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UK Wants To Ban Computer-Generated Child Porn 544

Posted by kdawson
from the think-of-the-children dept.
An anonymous reader writes "UK Home Secretary John Reid has urged a ban on computer-generated images of child abuse, including cartoons. The Register asks if this would criminalize role-playing gamers, and what about Hentai? Currently, such images may be illegal to publish under the Obscene Publications Act, but they do not come under child pornography laws. The attempt to criminalize possession of virtual images mirrors the attempt to criminalize possession of 'extreme porn' which would also include fake images, as well as photos of simulated acts involving consenting adults (as discussed on Slashdot). A petition on the Government's new website urges an end to such plans."
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UK Wants To Ban Computer-Generated Child Porn

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  • Re:Oh noes! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by omeg (907329) on Thursday December 14, 2006 @11:41AM (#17237372)
    That /is/ next. See, they will never be able to accurately define which drawn cartoons can be seen as child porn and which can't. That, in turn, will allow them to effectively ban a much wider range of them; in the end, all cartoon pornography is vulnerable.

    I don't particularly care for cartoon pornography, especially when it depicts children, but I really wonder if it is the right way to ban it. Does anyone know of studies that prove this kind of stuff to be benevolent or malevolent? I don't ever recall hearing facts being stated when someone argues for this kind of stuff to be banned.
  • Roald Dahl? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by BenjyD (316700) on Thursday December 14, 2006 @11:42AM (#17237382)
    I expect they'll be arresting Quentin Blake for his illustrations of child abuse in Roald Dahl'sMatilda then.
  • Re:The difference is (Score:3, Interesting)

    by oliverthered (187439) <olivertheredNO@SPAMhotmail.com> on Thursday December 14, 2006 @11:51AM (#17237544) Journal
    Guns din't kill people, people kill people.

    Just look at the levels of gun ownership in Canada
  • Moo (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Chacham (981) on Thursday December 14, 2006 @11:53AM (#17237596) Homepage Journal
    We must ask for the facts sometimes, because perhaps it has lost its original meaning in the emotional charge the masses have given to it.

    I remember watching the debates on the flag burning amendment. One Representative burnt a napkin with a flag on it at the podium saying that if we ban flag burning, that action would be illegal.

    Regardless of the issue of flag burning, he had a point. Even those who are for the amendment don't intend it to go that so far as destroying any image resembling a flag, so perhaps they need to take a step back before blindly banning things under the name of patriotism.

    I find the same point to be applicable here. Whether stopping child porn will help protect the children or not is irrelevant, those who promote child porn bans by saying it will help, probably don't intend for it to ban all images resembling it, and they need to take a step back before blindly banning things under the name of thinkofthechildren [slashdot.org].

    There is another, at first helpful but then noticeably nefarious, movement here. Some find pedophilia in-and-of-itself to be so loathesome they want to strip all pedophiles of everything, regardless of whether it helps the children or not. This then would become an issue of freedom. If there is no victim, and they keep to themselves, why should anyone else care. If it is because it may in the future hurt a child, again, perhaps they need to take a step back before blindly banning things under the name of thinkofthechildren [slashdot.org].
  • Re:The difference is (Score:4, Interesting)

    by spiritraveller (641174) on Thursday December 14, 2006 @11:56AM (#17237650)
    They could be created after real images.

    Real images are already illegal. You going to ban something because people **might** have been inspired by something that is illegal?

    I guess we'll have to get rid of all the Beatles albums from Sgt. Pepper's and onward, since they **might have been** inspired by illegal drugs.

    Or anyway, I personally don't think that no cartoon child porn maker has ever used real images as example for their drawings. Furthermore, it could be argued that this kind of stuff existing could alter the behavior of pedophiles.

    Anything can be argued, but studies on pornography have shown that its legalization accompanies a **reduction** in sex crimes.

    The reality does not jive with your theory.
  • by theStorminMormon (883615) <theStorminMormonNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Thursday December 14, 2006 @12:12PM (#17237988) Homepage Journal
    I don't mean this as a blanked defense of the proposed law by any means. I do, however, think it's a fallacy to compare reading/viewing sexual child abuse to reading/viewing a murder, theft, or other crime. In the case of other crimes, the depiction is entirely separate from the depicted. Reading about a bank robber does not make you a thief.

    Pornography is a little different, however, in that it exists as the interaction between the subject and the material. The whole point of pornography is to not just be a depiction of some sexually-arousing act, but to actually arouse.

    To make you analogy work, we should put separate depictions of porno in the same category as depictions of murder, rape, theft, vandalism, whatever and put actual porno in a different category. Not neccessarily a criminal category, but certainly a category in which the consumption of the media is the act in question.

    -stormin
  • by Billosaur (927319) * <wgrother@HORSEop ... minus herbivore> on Thursday December 14, 2006 @12:33PM (#17238374) Journal

    This points out the blurring of the line between fantasy and imagination, and reality and causality. You can stop such artwork from being drawn and distributed (maybe), but you can't legislate what goes on in the mind of the creator of such work (yet).

    Look at the CGI work that is done in movies. As computer-generated characters look and sound more like real actors, does what we can do to them change? No more violence, bestiality, child abuse depictions in movies? Take it a step further -- assume a CG character could be made alive via AI. Does this character now have the protection of the law? Can a CGAI character be made to perform in a gratuitously sexual manner?

    Technology advances and as it does, it makes the moral distinctions we carry even more ambiguous than they were before. The question is, how do we handle this? At what point do we say enough?

  • Re:The difference is (Score:5, Interesting)

    by mutterc (828335) on Thursday December 14, 2006 @12:46PM (#17238670)

    Somehow I doubt that was original intent of the Founding Fathers.

    Pornography certainly did exist during the time of the Founding Fathers (heck, it probably dates back to the first cave paintings). I imagine if they didn't want free speech protections to apply to porn, they could have said so.

  • by yuna49 (905461) on Thursday December 14, 2006 @12:47PM (#17238690)
    Oh, come on. Loli characters in hentai often look like their 8-10 years of age and are purposely designed to look that young.

    That doesn't mean I support this type of legislation. Like you, I think that stopping real child pornography is a worthwhile activity because I oppose the abuse of real children. Nevertheless I think it's pure obfuscation to suggest someone can't tell how old a loli character is supposed to be by looking at the pictures.

    I also don't think, as some have suggested here, that hentai artists need to look at real-life children to figure out how to draw animated child porn. Somehow they've managed to figure out how to draw large tentacled monsters raping women without any real-world referents. Human imagination is (thankfully) a very powerful thing.

  • Re:Moo (Score:3, Interesting)

    by StewedSquirrel (574170) on Thursday December 14, 2006 @01:08PM (#17239176)
    There is another, at first helpful but then noticeably nefarious, movement here. Some find pedophilia in-and-of-itself to be so loathesome they want to strip all pedophiles of everything, regardless of whether it helps the children or not.

    From the owner of www.perverted-justice.com and creator of "To catch a predator" on Dateline NBC.

    (and this is a direct quote)

    My goal is not to protect minors...It's to go after pedophiles...it's because pedophiles are disgusting people...That's why we go after them.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 14, 2006 @02:10PM (#17240318)
    Ironic, isn't it. Since by all accounts, the Prophet was rather fond of 12 year old girls. Even married one or two.
  • by Taevin (850923) * on Thursday December 14, 2006 @02:55PM (#17241392)
    I can't speak for mrchaotica, but I would say yes. If I want to make counterfeit money in my basement, it's really not the business of anyone else. Until I actually do, or attempt to do, something illegal with it, why should I be punished? As a hypothetical example, what if I had some sort of bizarre fetish involving paper bills? I should be punished for using a reasonable substitute rather than damaging real currency? A silly example, sure, but I hope it illustrates the larger problem. We simply cannot (or at least, should not) force intent on people, at least not without substantial corroborating evidence.

    It's just one of those slippery slope problems. It's just stupid and wrong to ban something just because you find it immoral or because it could be used for something illegal, especially if it still has a legal use.

    As a side note, yes, it is the Secret Service that deals with counterfeiting. In fact, that was the agency's original purpose and was under the Department of the Treasury before the lolwtf?!!-fest that is the DHS.
  • by pseudorand (603231) on Thursday December 14, 2006 @05:54PM (#17244934)
    Why why aren't all the sites that try to make girls who are supposidly just 18 as if they were younger illegal. Even if she really is 18, wouldn't that fit the description of "appears to be, of a mintor engaging in...".
  • Re:Arguing both ways (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 14, 2006 @06:14PM (#17245318)

    The rest of child abuse is perpetrated by pedophiles. These are "preferential molestors" to researchers and they are highly likely to be interested in child porn, however, are very unlikely to be seeking the violence/power/domination relationship and often see themselves on the same level as the child, as a peer (of sorts). Within this group, there are actually very low rates of mental illness and according to studies, most in this group are regarded as "highly normal" by psychologists except that they are attacted to children.

    The actual definition of the word is "an emotional and often sexual attraction to prepubescent children." It is not common for someone emotionally attracted to another person to intentionally cause them harm.

    One might argue that paedophiles are the LEAST likely to harm a child. But then, we're not allowed to say that, are we? The moral furor in this country knows no bounds.

"You don't go out and kick a mad dog. If you have a mad dog with rabies, you take a gun and shoot him." -- Pat Robertson, TV Evangelist, about Muammar Kadhafy

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