Sunday, January 19, 2003,,482-546306,00.html is a fascinating article about the legal side of the whole Pete Townshend case... it's odd to realise that, according to this, in the UK, it's not a crime to own or look at physical photographs or books of real or computer-created child pornography, but it is a crime to look at those images on a computer, because,

"In 1999 ... the Court of Appeal ruled that to call up an image on a computer screen was more than having it: it was �making� it. So the action of touching a key on a PC keyboard might put the viewer in the same case as those who took the photograph or sold the images."

...and then I think, in the real, flesh and blood world, no-one ever comes up to me in the street and presses porn on me, or idly posts porn through my letterbox, or chucks hard-core porn in, unasked, with the groceries. It doesn't happen.

In computer-land, porn simply arrives, in e-mail, unwanted and unsolicited, by virtue of my having an e-mail address that's been harvested, and has to be filtered out, with a greater or lesser degree of success. It's somehow uncomforting to think that, the next time I click on an innocent-looking e-mail called "Re: I couldn't open your document" and discover it's a porn site touting for trade with images of dwarfs doing it with zebras, that, under the law, I made those images.

This article from The Guardian is a fascinating counterpoint to what I assume (without getting to read the UK papers) is UK tabloid baying-for-blood about the Townshend case.