Tuesday, July 13, 2010
Close a Loophole, Open a Bag of Worms
So before obscene matter was: "...any handwritten or printed material, visual representation, live performance or sound recording including but not limited to, books, magazines, motion picture films, pamphlets, phonographic records, pictures, photographs, figures, statues, plays, dances." Presumably provided by an adult to a child.
Now it includes: "...electronic mail, instant messages, text messages, and any other communication created by means of use of the Internet or wireless network, whether by computer, telephone, or any other device or by any transfer of signs, signals, writing, images, sounds, data, or intelligence of any nature transmitted in whole or in part by a wire, radio, electromagnetic, photo-electronic or photo-optical system." Which is being interpreted as material just available online, and not deliberately provided to a child.
The manager of the Harvard bookstore is specifically concerned that the law could be applied to materials such as book covers shown on a store website.
* Including the American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts, the Association of American Publishers, the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, the American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression, the Harvard Bookstore, the Photographic Resource Center, Porter Square Books .