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The COPINE Scale categorization

See COPINE scale (below) for the types of images of sexual content in images of children (CSAM).

COPINE stands for "Combating Paedophile information networks in Europe"

It is a project in which the University of Cork, in cooperation with the Paedophile Unit of the London Metropolitan police, developed a scale for categorizing images to use in both research and in the English criminal justice system. The scale from 1-10 was developed against the background of images collected from the internet and newsgroups. This version of the COPINE scale has been adapted from the original COPINE scale by Protect Children (Suojellaan Lapsia ry) senior specialists.

1. Everyday images

Images in which children are in underwear or bathing suits in everyday situations and environments. Children have not been photographed for sexual purposes but these publicly available images of children are used for illegitimate purposes.

2. Nude or art images

Images of nude or partially nude children. These images include studio photos, artistic or other nude pictures of children. Children have not been photographed for sexual purposes, but these publicly available images of children are sed for illegitimate purposes.

3. Voyeuristic images

Covertly photographed images of partially dressed children. The images portray children in everyday situations and environments, for example at the playground, at the beach or engaged in a hobby. The images are often focused in the crotch or chest area of the child.

4. Posing images

Purposefully produced sexualizing images of fully clothed, partially nude or nude children. Children are dressed in adult lingerie or other accessories not suitable for the child's age and developmental stage.

5. Sexualizing posing images

Purposefully produced nude or partially nude sexualizing images of children. Children are posed in sexualizing positions, for example with their legs spread or their buttocks raised, or in adult lingerie, high heels or in other accessories not suitable for the child's age and developmental stage.

6. Strongly sexualizing posing images

Purposefully produced strongly sexualizing images of children, where the focus is the child's genital area or anus. Children are ordered to pose with their legs spread or their buttocks raised, their genital area either visible or partially covered.

7. Images portraying sexual violence without an adult

Images in which one or more children are portrayed without adults. The images depict sexual violence, such as touching of the genital area, masturbation or penetration.

8. Images portraying sexual violence

Images where an adult touches the child's body / genital area, or where the child touches the adult's body / genital area.

9. Images portraying gross sexual violence

Images which portray sexual violence inflicted upon a child by an adult, through for example touching of the genital area, penetration or rape of the child. Images depicting sexual violence including the use of instruments.

10. Images portraying sadistic and brutal sexual violence

Images, where a child is being subjected to sexual violence, including other physical violence. Gross rape of a child. Pain is being inflicted on the child, for instance by binding, hitting, whipping or involving bestiality. The use of animals or instruments may be present.