The group of Icelanders having an income from selling erotic content on OnlyFans seems to be growing. OnlyFans is a subscription-based social media platform, mostly used for selling pornographic material. The legal status of pornography in Iceland is complicated, but in essence: it is technically illegal to produce and distribute pornography in Iceland, but police have up until now not enforced this law, and have recently told reporters that they have not received any complaints about Icelanders using OnlyFans in connection with this law.
The police, however, appear to be shifting priorities in the wake of a recent resurgence of the MeToo movement in Iceland.
Selling pornographic material could lead up to 6 months in jail
The police’s sexual offense and prosecution department is now examining whether material posted by Icelanders on Onlyfans is classified as production and sale of pornography. According to Article 210 of the Icelandic Penal Code, whoever prints, imports, sells, or distributes pornographic material, or has it publicly on display, will get fined or jailed for up to 6 months.
Ævar Pálmi Pálmason, head of the sexual offenses department of the police, states in an interview with Fréttablaðið, “Our priorities in the sexual offenses department are rape, child abuse and other sexual offenses where someone is being violated. This is not to say that if something is being committed, considered as a minor offense right in front of our noses, we will not investigate. But it is all about prioritizing projects.”
It should be noted that even though pornography is considered illegal in Iceland, pornographic content is still being consumed and sold, such as porn magazines and porn available online.
OnlyFans income could be confiscated
When asked if it would be likely to confiscate the income of Only Fans content creators, due to violation of law, Ævar says it may be hard to enforce. “It is illegally generated revenue, just as if it were by producing cannabis. But it will be difficult to go along with it because the internet platform is hosted elsewhere, where pornography is not necessarily illegal,” Ævar states.
Hulda Elsa Björgvinsdóttir, head of the prosecution department, believes that content on Onlyfans can be attributed to the provisions of the Icelandic Penal Code. “I would think that all such productions that are created and distributed on the internet would possibly fall under it,” Hulda says, but adds that each example needs to be examined separately, to decide whether income could be confiscated.
Not everyone has reacted with support to this announcement, with many Icelanders expressing disappointment that a revived discussion of sexual violence, primarily against women, has prompted the police to focus enforcement efforts against people who use OnlyFans as a source of income. As Íris Ellenberger, a historian and assistant professor at the University of Iceland School of Education put it:
“If history can teach us anything, it is that laws and regulations designed to govern sex and sexual behavior often hurt the people who have the least power in society. More powerful individuals are left alone. We need to find other ways.”
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