Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Censorship Idle

Man in Court Over Simpsons Porn 673

Posted by samzenpus
from the worst-porn-ever dept.
Ever get the urge to look at pornographic drawings of famous cartoon children? Neither do I, but 28-year-old Kurt James Milner did, and that's what got him registered as a sex offender. Police received a tip about the pornographic material and eventually found images featuring child characters from The Simpsons and The Powerpuff Girls on Milner's computer. Back in 2008, a Supreme Court judge in Australia ruled that cartoons in which child characters engage in sexual acts is child pornography. Milner said he downloaded the images to show them to his friend 'because he believed they were funny.' Guess it's not so funny now.

*

This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Man in Court Over Simpsons Porn

Comments Filter:
  • Insanity. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 28, 2010 @02:17AM (#30930136)

    Ridiculous.

    • by krou (1027572) on Thursday January 28, 2010 @05:02AM (#30930928)
      At this point I'm picturing Nelson Muntz popping up in the courtroom, shouting HAH-Ha! at the judge, and then running off. (And just to be clear, it's not a naked Nelson Muntz).
    • Re:Insanity. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by the3stars (1030420) on Thursday January 28, 2010 @06:19AM (#30931318)
      I don't know about the rest of you, but I'd rather have a percentage of the 'pedophilicly inclined' spending their time acquiring pictures of nude cartoon characters than pictures of children. Further, in relation to the article, the way to get rid of undesirable elements of our ever changing society is not to punish the 'customer' but the 'distributor'. File sharing makes the line between the two difficult to see, but rather than putting people behind bars for the crime of clicking, why not focus more on removing the source? Under the current laws in many western nations, glancing at a computer screen displaying questionable photos of children is dangerously close to breaking the law. But there is a mile wide gap between the person who clicks a link and the person who subjects their own child to such inhumane treatment. I would suspect that the average person in a western nation sees hundreds if not thousands of simulated murders on television and in the movies, and murder is arguably a more heinous crime than active sexual deviancy targeting children. Cartoons are just as unreal as movies.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by vodevil (856500)
      Aren't the simpsons kids over 20 years old now?
    • by PopeRatzo (965947) * on Thursday January 28, 2010 @09:17AM (#30932208) Homepage Journal

      Ridiculous.

      That's for sure. Who wants to see cartoon characters having sex, anyway?

      Now excuse me, I've got to go back to playing Dragon Age:Origins. I think Morrigan is almost ready to give it up.

    • Re:Insanity. (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Yvanhoe (564877) on Thursday January 28, 2010 @09:39AM (#30932372) Journal
      Want more insanity ? This just in : Australia bans small boobs in porn [somebodyth...ildren.com] because they make actress look like minors.

      "Shall we put such hysteria aside and look at what this ruling is saying to Australian women? Basically, it's classing a certain normal female body type as obscene. It's declaring all flat chests to be automatically juvenile, something that should not be viewed by anyone because of a fear that it will stir up "base instincts" in certain people."

      "Can the Classification Board be any more insulting or sexist?"

      I suggest that from now :
      - Flat chested women stop having sex, this is obscene, they are like, you know, children, that's unhealthy
      - People having sex with flat women should be charged as pedophiles.
      - Pubic shaving should be forbidden. It makes the body look juvenile.
      - Men should have mandatory beard, otherwise they look too similar to children
      - Men without beard should be barred from doing porn.

  • Bad write up. (Score:5, Informative)

    by Lemmy Caution (8378) on Thursday January 28, 2010 @02:22AM (#30930148) Homepage

    This is not what got him registered as a sex offender: he was already registered as a sex offender from a previous case, in which he had been found guilty of actually having child porn (with images of real children) on his computer. The prior conviction is reason for the severe response to the cartoon images. This being the case, his claim that he didn't get sexual titillation from these images rings rather false.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by MrMista_B (891430)

      What's wrong with sexual titillation from a drawn image of imaginary characters?

      • Wrong question (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Mathinker (909784) on Thursday January 28, 2010 @02:57AM (#30930318) Journal

        > What's wrong with sexual titillation from a drawn image of imaginary characters?

        You're asking the wrong question, IMO. You should have asked:

        "Why is it any worse than pure textual depictions of fictional children having sex?" (which AFAIK is not considered child pornography in most jurisdictions)

        Would ASCII art depictions of child-like figures having sex, which are simultaneously textual erotic fiction about children having sex, be considered child pornography?

        You could, of course, go in a different tangent and come up with the question:

        "Why is a simulated depiction of the sexual abuse of children any worse than simulated depictions of other heinous crimes?" (AFAIK there are no other crimes for which possessing a depiction of them is also a crime. No, wait! Under the DMCA, a depiction of copyright protection circumvention which is sufficiently detailed to aid in circumvention itself could be criminal. Oops, no. Even there, mere possession is not criminal, distribution might be.)

        • Re:Wrong question (Score:4, Insightful)

          by Lemmy Caution (8378) on Thursday January 28, 2010 @03:18AM (#30930418) Homepage

          This is the rationale of the Judge:

          However it was also to deter the production of other material, including cartoons, that could "fuel demand for material that does involve the abuse of children."

          It's not clear whether this is a "gateway drug" argument or something somewhat different.

          Personally, I would not advocate criminalizing these images, but this guy makes a horrible test-case. It could be argued that it makes sense to register him as a sex offender for his previous case, that this situation revokes the basis for earlier leniency, but then to let it go at that. But this guy makes a horrible poster child for arguing for the right to produce and distribute these kinds of images: he practical makes the case for the "slippery slope" argument.

          • by Mathinker (909784) on Thursday January 28, 2010 @04:02AM (#30930642) Journal

            When I think about this issue, I come to the conclusion that the real reason for simulated depictions of sexual child abuse being criminal is something which no judge would ever admit to: society wants to criminalize people who are sexually attracted to children, even if they have never committed any such crime, and because of their psychological makeup are even unlikely to ever commit such a crime in the future, because society is afraid of such people.

            All this "slippery slope" BS is just beating around the bush. My guess is that simulated child pornography will continue to be illegal even in the far future when it will be trivial to produce, so trivial that only the very, very stupid would consider producing it using real children (assuming, of course, that the only goal involved is the production of the pornography; I'm not talking about the case where a pedophile wants to film his illegal acts).

            BTW, your argument that he's a horrible poster child seems weak. His first offense was for actual child pornography, rather than simulated child pornography. If anything, he seems to be slowly climbing up that slippery slope.

        • Re:Wrong question (Score:4, Insightful)

          by Aceticon (140883) on Thursday January 28, 2010 @05:32AM (#30931090)

          More essentially:
          - Why are victimless "crimes" crimes at all?

          If it doesn't harm anybody and has no negative side effects for others than the perpetrator then there's no reason for it to be a crime. Ramblings about an activity "showing pre-disposition to"/"inducing the person to"/"making possible that a person does" commit a "real" crime are just that: ramblings - until the actual "real" crime is commited, there is no crime.

          This applies just as much to erotic images/texts/words about children (no actual children involved in making them = no "real" crime) as it does to taking drugs (which really only harm the one that takes them).

          A society that imprisions people for doing things that harm nobody or worse, for doing things in which they only harm themselfs is a society where the barbarians are winning.

    • Re:Bad write up. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by pipedwho (1174327) on Thursday January 28, 2010 @02:40AM (#30930228)

      WTF? Two things:

      1. The concept of making child pornography illegal has nothing to do with whether or not someone was 'sexually titillated'. It is ostensibly there to prevent exploitation of children, which happens during the creation of the child porn.

      2. The argument that his prior conviction is grounds for a 'severe response to cartoon images' is ridiculous. As the cartoon images never required an illegal act to create them in the first place, the only thing making them illegal is the ludicrous ruling by the supreme court judge that made 'cartoon child porn' the equivalent of real porn.

      It's bad enough that partial nudity is starting to be considered porn. But, the 'cartoon porn' court ruling should be thrown out, and the supreme court judge(s) should be removed from the bench.

      • Partial nudity (Score:4, Insightful)

        by loshwomp (468955) on Thursday January 28, 2010 @03:21AM (#30930440)

        It's bad enough that partial nudity is starting to be considered porn.

        The whole idea of "partial nudity" is silly anyway. Anyone who isn't covered from head to toe is "partially nude".

      • Re:Bad write up. (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) on Thursday January 28, 2010 @04:13AM (#30930714)

        It's bad enough that partial nudity is starting to be considered porn. But, the 'cartoon porn' court ruling should be thrown out, and the supreme court judge(s) should be removed from the bench.

        Or, replaced with cartoon judges.

        If cartoons of kiddie porn are the equivalent of actual kiddie porn, then cartoons of judges are surely the equivalent of actual judges.

    • Re:Bad write up. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by DerekLyons (302214) <fairwater AT gmail DOT com> on Thursday January 28, 2010 @02:43AM (#30930240) Homepage

      The prior conviction is reason for the severe response to the cartoon images.

      In other words, he wasn't convicted of having pornographic images - he was convicted of being convicted and having pornographic images.

  • by tck44 (1399467) on Thursday January 28, 2010 @02:22AM (#30930150)
    The best part of this story... "Officers discovered the computer would no longer turn on but a year later police forensic experts recovered 64 images of cartoon child exploitation material in the machine’s recycle bin." So, it took officers a year to mount the hard drive in another system, and take a look in the recycle bin.
    •     That's really sad. They sat on the evidence for a year before processing it.

          I guess what would be worse would be if they confiscated someone's equipment, sat on it for a year, and found nothing. I'd be a bit pissed if my computers were taken for a year before they found that I had nothing illegal.

          My mother-in-law's computer was taken as evidence in a case where a roommate may have used her computer in relation to child porn. They imaged the drive and gave it back the next day. I assume a block by block copy of the drive, so they could try to recover any deleted information. Needless to say, he was quickly invited to not be a roommate any more. This may have been because she wasn't a suspect, but they needed her assistance to look for further information.

          Her case turned out out to be nothing except a lapse in judgement that didn't quite cross any legal boundaries (but came very close), and he did nothing on her computer. From what I knew of the case from the investigator and my mother-in-law, the police were perfectly justified in their pursuit of evidence. I had worked on her computer between the time he used it, and the time they collected it to process, so I gave a detailed report of what I had done. Unfortunately, that had been clearing the browser cache and history, scanned for viruses, did some housekeeping, updated a few things, and defragged the drive. They may have been able to recover some things, but it was less likely after my cleanup. I wish they had called a few days earlier, and they may have found something more.

      • by ebuck (585470) on Thursday January 28, 2010 @01:25PM (#30936174)

        So they didn't find anything, and based on their findings:

        1. You effectively punished your room mate (forced relocation) on the grounds of an assumed conviction.

        2. You feel guilt that you aided and abetted your room mate because you assume your room mate was going to be convicted.

        Why do you feel that someone asking if a crime had been committed means the crime was committed?

        It may feel uncomfortable to interact with someone who's been accused of something, but accusations and trial by public humiliation come pretty cheap these days. Accusations don't require verification that any act actually happened, but if you make them loudly enough, you'll scare enough people into providing the punishment without any sort of due process. Your former room mate may be found guilty in the course of time; but, if said room mate is exonerated you are guilty of punishing unjustly. Since your punishment came before it was possible to know that it was appropriate, you are definitely guilty of using your brain as a fear stimulus response machine instead of an instrument of reasoning.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 28, 2010 @02:49AM (#30930270)
      As an Australian working in Digital Forensics who works in the private sector but worked in the public sector, Law Enforcement Digital Forensics folks are woefully trained in my experience and under-resourced.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by honkycat (249849)

        I'll wager that it's the under-resourced that was the limiting factor, since it doesn't sound like it took major effort. Given that California has something like a decade of unprocessed DNA rape kits due to lack of resources, it wouldn't be the least bit surprising if data forensics had a year long wait before they even got around to touching a new case.

  • by lbigbadbob (1731592) on Thursday January 28, 2010 @02:37AM (#30930218)
    I thought the point of harsh laws against child pornography were meant to prevent the exploitation of children. Child cartoon characters are not actual people and thus were not actually exploited. Clearly he should have been arrested for copyright infringement instead.
    • Not any more (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Thursday January 28, 2010 @02:57AM (#30930316)

      That was the original intent, yes. The original idea was that children are not fully developed individuals mentally as well as physically and thus need adults to protect them against various things. As such laws were created that say that children can't enter in to a contract on their own. Likewise, it was decided that children lack the understanding to consent to making porn. So it was outlawed to keep adults from exploiting them for that purpose.

      However now it has become more or less a witch hunt tool. The laws exist only to further themselves and to punish indiscriminately. Best example is two teenagers who were convicted of sending naked photos to each other. They made no effort to distribute the photos to a wider audience and were both under 18. However, they were successfully tried and convicted on child porn charges and that conviction has since been upheld on appeal. After their prison stay, they'll both have to register as sex offenders.

      Clearly such a situation is not designed to protect them from anything. While they may cause themselves harm by sharing nude photos, that harm has already been caused. The harm of going to prison and being labeled a sex offender is far, far worse. So they aren't being protected, they are being punished. There is no point, other than strict enforcement of the existing law.

      There is very little sense to what goes on with regards to these laws at this point. It seems to bypass people's ability to think logically and start off a witch hunt mentality.

  • Old News (Score:3, Informative)

    by SJ2000 (1128057) on Thursday January 28, 2010 @02:41AM (#30930232) Homepage
    Old News from 2008 [theage.com.au]
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 28, 2010 @02:58AM (#30930332)

    This seems obvious to me, but I'm not hearing it from anyone else, so I'm just going to be the voice of reason here.

    Guy downloads real child porn (I'm going to assume deliberately). Get's busted for it, because law makes the argument that he's contributing to actual child exploitation.
    - I don't agree with this, but it could be argued

    Guy downloads cartoon child porn. Get's busted for it, because law makes the argument that he's contributing to actual child exploitation?
    - Hard to argue the benefit to society here.

    Only possible explanation: It's been made into a thought crime. They just need proof someone has been thinking sexual thoughts about children. And apparently that's been made illegal.

    If a guy tries to abide by a law he got busted for by looking at cartoon child porn instead of real child porn, my first reaction is to support him. Am I crazy?

  • by Ace905 (163071) on Thursday January 28, 2010 @03:06AM (#30930360) Homepage

    This guy is obviously a pedophile, the article points out he has a prior conviction of posession of actual child pornography. His defense that the images were just funny is a total lie -- and other people have pointed this out.

    The problem I have with this case is that the guy is disgusting, his motives were obvious and so it is very easy to support his conviction. But with Cartoons, it could be argued that there is _no victim_ at all. And as much as I hate pedophiles, and I do - I don't believe that the images, real or cartoon, actually encourage pedophile tendencies.

    Images of children being exploited sexually have been banned all over the world because the children have to be protected from those images remaining in circulation for their entire lifetime; images of children being exploited sexually encourage other pedophiles to exploit more children on camera for the purpose of trading images, etc. BUT with the case of a cartoon -- none of these reasons hold true, and more importantly, at best - they encourage pedophiles to draw cartoons of children being sexually exploited which, as i said, doesn't create any victims. Distributing actual child porn may encourage the creation of child porn, but it doesn't turn otherwise normal hetereosexual people into pedophiles. You have to be a pedophile to begin with to even want it.

    Now that this guy has been charged, and this is obviously a precedent setting case - it will be easier to charge and dole out harsh sentences for people found posessing cartoon porn even if it is their first offense and they really aren't pedophiles. I mean, cartoons are sometimes funny and in the case of Simpsons porn - I know I've seen a few cartoons featuring Bart and Lisa that were funny and.... at least to me, not sexually exciting at all. I mean christ, they're cartoons.

    It seems to me that they've gone after an easy person to hate, with a history of child porn collecting - to blindside people to the over zealous and really very useless law they've just created.

  • by cl191 (831857) on Thursday January 28, 2010 @03:07AM (#30930366)
    I guess I need to draw some clothes on my stick figure man just to be safe from now on.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by ColdWetDog (752185)

      I guess I need to draw some clothes on my stick figure man just to be safe from now on.

      Good idea, somebody better go tell Randall [xkcd.com]

  • Bart's Unit (Score:5, Insightful)

    by flyboy974 (624054) on Thursday January 28, 2010 @03:17AM (#30930412)
    So everyone who owns or has seen the Simpson's movie is liable for child porn? Is it me or didn't Bart go skateboarding naked in the movie, including showing his "talent". If I draw two stick figures in a suggestive manner, is that child porn? How old is a stick figure?
  • All hail (Score:5, Funny)

    by BlackHawk-666 (560896) <ivan.hawkes@gmail.com> on Thursday January 28, 2010 @03:38AM (#30930530) Homepage

    All hail the Pedo Finder General!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UvsoVdvtZC4 [youtube.com]

  • by erroneus (253617) on Thursday January 28, 2010 @04:59AM (#30930912) Homepage

    Some people get into some pretty whacked out interests. No question about it. I once saw some show where a guy was a collector of vomit... but it had to come from women. There are all kinds of interests out there; some funny, some disgusting, some make you worry.

    I think we have to draw a line between right and wrong when it comes to punishing people for their likes and dislikes alone. We don't throw people in jail for WANTING to rob a bank. We don't throw people in jail for being obsessed with TV shows about murder or rape or other crimes. Why do we throw people into jail for wanting be with children? It doesn't mean they did or ever will. It just means they "might." There are a lot of things that people might do... drinking and driving is something that people might do.

    We seriously need to stop "protecting children" and start being civilized and rational about how we administer justice.

    I'm not saying that being interested in children sexually isn't bad -- it is. I'm just saying it shouldn't be considered criminal until a criminal act is carried out. Until an actual person is harmed (even "harm" is often rather subjective) or at least involved, it should be treated as a mental illness at the very worst.

    And let's be honest about what we find more disturbing. There are people out there who get off on sicker things than teenage girls. There are people who get their kicks from crime scene photos that include murder, suicide, mutilation and dismemberment. I find that to be EXTREMELY disturbing. Why, then, aren't these people being charged with some sort of crime and putting these freaks away? I find our justice systems are seriously inconsistent.

  • by bytesex (112972) on Thursday January 28, 2010 @05:34AM (#30931112) Homepage

    So essentially, they wanted to throw the book at him and this was all they could find, and it happened to artificially fit the definition of a law that is really only randomly enforced. The guy may be a perv, but he did his time and this is no reason to put him away.

  • ascii porn (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 28, 2010 @06:35AM (#30931414)
    Maybe it's drawn too poorly, but this is an actual depiction of Bart and Lisa engaging in taboo acts of a sexual nature!

    >+o
    >+o

    the sad part is that I am posting anonymously because.... what if?
  • Comic book guy (Score:3, Interesting)

    by ThaReetLad (538112) <sneaky@blueRABBI ... minus herbivore> on Thursday January 28, 2010 @06:40AM (#30931452) Journal

    Is it just me, or does that guy bear more than a passing resemblance to Comic Book Guy?

    Also, talking about Simpsons porn, will Australia make the London 2012 Olympic logo illegal?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 28, 2010 @07:56AM (#30931746)

    People who have children are aiding and abetting child pornographers by producing potential child porn models. They indulge in home porn shows when they bathe their children and offer provoking glimpses of young flesh when they flaunt their kids at the seaside. Outrageous!

    Well, I don't see it like that, but with the aid of a twisted mind, I can see how the folks who want to ban cartoons of children might be working towards that conclusion. The ban and control brigade are just as sick as the paedophiles they claim to abhor.

  • by AttilaSz (707951) on Thursday January 28, 2010 @08:06AM (#30931778) Homepage Journal

    So why don't they make it illegal to possess a picturing of any crime being committed, even if the portrayal is completely fictional? Like, I dunno, people beating up, or killing other people. That should be completely eradicated from movies now, don't you think?

    Sheesh...

  • Zombies! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Sobrique (543255) on Thursday January 28, 2010 @08:44AM (#30931952) Homepage
    It's ok. They're actually 1000 year old zombies, so it's not CP at all.
    Seriously. What the hell? The anti-pedophilia laws are there to protect children from harm, particularly from people in a position of trust or influence. That's eminently reasonable.
    How does a cartoon - however tasteless - have anything to do with that?
  • by no-body (127863) on Thursday January 28, 2010 @09:19AM (#30932230)

    Thought police in action. This is just a dry run.

    Soon there is a device which will sense thought patterns and everyone with a wet dream will go to jail.
    Since the prisons can't hold all the convicts private companies will pick up the slack and - $$$$$!

    Uups! That was Australia - I thought about the US business model - my fault...

Some people have a great ambition: to build something that will last, at least until they've finished building it.

Working...