Loophole puts 18-rated DVD law into question

Are you 18? No, well don't worry as it means absolutely nothing
Are you 18? No, well don't worry as it means absolutely nothing

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.


Marc Chacksfield

Marc Chacksfield is the Editor In Chief, Shortlist.com at DC Thomson. He started out life as a movie writer for numerous (now defunct) magazines and soon found himself online - editing a gaggle of gadget sites, including TechRadar, Digital Camera World and Tom's Guide UK. At Shortlist you'll find him mostly writing about movies and tech, so no change there then.