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Nova Scotia porn distributor fights archaic film regulations

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Nova Scotia porn distributor fights archaic film regulations

A Nova Scotia porn distributor faces a $25,000 fine for selling an unrated porn film, in a case that could change how the province regulates porn.

The province requires that distributors and retailers submit films for review and classification, at a cost of $3.57 a minute for adult films. Non-adult films are subject to a flat fee of $35.81 for review. In effect, review fees for a 100-minute adult video would exceed $350 -- 10 times the review cost of a non-adult video.

A lawyer for Topline Entertainment, the porn distributor, told the Chronicle Herald he plans to argue that the fees are unconstitutional, and that they restrict freedom of expression.

While arguably minimal, the fees are more than enough to deter small businesses from stocking obscure films.

And in an age when people can easily download porn on the internet -- why is the government still deciding what we can rent or buy in hard copy?

MORALITY POLICE. Provincial inspectors periodically check out video stores to see if they're selling or renting unrated videos. If caught, the fines are huge.
 
In 2000, Toronto's Glad Day Bookshop challenged Ontario's film classification rules after the shop was charged with selling an unrated gay porn video. A court ruled in 2004 that the classification rules were unconstitutional.

"Mandatory submission of films and videos to the board for its approval... infringe the fundamental freedom of expression guaranteed by section 2(b) of the Charter," concluded Ontario Superior Court Justice Russell Juriansz.

The province amended its regulations in 2005 but basically ignored the court ruling; films must still be submitted for review and classification. Ontario charges $4.20 a minute to review adult films, and retailers or distributors who sell or rent unrated films face huge fines. 

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