This disclaimer is to address any legitimate concerns from readers and detractors alike regarding the legality of our site.
Two major legal issues affect this site: 1) Intellectual Property and 2) Subject Matter.
1. This site is educational and a vehicle for social criticism and therefore falls within the rules of the “Fair Use Clause” of the Copyright Act of 1980 (and applicable counterparts in other countries). Although we sometimes consult with artists about what content is or is not included, it is not necessary for us to do so if its use is clearly justified in a particular post. Images or video presented here will not be comprehensive nor of such high quality to cause issues of copyright infringement.
2. Our site does contain some nude images and videos of children. Although some may rationalize their objection on arbitrary moral grounds, we endeavor to strictly adhere to U.S. law, under whose jurisdiction this site operates. Pigtails in Paint will not present material that has been produced unlawfully through the exploitation of children or images that might constitute a “lascivious display” of genitalia in violation of U.S. code. The rules regarding non-photographic material (drawings, paintings, sculpture, etc.) are more lenient but this site will nonetheless try to err on the side of conservatism when presenting this illustrative material.
If there are questions concerning the legality of a particular image or video clip, you can direct your concerns or complaints to the Walters Law Group (specializing in Free Speech, Internet Law and Intellectual Property issues) operating out of Florida. To spread the burden, Pigtails intends to approach other qualified lawyers to assist in dealing with these issues.
Another point regarding the legitimacy of this site is that since it is hosted in the UK, it falls under the guidelines of the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) which has much stricter rules than the US with its legacy of protecting free speech on principle. It should also be noted that we are aware that pornography sites do link to ours, much to our irritation. We are in no position to stop this unless anyone has some clever ideas they would like to share. Also, due to unfair procedural technicalities, we are no longer in control of the pigtailsinpaint.com domain name which has been co-opted and is serving as another porn site. This has been done despite our official protests and attempts to correct this through proper channels. If anyone believes they have found something illegal on this site, they are invited to report it to IWF and if they determine that we must correct something, they will notify us in an official capacity.
I sincerely hope this clarifies matters and demonstrates our commitment to operate completely above board. -Ron, Editor in Chief at Pigtails in Paint
Hi, I just found this site it is great. I also have recently found this artist and am only just begining to find out even more amazing art works. I have been in pure awe of one piece in particuler called the jan-saudek–black-sheep-and-white-crow but have recently found many more. I have a question you may be able to answer, I have not yet read through your blog post on Jan Saudek so I am sorry if this is in there. Is it legal to hang these artworks on the wall / posess them in the UK? I am pretty sure it is but hanging them on the wall will attract unwanted attention maybe from people that do not see the value and beauty in his artwork. Thanks. 🙂
If you mean on the inside walls of your home, I’m sure there is no problem. Keep in mind who might see it though and be prepared for the ridicule of others. Not every is strong-willed so most people who appreciate this material do not display it in their home but perhaps discreetly placed in folio albums shown selectively to individuals. If you are talking about the outside walls or any other publicly-viewable space, there are likely laws in your jurisdiction disallowing that. -Ron
Hi, I’m a young Brazilian student, I met your site a short time ago and would like to congratulate you for the great work of great seriousness, and for the collection !!!
(PS: Unfortunately I do not understand English, I use an online translator and so I apologize for spelling mistakes.)
Thank for your taking the time to comment with us. -Ron
I have been an admirer of true beauty now for several years. I am glad to say that this blog has really been a haven for me in the true appreciation of beauty and innocence. I have visited several sites of this nature in my day, and have learned that there is a difference between nudity and sexuality. Sadly, this is a principle that most religious people do not understand. Our society has connected the two and thus has perverted our society and robbed our women and children of their innocence. Sites like these promote their innocence. I am beyond impressed. 🙂
I am pleased that Pigtails can make some headway in this area and just maybe, this time, we can make it stick. Your kind words are appreciated and although it is important to distinguish between nudity and sexuality, it is equally important to realize that children are people too with their strengths and faults, their light and dark sides—as any parent will attest. The portrayal of children is not just about innocence (though that is a compelling metaphor), but about who they really are: a more naive, impulsive and primal version of ourselves. Thank you, Richard. -Ron
I came upon this site while looking up Boris Vallejo and Sorayama Hajime. I have always been a fan of their work in airbrush. I hesitated in coming here because of the images. My only question is, is this actually legal? I mean, I see the art behind it but don’t you think it is border lining it with child pornography? Please educate me more on this since I am not an art major. I enjoy some types of art (not all) but this actually made me feel uncomfortable. I welcome your comments! I know you are probably tired of answering this question and I apologize. It just seemed awkward since I was actually looking for artwork from Boris and Hajime. Regards!
You should not feel bad about being uncomfortable, only assuming that your discomfort means there is something wrong. This site is legal under US law and probably most other Western countries. It is clear that you are not an art or art history major, or you would have been familiar with the presence of the child nude throughout history. That is exactly the point of this site–to educate people–and you have taken the first step.
Your discomfort has to do with your cultural upbringing and nothing to do with the images themselves. I admit to being surprised/shocked at seeing my first Jock Sturges image. Instead of condemning myself for being mesmerized by the image, I looked into matters further and realized that I was reacting to arbitrary moral standards that cut me off from wholesome appreciation. And there are perfectly good scientific reasons for people to be awe-struck by such images. This effect is amplified by the combination of the appeal (cuteness) of children and the natural beauty of the human body, particularly healthy ones.
Gender roles particularly complicate things in two ways that come to mind. 1) Because men are less prone to be involved in the upbringing and nurturing of children, they are less often witness to child nudity or rudimentary expressions of normal sexual curiosity. 2) The strong trend in the past few decades to uphold a machoistic standard for men and boys means they are not encouraged to have heartfelt aesthetic experiences–and equate innocent artistic (or just experimental) expressions of love, intimacy and sexuality (three distinct concepts. I assure you) as invitations for the sex act. Because of this gender paradigm, most Western men are cut off from appreciating the more subtle aspects of beauty and healthy sexuality.
Legal or not, a proper definition of pornography must incorporate intent. It is not our intent to titillate, just to educate. Due to conditioning, almost anything might be arousing to somebody out there, so it is almost pointless to hold an image itself to some arbitrary standard. As Pip and I have said many times, even though we believe in the legitimacy of the child nude, we adamantly condemn the coercion of children of any kind. Abusive acts are a reflection of a state of poverty which is the real issue that should be addressed. Don’t we all deserve to be the best human beings we can in a supportive environment?
Since you have taken the trouble to write, you seem to be expressing a sincere desire to educate yourself. I suggest looking through this site and reading the articles. And you will get more out of it if you look at each image, not as something you like or dislike, but as something that is trying to communicate to the viewer. Thank you for your frank comment, -Ron
Pigtails in Paint has existed in its present form for several years, it is hosted by a lawful provider and has a regular IP address. It is indexed by search engines, and indeed any article in it can easily be found without using any trick (just type the article title on your favourite search engine). It is thus well-known, and I do not doubt that zealots who devote their lives to the suppression of inappropriate images of children monitor it closely and regularly. Hence if it published illegal material (by US or European standards), this would immediately be reported, then the site would be closed down and both the host provider and site administrator would be brought to court.
In order to distribute illegal images, one needs to use special techniques of the darknet, such as peer-to-peer connections, proxies, etc., and the clandestine sites must constantly move in order to escape the hunt by all the world’s polices.
Pigtails in Paint has been blocked in Russia and in countries whose governments deem that their citizens are not mature enough to read what they want and think by themselves.
Questioning the legality of controversial but legal material implicitly implies that one would accept laws becoming stricter. I would rather follow the opposite direction and challenge the illegality of some visual art that has been labelled “child porn” and hence banned.
I am not an artist; I happened on your website by chance. Some of the artwork is beautiful and some is thought provoking. However, there are many many photos of young girls in full frontal nudity. And yes some do have a “lascivious display” of genitalia. Perhaps in and of themselves there isn’t a problem. But to group so many photos together in one website seems to me to be a potential pedophile’s paradise. If these photos were of women, full frontal nudity, they could be teetering on porn. In siding with the conservative, I’ve reported your website to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Nothing,or something may come of it; I’m sorry and I know you disagree, but we’ll let a third party decide.
I am surprised that this comment even passed moderating and was allowed to go up. Prudish people who do not like this site simply do not have to visit it anymore.
One can find in naturist sites frontal nude photographs of men, women and children. Indeed, naturists consider that genitalia are just ordinary body parts like any other; so did all “primitive” societies. A nude girl photographed in her child’s play or even posing like a fashion model is not “lascivious”. The “lasciviousness” is only in the mind of the watcher. I think that after compulsive child molesters, the worst paedophiles are the anti-paedophile vigilantes who see “child porn” everywhere, while in fact the porn is just inside their heads.
The “National Center for Missing and Exploited Children” is not an impartial third party, it is a private lobby of moral entrepreneurs. It does not have the authority of a court of justice, since it does not follow law, but its own narrow criteria.
Never mind that each day thousands of African children die of hunger, malaria or lack of sanitation, never mind that even in the rich USA millions of children suffer from poverty, never mind the thousands who are victim of family violence… What really worries the American bourgeoisie is that one could watch a child with a sexual mind, and that paedophiles could live in paradise instead of hell.
Since this site covers sensitive subjects, I like to take my time in offering a carefully-considered response. Ordinarily, a comment like this would be deleted as it shows an abysmal ignorance of our intent. However, I approved the comment so it could be used as an illustrative template for other readers. Pip decided he wanted to rebut some of the statements, point by point, on a separate post here. I do not wish to contradict or needlessly duplicate his arguments, but what follows is my original intended reply. -Ron
Pigtails in Paint has been in existence for over 4 years, ample time for the proper authorities to discover, examine and take action. Our continued presence is a testimony to our prudence and education on these matters.
Although “lascivious” is a somewhat subjective term, we do have legal counsel to inform us about relevant details we have to look out for. You may not think so, but I am careful to err on the side of conservatism and equally careful to include thoughtful commentary on those images that might be misguidedly taken out of context.
Regarding the notion of a “pedophile’s paradise”, how did you yourself “accidentally” discover our site? It is not our purpose to serve pedophiles although I have no doubt some have visited our site. For the sake of argument, if our site were used for nefarious purposes, there is every reason to believe that it has a mitigating effect; that is, more freely available materials may help keep dangerous people “off the streets” and actually protect children. It is doubtful we will find a definitive answer to this issue soon as research studies on controversial topics are badly designed to bias the results in favor of one side or another (ie. economic principles, terrorism, abortion, marijuana). Regarding regular purveyors of bona fide child pornography, these people should be considered addicts. As such, they would find Pigtails quite unsatisfactory because: 1) we do not publish new images fast enough and/or 2) the images we publish are not extreme enough.
Any clear definition of pornography–that is not mere political grandstanding–must take into account the intent of the producer (artist or documentarian). I know this point has been made ad nauseum, but nudity is not equivalent to sexuality and erotica is not equivalent to pornography. Part of the goal of this site is to make these distinctions clear and in time, I intend to have a glossary so readers (and perhaps law enforcement) can better understand the points being made here.
On a more cynical note, I do realize that because we publish images of child nudes, that may be our weakest link. Because we are critical of the dominant institutions of our society–religious, governmental, corporate–attacking us on moral grounds may seem easier than engaging in intelligent debate or the due process of law.
I have one final request of our readers. I ask that you please refrain from the more obvious and tiresome rebuttals that will persuade no one. It should be understood that commenters like this one are motivated by what they perceive as a righteous position. Fighting fire with fire is pointless and serves only to entrench everyone in their positions. We are all imperfect creatures and have much to learn.