A computer expert in Great Britain has been told to “be prepared, at least, for a prison sentence”. His crime? He scanned photographs of adult porn stars into his computer, and photomanipulated them to reduce the size of their breasts and add schoolgirl costumes. Again...pictures *of adults* photoshopped. No actual children involved, and no one is asserting otherwise.Link to UK Times story. Another interesting snip from that piece: computer forensic analyst Ray Savage, with the Cleveland police department -- "These images can be as crude as someone having pasted a cut-out of a child’s head on to an adult’s photo."
He pled guilty after being told "a pseudophotograph of a child is defined as an image, whether made by computer graphics or otherwise, which appears to be that of a child. Such an image is treated in law as showing a child even if some of the physical characteristics are those of an adult. "
At an earlier court hearing, even the judge the analogy of a “tarts and vicars” party...would photos from women at such an event be considered child pornography?(Note: I originally found the link from a Second Life member's blog where they were discussing related issues as they are related to Second Life. A notable quote from that blogpost:I can't help thinking that his offence pales into insignificance next to the sort of activity that happens in SL.)
Reader comment: Kyle Marriott says,
Thought you might like to hear a little story, because I too am caught up in something very similar and a little more worring.
Some years ago, I did HTML and graphic work on a website for a few friends of mine. It was never intended to be anything commercial, just a small site for them to attempt to be 'funny on the Internets' for their friends.
It turns out that in the early days of seeking popularity, they decided to batch upload a load of hentai (basically Japanese cartoon porn). Some of this is a little disturbing, as seems to be the case with anything combining the words 'Japanese' and 'erotic', but nothing that seemed to be illegal; they even got their hosts to check to make sure nothing was going to get them in any trouble.
This sat fine for almost three years, until the registrar of the domain, my friend Michael, got a knock on his door at 7am. The police were stood there with a warrant to search his house and seize his computers. They did the same at his parent's house, and then arrested him for distribution of abusive images of children.
Since then, they've requested that the other friend go in for questioning, and then also myself. We both had all of our computers and hard drives seized too, as well as being arrested and bailed. All of this over a few cartoons, which whilst being admittedly graphic, are not in my eyes abusive to children.
This was over 3 months ago. The investigating officers don't have an answerphone, do not return my calls, and it took me over a week to get through to someone to update my address when I moved to a new apartment. Since then, the only contact they've given me has been a voicemail to tell me not to come in for my bail date because the Crown Prosecution Service can't decide whether the case can go to court. That was three weeks ago, and I haven't been able to get in touch with anyone since.
Right now I'm left wondering if I'm still on bail, whether I can leave the country for a holiday, and whether I'm actually going to be charged and put on the sex offender's register or not. I think that this country really needs to review it's policies and laws with regards to this, as every day I read about real paedophiles who hurt children getting slack sentences and leniency whilst I'm left in the dark over a few drawings.
Boing Boing editor/partner and tech culture journalist Xeni Jardin hosts and produces Boing Boing's in-flight TV channel on Virgin America airlines (#10 on the dial), and writes about living with breast cancer. Diagnosed in 2011. @xeni on Twitter. email: firstname.lastname@example.org.