Flutterby™! : Child porn conundrums

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Child porn conundrums

2008-12-08 15:25:06.543341+00 by Dan Lyke 4 comments

A few showing some of the idiocy that child porn hysteria is causing. First, in Australia a judge has ruled that a cartoon in which characters from The Simpsons engage in sex acts is child pornography:

But Justice Adams agreed with the magistrate. He found that, while The Simpsons characters had hands with four fingers and their faces were "markedly and deliberately different to those of any possible human being", the mere fact that they were not realistic representations of human beings did not mean that they could not be considered people.

And Cory Silverberg has some interesting commentary on a U.S. Attorney giving quite a deal to a quadriplegic man in New York who was charged with posession of child pornography. The original story is here, I think there are a lot of interesting issues raised by just how much the U.S. Attorney was reading into both the law and the facts of the case.

[ related topics: Erotic Sexual Culture Invention and Design Law Current Events Law Enforcement Television New York ]

comments in ascending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment Re: made: 2008-12-08 16:14:16.366201+00 by: JT [edit history]

I blew a gasket reading this on BBC this morning because of this...

"He ruled that the animated cartoon could "fuel demand for material that does involve the abuse of children," and therefore upheld the conviction for child pornography. "

I didn't know people could be arrested on potential. I thought you had to violate an actual crime for a direct charge or plan to violate an actual crime for conspiracy. I didn't realize that the potential of an inanimate object could lead to your conviction in the eyes of the thought police magistrates in Australia.

edit: On a side note, it's been a few days of ethical conundrums. Last night I was defending drug legalization on slashdot, today I'm defending child porn on Flutterby. I think I just need to go back to bed, wake up again, and just start over.

#Comment Re: made: 2008-12-08 16:38:54.776053+00 by: Dan Lyke [edit history]

Yeah, there are good reasons involving consent of the photographed to restrict child pornography, but both of these (and, lest you think the First Amendment protects us on the simulated child sex front, The U.S. is currently going after Chris Handley for possession of manga) delve way into the thought crime realm.

And in the second case, completely ignores the consent issues, leaving the situation strictly one of thought crime, and showing the prosecutor to be legislating from the desk far more than any judge ever legislated from the bench.

Response to edit edit: and I'm haranguing a prosecutor for refusing to prosecute a stupid law, so it must be something in the bit stream...

#Comment Re: made: 2008-12-08 19:06:43.168563+00 by: m

Left unsaid seems to be whether or not depictions of the young of other species engaged in sex amounts to child molestation, nor was a mechanism described for determining the age of consent for other organisms. I have to assume this ruling applies to all organisms in that there was no method described for the actual speciation of particular depicted samples. Personally I would not consider any of the Simpsons characters to meet the criteria for belonging to the species Homo sapiens sapiens, but I wouldn’t believe that the judge fell within the bounds of the sapiens descriptor either.

Does this ruling apply to plants? How would the crime of a bee visiting a flower be charged, tried and sentenced — a life term would be the undoubted result for the depiction of cross kingdom bestiality by minors.

DMCA issues apart, is Mickey Mouse, being profoundly past any reasonable age of mouse mortality, old enough to engage in sex on paper and film?

#Comment Re: made: 2008-12-08 19:26:52.689054+00 by: Larry Burton

>> a judge has ruled that a cartoon in which characters from The Simpsons engage in sex acts is child pornography:

He ruled wrong. The Simpson's series began it's run in 1987 as a series of shorts on the Tracey Ullman Show. The eight year old Lisa, ten year old bart and one year old or less Maggie are now all well past the age of consent.