Are the BBFC getting the law wrong?

In their role as Age Verification Regulator the BBFC have to apply the law in the Digital Economy Act 2017.gSo it’s worrying to see them post this on the Age verifiers website:

“All types of pornographic content are within the scope of the legislation. The legislation does not exclude audio or text from its definition of pornography. All providers of commercial online pornography to persons in the UK are required to comply with the age-verification requirement.”

“All types of pornographic content are within the scope of the legislation. The legislation does not exclude audio or text from its definition of pornography. All providers of commercial online pornography to persons in the UK are required to comply with the age-verification requirement.”

Except that’s not what the legislation says.

Pornographic material is defined in s.15 of the act. This sets out nine categories of ‘material’. Material is defined in that section (15(2) as

“material” means—  (a) a series of visual images shown as a moving picture, with or without sound;  (b) a still image or series of still images, with or without sound; or  (c) sound;

It clearly doesn’t mention text.

The BBFC need to be clear in their role as Age Verifier. They can only apply the law as enacted by Parliament. If they seek to go beyond that they could be at risk of court action.

References:
Screen shots taken 20:45, 25th March 2019 from:
https://www.ageverificationregulator.com/industry/faq/#8
https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2017/30/section/15/enacted