Saturday, February 20, 2010

Manga obscene materials conviction

Wired reports that a man has been convicted and given a six month custodial sentence for the possession of manga depicting "obscene visual representations of the sexual abuse of children." Thus ruling that these manga are not exempt due to having serious literary or artistic value.

This is the first known American conviction based solely on imaginary drawn materials not involving actual children. He was convicted of "Possession of Obscene Visual Representations of the Sexual Abuse of Children" and "Mailing Obscene Matter".

The manga the conviction was based upon are reputed to be: Mikansei Seifuku Shōjo/Unfinished School Girl, I Heart Doll , Kemono/The Animal Sex Anthology 3, Otonari Kazoku/Neighboring House Family, Eromon, Kono Man_ ga Sugoi/This Man is Awesome and Hina Meikyū/Doll Labyrinth.

Many comic and anime groups and graphic novel celebrities such as Neil Gaiman have spoken out against the case and the conviction. While mainstream coverage has been less sympathetic with headlines such as "Hardcore comics sidestep porn law" and "Child porn row exposes manga's dark side".

See also
The judgement (pdf)


Anonymous said...

Interesting considering LJ's strikethrough last year. One is within a stone's throw of the other.

Angie said...

[sigh] I was hoping someone would grow a brain before this wrapped up.

Ridiculous, pointless, and wasteful. Not ony does this not protect any actual children, if followed up on, it diverts law enforcement resources away from chasing the predators who do go after real children. :(

Anon@7:51 -- point of fact, Strikethrough was in 2007. May, if I remember correctly. You're right, though, that this has a lot of the same characteristics. [sigh]


Kayleigh Jamison said...

I expect this case won't stand on appeal.

The US Supreme Court has held that child pornography must involve the exploitation of actual children. In that case, it held that a law making "virtual child porn" illegal was unconstitutional.

Most people are familiar with Justice Potter Stewart's famous quote about obscene material, "I know it when I see it." The official, though not necessarily more clear test is that something is obscene if it: appeals to the prurient interest, is patently offensive, in the local community, and taken as a whole lacks serious redeeming artistic, literary, political, or scientific value.

Further, the government cannot punish private possession of obscene material.