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Is This For Real?

‘Virtual’ Child Porn Ban Abolished in U.S.


KOINOS MAGAZINE #35 (2002/3)

Table of Cases

Abrams v. United States, 250 U.S. 616 (1919)

Ashcroft v. The Free Speech Coalition – U.S. Supreme Court – Opinion – 16 April 2002

Ashcroft v. The Free Speech Coalition – U.S. Supreme Court – Oral Argument – 30 October 2001

The Free Speech Coalition v. Reno – U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals – 17 December 1999

Miller v. California, 413 U.S. 15 (1973)

New York v. Ferber, 458 U.S. 747 (1982)

Stanley v. Georgia, 394 U. S. 557 (1969)

United States v. Dost, 636 F. Supp. 828 (S.D. Cal. 1986)

United States v. Knox, 32 F.3d 733 (3d Cir. 1994)


Adler, Amy
  "Inverting the First Amendment", 149 University of Pennsylvania Law Review 921-1002 (2001)
  "The Perverse Law of Child Pornography", 101 Columbia Law Review 209-273 (2001)
Associated Press
  "Another Go at Kid Porn Law", 1 May 2002
Augusta (Georgia) Chronicle
  "Stares & strips", Editorial, 30 January 2002
Gómez, Violeta
  Alicia en el País de Amor – a selection of the artist's images
  Carmila, una historia de vampiros en la España actual
  El Escándalo Violeta Gómez
  English language sites:
    Salas, Maite, "Alice meets the Inquisition", 7 December 2001
Higonnet, Anne
  "Conclusions Based on Observation", The Yale Journal of Criticism, Volume 9, Issue 1, 1996
  Pictures of Innocence: The History and Crisis of Ideal Childhood, London: Thames & Hudson, 1998
Kaminer, Wendy
  "Virtual Rape", The New York Times, 25 November 2001
Kincaid, James
  "Is this child pornography? American photo labs are arresting parents as child pornographers for taking pictures of their kids in the bath",, 31 January 2000
Mann, Sally
  Daze Reader – biography and links to articles, reviews and a selection of her images
O'Carroll, Tom
  Sentencing in Child Pornography Cases: A Response to the Sentencing Advisory Panel's Consultation Paper", 2002, submitted to the Sentencing Advisory Panel, U.K. Home Office
  Sexual Privacy for Paedophiles and Children", paper for the Symposium on Sexual Privacy at the International Academy of Sex Research, Paris, June 2000
  McCullagh, Declan, "Ashcroft & friends: We'll try again to ban 'morphed' child porn", 1 May 2002
  Sutter, Larry, "Summary of Ashcroft 'morphed' child porn bill", 2 May 2002
Sharpe, Robin
  "Theories of child porn's harm", essay, 9 August 2001
  Robin Sharpe's Website
Silberman, Steve
  "Caught in the Kid Porn Crusade: The United States of America v. Adam Vaughn", Wired Magazine, October 2002
Zeffirelli, Franco (dir.)
  "Romeo and Juliet", a website about the director's 1968 film. The actors who played Romeo and Juliet were 17 and 15.

The First Amendment

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

The Laws

The Child Pornography Prevention Act of 1996 defines "child pornography" as "any visual depiction" which "is, or appears to be, of a minor engaging in sexually explicit conduct". A "minor" is someone less than 18. "Sexually explicit conduct" is "actual or simulated sexual intercourse, including genital-genital, oral-genital, anal-genital, or oral-anal, whether between persons of the same or opposite sex; bestiality; masturbation; sadistic or masochistic abuse; or lascivious exhibition of the genitals or pubic area of any person". 18 USC 2256 (1), (2) A-E, (8) B. The Act is separate from other federal laws controlling children, such as their access to the Internet.

The Council of Europe defines child porn as "pornographic material that visually depicts ... a person appearing to be a minor engaged in sexually explicit conduct" (Convention on Cybercrime, Title 3, Article 9). The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation helped draft this; see ZDNet News, "Coalition slams cybercrime treaty", 18 October 2000. The Convention on Cybercrime was adopted 23 November 2001; an accompanying Explanatory Report, adopted 8 November.

The United Nations says child porn is "any representation, by whatever means, of a child engaged in real or simulated explicit sexual activities or any representation of the sexual parts of a child, the dominant characteristic of which is depiction for a sexual purpose." National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, "Child Pornography: The Criminal-Justice-System Response", March 2001, pp. 7 and 42 (U.N.), 41 (Japan, European Parliament).

Canada: Canada's child porn law is under the Criminal Code, Part V - Sexual Offences, Public Morals And Disorderly Conduct - Offences Tending to Corrupt Morals. See also the landmark decision of the Supreme Court of Canada, R. v. Sharpe and Censorship in British Columbia: A History, which lists books, magazines, newspapers and music that have been subject to censorship in the province of British Columbia and throughout Canada.

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