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Supreme Court Rules on Challenge to COPA 298

Publiux writes: "LawMeme is reporting today that the Supreme Court upheld portions of the Child Online Protection Act because using community standards to determine what could be harmful to minors was not overly broad and thus not unconstitutional. Before you stop spreading your 'sexually explicit material' online, a lower court still has to determine if the law is unconstitutional for other reasons." Snibor Eoj submits this link to coverage at Yahoo! as well. Other readers link to AP coverage running at NandoTimes and the decision itself (PDF).
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Supreme Court Rules on Challenge to COPA

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  • Re:A Good Thing (Score:5, Informative)

    by DarkZero ( 516460 ) on Monday May 13, 2002 @01:54PM (#3511059)
    This isn't about kiddie porn. It's about run-of-the-mill porn, featuring adults, which could possibly be VIEWED by children on the internet.
  • by CaptainSuperBoy ( 17170 ) on Monday May 13, 2002 @01:55PM (#3511069) Homepage Journal
    Send them back to school.. because they are obviously unable to read:
    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.
  • by b.foster ( 543648 ) on Monday May 13, 2002 @02:09PM (#3511146)
    Readers of the Congressional Register will recognize the following future threats to free speech and free commerce online, which had been held up in committee until the Supreme Court ruled on the COPA:
    • H.R. 4239, which makes it a felony to distribute any kind of sexually explicit material to a user who does not register with a government-sanctioned age verification service (like AdultCheck).
    • H.R. 4551, which outlaws the creation and distribution of "electronic burglary devices" such as system cracking scripts and port scanners.
    • H.R. 4608, which taxes all sales of goods over the internet that originate overseas.
    • H.R. 4277, which requires all ISPs to keep 6 months of records of all user activity and give law enforcement access to the records without a court order.
    The list goes on. Naturally most of these will never become law, but statistically at least a few are likely to pass and make the internet that much more repressive. It's high time to vote Libertarian [] and try to preserve the few remaining liberties we actually have in this country.
  • by kfg ( 145172 ) on Monday May 13, 2002 @02:16PM (#3511191)
    The COPA has nothing to do with child porn. It restricts *adult* material that *may* be viewed by a minor. In other words, " dirty pictures."

    By applying " community standards" bikini pinups could be all that is needed to invoke prosecution under COPA.

    It's the disturbing sort of law that makes it illegal to distribute the sort of material it's perfectly legal for the intended recipient to possess, even under the standards of the supposed "community."

  • Re:First Amendment (Score:4, Informative)

    by Stonehand ( 71085 ) on Monday May 13, 2002 @02:18PM (#3511208) Homepage
    If you actually read the law, you'll notice that it uses a Miller-style test for determining "harmful to minors", which requires that a work "taken as a whole lacks serious literary, artistic, political or scientific value for minors".

    Hence, picture of the nude Statue of David -- fine. Print of Venus de Milo: fine. Bestiality pictures on basketballs inside a fishtank: hmmm, no.
  • by mrroach ( 164090 ) on Monday May 13, 2002 @04:19PM (#3512073)
    Umm, either I am completely mistaken, or this is a bunch of FUD. I did google searches on each of these bills, and this is what I found:

    HR 4239 [] To revise the banking and bankruptcy insolvency
    laws with respect to the termination and netting of financial contracts

    HR 4551 [] : To repeal the 1993 increase in tax on Social Security benefits and to develop and apply a Consumer Price Index that accurately reflects the cost-of-living for older Americans who receive Social Security benefits under title II of the Social Security Act.

    HR 4608 []To designate the United States courthouse located at 220 West Depot Street in Greeneville, Tennessee, as the "James H. Quillen United States Courthouse".To designate the United States courthouse located at 220 West Depot Street in Greeneville, Tennessee, as the "James H. Quillen United States Courthouse".

    HR 4277 []: the "Quality Health-care Coalition Act of 1998"

    Like I say, I may be mistaken, maybe they don't use unique ID's for the bill numbers, but my skeptic alert went off when I read this post that contained zero links to any reputable site.

Never buy from a rich salesman. -- Goldenstern