Wired Article: Ratcliff Discusses U.K. Porn Climate

Apr 7, 2014 6:00 PM PST

LONDON — Chris Ratcliff, managing director of Portland Broadcasting Ltd., told Wired U.K. in an interview that blocking content that fail age checks could be the boost the dwindling U.K. online adult industry needs.

Ratcliff, in the article published today, targets tube sites and notes that the existence of them is a big reason why business in Britain is down.

"They are the scourge of the industry," said Ratcliff, whose company operates U.K.’s Television X and other adult entertainment properties. "I don't know why anyone would be looking to try to protect them. The majority of that traffic is going to the tube sites, a limited handful of companies with questionable working practices."

Ratcliff said that the reason why the U.K. is cracking down on online adult companies with mandatory filtering and new regulations proposed by video-on-demand czar ATVOD is because the greater adult industry failed to self-regulate.

"We failed to adopt a common sense approach; we've failed to protect the rights of adults to view adult material," he said. "Why are we so determined to show that content to children? It's not for children, children can't pay for it."

Ratcliff told Wired that he wants his peers to adopt the same tack as the gambling industry, which at one time was near death.

"It has rechristened itself as a gaming sector, and is thriving in a way that was not possible before, now it's legitimate and can advertise itself. This is what we need to do with the adult industry. We need to transform ourselves so we have a more palatable and marketable commercial product."

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