Manga collector faces 15 years in jail because some of his comics included sexual images of children

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201 Responses to “Manga collector faces 15 years in jail because some of his comics included sexual images of children”

  1. Anonymous says:

    ok well, I would like to repeat the first comment – why did he plead guilty? with the note that no matter what, he was under some obligation not to plead guilty.

    Because of him, the next not guilty person will have a worse time of it.

    Is he a pervert, I doubt it. Is he a coward, I don’t doubt it.

    Damn him, and now everybody should go to his defense.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I have been sent gifts of Manga by well-meaning friends in Japan, and a few times had to throw them away almost as soon as I’ve opened them because of questionable content involving teens and pre-teens. I know they didn’t mean to offend or endanger me, and I certainly don’t want the stuff, but it has happened. Wonder if it happened to this guy?

    With so many titles in his collection, it is certainly possible this guy didn’t even know some of it was there. Or maybe he underestimated the danger in its possession. I do wish he had decided to fight it – this sets a precedent that may place others (who I’ll presume innocent) in similar dire straits.

  3. tboy says:

    @14: They’ll only say, “Thy’v bnnd rrkn n Gjn-rnd!” and go underground.

    Congratulations; now you have sick people who now have a damn good reason to make every effort to hide their existence.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Freedom of speech is a powerful thing, and should not be mangled like this.

    For example, I am allowed to say this (untrue) statement aloud: “I had sex with an underage girl. I inserted my penis into her vagina repeatedly.” I’m allowed to write it down (assuming my anonymous commentary isn’t moderated out of existence for my use of such language). But I am not allowed to draw it. All three things are expressing the same idea, regardless of style or presentation. Its the same thing. You’re prosecuting an idea at this point, and if you can be prosecuted for drawing it, why not for writing it? Why not for saying it, or even being suspected of thinking it?

    A slippery slope indeed.

  5. tubesoda says:

    This is horrible news of course, but I must say this guy is an absolute idiot for pleading guilty when CBLDF and probably other organizations would have gladly paid for his defense all the way up to the supreme court if necessary, and he had a very good chance of winning (provided he was not to be tried in Florida, of course). Not only has he ruined his own life, but he’s allowed a dangerous precedent to be set that puts thousands of other innocent people at risk under this blatantly unconstitutional law.

  6. nehpetsE says:

    Several sex scenes on xkcd potentially depict underage sex of stick figures. Prove me wrong.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Actually plenty of things considered distasteful ARE illegal. It is illegal to walk around naked in public for example. Swearing on TV during the day is illegal. Purchasing beer on Sundays is illegal (in most states).

  8. fiendishthingy says:

    “Take a look at this. (shows a photograph of a hillside with indistinguishable blue mark) What is it? Just a hillside? Look again. There’s a child there – no more than a blue speck. But the fact is : if you showed this picture to a paedophile, they’d actually try and attack it in an attempt to reach the child. That’s the kind of warped mindset we’re dealing with here.”

  9. grimc says:

    I just realized that I was responding to pending comments that I hadn’t send through yet.

    Cheater.

  10. Anonymous says:

    (T_T)<- ^.^

    This is a drawing of an 8 year old getting raped by a fox. If you want I can refine it. Can you tell me when exactly it becomes illegal?

    Arbitrary laws are stupid and arbitrary kthnx.

  11. Takuan says:

    why? Because in simple terms of species survival and numbers, it is better to eliminate the few pedophiles than risk the broad damage just one can do to many children. That is the evolutionary, red-in-tooth-and-claw answer. Not necessarily he “human” answer. A rich society can afford to more liberal, a neolithic village can’t afford the loss of even one child.

  12. Anonymous says:

    “it is definitely morally wrong as it does fuel sexual longing for children.”

    So drawings of adults in sexual situations fuels sexual longing for adult, which is bad?

    And is there an adult who hasn’t had a “sexual longing” for someone they pass in the street… does that make them a potential dangerous rapist?

    FANTASY IS HARMLESS AND NATURAL.

  13. Anonymous says:

    @155 “we have a path-dependency of extrapolating that videos and photos of children being exploited (i.e. “child pornography”) has a positive feedback loop with supporting future exploitation of children.”

    In the real world, how does child porn support future exploitation of children? I can think of two major ways:

    1) The pornographer abuses children by photographing/videotaping them in a sexual context.
    –> The consumer gives $$$ to the pornographer in exchange for copies of the offending photos/vids.
    –> The pornographer pockets the $$$ and uses a portion of it to expand his business, abuse more and more children in front of the camera, market his wares to more and more consumers, etc. Other people enter the child porn trade once they realize it’s a lucrative venture.

    2) The pornographer abuses children by photographing/videotaping them in a sexual context.
    –> The consumer obtains copies of the offending photos/vids.
    –> The consumer gets aroused by the photos/vids.
    –> Spurred by his arousal, the consumer sexually abuses real children.

    I don’t think many people would object to using #1 as the basis for laws against child pornography, since there’s a direct link between the exchange of money and the perpetuation of child abuse. But I’m guessing a lot of people here would reject #2 as a justification for our laws, since it’s no easier to prove that viewing child porn will turn an upstanding person into a kiddie-fiddler as it is to prove that viewing explicit child manga will have the same result.

    If you accept argument #1, then you’ll probably agree that producing and purchasing child porn should be illegal. By the same turn, if you reject argument #2, wouldn’t you also agree that possessing child porn should not be illegal, so long as the possessor neither paid for it or created it?

    Scenario: John Q. Perv is walking down the street when he find a child porn magazine lying in the gutter. Curious, he picks it up and takes it home with him, and he files it away with his Playboys for the usual disgusting purposes.

    It’s hardly a stretch to call Mr. Perv a sick man who’s badly in need of a good shrink. But since he neither paid for nor created the porn, he isn’t the least bit complicit in the magazine’s future success, so he isn’t perpetuating child abuse on that basis. If he ends up being prosecuted because of it, wouldn’t the prosecutor ideally have the burden of proving that Mr. Perv actually bought or created the porn, and shouldn’t Mr. Perv be acquitted if this isn’t the case?

    I’m not (really ;) trying to play devil’s advocate here — I’m just seeing how far some people (including me) would go to reject the causal link between viewing child porn and actually going out and raping little kids.

    As it is, I’m averse to the idea of child porn on such a deep level that I can’t fully accept the idea that possessing it (w/o producing or buying it) shouldn’t automatically warrant punishment. But maybe I’m letting my emotions get it the way of reason; who’s to say?

  14. CalperniaAddams says:

    Look it up, and take a good, long look at cartoons of adult males (and tentacles and animals) raping little girls and boys. That’s what this is… Not Anne Geddes naked babies on flowers, or your daughter topless on the beach at age 2 in family photos. If you’re behind this, then I guess we don’t have anything to say to each other. Where do we draw the line? Slippery slope? How about drawing the line at children being raped? Simple.

  15. blueelm says:

    What a strange situation. It was my understanding that the posession of photographic child pornography was illegal because it encouraged the assault and mistreatment of the children in the picture. In other words it is documentation of abuse.

    It is a strange and tough argument about manga and I don’t know exactly how I feel, but while our children are fetishised to a large degree in the US there is a distinction between a predatory pedophile, your nasty uncle, and people who collect drawings of little girls being split in half by squid with hardware. I’m not sure that the latter influences the former, as the person molesting one’s child is more likely to be a good friend or spouse than a sexually-frustrated comic collector.

    I think the Gacey clown of pain model sticks in people’s heads, but remember that he actually interacted with kids… not drawings of them. Secondly while we may be stigmatizing our kids by putting them in beauty pageants and American Apparel ads, the objective of some one who compulsively rapes small children is not to worship the adult-like beauty of a little girl but rather to have sex with her because it fufuls a compulsive need. As far as sympathy for them, I’m not sure about these teach-a-lesson type laws, but I see no problem with confining a serious enough offender from the rest of society, but some one with some drawings? Really?

    By the same token it makes me sad that there is probably some one who has actually raped a little girl who will serve less jailtime than this guy will for having some troubling drawings. As far as the drawings, as an artist, I can’t help but think that these things must be tolerated.

  16. Anonymous says:

    @67 : can’t argue there… the drawings you refer to show little to no boobs at all, suggesting preteen stick figures !

  17. chris7crows says:

    #132:

    No children were harmed in its making, and therefore buying it is not supporting the harm of anyone.

    Can you provide citations that prove that these images won’t turn upstanding citizens into pedophiles?

    With all due respect, I think it’s incumbent upon you (or someone else) to prove that they do.

    Likewise, why do you think these images would turn an upstanding citizen into a pedophile, but the works of Jim Thompson won’t turn them into a grifter or murderer? Or that a straight person reading fiction where the main character is homosexual won’t suddenly change their sexual orientation?

  18. Anonymous says:

    Suggesting that “there’s little reason for those loli/child-pron-manga images to exist outside of fueling sick sexual longings toward children” is utter rubbish.

    Does it mean that your collection of rambo / terminator / war films, mean that you are fueling your sick longing towards murdering innocent people?

    Does your owning bottles of alcohol mean that you are fueling a sick longer towards alcoholic violence?

    For goodness sake, learn to differentiate between make-believe (fiction/fantasy) and real life.

  19. Anonymous says:

    Those laws are completely hypocritical… if there is a correlation with the possession of fictionnal work representing a crime and perpetration of said crime by the viewer, anyone posessing fictionnal work representing murders should be punishable criminals too (I personnaly have Pulp Fiction on DVD, should I be put in jail ?).

  20. Anonymous says:

    “all that loli/child-porn-via-manga stuff is *images of children being raped/having intercourse/being sexualized*”

    Er, no. A cartoon character is not a child, any more than tom and jerry falls foul of animal cruelty laws.

  21. Takuan says:

    beauty pageants for small children ought to be criminally prosecuted. It may be a variant of the stage-mother perversion, but I brand it perversion nonetheless. How can a six year old give informed consent to being sexualized? I suppose it all started with picking the prettiest to throw into the sacrifice well or volcano. Fucking gods.

  22. Takuan says:

    what if you start looking at something (or start reading)not knowing what it is, and as you proceed you come to the realization it is a depiction of a sexual act involving minors? At what point is an offence under law committed?

  23. tubesoda says:

    What children being raped? Did you forget we’re talking about drawings here?

  24. Pteryxx says:

    Re 166:

    “Actually plenty of things considered distasteful ARE illegal. It is illegal to walk around naked in public for example. Swearing on TV during the day is illegal. Purchasing beer on Sundays is illegal (in most states).”

    Generally, it’s illegal to do distasteful things *in public* where other people can’t avoid them. It’s not illegal to walk around naked at home and swear to your heart’s content. People generally don’t publicize their porn stashes though.

  25. Sekino says:

    @ Antinous

    Wouldn’t it be more useful to have a free and full discussion about the relationship between sexual/violent imagery and sexual/violent behavior/social consequences.

    I now see your point and I totally agree. I, for starters, would welcome data correlating (or not) sex/violence in various media and actual violent crime rates. I have participated in many such discussions (about comics, video games, books, etc…) and they all seem rich in emotions but lacking in actual numbers.

    It seems that most of the info I find shows that there is no significant correlation between watching, reading, playing sexual/violent medium and engaging in sexual/violent behaviour. However I am NOT to endorse everything I find after a couple of hours on Google. So in the end, I admit all I can stand by is mostly anecdotal evidence and experience (not high value in a debate).

    Obviously, we all have strong opinions and beliefs on morality, decency and the likes. But I don’t think we can have a true discussion if we don’t begin with actual facts, leave our high emotions aside, and find out what we’re truly up against.

    • Antinous / Moderator says:

      I’m arguing for more light, less heat in this thread. You can’t go to the Supreme Court and say, “ZOMG! Orwellian!” I would love to see this kind of law overturned, but it won’t happen without compelling data and cogent arguments. Is there a single research citation in this whole thread?

  26. WalterBillington says:

    It’s well known manga depicts “divergent” sexual behaviour, and that the content isn’t so much ambigous as clearly sexual, involving child-eyed females and so on. I don’t know about the kids – kind of kept away from manga.

    If he’s a serious collector, we could presume he’s familiar with the culture and content. After all – how would he know what to collect? So he’d know about the tentacles and kiddies. Yuck. Creepy.

    However … it’s from a different culture, and has different meaning. Manga doesn’t really translate to western eyes – it seems salacious. But in aggregate, manga treats sexuality in a particular way, that maybe you can only do in a personally repressive society like Japan. (Any questions? Ask a korean japanese what their surname is, and why. Thanks.)

    Would it spur sexual assaults? Would its dissemination change people’s behaviours? I don’t know. If I drew pictures of kids being raped by an octothing, I’d fairly expect some dramatic legal fireworks.

    On the strict letter of the law, yes, GUILTY, but actually, I wouldn’t spend my time as a defender of the people chasing easy kills in manga-ville. I don’t think this is a key initiator of paedophilic behaviour – there’s other stuff to be looking at.

    And trust me, I think paedophiles should be fed to sharks.

  27. mypalmike says:

    If it weren’t for the existence of children, children wouldn’t be molested. Yet another reason to stop breeding, folks.

  28. stegodon says:

    @ 64 I am no arbiter, but I am entitled to my opinion, which, in this case, is that manga featuring kids being raped by adults and all manner of monsters and ocean dwelling creatures is creepy, and I personally am not into it. That is all. There’s a strong chance you would think I’m strange if you perused my record collection, and who cares? The bottom line is that I don’t think that Government should be interfering in harmless art. Just because something is objectionable to me doesn’t mean that it has no artistic or cultural value, or that I project subjective judgements onto people that DO enjoy it.

  29. bardfinn says:

    By convicting this fellow under this law, the government has now instilled a serious political value to these images.

    This fellow needs a serious, competent and inventive lawyer.

  30. Small Om says:

    http://www.banned-books.com/bblista-i.html

    I personally don’t approve of depictions of children in sexual positions whether drawn or not.
    I also don’t approve of hate speech. Both offend my sensibilities. Guess what, that doesn’t mean I think they should be banned.

    I like the fact that I live in a country that until now, provided no-one is being compromised or harmed(having your feelings or sensibilities hurt doesn’t count), allows it. If you think that you can take out some parts of free speech out that you feel are objectionable, then everyone else can.

    With the standards set forth from this crowd a fundamentalist christian can pull out the entire catalog of science books and research papers relating to evolution and natural selection because it offends their sensibilities. Government officials can ban 1984 and A Brave New World because they find it offensive to their career. Australia banned From Hell for awhile(I don’t know if that ban is still in effect) and requires periodical magazines to rewrite their pieces for their country. If it were written today Titus Androgynous would be banned. Now Imagine a world where owning anything that in and of itself isn’t a crime against individuals can land you in jail.

    As for the argument that it isn’t art, I’m sorry but that’s not for the government to decide. I could make the argument that The Simpsons Movie falls under the definition of this current law, as the three second joke showing Bart Simpson’s genitalia isn’t that tasteful and doesn’t add to the movie. If I can decide your favorite book isn’t art and you can go to jail for my decision, then you’d most likely change your tune.
    -SH.

  31. Anonymous says:

    “No one ever did bad things after reading a book!!!!”

    Careful with that statement, many people read the bible

  32. tizroc says:

    Calp. as people have reasonably pointed out, your social intolerism is showing. You want people to go to jail for a CARTOON (something not real) and where does that stop? You want someone to go to jail for A MISCONCEPTION in some cases that are NOT CHILDREN but because there is some resemblance due to cultural differences. Slippery slope?!??! Uh, yeah. Next lets start policing everyone who thinks something horrible, or says something horrible. Next time you wish (even if you don’t say it out loud) detriment on someone, to jail! Next time you have an urge to violence or to use a tongue lashing… to jail! Where does it stop? With what you want? With what someone else wants? How about we invade every country who allows consent, nude photography or has any cultural difference to yours? Were you talking about that slippery slope?

    Or a closer analogy? My mother collects salt and pepper shakers. Every set she comes across. Garage sales, what have you. She quite possibly has thousands of the darn things. She doesn’t care if they work, and only scrutinizes if it is an original she has or doesn’t have. I myself have repacked them to find salt and other things in them. She says she collects them, she doesn’t always tinker or use them. What if someone put something in one of those? Should my mother or someones mother go to jail for such a horrible crime? My step-brother and I both collect vinyl records, I don’t listen to them all. When I buy in bulk it can be years before I can check them all. I should go to jail if it is a comedian’s album in rather poor taste? Maybe the great Carlin? He could be rather gross.

  33. shadowfirebird says:

    I certainly think we should draw the line at children being raped. But then, no children were in this case.

    We are talking about *drawings* of children being raped. Now I can’t for the life of me see any fun in that for the artist or the viewer; quite the reverse.

    But that doesn’t mean that it should be illegal. If everything I thought was pointless and disgusting was illegal, that would be a dull world. It disgusts me, it may disgust you, but that is hardly an objective, measurable test, is it?

    When we start criminalising what is going on inside people’s heads, instead of how they behave, we do start to have a problem, don’t we? Since we don’t have a mind-reading machine.

    IF this guy was getting off on these particular pictures, and IF that in fact means that he might have assaulted a child one day (we have no proof of either), then I guess we should have a law to cover that.

    But that wouldn’t be a law that says that looking at bad art makes you a paedophile.

  34. Tom Hale says:

    I think that if someone becomes a pedophile after reading a book or looking at images depicting children in sexual situations, then that person probably already had it in them to be one. I don’t think someone would enjoy such material unless they already fantasized about that sort of thing. But, for someone to have it in themselves to take the step that turns fantasy into a reality by actually raping or molesting a child, then they already had something wrong with them to begin with.

  35. Small Om says:

    @151

    It crosses the line into child pornography when a real child is being photographed, taped, or otherwise recorded in REAL LIFE being sexually exploited or put into sexual positions including fellatio, cunnilingus, vaginal or anal intercourse. If it’s a drawing, 3D rendering or erotica(check out Edwardian pornography sometime) then it’s not child pornography because a child isn’t involved, it’s a depiction of a child and then it’s smut. Some porn actresses depict Lolitas despite being 18, it still isn’t child pornography.

    -SH.

  36. Anonymous says:

    two things: the comment that “he collected everything that was out there that he could get his hands on” — suggests that he isn’t a serious collector, he just buys a lot of stuff.

    There’s also an argument as to cultural acceptability – there are places where dogfights and chicken fights and slavery are legal — but we have no problem making them illegal in countries where it isn’t culturally acceptable.

    Doesn’t this rather fit the same form? In other words — just because Japan thinks it’s okay does NOT mean that anybody else has to.

  37. Tom Hale says:

    I googled this – http://www.google.com/search?source=ig&hl=en&rlz=&q=research+OR+study+~connect+pedophile+pornograhpy&btnG=Google+Search&aq=f&oq= – which gave quite a few relevant links. Here’s one

    Demonstrating a Link between Child Pornography and Pedophilia – Centre for Addiction and Mental Health

    http://www.camh.net/Research/Research_publications/Newsletter/child_pornography_pedophilia.html

  38. Small Om says:

    Real quick clarification of my definition of erotica since I typed/posted too quickly, “erotic fiction”. If it’s a semi-nude minor then in some cases the line does get blurry as you do have to take the definition of tasteful into account(see the miley cyrus photos for instance).

  39. Trent Hawkins says:

    #130 You do know that Holocaust denial is not illegal in the US. All to do with that silly freedom of speech which only seems to apply if you’re propping up children as fodder for imaginary crimes.

  40. nehpetsE says:

    Raping children is a crime, and that is as it should be.

    Access to actual foto/video footage of ANYONE being raped should be restricted in that the actual victim has the right to protect their own privacy.

    I cannot conceive justification for the possession or creation of any FICTION to be a criminalized.

    But i ran a preschool and discovered one of my employees was obsessed with manga depicting preschool age children having sex, i’d still want the option to fire that person without fear of lawsuit for false termination.

    The law is a blunt instrument and should be avoided at all costs.
    No image should ever automatically carry jail time.

    But I guess for me the line of ambiguity would would lie at whether the possession of images should be admissible as evidence in child custody disputes.

  41. Anonymous says:

    Thank you, Calp. and Anonymous #14. Those of you who are splitting hairs about this being drawings rather than photographs or films — unless you are sitting and witnessing (or experiencing) it, every depiction of rape is just that, a depiction. The fact that it is in cartoon form doesn’t change it. We’re not talking about depictions of adult sex (even adults being raped). We’re not talking about depictions of other kinds of violence (which are also disgusting to me). We’re talking about depictions of children being raped. What if they looked like your children, would it make a difference? What if the guy collected photoshopped images of young girls being raped, and they included your daughter or niece’s face? This stuff is wrong, and I agree it is easy to draw the line there. You don’t make exceptions for people like Pete Townshend “doing research” (no matter how good a guitarist he is) or a guy collecting thousands of pages of manga. He knew what he was collecting, and if you start making exceptions and excuses, that’s where the slippery slope begins – you’ll never convict any actual pedophile (even assuming this guy wasn’t one) who can say he was only “doing research” or “collecting.” It isn’t only about harm to actual children; it’s about making something that is unthinkable and unacceptable less so. No one needs to own this stuff, so why try so hard to defend it?

  42. cosanostradamus says:

    .
    THOUGHTCRIMINAL!!!

    No Manga will be safe until all these 3D fiends are erased!
    .

  43. Takuan says:

    actual versus theoretic harm is the important distinction here. Photographic child pornography means an actual child was victimized, a crime in every sense of the word has been committed. A sketch of the same image done from imagination is distasteful, but there are no direct,real world consequences. I suppose I could suffer someone sexually fixated on children to live in my village, so long as he never acted on the impulse. I imagine this goes on all the time.

    A while ago there was an article here about rites of adolescent passage (to adulthood). I wonder if part of the current situation with apparently more pedophiles than historically noted partly derives from the loss of coming of age rituals. Are there more cases from borderline people who might have made the jump to adult sexual imprinting if they had been overtly TOLD they were official adults now? That would sure fit the typical, sexually stalled otaku in Japan – where these manga originate.

  44. Anonymous says:

    Events like these do not honour the feelings of, and effects upon, children who have actually been molested, abused or raped. In fact their experiences are belittled by these squanderings of the law.
    Those who cannot distinguish between the two – the real and the fabricated – should hang their heads in shame.

  45. tsm_sf says:

    I love the self righteous comments coming from a country that fetishizes youth as much as America does.

    The difference between America and Japan… is that Japan is honest with itself.

  46. kiddr01 says:

    There are a few people here who haven’t witnessed manga porn involving children – as some others have pointed out, it’s is very explicit – it’s not ambiguous with the subjects age, a lot of the time they depict toddlers and babies. Zoikes scoob!

    I wandered into a comic shop in Fukuoka and found myself in this aisle – i couldn’t believe what i was seeing!

    But, i don’t believe in punishing people for what would essentially be thought crime. In the face of no direct and hard evidence to harm against another human, the argument for it is just down to other peoples philosophy’s. We just can’t entertain preventative punishment. Even if it is something as disturbing as this

  47. eti says:

    Someone PLEASE think of the cartoon children that were abused in the making of this smut.

  48. zuzu says:

    People generally don’t publicize their porn stashes though.

    Clearly you’re unaware of the enpornium.us BitTorrent tracker. :p

    I personally don’t approve of depictions of children in sexual positions whether drawn or not. I also don’t approve of hate speech. Both offend my sensibilities. Guess what, that doesn’t mean I think they should be banned.

    “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.” — Evelyn Beatrice Hall

  49. Anonymous says:

    I find this ridiculous in my opinion, yes it has images of child pornography but its manga, drawings, no actual children were involved in sexual activity. There was a book my friend read and ten pages in it had a sexual encounter with a 7 year old boy and a 30 y/o man, does that mean she should be arrested? And besides do you know how many other people in the world read this stuff? Like Lunning said this stuff is huge in Japan. I dont really think he has done enough to risk 15 years in jail.

  50. Tom Hale says:

    To those of you that think art depicting children in sexual situations shouldn’t be illegal, I ask, do you think there is a point where it should be illegal? A CGI artist could make a lifelike video of children in sexual situations. It’s art, but shouldn’t it be considered child pornography?

  51. optuser says:

    Lobster: pahahahah! Can I try to molest ink?

    Great comments, debate, and ranting, folks. The general consensus here is that the law is stupid, if not unconstitutional. What are possible avenues for getting the law changed or repealed?

    Here’s how I sum up the idea that anything can be erotica/porn. Something I keep telling my partner when I’m flipping between channels. Whether it’s a commercial, news, religion, or particularly the Weather Channel, I’ll say: “Somewhere, someone is jacking off to this.”

  52. Slizzered says:

    God, I would never want *his* lawyer to defend me.

  53. paganize says:

    I create (mainly as a hobby) 3D objects for sale on digital art sites such as renderosity, 3dcommune, etc. I got to thinking, about a year ago, about this sort of situation after an old friend decided she wanted to open up a CGI Porn website (which, BTW, there are several already out there).
    She wanted me to help with finding artists, legalities, contracts, just general stuff on that line; I talked to a few lawyers, posted questions on lots of forums, did quite a bot of research, and this is what I came up with: Don’t do it.
    The way the legal atmosphere currently stands, you are mainly protected from prosecution by the various proofs of age you get from models, so that you are able to prove that you aren’t creating child pornography. With a Virtual Model, this just isn’t possible; the apparent age of the model is completely and totally subjective; All a prosecutor would have to do is demand proof that the model is 18+; it is impossible to do so.
    I am sort of confused, in regards to the subject I’m replying to, since as far as I can tell it’s not illegal to possess Drawn or rendered Child Pornography in the US (unless, of course, it is judged “obscene, something which is almost impossible outside of Utah); it is only illegal to transfer it to another person after specifying that it IS child pornography and in the case of rendered images, is intended to represent a child in a pornographic situation, or if it is high quality work (please forgive me for writing that), actually IS a child. There was a law, but it got overturned.

  54. Anonymous says:

    Never once have I found ANYONE able to produce which titles he had. If a list ever could be found, I suspect this would be alot less hypothetical.

    Since he was going to be defended, for free, by the comic book defense fund ppl, I can only GUESS he pled guilty because he felt he WAS.

    And yes, just because something is legal in another country, doesn’t make it so here.

    Want a topic for conversation to get people all riled up? Furry art. Discuss amongst yourselves.

  55. Drabula says:

    Madness. Utter fucking madness. Art is art is art and NOTHING ever drawn by the hand should make its way to court (unless it’s your step-by-step plan on how to kill your (dead) wife or something)

  56. benher says:

    @TSM_SF If only it were possible to mod you up here on BB, I would.

    When I see news like this it pretty much solves the dilemma for me as to whether I should ever return to the US from Japan or not… The answer is pretty much that as an artist, I couldn’t even if I wanted to.

    As for the think-of-the-children crowd, remember it’s only a matter of time before they’re painting fig leaves over your naughty bits of choice and it’s your free expression on the chopping block.

    • Antinous / Moderator says:

      When I see news like this it pretty much solves the dilemma for me as to whether I should ever return to the US from Japan or not…remember it’s only a matter of time before they’re painting fig leaves over your naughty bits of choice and it’s your free expression on the chopping block.

      Um. Japanese law requires all genitalia to be pixelated. I wouldn’t really hold it up as an example of free access to uncensored images.

  57. Powerphail says:

    I think Neil Gaiman summed it up perfectly:

    “Because if you don’t stand up for the stuff you don’t like, when they come for the stuff you do like, you’ve already lost.”

  58. grimc says:

    @tom hale

    Where’s the victim in your hypothetical?

  59. mleaman says:

    “Does the defense have anything to say in rebuttal?”

    “Yes your Honor… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mXPUkrz7Uow

  60. verde says:

    Thought Police at the door sir:

    -Have you ever in your head pictured an infant being raped?

    -No.

    -Not even now that we brought up the subject?

    -Well, mmm I guess so.

    -Could you com with us?

  61. Sekino says:

    The way the legal atmosphere currently stands, you are mainly protected from prosecution by the various proofs of age you get from models, so that you are able to prove that you aren’t creating child pornography. With a Virtual Model, this just isn’t possible; the apparent age of the model is completely and totally subjective; All a prosecutor would have to do is demand proof that the model is 18+; it is impossible to do so.

    Wow… The logic.

    This gives me an idea for a sequel to ‘Who Framed Roger Rabbit’: Eddie Valiant returns to Toontown to investigate reports of a toon kid being sexually exploited on tape. After many adventures, he finds out that the ‘kid’ is a 46 year-old blonde midget with a fat head and big eyes (she had ID, of course).

  62. Sekino says:

    @176

    “What this study does is to establish that child-porn-seeking behavior is in fact, statistically speaking, powerfully associated with the same sort of sexual arousal patterns (e.g, turned on by children rather than adults) associated with convicted pedophiles.”

    Do you think these findings don’t apply to guys looking at child-rape in manga form, rather than photographs?

    ‘Sexual arousal’ and context are key elements in this discussion.

    There is absolutely no indication that this guy possessed this material for sexual gratification or for any reason other than it being a tiny part of a larger collection.

    The US Attorney claims it found ‘hundreds of obscene panels‘ in 7 books.

    Bear in mind that a single manga volume usually features hundreds of pages and several thousand panels. Since he’s an avid collector, it would be conservative to think he owns at least several dozen manga (probably many more). That’s actually a fairly tame collection by manga’s- or comics’ standards. Let’s keep this in persepective: We’re not talking about stashes of kiddy-porn for his sexual enjoyment.

    And if you want my own emotion-based, anecdotal evidence: The fact that I collect comics and own thousands of panels depicting buxom, naked women does not mean I have any sexual attraction to women (in fact I do not).

    IMO, the important issue here is we’re starting to have people getting arrested and prosecuted without any proper and thorough research to back up the Attorney’s accusations or the public’s fears.

    If he’s NOT getting off on the material or raping children, then he is NOT a pedo and shouldn’t be prosecuted as one.

  63. Tom Hale says:

    GRIMC – there is no victim – no children were involved in the hypothetical extremely realistic, lifelike CGI video. It’s an extreme example of how far this sort of art can go. Think of the most graphic porn you’ve seen or heard of – it could be remade using CGI with a child as the star. Do you think it should be illegal? I do, but that’s just my opinion.

  64. pAULbOWEN says:

    “This stuff is huge in Japan, in all of Asia,”

    Is this meant to be a recommendation or a defence because it’s not really working as either for me? Let’s just hope the publicity around this case helps ensure “this stuff” stays in Japan.

  65. Tom says:

    “All a prosecutor would have to do is demand proof that the model is 18+; it is impossible to do so.”

    Weeeellll…
    You could create it, have the date notarized or otherwise documented, and then wait 18 years to publish it.

    Knowing the stupidity of the blue-nosed morality-tyrants on both sides of the US political oligarchy, (remember Tipper Gore anybody? Andrea Dworkin?, Catharine MacKinnon?), I have little doubt that this is something they would legislate.

    I’ll donate some money to this guys defense if anyone can find some competent attorneys to appeal this.

    I’ll also contribute money to someone that can put together something to demand that both this guys current attorney and the prosecutors be disbarred for incompetence and abusive stupidity.

  66. bobhughes says:

    @75, on the same token, just what qualifies as “sexual situations”? “graphic” solos? casually (or suggestively) touching one’s self thru clothing?

    if the MPAA or whomever can draw viable lines between R, NC17, and X, then i’m sure the same qualifiers can be applied towards a manga panel.

    i figure it comes down mostly to the extent that the depiction is stylized vs photo-realisitic.

    but on a behavioral level – i still posit that any effort towards protecting fictional children does diddly-squat towards protecting real, live children. ive known people who looked at the stuff, and most of them were creeps, but i just can’t see them actually molesting someone. we’re not supposed to be jailing thought-criminals.. not yet in america, anyway

  67. Anonymous says:

    Maybe I am behind in my legal knowledge but I thought the US Supreme court had ruled a while back that drawings, cartoons, fictional stories and such were NOT child porn because their was no actual victim and they were merely the creation of someones imagination. Did this change or was there new legislation in the US?

  68. urbstr2 says:

    For some reason my login was not working so I made a new account after commenting anonymously.

    In the event that comment does not get approved, let me just state the following serious bits (after I made a sarcastic post about protecting our children):

    FREEDOM OF SPEECH AMURRICUH FUCK YEAH

    THIS IS WHAT A POLICE STATE LOOKS LIKE

  69. Nasty says:

    Is this simply a case of someone furthering their career by prosecuting an innocent man just to get the fuck out of IA?

  70. Anonymous says:

    I just looked at the drawings on Mike Diana’s page. Granted, given what we’re talking about, I sought out the ones I thought would be most disturbing.

    I won! I found some that really disturbed me!

    I can’t imagine finding pleasure in those drawings. I can’t imagine finding pleasure making those drawings and having those thoughts. I actually feel bad for the guy and think he’s effed up in the head.

    I can only imagine that it fuels people to do gross things, the way that standing at a cliff’s edge gives me this weird feeling that I want to jump.

    But… I’ve never jumped. And that’s the catch.

    I can’t see any way that this should be illegal. No matter how gross it is.

  71. jonathan_v says:

    He pleaded guilty because the costs of defense were insane. He probably struck some deal with the prosecution.

    The comic book legal defense fund spent 2,400 and allocated up to 15k. Sadly that is *nothing*… at best a few days worth of lawyer bills — not the ability to defend oneself against charges.

    He should have networked like crazy to claim defense on the “serious ___ merit” clause — the fact that he’s a prolific collector of a genre that was tainted by a few pieces in a subgenre could have painted him as an archivist with a serious and valuable anthropological collection.

    But it’s hard to think straight when some assbag cop/prosecutor is trying to make an example out of you.

    I feel sorry for this guy on so many levels.

  72. GuidoDavid says:

    That, oh, Land of the Free…

  73. Stickarm says:

    @30 paganize

    “All a prosecutor would have to do is demand proof that the model is 18+; it is impossible to do so.”

    Why can’t you explain that you are your own model? Perhaps you put yourself in the poses you want to draw in order to understand how to draw them or you spend a lot of time at the drawing board making funny faces in order to get the expressions right.

  74. Anonymous says:

    Just some food for thought; what about adults who dress up as babies? a relatively ‘common’ fetish
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paraphilic_infantilism
    Could you not draw the same line to pedophilia? whether it is a middle aged married office worker or an illustration its essentially the same thing. Not my cup of tea but each to their own.

  75. grimc says:

    @tom hale

    No, I don’t think it should be illegal. Discouraged, looked down upon? Sure. But act as the reason to throw somebody in jail? No.

    Let me ask you this: Do you think neo-Nazi propaganda should be illegal?

  76. Avram / Moderator says:

    Tboy @20, please, no exaggerated racist mock-accents.

  77. Anonymous says:

    What about the harm to actual children out there who know this stuff exists, and that so-and-so down the street is reading it? To have to fear the readers of these obscenities.

  78. Sekino says:

    @ Tom Hale

    The big problem is that most studies available are largely incomplete. For instance, in these links, there is no definition of what constitutes ‘Child Pornography’. Is it photos of actual children (Do they have to be engaged in sexual acts or just nude?)? Copies of Lolita, 120 Days of Sodom or Video Girl Ai? All of the above?

    They don’t really cover much ground except that child sex offenders are likely to possess ‘child pornography’. And using the term in its broadest sense (i.e. any depiction of a child, fictional or real, realistic or stylized), then where is the ratio against the general population?

    I’m not trying to shoot it down, I just feel there are many details and factors missing.

    The best I could find that I felt was somewhat relevant to this actual case was a study on rape rates (including rape/sex assault against children under 13) in Japan from 1972 to 1995. They do include data on other countries such as Canada, Denmark and West Germany.

    http://www.hawaii.edu/PCSS/online_artcls/pornography/prngrphy_rape_jp.html

    I found that report relevant because it reflected specifically on the rape rates v.s. availability/legality of pornography (including porn comics). The rates are presented by age groups (both perpetrators and victims).

    It’s long (and unfortunately not so recent) but it’s frankly the most detailed research on the subject that I’ve seen so far.

  79. AsteriskCGY says:

    This just means no importing anything through the US postal service. I’m sticking to the internet.

  80. Anonymous says:

    Doug Humprey once said something like “if you don’t want children to be exploited to make porn, you’re going to have to allow virtual child porn. If you insist you must deny a compulsive paedophile any outlet for his compulsion other than molesting real children, well, there’s a kid on every corner, how do you feel about your behaviour making them targets for his molestation? Are you sure he wouldn’t have been able to satisfy his mental illness with pictures, if you’d just let him have them?”

    The late Mike Dobbs once said something like “I’m in favor of letting sexual deviants publish anything they want, including details of any crimes they may have committed. It should make them easier to find.”

    What is the purpose of preventing mentally ill people (such as paedophiles) from engaging in activities that are fundamentally less harmful to society than any other means of satisfying their compulsions? It would make more sense to let every paedophile get all the dirty comics s/he wants, on condition of signing a registry. Then you could get some data about what habits actually correlate with crime.

  81. Takuan says:

    “Diagnosis

    According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders,fourth edition text revised, the following criteria must be met to establish a diagnosis of pedophilia.

    * Over a period of at least six months, the affected person experiences recurrent, intense and sexually arousing fantasies, sexual urges or actual behaviors involving sexual activity with a prepubescent child or children aged 13 or younger.
    * The fantasies, sexual urges or behaviors cause clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational or other important areas of daily functioning.
    * The affected person must be at least age sixteen and be at least five years older than the child or children who are the objects or targets of attention or sexual activity.

    A diagnosis of pedophilia cannot be assigned to an individual in late adolescence (age 17 to 19) who is involved in an ongoing sexual relationship with a 12- or 13-year-old person.

    In establishing a diagnosis of pedophilia, it is important for a mental health professional to determine if the patient is attracted to males, females or both. It is also important to determine whether incest is a factor in the relationship. Finally, the doctor must determine whether the pedophilia is exclusive or nonexclusive; that is, whether the patient is attracted only to children (exclusive pedophilia) or to adults as well as to children (nonexclusive pedophilia).

    One difficulty with the diagnosis of the disorder is that persons with pedophilia rarely seek help voluntarily from mental health professionals. Instead, counseling and treatment is often the result of a court order. An interview that establishes the criteria for diagnosis listed above may be enough to diagnose the condition, or surveillance or Internet records obtained through the criminal investigation may also be used.

    An additional complication in diagnosis is that the paraphilias as a group have a high rate of comorbidity with one another and an equally high rate of comorbidity with major depression, anxiety disorders, and substance abuse disorders. A person diagnosed with pedophilia may also meet the criteria for exhibitionism or for a substance abuse or mood disorder.”

  82. bobhughes says:

    the sexuality of adults really shouldnt matter – people are either in control, or out of control. people sick enough to actually harm an adult or a child are probably going to do it, no matter what kind of cartoons they look at.

    the best way to protect real, live children is to stop sexualizing THEM. no more goddamn bratz cartoons. no more baby beauty pageants. dance schools go back to modest costumes instead of the prepubescent quasi-burlesque freakshows they’ve become. no more “play” makeup, tinkerbell et al.

    it should be simple, but nah, too much corporate money in molding our youth into little whores.

  83. Anonymous says:

    @75 – Tom Hale, why should it be illigal? if you wanna take that approach then how’s this: Do what you suggest, but instead of porn, do it with The Passion of the Christ. 2hrs of a child being tortured. Not illigal now, by you this should be illigal?

    Whats the difference between sexual abuse of a minor and physical abuse of a minor, what makes one illigal and the other mearly distasteful?

    What I understand you to say, is that percieved reality should have the same leagal standing as actual reality. Thats not a place I think any of us want to go.

  84. Joe MommaSan says:

    Maybe if the public discussion went beyond “You’re filthy” and “Yeah! Free speech, dude!”, guys like this would have a better chance of mounting a successful defense.

    The only thing that’s going to give him a better chance of mounting a successful defense is money.

  85. Tom Hale says:

    GRIMC – No, – I think that’s a different thing though. I want neo-Nazi propaganda to be illegal, because I hate those bastards, but I don’t think it should be. The fictional child pornography thing though, that’s a tough one. I think there should be a line drawn, but where/how to draw it isn’t as simple as I would have thought.

  86. tubesoda says:

    @Tom Hale
    That CAMH link is interesting. Especially since it seems to show that the majority of men who actually sexually molest children are not, in fact, pedophiles. A pedophile being a person who shows “greater sexual arousal to stimuli depicting children than to stimuli depicting adults in the laboratory.” This makes sense to me. After all, rape is about power, not sex, and a child is easier to exert power over than an adult.
    Now the missing and crucial bit of information here is what percentage of child pornography offenders also have a history of victimizing children in real life.

  87. dhasenan says:

    Makes me think twice about having copies of Kodomo no Jikan. Or even Princess Maker 2 — while you have to modify the game to access any nude images, they still exist.

  88. nutbastard says:

    the poor, dumb bastard – NEVER. PLEAD. GUILTY.

    “All a prosecutor would have to do is demand proof that the model is 18+; it is impossible to do so.”

    Stop spreading FUD. The burden of proof is on the prosecution not the defense. The prosecution must prove that you’ve broken a law, not merely show that you can’t prove that you haven’t.

  89. Pteryxx says:

    To #141:

    Demonstrating a Link between Child Pornography and Pedophilia – Centre for Addiction and Mental Health

    http://www.camh.net/Research/Research_publications/Newsletter/child_pornography_pedophilia.html

    First, correlation is not causation. Obviously a person whose sexual interest focuses on children, and who collects pornography, is more likely to have child-centered material in their collection.

    Second, note that such material only contributes to identifying “pedophiles” meaning people with sexual interest in children, NOT people who sexually assault children. Many sex offenders who seduce or rape children actually are attracted to adults, but find adults too intimidating or too well defended. Smaller, weaker, naive kids make easier targets.

    Some pedophiles victimize children, not all. Some victimizers of children are pedophiles, not all. I haven’t yet seen evidence that *any* kind of porn turns an otherwise passive person into an offender hunting for real victims.

    The former FBI profiler John Douglas in his books (to the best of my memory) says pedophilia is fairly common, but most pedophiles won’t ever escalate to actually stalking or catching a child. The ones that do are often family members – some of them marry and have kids specifically to have easy access to victims.

    All this attention on possession of drawings, where no actual children were harmed, is a waste of resources and causes far too much collateral damage in its effects on free speech. We’re better off making kids harder targets through education, making proven sexual misconduct with kids a crash-and-burn offense in schools and clubs, and improving social services to intercept the real cases. Drawings should be irrelevant unless and until we have a sex offender in hand and need to investigate his or her motivation.

  90. nehpetsE says:

    Hey Takuan
    mostly i tend to agree with you posts, but Re:post74
    I gotta call bullshit on the supposed increase of child molestation.
    THE WAS NO GOLDEN AGE WHEN WE ALL HAD MORALS!

    Adults screwing with kids has always been an ingrained part of most cultures. Its just that now it can actually be talked about and recognized as abuse, instead of as a sacred tradition.

    As to “rites of adolescent passage to adulthood”

    these ceremonies usually happened when a boy got physically big enough to object to being repeatedly raped by the adult males of tribe, and demanded that he instead be allowed to start raping a younger male for himself. As in prison culture now, you became a man when you stopped being a punk and made someone else your punk.

    For girl’s it was usually just the first period/pregnancy.

  91. Anonymous says:

    I love the fact that this guy didn’t write, draw, or underwrite the production of this “dangerous” material, yet he’s the guy defending himself in a court of law.

    As a lifelong collector I have some godawful comics in my longboxes that I’d be mortified if somebody ever found…but I fail to see how owning them could possibly be construed as a criminal act.

  92. asuffield says:

    While I do not think it is technically child porn, in that no children are actually exploited, it is definitely morally wrong as it does fuel sexual longing for children.

    Citation needed.

  93. spazzm says:

    Moral panic.

    Remember McCarthyism?
    40 years from now we’ll look back on this and nervously change the subject.

  94. Laroquod says:

    Reading the vivid and visceral commentary of ‘Calpernia Adams’ and others in this thread has made me think about children raped and a couple of times particularly in the case of Calpernia’s words, the reference to child rape was filled with emotion that I even visualised the rape a couple of times. If I were a paedophile, I would probably be enjoying this!

    Calpernia Adams, you are guilty of the thought-crime of putting these words and images in my head. And your feelings about this are strong enough, that I bet you have been titillating potential paeophiles in threads rights across the land — you’re a recidivist offender — those ideas and images are absolutely evil and disgusting, how about we draw the line at CHILD RAPE!!! They should lock you up and throw away the key.

  95. nutbastard says:

    @#79

    “Think of the most graphic porn you’ve seen or heard of – it could be remade using CGI with a child as the star. Do you think it should be illegal? I do, but that’s just my opinion.”

    I see – You find it distasteful, and would never want to watch it, therefor those who feel differently than you should be jailed?

    It doesn’t matter how sick or depraved something completely fictional is. No one is being victimized, and if it keeps the pervs, who by the way don’t choose to be pervs any more than gays choose to be gay, if it keeps them happy and docile and not in need/in pursuit of actual CP, on top of it being completely harmless to anyone, that’s actually a GOOD thing.

    Should we outlaw simulated rape porn too, since it fictionally depicts something sexually criminal, even though it’s devoid of any victims?

    People say ‘where do you draw the line’ – you draw it when someone is actually abusing a child. It’s not fucking complicated. In fact it can be applied to all potential crimes. “Is there a victim?” if the answer is ‘No’ then I can say with 100% certainty that the ‘crime’ in question is one of arbitrary morality, (drugs, gambling, prostitution) not one of protecting rights (assault, theft, rape) and is therefor devoid of any righteousness or justice.

  96. spazzm says:

    And who exactly decides what is artistic or immoral?

    Erotica is artistic, porn is immoral, smut is illegal.
    Erotica is what excites me, porn is what excites you, smut is what excites them.

  97. Laroquod says:

    “40 years from now we’ll look back on this and nervously change the subject.”

    As the last true victims of this panic slowly trickle out of jail…

  98. Anonymous says:

    Where the hell is the ACLU in all of this??

  99. nutbastard says:

    @#74 Takuan

    “I wonder if part of the current situation with apparently more pedophiles than historically noted partly derives from the loss of coming of age rituals.”

    I think that part of it is until very recently, (100 years or so) people who had sex with 14 year old girls were not considered pedophiles. And rightly so, as those with a desire to bang teenagers (post-pubescent) are ephebophiles, not pedophiles (pre-pubescent). It’s an important distinction, i think, whether the person wants to have sex with non-sexually mature children, or sexually mature adolescents.

    So if there’s more pedophiles now it’s at least in large part due to the fact that the word is misapplied, and the definition stretched to include more people.

  100. Joe MommaSan says:

    Ah, you gotta love that American-style morality.

    Torturing actual human beings in violation of the law and treaty obligations: OK, and perfectly justifiable.

    Looking at drawings of cartoon children engaged in sexual activities: BAD, and worthy of being locked up for a long prison term.

  101. Anonymous says:

    “The results indicate that child pornography offending is a valid diagnostic indicator of pedophilia. This group was significantly more likely to show a pedophilic pattern of sexual arousal during testing compared to the other study groups.”

    from the CAMH study previously cited: http://www.camh.net/Research/Research_publications/Newsletter/child_pornography_pedophilia.html

    “What this study does is to establish that child-porn-seeking behavior is in fact, statistically speaking, powerfully associated with the same sort of sexual arousal patterns (e.g, turned on by children rather than adults) associated with convicted pedophiles.”

    from: http://www.mentalhelp.net/poc/view_doc.php?type=weblog&id=112&wlid=6&cn=98

    Do you think these findings don’t apply to guys looking at child-rape in manga form, rather than photographs?

    Yes, we bust the child pornographer for the harm that is done to the children. But why do we bust the men who watch the child porn? They didn’t harm any children? We do it because we don’t want to encourage or trigger harm to children.

    There’s at least one study showing that consuming child pornography is strongly associated with pedophilia. Where is there any evidence that it serves as a harmless release or substitute, that it reduces the actual behavior? Does that even make sense? For the “normal” among us, does watching (adult) porn make it less likely that we want to actually have sex?

    People talk about whether something is art or not. Art may be in the eye of the beholder, but I don’t think any depiction of children and babies being raped and mutilated should be protected by hiding behind the label of “art.”

  102. z7q2 says:

    @40, bingo! It annoys me no end the hypocracy of having a multi-billion dollar industry devoted to sexualizing children, then throwing the book at this guy for having some scandalous drawings.

    This stuff can be innovated around tho. The Japanese started with the tentacle porn to get around the prohibition of showing normal coitus, which among other things resulted in a new industry devoted to showing women having sex with squid. Since our prohibition is on ‘depictions of sex with minors’, you simply have to add text to the picture stating that what looks like a little girl is in fact a 10,000 year old shape-changing alien disguised as a little girl. It would be interesting to see that defense mounted in court.

  103. Laroquod says:

    Really there is no logical difference from prosecuting us here in this thread and prosecuting that manga collector. I have even bookmarked this page.

  104. Anonymous says:

    if this were the Bohemian Grove, we’d all be fine.

  105. Laroquod says:

    P.S. The guy did us all a favour by pleading guilty.

  106. Cupcake Faerie says:

    I think we have a *media driven* witch hunt against sexual crimes. I in no way shape or form advocate in favor of child – adult sexual behavior ,but I do think our (societal) attitudes towards it – that it is the most reprehensible crime possible – is much too much over blown. And it depends on the action. Obviously child rape is a horrible thing and it is a crime and must be prosecuted. But the artistic depictions of *even* child rape – must be allowed in a free society. We are merely speaking of thought crimes – which last time I checked, are still legal. I have thought crimes against Cheney every day. We do live in a prudish society. Situations where a man can go away to prison (that great American pastime) for having sexually explicit images that were drawn from some artist’s imagination is an indication that we are continuing to teeter towards the dystopian, sexually repressed society depicted by Margaret Atwood in “The Handmaid’s Tale”.

  107. Trent Hawkins says:

    can;t every manga publisher just add a character profile in the back of the book saying “Amy Wong, age 25, looks young because she’s a Chinese gymnast”. There, problem solved.

  108. Tom Hale says:

    I kinda got off topic – earlier I said something like, “is there a point where the line should be drawn concerning fictional depictions of children in sexual situations?” I’m not saying cartoon drawings of child pornography crosses this line, but at some point if the depiction is made realistic enough to appeal to a pedophile, then it crosses the line into child pornography. The links I posted were just to make a connection between CP and pedophiles, which is not what this discussion is about.

  109. Pteryxx says:

    “As it is, I’m averse to the idea of child porn on such a deep level that I can’t fully accept the idea that possessing it (w/o producing or buying it) shouldn’t automatically warrant punishment. But maybe I’m letting my emotions get it the way of reason; who’s to say?”

    I actually agree… child porn, even drawn or cartoony child porn, bugs the heck out of me at the very least and kicks off a snarling rage at worst. But I *still* can’t in conscience say that child porn collector = child molester, because the studies cited prove no such thing. Our instincts to defend the herd are strong and fallible… see racism, witch hunts, anti-vaccine movements, and swine flu panic.

    We don’t actually know that child porn collectors *aren’t* more of a danger than mainstream ones, either. John Douglas, again, says there are several different types of pedophiles. If there’s a subset who are attracted to children because they’re small and weak, they could conceivably be more prone to victimize than others. But that doesn’t seem to hold true for, say, bondage aficionados, or people who fantasize about being raped (also very common, and disgusting to me.)

    It’s going to be awfully difficult to make any meaningful study of child porn collectors who don’t have criminal records, though, because as soon as they admit to it… they don’t have clean records anymore, and they know it.

  110. hassan-i-sabbah says:

    Shit, i better burn my Bob Crumb collection and all my Steve Albini albums.

  111. Pteryxx says:

    Re anonymous #176:

    “There’s at least one study showing that consuming child pornography is strongly associated with pedophilia. Where is there any evidence that it serves as a harmless release or substitute, that it reduces the actual behavior? Does that even make sense? For the “normal” among us, does watching (adult) porn make it less likely that we want to actually have sex?”

    Let’s try explaining this again.

    When you watch porn, do you then go out and rape someone? No? But if you’re straight, you’re probably watching straight porn. So you’re going to rape women, right? Or men, if you’re a straight woman. If you’re a gay man, you’re watching gay porn, are you going to go rape some guy? Why not? BECAUSE MOST PEOPLE WANT SEX NOT VICTIMS. And that should be the only significant distinction, not what a person’s fetishes happen to be.

    So the study shows child porn is associated with attraction to children. DUH! Obviously people collect porn that arouses them, that’s what porn is FOR. What the study didn’t even address is the proportion of people attracted to children who also molest or rape them. Nor did it address the proportion of child rapists who are also pedophiles. Because, again, MANY RAPISTS OF CHILDREN ARE NOT PEDOPHILES. As long as we’re making arousal the crime, we’re not only locking up people who would never have touched a real child, we’re likely missing half the actual rapists!

    As to your second assumption, there are great numbers of happily married or partnered people who have sexual interests that their partners don’t share. These people often indulge in fantasy, and porn, to avoid putting pressure on their partners to perform unwelcome acts. Read a few episodes of Savage Love or ERA’s “Inside the Erotic Mind” to find examples. So I would say there is lots of anecdotal evidence, if not yet rigorous evidence, that porn can in fact be a harmless release for otherwise unacceptable behavior.

    A person who is willing to abuse, assault, and rape others for their own pleasure is a threat no matter what sort of porn they do or don’t watch, or what sort of victims they prefer. That is where our efforts and outrage should be directed.

    Somehow I doubt that the Irish Catholic church, for instance, can blame its recently revealed history of abuse on manga or the Internet.

    p.s. Everyone, please pardon my high level of snark. This discussion hits several of my hot buttons at once: criminalizing sexuality, ignoring real abusers, and misinterpretation of scientific data.

  112. Sekino says:

    oh wait.. an american film has merit, while manga is just Japanese filth.

    I can’t help but think this has something to do with it.

    If this guy can get arrested and prosecuted for collecting manga, including some works featuring child-like characters engaged in sexual acts (or whatever one might define it), then why can anyone go to Borders and buy the entire Marquis de Sade’s oeuvre in a box set?

    Ever read Sade? It features pages upon pages of depraved sexual acts involving children as young as 12 in graphic details. Why is Sade describing in acute detail prepubescent boys and girls being sexually violated, tortured, mutilated and killed in sexual orgies is regarded as literature while manga is dismissed as gratuitous, vile porn that ought to be illegal?

    Maybe because books with pictures still aren’t considered art, especially when drawn by those ‘weird, perverted Japanese people’.

  113. airship says:

    I’m proud to live in Iowa, where gay people can marry but you can’t own a comic book. Back in my day, it was exactly the opposite.

    As Yakov Smirnoff says, “What a country!”

  114. jjasper says:

    And yet you can own a copy of the movie Lolita, and a copy of the book as well. So how is it that this guy gets prosecuted, and the people who made that movie aren’t?

  115. sworm says:

    No one ever did bad things after reading a book!!!!

    < / troll >

  116. Anonymous says:

    One of the questions I have is why the assumption is that such content serves the sole purpose of titillation or arousal for the reader. Yes, its principle intent may be that, but that doesn’t necessarily mean the reader views it that way. I have books of Toshio Saeki‘s work that I have brought back from Europe in the last ten years (and not without concern they would be confiscated at customs or worse). His work is *extremely* difficult to look at, and often incorporates children in sexual situations with adults. I do not find this at all arousing, and in fact, I find it shocking and disturbing. But I find his work incredibly beautiful, challenging and it inspires me to ask questions of myself as I look at it. So, where is that part of it? We must be allowed to examine the work of others that we ourselves may not agree with or even like…And I don’t want to live in a world where we’re not allowed to express even the darkest parts of our psyche…which no one is above. Some just keep it to themselves better than others.

    Spare the whole “it inspires others to act”. Pete Townsend has a quote about that.

    Then there’s that whole problem of suppressing thoughts and artistic expression. You know. That kinda poses ongoing problems. Telling people what they can / can’t think / express / consider doesn’t really work so great.

    And, I highly agree with what was said earlier about cultural misunderstandings related to the taboo depiction of pubic hair making these characters appear to be children.

    This is tragic. Very scary, very sad that he pled guilty without proper counsel. (I’m a mid-30′s white female, btw).

  117. paganize says:

    #176:
    I’ll state why this bugs me; I’ve walked by Armored cars being loaded, and thought about ways to abscond with a bag of cash.
    I’ve stood in line in banks, and thought about how their vaults could be penetrated.
    When I was Military Police, I thought about how much I wanted to beat a obnoxious civilian I came across one night.
    The list goes on; I’ve thought about doing a lot of illegal things, I assure you that I haven’t done the vast majority of them.
    I believe it is POSSIBLE that a pedophile could live a productive life and never harm a child; Just because a person thinks about doing something, doesn’t mean they will.

  118. Apreche says:

    I made extra donations to the CBLDF specifically because of this case, and the dude pleads guilty. Is a bad legal precedent going to be set all because just one guy didn’t have the guts to stand up for himself?

  119. Takuan says:

    someone with clinical background correct me if I am wrong, but shouldn’t a pedophile by definition be someone attracted to someone who is visibly lacking secondary sexual characteristics? It is not a matter of chronological age, I doubt they check ID. Isn’t the whole point of the fixation that the object of desire does NOT look sexual in a conventional sense?

    Is someone who deliberately seeks out adult partners who look undeveloped a pedophile?

  120. Talia says:

    Incidentally, the CBLDF has a new-ish twitter account apparently, they’ve been getting a lot of love today due to tweets from Neil Gaiman & Wil Wheaton.

    @CBLDF if you’d like to follow :)

  121. Brainspore says:

    “There’s at least one study showing that consuming child pornography is strongly associated with pedophilia.

    People are EATING that stuff now? That’s even creepier.

  122. Takuan says:

    or come to think of it, are people who engage in certain sexual costume play pedophiles? Where is the dividing line? If a man has a willing sexual partner with obviously adult breasts, hips etc. but derives bedroom excitement by that partner wearing a schoolgirl uniform, is he a pedophile?

  123. Talia says:

    #107 sworm: nonsense! For instance, after reading ‘The Godfather’ I promptly formed my own Mafia family and embarked on a decades-long career of crime and violence. It’s true.

  124. cory says:

    Why did he plead guilty? Was there no competent lawyer available?

  125. Anonymous says:

    The “should be illegal” vs. “shouldn’t be illegal” arguements (esp. re: highly-realistically generated CP, per. Tom Hale@79)seem to boil down to:

    1. Does it directly harm real people? (answer: “no”)
    2. Does it indirectly harm real people? Does it encourage or discourage actual child abuse? (answer: “inconclusive/citation needed. Some say yes, some say it offers an outlet”)
    3. Is it distasteful? (answer: “Yes, to many people”)
    4. Does “distasteful” mean it should be illegal?
    I’d say “absolutely not,” but some people above say otherwise.

    Interestingly, no one’s mentioned that *written* descriptions of whatever you can think of (CP, rape, violence, torture) are still completely legal. If you’re of the “distasteful = should be illegal” crowd, applying the four points above, why outlaw drawings but not stories? Applies the same way, right?

  126. Anonymous says:

    I suppose we are all responsible for our actions, most of the time. Whether it is in accordance to our own whims or that of the “law”. Though let punishment be served only should one infringe on the rights, well-being, and/or welfare of another. This man has committed no crime, save indulging in his own fantasies.

  127. Anonymous says:

    I suspect a plea-bargain here. He’s probably going to get a light sentence so the prosecutor gets a precedent.

  128. Clemoh says:

    I can’t say much about manga. But this has serious ramifications for Artists, Writers and Musicians. After all, who gets to decide which works “lack ‘serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value.’ A judge? An Art Critic? A panel of ‘Experts’?

    Too ambiguous for my liking.

  129. jakze says:

    From what I’ve been reading about this, since Handley took the plea bargain it actually does NOT create precedent. It would have created precedent if he had been found guilty by a judge and jury, however, and let’s face it, he’s not going to find a jury of 12 people in Glenwood, Iowa who know anything about manga. If the books in question were as explicit as everyone seems to think – which we have no way of knowing for sure, since they’ve never released the name of the titles – he probably would have been found guilty. I don’t fault the guy for pleading out of a trial.

  130. Takuan says:

    reading the bible ought to produce monsters.

  131. CalperniaAddams says:

    Whether this is a go-directly-to-jail offense is up to the courts, but all that loli/child-porn-via-manga stuff is *images of children being raped/having intercourse/being sexualized*. I’m an (x)Chan.com/ED.com/whatever.com viewer with an interest in whatever’s on the edge, for both legitimate anthropological/sociological reasons and for teh lulz, but to me there’s little reason for those loli/child-pron-manga images to exist outside of fueling sick sexual longings toward children.

  132. Sekino says:

    Interestingly, no one’s mentioned that *written* descriptions of whatever you can think of (CP, rape, violence, torture) are still completely legal.

    Uh, I did at #106

  133. dhalgren says:

    I worked in a comic book store from the early to late ’90′s. You certainly didn’t have to go as far as Japanese Manga to get comics depicting hard core rape scenes with girls or boys of questionable age. We sold the stuff that’s for sure. I remember a couple different cases of comic books store owners or employee’s getting arrested for selling the stuff in different parts of our wonderfully free United States of America. If some moral crusader had come into our store and looked in one particular glass case and had a huge bug up their butt, well, who knows what would have happened. It’s not like the covers hid the content.

    I remember the first time my best friend at the time, the owner of the comic book store, handed me the complete set of the anime series, Legend of the Overfiend. He told me to watch it, but DO NOT WATCH IT when my parents or friends were around that might get offended. I laughed and said, “okay.” Come on it’s anime, what could be that offensive. HAH!

    I called him an hour after I got home, “What the FUCK was that? Hahaha.” I wasn’t offended at all, I loved it, but I was shocked that stuff like that even existed. I couldn’t imagine what some people in Iowa would think of it, let alone prosecutors, judges, and the moral crusaders of the left and right.

    I hope the CBLDF can help this guy. You know it is possible that he had never heard of the CBLDF. Only reason I had ever heard of it was because I worked in a comic book store and my favorite artists and writers supported it. If I was just a normal comic book buyer who didn’t pay attention to politics, etc, how would I know to reach out to them and help me in this situation?

    Poor bastard either way. Land of the free indeed.

  134. Antinous / Moderator says:

    ZOMG! People are criticizing me for enjoying child rape manga! Attica! Attica!

    In some commenters’ zeal to point out that there’s a difference between real life and drawings, they seem to have forgotten that there’s a difference between making something illegal and condemning it. Why, it’s almost as if you were trying to censor people with a different opinion.

  135. Ray Maruwa says:

    Not related to this case, but to the current perception of manga in the US in general, a US on-demand printer has refused to print a yaoi book due to the nudity it contains. Which of course they are well within their rights to do. But that doesn’t mean it’s not stupid.

  136. Anonymous says:

    “..at some point if the depiction is made realistic enough to appeal to a pedophile, then it crosses the line into child pornography”

    Pedophiles are attracted to children regardless of the realism of an image, and regardless of the subject’s state of dress/undress.

    Adults are frequently attracted to clothed images of adults of the opposite sex, which makes them fantasized about having sex with them. They almost never do.

  137. Hayami says:

    In reply to #101 posted by Anonymous, May 28, 2009 10:37 AM :

    The late Mike Dobbs once said something like “I’m in favor of letting sexual deviants publish anything they want, including details of any crimes they may have committed. It should make them easier to find.”

    What is the purpose of preventing mentally ill people (such as paedophiles) from engaging in activities that are fundamentally less harmful to society than any other means of satisfying their compulsions? It would make more sense to let every paedophile get all the dirty comics s/he wants, on condition of signing a registry. Then you could get some data about what habits actually correlate with crime.

    The vast majority of these you catch this way are the harmless ones. You’ll discriminate and punish the innocent. I don’t think that many of these who are capable of hurting a real child would buy or download anything that would require registration and their data would be easily accessible for police, etc.

    Also, not every fan of this art is a pedophile.

    In reply to #118 posted by Anonymous, May 28, 2009 11:49 AM ( & #133 posted by Anonymous, May 28, 2009 1:31 PM ) :

    Interestingly, no one’s mentioned that *written* descriptions of whatever you can think of (CP, rape, violence, torture) are still completely legal. If you’re of the “distasteful = should be illegal” crowd, applying the four points above, why outlaw drawings but not stories? Applies the same way, right?

    You’re wrong. § 1466A (created through PROTECT Act) makes does seem to make obscene texts illegal. See Red Rose / Karen Fletcher case. She has pled guilty about a year ago before Christopher Handley.
    Also, as Masamunecyrus (#127) pointed out, Whorley was found guilty of sending and receiving obscene texts (among other crimes or “crimes”).

    In reply to #130 posted by Poustman, May 28, 2009 1:03 PM :

    Free expression? Can you freely:

    -Shout “FIRE!” in a crowded theatre?

    -Declare your race superior, or another inferior?

    -Express your doubts about the Holocaust?

    Of course you _can_– but there will be consequences which will indicate how ‘free’ that ‘expression’ actually was.

    Free expression is legitimate only when it does no harm to its neighbor, no harm to Justice, or Truth. Else it is oppression.

    No one is free whose own desires or expressions are a perversion, of justice, brotherly kindness, chastity, or love.

    This is the majority human view, although the cohort now living may well mostly disagree.

    Shouting “Fire!” in a crowded theater tangibly endangers the people around you. Also, there is intent to deceive people. I don’t think it would be treated as crime if there was fire indeed or even if the person sincerely believed that there was fire.

    Whether other two examples of expression should be prohibited is not relevant to this discussion because we’re talking about fantasy stories. It’s different from presenting a lie as a fact. Though I don’t think that the latter should be illegal either as long there is no proof of harm to real people being done through publishing of these lies.

    In reply to #132 posted by Antinous / Moderator, May 28, 2009 1:27 PM :

    No children were harmed in its making, and therefore buying it is not supporting the harm of anyone.

    Can you provide citations that prove that these images won’t turn upstanding citizens into pedophiles?

    May be he should have said: “There is no evidence that any children were harmed in its making”, but I believe that one should never punish anyone for a “crime” if there’s no proof of harm. In this special case it’s even quite possible that less children are harmed due to existence of loli H manga because it serves as a harmless outlet. Can you provide a citation that prove otherwise?

    In reply to #141 posted by Tom Hale, May 28, 2009 2:18 PM ( & #176 posted by Anonymous, May 29, 2009 1:35 AM ) :

    I googled this – http://www.google.com/search?source=ig&hl=en&rlz=&q=research+OR+study+~connect+pedophile+pornograhpy&btnG=Google+Search&aq=f&oq= – which gave quite a few relevant links. Here’s one

    Demonstrating a Link between Child Pornography and Pedophilia – Centre for Addiction and Mental Health

    http://www.camh.net/Research/Research_publications/Newsletter/child_pornography_pedophilia.html

    It provides no proof of a CASUAL link “loli H manga –> child abuse”.
    The article above doesn’t even provide a proof of the link “real CP –> pedophilia”.
    It doesn’t even prove that there is a strong correlation between consuming of CP and sexual attraction to children and even child abuse. This research was done based on the group of convicted sex offenders. It could be just a very small % of CP consumers, many of them may have been caught originally due to child abuse.

    In reply to #159 posted by teapot, May 28, 2009 6:36 PM :

    However, eroticism is an everyday part of real life – so if you allow material that reinforces or even fosters erotic feelings within people towards children then these thoughts are going to end up having real-life consequences. Even if an adult doesn’t act on his/her impulses simply their behavior alone is enough to scar and creep out a kid.

    Dude – simulated violence is OK because real life violence is never considered to be OK, and if you participate in it (other than within the confines of rules of a sport, or war) then you can be held accountable for it.

    However, eroticism is an everyday part of real life – so if you allow material that reinforces or even fosters erotic feelings within people towards children then these thoughts are going to end up having real-life consequences. Even if an adult doesn’t act on his/her impulses simply their behavior alone is enough to scar and creep out a kid.

    I lived in Japan for about 2 years and although I love the place like a second home, it is things like this disgusting sh*t that they crank out and their corrupt govt. that make me not want to live there.

    Strangely Japan has some of the lowest sex crime rates. You can blame it on underreporting to some extent, but 18 times lower than in USA? There also seems to be a negative correlation between availability and popularity of loli H manga and child abuse ( http://www.sankakucomplex.com/2008/12/16/japan-lags-in-loli-ban-unicef-lies-exposed/ , note that the site is NOT WORK-SAFE! )

    You’ve no proof that loli H manga fosters or even reinforces these feelings. It may as well just allow to explore a part ones own psyche instead suppressing it. A suppression / a denial may be more dangerous in the long run. And finally you ignore that these media may as well serve as a harmless outlet or even turn some of people sexually attracted to children into otaku/nijikons.

    In reply to #176 posted by Anonymous, May 29, 2009 1:35 AM :

    “What this study does is to establish that child-porn-seeking behavior is in fact, statistically speaking, powerfully associated with the same sort of sexual arousal patterns (e.g, turned on by children rather than adults) associated with convicted pedophiles.”

    from: http://www.mentalhelp.net/poc/view_doc.php?type=weblog&id=112&wlid=6&cn=98

    Do you think these findings don’t apply to guys looking at child-rape in manga form, rather than photographs?

    Yes, we bust the child pornographer for the harm that is done to the children. But why do we bust the men who watch the child porn? They didn’t harm any children? We do it because we don’t want to encourage or trigger harm to children.

    There’s at least one study showing that consuming child pornography is strongly associated with pedophilia. Where is there any evidence that it serves as a harmless release or substitute, that it reduces the actual behavior? Does that even make sense? For the “normal” among us, does watching (adult) porn make it less likely that we want to actually have sex?

    As I said before, correlation doesn’t mean causation, especially if it’s a correlation among people who were caught either with CP or with child abuse.

    It makes sense that real CP is illegal because it victimizes real children. These photos may be used to further harm these children if found by anyone who knows them.

    There’s no proof that loli H manga or even real CP encourage or trigger harm to children. Some people think that it’s more likely to encourage or trigger harm to children, others think that it’s more likely to prevent it. But these who try to make these media illegal are the ones who must prove their theory.

    In reply to #183 posted by Sekino, May 29, 2009 9:40 AM :

    If he’s NOT getting off on the material or raping children, then he is NOT a pedo and shouldn’t be prosecuted as one.

    Should someone be persecuted just because he/she is a pedo?

    Should they be persecuted if they get off to such material even though it’s just a fantasy story / manga?

    In reply to #196 posted by Daemon, June 2, 2009 2:03 AM :

    I’ve actually made otaku studies somewhat of a side-line in my academic career. (I love my major…)

    One thing to keep in mind, is that if you buy the most mainstream, vanilla, adult manga magazine on the planet, you’re still going to get pictures of naked children having sex. The magazines are basicly serialized anthologies, and they make a point of having a bit of every remotely major kink in them regularly, so as to keep their sales up with all the kinky folks.

    So, it’s very, very easy to have had him buy a bunch of magazines for the more normal material, and gotten the lolikon and beast stuff as an unwanted extra. Especially as you are unlikely to know exactly what you will get in an anthology magazine until it arrives. It’s not like he could flip through that month’s issues in the corner store. Which is what happens in Japan – they are sold right next to all the non-adult magazines.

    I’ve seen many such anthology magazines too and I confirm that it’s true. In some cases it’s not even a part of the manga but just ADs for other manga.

  138. Pteryxx says:

    Well, if people didn’t see links between drawings-child pornography-pedophiles-criminals, this manga collector would never have been arrested in the first place. Let me then ask, why should “appeals to a pedophile” be a standard for condemning material? Some of them get turned on by children’s television or clothing catalogs. Why assume realism has anything to do with appeal? Cartoons and stylizations can be erotic or pornographic, look at the prehistoric Venus carvings. Finally, why draw a line at all condemning some fiction as criminal and some not? Just to make sure pedophiles are pre-emptively deprived? Or to make the Internet less disgusting to the rest of us? Good luck, but I suspect that cause is lost.

    Unless it’s demonstrated that fiction or drawings pose actual threats, instead of just being offensive, possessing or creating them shouldn’t be criminalized in the first place. As I understand it, child porn laws originally were created because real people – children – were being victimized during its production.

  139. Takuan says:

    of course, if the images had been of little children being shot in the head there would be no problem.

  140. tizroc says:

    Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar Calp. I have read manga where people were being tortured by a bad guy and someone runs away, escapes or what ever. I have seen children being tortured since it happens in real life sometimes art imitates life. In any case I have a very strong, eviceral dislike for child pornography. While seeing children in the buff is not the least bit thrilling to me, and I was disgusted by the torture neither of these two things in the book a) made me a pedophile or b) a torturer of children.

    Thank you for your opinion, but sometimes art is art. Something can be added for the reaction, and I have been known to make my D&D bad guys rather disgusting raping, pilaging a$$ wipes. Neither of which makes me one, just making a bad guy seem more… well bad.

    Tizroc.

  141. zuzu says:

    The Simpsons Movie had an animated depiction of Bart Simpson’s penis. Is Fox Pictures guilty of peddling child pornography? Is everyone who’s seen that film guilty of viewing child porn?

    …not that I’ve seen it. That’s just what I’ve heard. Don’t send the Party Van after me! I’ll denounce whoever you want! I’ll name names! I won’t survive in Federal Pound-Me-In-The-Ass Prison!

    Too ambiguous for my liking

    c.f. legal realism

    of course, if the images had been of little children being shot in the head there would be no problem.

    If we’re talking about rape, that’s a much more dicy comparison.

  142. teapot says:

    Regarding #12′s post of the guy in Australia being fined for having Simpsons porn http://arstechnica.com/old/content/2008/12/cowabunga-simpsons-porn-on-the-pc-equals-child-pornography.ars

    What about advertising? On various adult flash vid sites such as xvideos there are ads featuring the simpsons kids. Does this make every visitor liable for prosecution?

  143. Hayami says:

    In reply to #31 posted by Anonymous, May 28, 2009 2:30 AM :

    He knew what he was collecting, and if you start making exceptions and excuses, that’s where the slippery slope begins – you’ll never convict any actual pedophile (even assuming this guy wasn’t one) who can say he was only “doing research” or “collecting.”

    It’s not illegal to be a pedophile.

    It isn’t only about harm to actual children; it’s about making something that is unthinkable and unacceptable less so. No one needs to own this stuff, so why try so hard to defend it?

    Should we make “unthinkable and unacceptable” thoughts a crime too?

    In reply to #36 posted by paganize, May 28, 2009 3:15 AM :

    I am sort of confused, in regards to the subject I’m replying to, since as far as I can tell it’s not illegal to possess Drawn or rendered Child Pornography in the US (unless, of course, it is judged “obscene, something which is almost impossible outside of Utah);

    Chase (Handley’s lawyer) was implying is that he expected the jury (in an Iowa court) to deem these drawings obscene.

    In reply to #37 posted by Anonymous, May 28, 2009 3:19 AM :

    Since he was going to be defended, for free, by the comic book defense fund ppl, I can only GUESS he pled guilty because he felt he WAS.

    CBLDF didn’t pay his lawyers. It paid just for some research and was going to pay some expert witness expenses.
    http://www.cbldf.org/pr/archives/000390.shtml

    Also you need to read about how he was treated in these 3 years.
    http://comipress.com/special/miscellaneous/down-the-slippery-slope-the-crime-of-viewing-manga
    (Note: make no mistake like many other people who skim through the article instead of reading it and don’t realize that it’s about two different people; you can just skip the first part of the article and read from “Christopher Handley’s circumstances were vastly different”.)

    Want a topic for conversation to get people all riled up? Furry art. Discuss amongst yourselves.

    “Getting people all riled up” is a good reason to get jailed?

    In reply to #55 posted by z7q2, May 28, 2009 6:18 AM :

    Since our prohibition is on ‘depictions of sex with minors’, you simply have to add text to the picture stating that what looks like a little girl is in fact a 10,000 year old shape-changing alien disguised as a little girl. It would be interesting to see that defense mounted in court.

    I was going to say “Unfortunately it’s enough for the characters to appear to be minors. So § 1466A.”, but in fact the both sections (2) vere deemed unconsitutional in the previous Handley trial:
    http://www.iasd.uscourts.gov/iasd/opinions.nsf/55fa4cbb8063b06c862568620076059d/20a96a77c04347ed86257480006ae8c5/$FILE/Handley.pdf
    “Appear to be” is only part of (2) and not of (1) sections.
    So now we’re left with “depicts a minor …” AND “is obscene”. Too bad Handley (or rather his lawyers) decided not to fight further :/

    In reply to #68 posted by chgoliz, May 28, 2009 7:49 AM :

    I have young daughters, one of whom is a manga fan. This is a tough issue for me. It’s one of the main ongoing discussions in our family: the public depiction of women (including art). As far as I’ve been able to discover so far, manga is a lot like rap: there’s a lot of great creativity and the power of exposing human truths, and then some stuff that’s just plain ugly/offensive.

    So my question would be: which manga, and how did they fit into the collection as a whole?

    I don’t think anyone but a manga expert would be able to answer that question.

    And what if my manga collection contained mainly the titles that you would consider plain ugly/offensive, should I be persecuted?

    In reply to #78 posted by Galaxyhead, May 28, 2009 8:32 AM :

    Unless people believe it is entirely possible to purge the world of the various medical and societal factors that spawn pedophilia, which is as impossible as ridding the world of anything that is deemed an ‘immoral impurity’. We’re so apt to revert into animals and destroy when it suits us all the while preaching civilized morality.

    … because obviously it’s easier to demonize and condemn than to try to understand. Actually there is no known working treatment for pedophilia, just like there’s no treatment from other paraphilias (or homosexuality whether it counts as paraphilia or not), see http://www.b4uact.org/facts.htm

    In reply to #82 posted by blueelm, May 28, 2009 9:00 AM :

    I’m not sure that the latter influences the former, as the person molesting one’s child is more likely to be a good friend or spouse than a sexually-frustrated comic collector.

    I don’t think that H manga collectors are more sexually-frustrated than an average person of the same gender & age. Also, I see no reason to think that a good friend or spouse of such a collector is more likely to be a molester. And even if there was a correlation, it doesn’t mean that banning of these comics does any good anyway (as long there’s no causation).

    In reply to #87 posted by nehpetsE, May 28, 2009 9:26 AM :

    But i ran a preschool and discovered one of my employees was obsessed with manga depicting preschool age children having sex, i’d still want the option to fire that person without fear of lawsuit for false termination.

    The law is a blunt instrument and should be avoided at all costs.
    No image should ever automatically carry jail time.

    But I guess for me the line of ambiguity would would lie at whether the possession of images should be admissible as evidence in child custody disputes.

    I think these who don’t hide their preference for such manga are not more dangerous than an average person. So even if you don’t jail these people and “only” deny them some jobs based on your manga preference, you’d still punish the innocent. The most truly dangerous people would hide their preferences even if they can’t be denied a job legally because of them.

    If such a “line” is drawn (especially legally), it’ll only force some of these collectors to hide from everyone an important part of themselves. They would be afraid to talk about it even to a close friend or parents. Hiding does no good, it just causes stress and loneliness. And indirectly it would affect people around them as well.

    In reply to #99 posted by Anonymous, May 28, 2009 10:31 AM :

    What about the harm to actual children out there who know this stuff exists, and that so-and-so down the street is reading it? To have to fear the readers of these obscenities.

    Strange question. If the fear is justified, perhaps it’s better that they fear (it could save them). If the fear is not justified (it isn’t imo), children don’t even need to know what’s loli H manga and who reads it.

  144. Anonymous says:

    Wow. I guess I better get ready for prison. I drew a picture of myself having sex with a cartoon girl (…after cutting her cartoon head off). By this standard, I’m guilty of sex crimes against children. I didn’t even get to “play doctor” as a kid. :(

    If we really wanted to protect children, the US Catholic Church should be (temporarily) shut down and have all the clergy FBI checked and registered (fingerprints and DNA, you pervy bastards). Let’s start with the real criminals. Remember the psychologist in Happiness who was a pedophile? He jerked himself off to a male teen magazine in the back of his car (one of my all-time favorite cringe comedy moments). Those are the PEOPLE you should be worried about having pictures fuel their desire. It won’t be the loli.

    I am a victim of child sexual abuse in two ways. I was abused as a teen, and my first attempt at intercourse was destroyed by my adult partner’s sobs of physical and psychological pain. She had been raped as a young girl. I carried that crushing guilt with me for several years after that.

    Show me comics/drawings of someone’s fantasy/nightmare of raping and killing children, I may enjoy it. I may abhor it. I might fantasize about killing the person who made it. I might masturbate to it and cry afterward. In the privacy of my home and in my mind, I should be able to do anything I want with it.

    Should I go to jail for thoughts?

    In the meantime, I’m going to be renaming all of my folders “midget porn.”

  145. Takuan says:

    I miss the old days when college students could make a good wage rubbing out the strategic magazine ink with ten yen coins.

  146. GoldMatenes says:

    Sublimation is the most mature defense mechanism

  147. Anonymous says:

    What can possibly make lines drawn on a page illegal? Suppose one were to take such an “illegal” image and start removing line segments from it. At what point would it become legal again? A fair, just, and impartial legal system should be able to decide just such a question unambiguously, otherwise the law is in error and should be stricken.

  148. chris7crows says:

    @115:

    “In some commenters’ zeal to point out that there’s a difference between real life and drawings, they seem to have forgotten that there’s a difference between making something illegal and condemning it. Why, it’s almost as if you were trying to censor people with a different opinion.”

    Certainly, some have, but I think most everyone has gone out of their way to make explicit that they find this material distasteful, but being distasteful does not necessarily mean that it should be censored.

    The idea that being for free expression (or anti-censorship) means that you are somehow supressing the views of people who express support for censorship is a canard I’ve seen multiple times in these discussions and it remains unconvincing. Because I don’t want someone to regulate my free expression does not stop you from expressing yourself in any way, unless that expression requires that you regulate everything that you find personally disagreeable. Then we do have a problem.

    • Antinous / Moderator says:

      I just realized that I was responding to pending comments that I hadn’t send through yet.

  149. chgoliz says:

    I have young daughters, one of whom is a manga fan. This is a tough issue for me. It’s one of the main ongoing discussions in our family: the public depiction of women (including art). As far as I’ve been able to discover so far, manga is a lot like rap: there’s a lot of great creativity and the power of exposing human truths, and then some stuff that’s just plain ugly/offensive.

    So my question would be: which manga, and how did they fit into the collection as a whole?

    I don’t think anyone but a manga expert would be able to answer that question.

  150. Emily (koenji calling) says:

    clemoh –

    not that I can say with surety on this matter, but the kind of very pornographic images of young girls that runs rampant through a lot of very common, very everyday manga magazines in Japan is really different territory from an artist using naked children in some form of artistic expression. I would hope the prosecution rests on that kind of blatantly pornographic manga and not on something with obvious artistic integrity. (hopeful. always reason to doubt in the good ol’ US of A though)

    Really worrisome news, on a number of levels, but perhaps the only silver lining in this is that it could shame Japanese manga magazines into curbing this content.

  151. chris7crows says:

    This has been getting argued ad infinitum on the comic pages, and the same basic thread is playing out here:

    “Look, they’re just drawings on paper. No actual people were involved, no harm has been done.”

    “But those drawings are awful! Have you seen them? Just awful! There is no reason such a thing should ever exist!”

    “But what about these recognized artistic works which have involved similar themes? What about personal expression? What about the fact that they are lines on paper?”

    “Well, those works are different. And besides, these lines on paper are just really, really awful, and I know awful, believe me, and these things should obviously be prohibited.”

    And so on. The point isn’t “art versus obscenity” but about criminalizing free expression because it makes some people uncomfortable.

  152. zuzu says:

    but at some point if the depiction is made realistic enough to appeal to a pedophile, then it crosses the line into child pornography.

    The problem isn’t child pornography, it’s the exploitation of children. However, we have a path-dependency of extrapolating that videos and photos of children being exploited (i.e. “child pornography”) has a positive feedback loop with supporting future exploitation of children.

    But as Tom Hale exemplifies at this moment, most people seem to have forgotten (or never knew) the original rationale for this, and merely condemn any portrayal of children having sex (even simulated in CG or drawn) as offensive and therefore illegal. This has culminated in a Paedofinder General culture where anything that could possibly be interpreted as “child pornography” is criminalized.

    But now we live in a world where under-18 people send sexual photos and videos to each other, because if teen pregnancy is any indication, teenagers like sex. Are we to believe these people are “exploiting themselves”? Hardly.

    We need to focus on protecting children from exploitation, not using CP as an excuse for prosecuting “possession of illegal media”.

  153. Tom Hale says:

    You know what I’m talking about – “realistic enough to appeal to a pedophile” means that it would appeal to a pedophile in the same way that actual child pornography does. Of course I’m not talking about children’s television or clothing catalogs.

  154. Avram / Moderator says:

    This article from the Adult Video Network (link via Journalista) says that Handley pled guilty because he couldn’t afford a proper defense.

    It also suggests that the offending manga may have been yaoi drawings of adult men, but that manga stylistic tropes (no pubic hair, large eyes, androgynous faces) made the images seem like depictions of children to those unfamiliar with manga.

    • Antinous / Moderator says:

      manga stylistic tropes (no pubic hair, large eyes, androgynous faces) made the images seem like depictions of children to those unfamiliar with manga.

      Or current trends in grooming. Maybe they should have shown a video of a Brazilian wax to the jury. Or an episode of Queer Eye.

  155. Anonymous says:

    NO Bob Hughes,

    No amount of dressing 5-yr-olds in adult-bondage PVC getups exonerates men exploiting them.

    Your statements assign contradictory blame — is it the adult’s fault for assault (part 1) or the child fault for dressing and acting sexually (part 2) ?

    Shirley Temple did ‘baby burlesque’ films in the ’20s and early ’30s that would shock and appall modern audiences. Are you suggesting the ‘casting couch’ was responsible for her later roles, and this was her fault?

  156. Anonymous says:

    I don’t know if it’s been mentioned or not…

    But I think it’s interesting when people assume that being a pedophile is illegal. I think it goes pretty far in showing the level of reckless panic and fear that are happily weilded with this issue.

    So I have a question. What if I want to own a copy of say, “Super Taboo” which my local comic book store sells, and I want to be 100% in compliance with the law?

    I could bring a copy to a lawyer, but he/she won’t be able to give me a definitive answer. Even if he says it’s legal, who knows for sure? I would probably be advised that I should avoid it, “just to be on the safe side”. Who could tell me? The police? Even a judge wouldn’t be able to tell me for certain if I’m really breaking the law or not by having it.

    And actually, I couldn’t even do ANY of the above, because I might be breaking the law by having the material, even if just trying to find out if it’s illegal or not.

    What we have here, is an old fashioned Salem Witch situation. People are benefiting from panic and loathing, just because being on the side of right is viewed as monstrous.

    And yes, I feel like I need to remain anonymous even to protect myself, because this post could hurt me professionally if it were linked back to me. That’s how bad this is, people.

  157. Small Om says:

    @#176 anon

    You’re missing the point, even if this material did cause some people to be chesters it still is protected under the first amendment for the same reason bibles are protected even though many murderers have used it to justify their deeds. Living in a free society has a price and that price is vigilance and discomfort. We live in a society that is slowly forgetting about the rights of the individual for the comfort of the collective, which is unfortunate.

    Here’s the body of the act btw.
    ҉ۢ(1)(A) depicts a minor engaging in sexually explicit conduct; and

    •(B) is obscene; or

    •(2)(A) depicts an image that is, or appears to be, of a minor engaging in graphic bestiality, sadistic or masochistic abuse, or sexual intercourse, including genital-genital, oral-genital, anal-genital, or oral-anal, whether between persons of the same or opposite sex; and

    •(B) lacks serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value;”

    Which means that certain paintings involving Helen of troy(she was 16 according to many accounts) and Persephone are ,depending on a FBI agent’s sensibilities, criminal.

    Also look at 2(A), “appears to be” a minor. Which means that all adult women in comics now have to be 6’1 or very elderly, maybe mention menopause every two panels just to be safe. What happens to stories that condemn rape or child molestation by showing graphic images of said horrors? The law’s a blunt instrument and it won’t make a distinction. Also bear in mind: with fictional characters there isn’t actual an age of consent save for what’s the norm in that fictional world and crimes against fictional children don’t actually have real ramifications(for instance you can’t actually rape or molest a fictional person if you’re just reading the title) in the real world(outside of being arrested).
    -SH.

    • Antinous / Moderator says:

      We live in a society that is slowly forgetting about the rights of the individual for the comfort of the collective, which is unfortunate.

      That’s a serious mischaracterization. Individual rights are vastly greater than they were a few decades ago. And collective comfort is considerably less than it was then. We live in a society that is seizing rights from individuals and the collective and giving them to the military-industrial-congressional complex. If you think they’re acting for the good of the collective, you haven’t been paying attention.

  158. stegodon says:

    IMHO owning this type of thing is super creepy, regardless of context.. but that’s me, and I don’t really get manga. Do I think that it should be a PROSECUTABLE offense? No, the precedent it would set has too many potential artistically inhibitive ramifications.

  159. Morghus says:

    It sets a pretty dangerous precedent of the law when something as “common” as manga and it’s depiction of even childlike characters in explicit (and it might not even be explicit…) situations. Chances of him being a pedophile when there was found a few hundred images of a collection of millions, well, hello overreacting.

  160. EscapingTheTrunk says:

    As someone working on a thesis on anime and fandom, I can see what my concluding remarks will have to address.

    One of the things that has always confused me about the Handley case was whether Handley was receiving doujinshi or not. My impression was that he was, because it was postal inspector who started the investigation after going through a package Handley had had mailed from Japan. The sexual content of dounjinshi can be a lot harder than mainstream manga (especially titles released in the US, which sometimes undergo a sanitization process editing-wise). Moreover, it’s easier to be surprised by the content of doujinshi because scanlations are far less prevalent, so it’s possible that Handley simply didn’t know what he would be getting until he got it.

    Is this case garnering any Japanese coverage? If anybody has clips from NHK or TV Tokyo about this, I’d love to see them.

  161. InsertFingerHere says:

    Well. now we gotta wait 50 years so that today’s manga-reading law students get appointed judges and can offer a rational voice to this situation.

  162. teapot says:

    #16: I wonder if we can accept (as I partially do) that video game violence can be an acceptable outlet for people to unleash their savage lust for violence without it affecting the real world, then could we come to accept comics or non-real mediums of what is basically child porn, as an outlet for those turned on by it?

    Dude – simulated violence is OK because real life violence is never considered to be OK, and if you participate in it (other than within the confines of rules of a sport, or war) then you can be held accountable for it.

    However, eroticism is an everyday part of real life – so if you allow material that reinforces or even fosters erotic feelings within people towards children then these thoughts are going to end up having real-life consequences. Even if an adult doesn’t act on his/her impulses simply their behavior alone is enough to scar and creep out a kid.

    I lived in Japan for about 2 years and although I love the place like a second home, it is things like this disgusting sh*t that they crank out and their corrupt govt. that make me not want to live there.

    • Antinous / Moderator says:

      Some UK celebrity was on trial last year for possession of child porn, and his defense was that he had been sexually abused as a child and he was viewing it therapeutically to work through the trauma. Everybody sneered, but I actually believed him. Using real children for sex therapy would be a wee bit of a problem, but maybe hentai could have a therapeutic use.

  163. jerkzilla says:

    I’m torn about this. One one hand, after working in a comic book store for 7 years and seeing the kind of creepos who buy this stuff (specificly underage manga porn), it is hard for me to not look down my nose at these people. On the othe hand, we do live in America, and although it’s not my thing, I believe that since nobody (presumably) was exploited, this should have been have been thrown out of court. There is a third side that thinks: “If you are such a manga completist that no common sense alarm bells go off in your head when you’re about to buy a copy of ‘KIDDIE RAPER HAPPY FUN TIME!’ and you don’t even think ‘maybe my collection doesn’t need to be THAT complete.’ because you’re too busy building your collection to worry about what’s actually inside your collection, then you need serious help.”

  164. Small Om says:

    I’m not trying to be disrespectful but I don’t see how individual rights are greater than they were twelve years ago before the US PATRIOT Act and the 2006 Military Commissions Act were passed(among other laws passed in a post 9/11 world). The Bill of Rights is being seized on by the government, true but it’s also being encouraged by people who crave greater safety as well as the usual crowd who want to protect people from bad thoughts.

    Free Speech Zones don’t strike me as an expanded right to self expression rather than sticking to the letter of the law while violating the spirit. And that’s before you go into subjects of where the United States blatantly disregards the constitutional and international law. The only rights that have expanded in the time of the Bush Administration were gun rights(which I like btw) while the rights to privacy, self expression,and a fair and timely trial et al have all shrunk.

    The Bill of Rights is the only set of laws in the United States that explicitly protect the rights of individuals from the desires of the collective rather than the rest of the US Code which is designed to protect the safety of society, the collective, and citizens from the actions of individuals.

    From my perspective at least the laws that were passed granting extraordinary powers to governments around the world were passed under the banner of greater safety(which is a collective comfort). Having witnessed Katrina and gone through the early phases of my adult life during the prior administration I’m under my illusions that Big Brother knows best. May I ask why I struck you the opposite way?
    -SH.

    • Antinous / Moderator says:

      I struck you the opposite way?

      Because I remember fifty years ago when we lived in Pleasantville and collective comfort was extremely high. It was also hell on earth for individuals if you didn’t happen to be white, male and straight. The government isn’t working for collective comfort. It’s working to maintain money and power in the hands of the few.

  165. ErikO23 says:

    i take it that they will soon arrest everybody who saw Dakota Fanning’s film Hounddog as well as Dakota her self?

    oh wait.. an american film has merit, while manga is just Japanese filth.

  166. Anonymous says:

    The Comic Book Legal Defense Fund were going to fight for him. By pleading guilty, he ruined the chance to make a stand and setting a good precedent for future cases.
    http://www.cbldf.org/pr/archives/000390.shtml

    They express they’re “disappointed” by his plead.

    This is ridiculous. Just because it bothers and kick starts the irrational “protect the kids” instinct, pedophiles are treated as scum when the fact is they will keep to themselves, happy with getting a release through fiction.

    Sometimes we as humans seem so foolish, making decisions with our guts instead of our heads.

  167. masamunecyrus says:

    I don’t care whether or not the depictions of minors is for artistic value or purely for sexual value.

    My worry about this is that this is a victimless crime. It’s not like drugs, where people argue that oneself is a victim, or the people around them or loved ones are victims; nay, this is a victimless crime in the sense that the victim DOES NOT EXIST. There is no tangible way to calculate damages to human beings or corruption of the mind, because any victim does not exist.

    Not too long ago, a man was convicted of obscene writing; they found e-mails containing literary depictions of minors being raped and sexually abused. Sick, yes, but the notable thing is this man was convicted for fanfic — not drawings, but WRITING. Granted, this man was also convicted of real child pornography, and up until now, these sorts of convictions were reserved exclusively for actual criminals, but between that case and this case, we’re heading down a slippery slope.

    I don’t mean to overuse the “slippery slope” line, but it should really be used, here. If this man is convicted of a crime against no one, there could be very obvious ramifications. Already video games have come under fire for their violence and their availability to minors. Who is to say that they won’t decide that allowing a minor to play an M rated game is punishable by a prison term? In this child pornography case, there is no victim; the only arguable point is that it is obscene and corrupts someone’s mind. Couldn’t the same be said about violent video games? You’re not actually killing innocent civilians, but what if even killing fake, non-existent video game innocent civilians and enjoying it shows intent to kill, or the possibility of making you think it’s OK to massacre civilians. After all, if this conviction goes through, the message that we’re sending is that although the victim in this child pornography isn’t real, reading the material shows intent to actually rape a little girl, or it could possibly drive you to commit rape against a little girl.

  168. Anonymous says:

    That story is nothing look at this case in australia where a guy had a comedy cartoon of some simpsons charactors having sex and was busted in our highest court for child pornography!

    http://arstechnica.com/old/content/2008/12/cowabunga-simpsons-porn-on-the-pc-equals-child-pornography.ars

    it has gone absolutely batshit insane.. even prosecutors know it but the laws are general in scope so are open to poor decisions..

  169. Sekino says:

    ZOMG! People are criticizing me for enjoying child rape manga!

    The guy is getting prosecuted, not merely criticized. Whether ‘rape manga’ is enjoyable or vile (and I personally vouch for the latter) is not what is being debated.

    This case reeks of hypocrisy and sets yet another dangerous precedent.

    • Antinous / Moderator says:

      My point is that, when someone raises the ethical questions underpinning this kind of story, there’s always a pile-on saying ShutUPShutUpShutUpDoNotWant. I don’t find that very helpful. Wouldn’t it be more useful to have a free and full discussion about the relationship between sexual/violent imagery and sexual/violent behavior/social consequences. Maybe if the public discussion went beyond “You’re filthy” and “Yeah! Free speech, dude!”, guys like this would have a better chance of mounting a successful defense.

  170. Obviously says:

    People can cry about how sick and twisted and perverted some manga depicting children in sexual situations (and I agree with you completely) but the ultimate point is that it’s still a work of fiction and no actual children were harmed and no crime has been committed here no matter how icky you find it.

    “But Obviously! He looks at child porn that means he might harm children in the future!” You might be saying. Well you have no proof of that. Statistics don’t apply to every individual. If everyone whose seen manga child porn were a pedophile rapist we’d have to arrest the entirety of 4chan. Whether you like it or not before a crime has been committed it’s not a crime. Unless there’s evidence proving that this person was conspiring to rape a child, they haven’t hurt anybody.

    I’m not standing up in defense of pedos or anything, who truly deserve to burn, I’m just furious at the perceived preventative measures of a paranoid society.

  171. redsquares says:

    In other news, millions arrested for owning copies of Gauguin’s works and early sketches.

    I’d hate to see what happens to Scheile collectors.

    God dammit, under this sort of law, my paper on Bellmer I wrote for art history is enough to throw most of that class in jail. Dude drew bisected nude girls, in a clearly sexualized nature. Damn good drawings, aesthetically and technically: well done, good composition, and were done to fuck with the Nazis to boot, but still… what does that prove?

    It’s obvious you are a sick fuck, no matter what the hell you do. Someone, somewhere, is against it for the pure purpose of being against it, the only question is: can they convince others to be against it too?

  172. grimc says:

    @antinous

    Didn’t Pete Townsend get busted in the UK for possessing child porn some years back, and his defense was something along those lines?

  173. A New Challenger says:

    Similar in spirit (if not certain salient details) to the case of Mike Diana.

    I wonder if CBLDF can/will/has an interest to step in in some way.

  174. zuzu says:

    However, eroticism is an everyday part of real life – so if you allow material that reinforces or even fosters erotic feelings within people towards children then these thoughts are going to end up having real-life consequences.

    Thoughtcrime!

  175. Anonymous says:

    I don’t know if you guys have seen standard erotic manga featuring children. I know the impulse is to decry the lack of free speech, but this stuff is incredibly explicit and usually involves some kind of rape or coercion. While I do not think it is technically child porn, in that no children are actually exploited, it is definitely morally wrong as it does fuel sexual longing for children.
    In Japan, where I live, there is a lot of this stuff and it creates an incredibly large subculture of people who think it is OK and even normal to have desires for children as long as they don’t act on it. These people sometimes become the ones stalking teenagers. I’ve walked into some of these stores and seen live-action videos playing of 40-year old men giving preteens shoulder rubs as the preteen squirms in discomfort. This is incredibly disturbing.
    I really hope this ruling gets back to Japan and makes them realize this isn’t normal. And I guarantee that if this guy was a real manga collector, these images were not just yaoi where people looked young, most of these manga explicitly say or very strongly imply that these are preteen boys or men. And I’m not even talking about the incest.

  176. Kid Geezer says:

    It is also entirely possible that he was barely or not at all aware of the images in some of his collection. If he is that much a fanatic collector he’s probably acquiring stuff just to have it, without actually getting around to reading it any time soon. Nuance and context have hardly ever been the strong point of prosecutors anywhere, much less the “heartland.”

  177. Poustman says:

    Free expression? Can you freely:

    -Shout “FIRE!” in a crowded theatre?

    -Declare your race superior, or another inferior?

    -Express your doubts about the Holocaust?

    Of course you _can_– but there will be consequences which will indicate how ‘free’ that ‘expression’ actually was.

    Free expression is legitimate only when it does no harm to its neighbor, no harm to Justice, or Truth. Else it is oppression.

    No one is free whose own desires or expressions are a perversion, of justice, brotherly kindness, chastity, or love.

    This is the majority human view, although the cohort now living may well mostly disagree.

  178. Daemon says:

    I’ve actually made otaku studies somewhat of a side-line in my academic career. (I love my major…)

    One thing to keep in mind, is that if you buy the most mainstream, vanilla, adult manga magazine on the planet, you’re still going to get pictures of naked children having sex. The magazines are basicly serialized anthologies, and they make a point of having a bit of every remotely major kink in them regularly, so as to keep their sales up with all the kinky folks.

    So, it’s very, very easy to have had him buy a bunch of magazines for the more normal material, and gotten the lolikon and beast stuff as an unwanted extra. Especially as you are unlikely to know exactly what you will get in an anthology magazine until it arrives. It’s not like he could flip through that month’s issues in the corner store. Which is what happens in Japan – they are sold right next to all the non-adult magazines.

    It probably didn’t even occur to him that this would be an issue. After all, it’s being sold and distributed openly so why would he assume it’s illegal?

  179. The Souljourner says:

    Since when is reading anime (or anything else) a crime? Watching actual child porn is a crime because it creates a demand for more child porn, which induces people to make more, which harms the children involved (and even that is something of a stretch). But this is a CARTOON! No children were harmed in its making, and therefore buying it is not supporting the harm of anyone.

    I really hope this gets brought to higher courts because it’s ridiculous. I don’t care how depraved and horrific the acts depicted are… if no actual minors were involved and no one actually got hurt… there is no crime. I don’t even like the term “victimless crime” because that assumes you can have a crime without a victim, and I don’t believe you can.

    • Antinous / Moderator says:

      No children were harmed in its making, and therefore buying it is not supporting the harm of anyone.

      Can you provide citations that prove that these images won’t turn upstanding citizens into pedophiles?

  180. zuzu says:

    Dude – simulated violence is OK because real life violence is never considered to be OK, and if you participate in it (other than within the confines of rules of a sport, or war)

    Nice use of doublethink.

    never considered to be OK” except “within the confines of rules of a sport, or war”

    So violence is never OK except for when it is OK? That’s as clear as mud.

  181. Lobster says:

    I’m all for persecuting perverts who hurt our children to the fullest extent of the law.

    So show me the child who was hurt by this man, or hurt to create what he had. Show me the victim who has been abused.

    You can’t molest ink.

  182. grimc says:

    So, this guy is going to be sent to prison, and as if he isn’t going to have a rough enough time as it is, he’s going to get the extra special treatment prison convicts give pedophiles.

    USA! USA!

  183. Small Om says:

    Granted(and since this isn’t what this thread is for after this I’m just going to shut up), but individual freedoms have shrunk more in the last 10 years than they grew in the past 20(It also probably helps I grew up in major metropolitan cities). I understand that the nature of government as well as all institutions is to maintain the status quo to protect their own interests and the life of the institution but people also have an effect on government and if they push hard enough for collective comfort and it plays into the hands of the govt then they’ll still use that as a guise as has happened in many European countries(and I’m by no means anti Europe/”this is ARE country” I spent age 0-10 as a military brat in Germany). I’m sorry if I struck you the wrong way.
    -SH.

    • Antinous / Moderator says:

      individual freedoms have shrunk more in the last 10 years than they grew in the past 20

      I just don’t think that’s true. Just in terms of this case, look at the number of prosecutions for sex-related ‘offenses’ over the last few decades. Yes, there are plenty of high profile cases now, but twenty years ago, there was an army of cops closing down bookstores and using enticement techniques in bathrooms and on street corners. Less than two decades ago, there were still long prison sentences for people caught in their own bedrooms having gay sex. It seems worse now because traditional media used to ignore those indelicate stories, whereas the internet has no compunction about reporting everything. I don’t think that you realize the extent to which the vice squad was ruining people’s lives up until about 1990.

  184. Trent Hawkins says:

    #59 you do realize that most old manga have scenes of graphic rape of minors but are not smut or doing it for the sake of entertaining pedophiles. Akira for example. Great manga, great anime. Does that make it make you creep for watching it?

  185. tboy says:

    You know, I had a whole speech readied over why this conviction was a bad idea.

    But Neil Gaiman says it better than I ever will.

  186. grimc says:

    @57

    Simple. Whatever Borders or Barnes and Noble sells in their manga section is safely sanitized.

  187. Galaxyhead says:

    What I find more deplorable than pedophilia itself ( not that I believe this fellow to be a pedophile, as that is contingent with the above ethical debate concerning the connection between art and real harm) is the fact that it is possibly one of the only mental illnesses that is considered to be downright untreatable. If we are so concerned with humanity (think of the children!), why are we so apt to condemn a person, with an obvious ‘sickness’ to death or confinement rather than treat him? Unless people believe it is entirely possible to purge the world of the various medical and societal factors that spawn pedophilia, which is as impossible as ridding the world of anything that is deemed an ‘immoral impurity’. We’re so apt to revert into animals and destroy when it suits us all the while preaching civilized morality.

  188. Anonymous says:

    I wonder if we can accept (as I partially do) that video game violence can be an acceptable outlet for people to unleash their savage lust for violence without it affecting the real world, then could we come to accept comics or non-real mediums of what is basically child porn, as an outlet for those turned on by it?

    Although it disgusts me, provided noone is harmed as a result, it should be treated the same way as other porn – disgusting for some, but frankly none of their business.

    but yeah, it’s probably not that simple is it….?

  189. Anonymous says:

    This is a bit of an interesting one. Should then all Manga be illegal – just in case? Or what about the source? If purchased in the USA, shouldn’t the vendor also be charged? It gets a little silly when you really start to take it apart.

    I guess he had no choice but to plead guilty, but I believe that the circumstance will be taken into account.

    And who exactly decides what is artistic or immoral?

  190. Anonymous says:

    I read the Mike Diana link. If the claim is true, that examiner showed *perfect* American professional ethics — “Yer money or your life!”

    And the same applies to this case — if you can’t afford to mount a defense, there is no such thing as even the minimal possibility of American ‘justice’.

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