When The Human Centipede 2 was set to be released in the UK, it was originally banned by the British Board of Film Classification because whilst the first film had a premise; a grotesque science experiment, the sequel was more of the same with extra gore thrown in. Whilst The Guardian were quick to note the BBFC's complaints were mostly due to the sexual nature of the sadism, I felt what the BBFC added was a good summary of what shouldn't be shown in film.
"There is little attempt to portray any of the victims in the film as anything other than objects to be brutalised, degraded and mutilated for the amusement and arousal of the central character, as well as for the pleasure of the audience."
This summary is not far from what anyone visiting Gore sites is looking for. So I think if this video were fictional and released, it would be banned. I don't think that's a contention, I think there's nothing more in expression in this film than bleak death and a sort of enjoyment in being grossed out.
For his expression of this video as a sense of free speech though. I mostly agree with free speech. I believe there are limits to what is free speech and what should not be allowed. That isn't particularly contentious in the UK, I understand free speech is defended quite passionately in the US. Elements of banned speech in the UK are hate speech, libel and slander.
I think libel and slander laws are found to be there for good reason rather than being decried as censorship. There isn't exactly a case to be found for allowing people to discredit others. Hate speech effectively defends itself; there isn't really a game in town that would protect hate speech. So I think the argument of "Free speech means he can post anything" falls apart; we already have many cases where free speech isn't unlimited, so this too should justify itself.
The reality of the act is interesting. Publishing a video of someone's death can have merit; historical importance in the hanging of Saddam Hussein, Peter Smedley's suicide in the BBC's Euthanasia documentary, tragedy in the 7/7 bombings, political scandal in Wikileaks' collateral murder. All these cases are recorded on video, capture the reality of death, in startling vividity, yet we do not debate that they should be viewable. So the issue is not in the reality of death.
I think the actual problem I have is what the expression of the video is and the expression of the community towards it and I do think this is relevant to the law. The law isn't merely to punish people for doing bad things to stop them doing them, it's to express how we feel about things.
One may lose more money on the stock market than in a courtroom; a prisoner of war camp may well provide a harsher environment than a state prison; death on the field of battle has the same physical characteristics as death by sentence of law. It is the expression of the community's hatred, fear, or contempt for the convict which alone categorises physical hardship as punishment. (The Expressive Function of Punishment pp99)
I'd write it out in my own words but it's a little late and it's written on my wall anyway. That's how the law is, it's why a speeding ticket matters more than your TV breaking. I don't know if he should be locked away for publishing the video and encouraging entertainment in watching this, but I feel that the law should express disdain for his actions in a suitable manner. I don't think there's an argument for tolerance or for free speech here. I think he's expressing little more than entertainment in someone dying, or being eaten or being raped and I don't want that in society. I feel like the law should reflect that, regardless of what they find.
I actually feel a lot more strongly about this than I thought I did when I started typing. Hopefully it's not too unclear to see how I feel.