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Censorship

Australian Judge Rules Simpsons Cartoon Rip-off Is Child Porn 612

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the now-we-can-all-rest..-hey-wait dept.
An anonymous reader was one of several to note a bizarre story in which an Australian judge ruled that drawings can be child porn. In this case, it was knock off drawings of the Simpsons doing naughty things. Good thing they're going to be censoring the Down Undernet soon. Who knows what damage this could cause.
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Australian Judge Rules Simpsons Cartoon Rip-off Is Child Porn

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  • What's Next? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by maz2331 (1104901) on Monday December 08, 2008 @12:10PM (#26033843)

    I guess under this precedent they'll have to indict and convict Groenig himself and everyone who worked on the recent "The Simpsons" movie for his depiction of Bart skateboarding naked through town?

    This sure sounds like one really steep and slippery slope.

  • by Viol8 (599362) on Monday December 08, 2008 @12:26PM (#26034131)

    ... possibly paedophiles themselves but don't want to admit it and so make a big deal out of everything that could possibly turn them on? I'm not trying to be frivolous , but it days past (and probably still) you'd often get violently anti gay men who in the end turned out to be gay themselves but couldn't accept it - that anger was actually self hate. I do wonder these days with a lot of people seeing child porn everywhere whether these people themselves are paedos and are getting turned on by pictures of peoples kids on the beach or whatever and so to try to prove to themselves that they're not perverts they do a 180 and try to ban everything.

  • Re:Character ages? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by shutdown -p now (807394) on Monday December 08, 2008 @12:32PM (#26034231) Journal

    Actually, I wonder what they'll do when they get to furry cartoon porn. I'd probably pay to sit in the court session with judge deliberating on whether a fic with, say, Webby, would be considered child porn. And I'd pay even more if that was a jury trial.

  • Re:Simpsons Movie (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Zackbass (457384) on Monday December 08, 2008 @12:39PM (#26034405)

    And suddenly the output of my filter stopped ringing! Now we just have to make positive reals into negatives and we'll really be set.

  • Re:Insane (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Zironic (1112127) on Monday December 08, 2008 @12:39PM (#26034417)

    I thought it was generally proven that porn lowers the overall rape rate which should in theory mean that child porn(without real children) should lower the child rape rate.

  • by Opportunist (166417) on Monday December 08, 2008 @01:16PM (#26035099)

    The argument of "watching cartoon child porn makes people want real child porn" only raised one question in me: "Judge? Do you want to watch real children getting raped after watching this?" (obvious answer) "Then why the bloody hell do you think others would 'turn pedo' by looking at it?"

  • by Verteiron (224042) on Monday December 08, 2008 @01:22PM (#26035225) Homepage

    I knew a guy who claimed to be a time-traveler from the future, sent back here on a one-way trip as a sort of anthropologist. He was going to hide all his research somewhere so people in the 2700s could find it.

    Anyway, one of his "predictions" (or, as he would have it, what his history books said) was that Australia would develop into a fascist, Orwellian culture with absolute control on everyone and everything moving in or out of the country, including data on the internet. Later, he said, it would become as isolated and backward as North Korea, but with far greater resources at hand, which is how it was able to launch a nuclear attack against Japan and the west coast of the US. I think all this was supposed to happen by the second half of this century.

    Mind you, he was insane. But every time I hear about Australia taking another step down the road to insanity, I can't help but think about him.

  • Re:Simpsons Movie (Score:5, Interesting)

    by sjames (1099) on Monday December 08, 2008 @01:25PM (#26035281) Homepage

    Well, in Florida recently, a girl was prosecuted for possession of child porn. She had a nude picture of HERSELF.

  • Re:Real movies... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by rhyder128k (1051042) on Monday December 08, 2008 @01:41PM (#26035591) Homepage
    Is that guy serial? If that judge ever sees a program called Southpark, Trey and Matt are in trouble. I recon that Trey is too good looking to survive in prison. Matt seems more geeky and his sense of humour might save him.
  • by amuro98 (461673) on Monday December 08, 2008 @01:44PM (#26035665)

    Under this boneheaded ruling, a lot of anime and manga would be considered child porn. I'm not even talking about the stuff that already IS porn, mind you, I'm talking about mainstream, family oriented shows here, like "My neighbor Totoro" (Tonari no Totoro.) In that movie, you see the father and his two young daughters taking a bath together - as is the norm in Japan.

    I remember I was in a video store one day when this lady came in fuming mad because one of the clerks recommended the movie to her for her kids, and she was shocked and horrified that the movie would depict kiddie-porn. The stupefied clerk tried to explain that in Japan this was considered normal, only to have the woman yell about how it's not right for Japan to force its depravity upon the rest of the world, and demanded a full refund.

    On a side note here, would it still be considered child porn if the voice actresses involved were adults or children? For instance, Bart, Lisa and even Maggie are all voiced by adults - not children. Does this make the characters "children" or "adults portraying children"? And what about when your wife/girlfriend squeezes into her high school cheerleader outfit for a bit of role play? Does that make you both guilty of child porn?

  • by BruceCage (882117) on Monday December 08, 2008 @01:46PM (#26035713)

    most of Europe

    Hold on, are there any countries apart from Germany that have banned the swastika?

  • by Chris Burke (6130) on Monday December 08, 2008 @01:49PM (#26035757) Homepage

    I remember a comedian (Bobcat Goldthwait iirc, which tells you how long ago this was if I can't recall for certain) pointing this out, observing that it's only porn if it's titillating. So has a picture of his kid running naked through a sprinkler in his wallet, and he shows it to a normal person, they go "oh hey, cute kid", and then he shows it to the reactionary type and they go "Oh my God! Get that disgusting sexual filth away from me!" which makes you wonder why they thought that way.

    There was also a hilarious Mad TV sketch, also many years ago, about an artist who painted Rorschach tests, only he had an actual subject in mind when painting them, who trying to get a grant from the National Endowment of the Arts by talking to a congressman or whoever, who sees child porn in every one of them. E.g. "I can't believe that you would show me such filth!" "What are you talking about?" "This is clearly child pornography! See, there's the smooth, young boy, and there's the wrinkled old man trying to seduce him!" and "I call this one 'Puppies, puppies, puppies'", followed by "Why don't you call it what it is: 'Naked boys, naked boys, naked boys'!" and so forth. At the end of the sketch, the senator stands up and without prompting cries "I am not a pedophile!" It was quite hilarious.

    On the other hand, it's not like any reasonable, non-pedophile person would see a drawing of two Simpson's characters humping and think that this wasn't intended to be sexual.

  • Re:Simpsons Movie (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 08, 2008 @02:31PM (#26036521)
    I was prosecuted for putting my balls (just my balls) online when I was 16. Fifth degree felony of pandering obscenity.

    When the overzealous prosecutor actually got to court, the judge dismissed the case because it was clearly ridiculous.
  • Re:Simpsons Movie (Score:3, Interesting)

    by sorak (246725) on Monday December 08, 2008 @02:31PM (#26036525)

    Fantastic!

    Imaginary things are now real!
    Imaginary people now have all the rights of real people!

    And real people have all the rights formerly reserved for imaginary people...

  • by TerranFury (726743) on Monday December 08, 2008 @03:00PM (#26037099)

    What's frightening about this particular case is that I actually know about these files they're referring to -- and tons of people used to have them. Back when DirectConnect was a popular P2P app, I remember seeing files with names like "Simpsons porn" on lots of people's hard drives. I never thought much of it; obviously it was a crude joke and nothing more. It would never have even occurred to me to consider it child porn.

    What's scary is how close to home this hits. Out of stupid morbid curiosity, I almost downloaded some of this crap, just to see what it contained. In the end I said, "meh, a waste of bandwidth," turned up my nose at the unwashed masses and their silly jokes, and decided not to. Man, it turns out that it was a good thing I was a snob in those days! I could have ended up in the slammer!

    Now it turns out that all those people, who I'd just thought of as "silly," were, according to the legal system of Australia, actually child pornographers. Yeesh.

    I feel sorry for the poor bastard who just got lynched. The judge sounds like more of a pedophile than he is.

  • Re:Simpsons Movie (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Walpurgiss (723989) on Monday December 08, 2008 @03:29PM (#26037641)
    Hmm. Is Samhain irish? I think it's something weird like sow-in.
  • by Cederic (9623) on Monday December 08, 2008 @03:35PM (#26037733) Journal

    As I mentioned in a reply above, the justification in the UK was to provide a means to prosecute people that film the abuse of children (and yeah, we're talking hard hot cocks up 6 year old arses, this isn't a fucking game) and use rotoscoping or other techniques to turn it into a cartoon.

    As the published video was a cartoon it couldn't be prosecuted under decency laws and there was no proof that abuse took place. Under the new laws it can be prosecuted, whether abuse can be proven or not.

    And if you happen to hand-draw some cartoons from scratch then you're fucked because the law is badly written and zealously prosecuted, but that's a separate issue entirely.

    Although the application of the law is fucking obnoxious, the intent behind it is grounded in preventing very real abuse.

  • Re:Simpsons Movie (Score:4, Interesting)

    by JustKidding (591117) on Monday December 08, 2008 @03:38PM (#26037765)

    So, if two corporations, one of which is less than 18 years old (or whatever the local legal age is) merge, and later create a daughter company, that should be considered statutory rape?

    I wonder how the Simpsons could be considered "human"? The Ducks are always half naked, but because they are apparently ducks instead of humans, that makes it alright? Those stories are even meant for children! The horror!

    What if Huey, Dewey and Louie Duck would be having a wild party with April, May and June Duck?

  • Re:Real movies... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Cowclops (630818) on Monday December 08, 2008 @03:51PM (#26037953)

    This is the problem/reason I quit my job at the gas station. The company I worked for would send their employees to do tobacco stings. The company policy was "ID everybody who looks under 30" but this is impractical for reasons anybody who has worked at a gas station would understand. Nonetheless, you only have to be 18 to buy cigarettes and NYS law is that you're supposed to ID anybody that "looks under 25."

    Well, while I have no problem looking at a 19 year old and thinking "he's not over 25, I'll ask for ID." But once you set the threshold too high, everybody just blurs together. 28? 35? How am I supposed to tell the difference? Maybe Stewarts policy should just be to ID everybody, if they really care about not selling tobacco to minors. Or maybe they should just stop selling cigarettes because they're a filthy addiction anyway? Obviously their only real concern is losing their tobacco licence for selling to minors, but they are in no such danger of that if I fail to ID somebody over the age of 25. On a side note: when the state actually runs a sting, they send the youngest looking clean shaven just-turned-18 year olds possible. They don't really care if you fail to ID "some" people over 18, what they're really testing is if you'd sell to a minor, and the best way of testing that without actually getting a minor to buy cigarettes is to send the youngest looking person possible. Because if you don't ID a young looking 18 year old for cigarettes... you're not doing your job. If you don't ID an old looking 27 year old... who the hell cares?

    The last straw was when they sent in somebody who I KNEW worked for the company and I KNEW was 27 years old. I didn't ID her because she was in our store buying stuff all the time and I knew how old she was. I wasn't fired, but I was suspended for a week and didn't go back to work afterwards.

    Eventually you have to hit a limit. It gets hard bordering on possible to judge people because as they always say, "its not the age, its the miles" and heavy smokers tend to look way older than they actually are anyway. I realize this isn't related to child pornography, but the basic idea of "how do you prove how old somebody APPEARS to be" is something that has no real answer.

  • Re:Real movies... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Znork (31774) on Monday December 08, 2008 @04:36PM (#26038579)

    We need to go back to the ROOT reason why child pornography is illegal

    As I recall, the most compelling reason has actually been that the very existence of the pictures can in themselves be considered a perpetuation of the violation of the person depicted; the existence and spread of the pictures harm the victims chances of psychological recovery. An argument that actually makes sense and is convincing even to many of the strongest censorship opponents.

    Of course, I can also recall a lot of 'slippery slope' arguments. And whattayaknow, turns out they were right. We'll probably have laws against pictures of naked animals soon enough. After all, there may be creeps who get their jollies off on that, and as the 'harm' principle has been tossed by the wayside...

    As far as such laws protecting real new victims, that's always been a dubious prospect; the stronger the enforcement of various bans, the more money there's in it on the black market. Most likely it leads to more victims, but with money as a more prominent driving factor for the abuse instead.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 08, 2008 @04:38PM (#26038611)
    You missed the crucial point: art is the domain of the "ruling class", child porn isn't. Price is just the feature the ruling class use to distinguish what they do from what other people do.
  • Re:Simpsons Movie (Score:3, Interesting)

    by MBGMorden (803437) on Monday December 08, 2008 @04:53PM (#26038809)

    It gets into a huge grey area though. A photo of a child alone nude in a picture CAN be considered child pornography if it is "sexually oriented". The thing is, these days everything involving a child that isn't your own is considered sexually oriented today.

    As said, there have been several websites that publish pictures of fully clothing kids that have been accused of (and sometimes charged with) producing "child pornography". In this case not only was there no sex taking place, but the subject wasn't even nude.

    It's almost come down to the point where if you have a picture of a kid on your computer, regardless of of what's going on, and you don't know them personally, then you're guilty of child pornography, reason be damned.

    Just as an example, my sister had a baby girl about 6 weeks ago. She had some pictures of her that her friend had taken right after the birth. Naturally, like all babies, she was born naked and was as such in those pictures. She posted some of the pictures to her MySpace page, and they were pulled by the site admins shortly thereafter on the grounds of child pornography. It's a hell of a world we live in when a picture of a newborn is considered sexually explicit. There were no criminal charges in this case, but it's still indicative of the public mindset.

  • Re:Real movies... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by torkus (1133985) on Monday December 08, 2008 @06:15PM (#26040005)

    First - I will *never* advocate hurting children. In fact, hurting adults is kinda messed up too unless they enjoy it.

    Second - to take your point one step further. Maybe a 17 year old isn't harmed if photographed nude? How about 16? 15? 10? How about 2 years old? Plenty of parents have pictures of their children playin in the bath tub. Those children were certainly NOT hurt in any way by that even though a more twisted soul would consider those pictures erotic.

    I understand wanting to protect children from predators, but (citation needed ofc) the vast majority of underage sex, pornography, and other "bad" or illegal behavior happens with other underage children. I'm going out on a limb to say more 15 year old girls have naked pictures taken by under-18 boyfriends (or self-shot!) than than ones who were made to do so by an adult. A lot more. Pretty sure the average age kids lose their virginity hovers UNDER the legal age to have sex. Our legal system is making the average child the victim of a sex crime ... and yet they try to tighten the laws even more to 'protect' them.

    Gah....

  • Re:Real movies... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Sancho (17056) * on Monday December 08, 2008 @06:38PM (#26040365) Homepage

    One of the reasons for prosecuting distribution of such imagery is that it supposedly creates a market for the child porn. This is why no matter where the image was produced, it's considered illegal to transmit it within US borders.

    That would logically extend to drawings, but so far, the US has been hesitant to say that drawings of children engaged in sexual acts is illegal. When such things happen, it's generally tried under obscenity laws instead of child porn laws.

  • Re:Real movies... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by paganizer (566360) <thegrove1&hotmail,com> on Tuesday December 09, 2008 @01:26PM (#26048485) Homepage Journal

    This also throws several fairly mainstream websites into the call with Chester the Molester. Take for example Renderosity.com; there are probably 10,000+ images on there which are obviously intended to depict someone who is under 18 either nude or in a sexual circumstance.
    I can close Firefox and open any 3 of the many CGI programs available to me and generate a pornographic image of a minor in less than 5 minutes. Let me take an hour on it, and I can generate one that will be indistinguishable from an actual photograph.
    SO..where does it become illegal in this Brave New World? when I show the image to a third party?
    When I finish creating it?
    When it is "in the works" and obviously CGI?
    When I lay out the primitives and do a wiremode?
    When I open the software with the intention of creating the image?
    When I form the thought that this is what I'm going to do?
    Or maybe the Graphics tools themselves are illegal, since they are what makes it possible for me to potentially create a CGI rendition of Child Pornography?

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