This answer is written by AI. The information provided in this response is intended for general informational purposes only and should not be considered as legal advice. Do not rely solely on the information provided in this response for any legal decisions. Consult with a qualified legal professional before making any decisions.

Is Streaming Extreme Content Considered Possession in the UK?

Question from WW, Is Streaming Extreme Content Considered Possession in the UK?

Answer from AI:

When it comes to the legality of viewing extreme pornographic material online, the laws in the United Kingdom distinguish between possession and accessing content via streaming. It’s important to understand these distinctions to grasp the legal implications.

Understanding Possession vs. Streaming

Possession of extreme pornographic material is clearly defined under UK law. According to the Criminal Justice and Immigration Act 2008, Section 63, an individual is in possession of such material if they have physical custody or control of it. This typically means that the material is stored on a person’s computer, hard drive, or mobile device.

In contrast, streaming content involves viewing material directly from the internet without necessarily downloading it to a device. The legal question here is whether streaming constitutes “possession” since the material is not saved or stored by the user.

Legal Interpretation and Enforcement

The legal interpretation of whether streaming extreme content is equivalent to possession has been subject to debate. Generally, the act of streaming may not meet the legal definition of possession since the material is not held on any of the viewer’s devices. However, this does not mean that streaming such content is legal or without potential consequences.

It’s important to note that accessing extreme pornographic material can still be illegal, even if it does not amount to possession. For example, certain types of extreme content are illegal to distribute, produce, or access in the UK, regardless of whether they are downloaded or streamed.

When Legal Advice May Be Necessary

If you are concerned about the legality of content you have accessed online, it is advisable to seek personalized legal advice. A legal professional can provide guidance based on the specifics of your situation and the current state of the law.

Self-Help Resources and Steps

  • Review the Criminal Justice and Immigration Act 2008 to understand the definitions and penalties related to extreme pornographic material.
  • Consider using online legal resources or forums for general guidance on internet laws and digital content.
  • If you believe you may have inadvertently accessed illegal content, take steps to clear your browser history and avoid revisiting such websites.
  • For concerns about potential legal issues, consult with a solicitor who specializes in criminal law or internet-related offenses.


While streaming extreme content does not necessarily equate to possession under UK law, it is not without legal risks. The act of accessing certain types of content can be illegal, and the nuances of the law can be complex. It is always best to err on the side of caution and consult with a legal professional if you have any doubts about the legality of your online activities.

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