Top TV porn channels need to go through FPB

Lawyers for On Digital Media conceded in court on Monday that it required to be registered with the Film and Publication Board to screen X-rated content on its three porn pay channels.

Advocate Steven Budlender told the Western Cape High Court that the Independent Communications Authority of SA (Icasa) should therefore have set this as a condition before issuing a licence to his client.

However, Budlender argued that the omission was no reason to set aside On Digital Media’s licence to operate the three channels but rather that the court should as a corrective measure impose the condition.

“Your lordship has the power to grant substitution,” he argued before Judge Lee Bozalek.

The hearing was due to continue after lunch.

On Digital Media’s counsel had previously argued that Icasa had no choice but to issue the licence as there are no restrictions in South Africa against adults watching pornography.

The company (operating as Top TV and later StarSat) was granted licences last April to broadcast Playboy TV, Desire TV, and Brazzers, subject to conditions.

The Justice Alliance of South Africa (Jasa) is seeking a court order obliging Icasa to rehear its licence application, arguing that it erred in approving it.

In addition, Jasa argued that ODM had not been truthful to Icasa in disclosing what content would be on the channel.

Jasa lawyer Darryl Cooke has argued that he had deduced from the names of the programmes offered by the channels overseas that they promoted infidelity and unsafe sex.

“The true content of the material wasn’t told to Icasa. They acted under a misapprehension and therefore they took irrelevant considerations into account”.

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Top TV porn channels need to go through FPB