Is child pornography illegal in Alberta?
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Yes, it is a crime to access, possess, distribute, or make child pornography in Alberta – and in the rest of Canada. Calgary’s courts regularly see people charged with child pornography crimes.
Because each of these crimes are considered sexual crimes against children, they are taken very seriously and almost always lead to prison sentences. This surprises some people. You may think that looking at or downloading publicly available pictures or videos is not criminal behaviour. You may even think that you have the right to do this. But if those pictures or videos are child pornography, then you are wrong.
Crimes of Child Pornography
By intentionally clicking on a link and viewing that photo, you committed the crime of accessing child pornography. By intentionally downloading that video onto your computer, you committed the crime of possessing child pornography. By intentionally sending it to a friend, you committed the crime of distributing child pornography. By taking the picture yourself, you committed the crime of making child pornography.
These are just examples of situations you might find yourself in. Child pornography crimes can be committed in other ways, and they are complex. To understand these crimes, you must know what child pornography is.
Committing any of the four offences under section 163.1 of the Criminal Code constitutes a child pornography crime.