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Ofcom fines porn website 60,000

A porn website has been hit with a 60,000 fine after allowing unrestricted access to hardcore films.

Strictly Broadband Ltd was disciplined by Ofcom after failing to restrict access to the explicit material on its video website for two months over the summer.

Strictly Broadband's owners transferred control of it to a foreign-based company in October and liquidated the London-based firm, Ofcom said.

But the fines were for what Ofcom said were serious, repeated and reckless breaches of rules designed to prevent youngsters potentially accessing hardcore images.

An Ofcom spokesman said: "Between May 31 2012 and August 1 2012, users of Strictly Broadband could access sexually explicit R18 (certificate given to pornographic films) equivalent material, without a system in place that would effectively restrict those under 18 from accessing it.

"Ofcom sought evidence as to the breaches and considered the gravity and duration of the breaches, and their potential impact on minors, and decided that the breaches were serious, repeated and reckless, and therefore a financial penalty should be imposed."

Strictly Broadband offers adult-pay-per-view videos but an investigation by the Authority for Television On Demand (Atvod) found hardcore content was available without registering.

Further material was also available free after a registration process, leaving it open to access by people aged under 18 without access to credit cards.

"The homepage of the service (which appeared without a warning page as to the nature of the site's content or other indication that the material was unsuitable for under 18s) included a significant quantity of free material, including a banner window showing scrolling stills, a large number of thumbnail stills constituting links to available videos and movie trailers," the investigation found.

Last year Ofcom and Atvod forced Playboy TV to keep sexually-explicit videos on two websites behind age controls despite an appeal by the pornography company. Playboy TV had argued the material was so extreme that it was not "TV-like" and therefore fell outside Atvod's remit, a claim rejected by Ofcom.

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