Google+) is the content team lead for Future Technology, where he is in charge of a 14-strong team of journalists who write many of the wonderful stories that end up on TechRadar, T3.com and T3 magazine. Prior to this he was deputy editor of TechRadar, had a 10-month stint editing a weekly iPad magazine, written film reviews for a whole host of publications and has been an integral part of many magazines that are no longer with us.