Pornography. The request to block nine sites in France rejected

The Paris Court of Appeal confirmed this Thursday, May 19, 2022 the rejection of the request sent by two child protection associations to French telecom operators to block access to several pornographic sites, accused of not prevent exposure of minors to their content.

The court regrets the absence of actions with the sites before the blocking request

The criminal code prohibits exposing minors to pornographic photos and videos, but the court criticizes the requesting associations e-Enfance and La Voix de l’enfant, whose requests had already been dismissed in October, for not having “did not act, nor attempt to act” against the nine targeted sites, while their owners or publishing companies are identifiable and communicate an address located in the European Union.

However, blocking by Internet service providers can only occur as a last resort, after the applicants have demonstrated “the impossibility of acting effectively and quickly against the host, against the publisher or against the author of the disputed content”.

Some of the most visited sites

Several of the sites concerned are video hosting platforms which appear among the 50 most popular sites in France, according to a ranking established by the analysis company Similarweb.

Seven of them are in a parallel procedure, summoned by Arcom (ex-CSA) to block their access by minors.

Who says the law of July 2020?

Since the law of July 30, 2020 on domestic violence and the publication in the fall of an implementing decree, the media regulator can indeed give notice to pornographic sites to take measures to prohibit their access to minors, and failing that, turn to the president of the Paris court to order their blocking.

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This same law specifies that the companies concerned cannot exonerate themselves from their responsibilities by contenting themselves with asking an Internet user if he is of legal age.

Formal notices from Arcom at the end of December

Arcom launched a first salvo of formal notices at the end of December and announced on March 8 that it had taken legal action to request the blocking of certain sites. A hearing is scheduled for May 24 in this procedure in Paris.

Two other sites were also given formal notice in April by Arcom to prevent their access to minors.