News talk:AAE bans Softpaw from Further Confusion 2008 over legal fears
Given my involvement in debating this topic, I wasn't going to start this article, but since others seem to think it is a relevant topic, I will try to ensure it is accurate and complete. Please review my edits for any unintentional bias in the wording. --GreenReaper(talk) 13:06, 22 January 2008 (UTC)
- Look, if the last time they got banned was relevant... and last I checked, Further Confusion's a pretty big con. Besides, we could always use more news. --126.96.36.199 03:42, 23 January 2008 (UTC)
Wasn't there a case that went to the Supreme Court, wherein it was ruled that as long as no actual children were involved in the making of a work of fiction, it's protected speech? I believe that the example the justices gave was Romeo and Juliet, which Softpaw most definitely isn't, but the principle is the same: no real children or representations of real children are harmed, so what is the justification for overriding the 1st Amendment? —Bersl2 05:53, 29 January 2008 (UTC)
- There have been Supreme Court rulings and debates in this area. I encourage those interested in the topic to peruse Ashcroft, Attorney General, et al. v. Free Speech Coalition et al. and United States v. Williams - Oral Argument to get a feel for prior decisions.
- The first is pretty clear, and led to §2256(8)(B) and §2256(8)(D) being declared unconstitutional. One bit I found particularly telling in the latter (which is more recent, and forms part of a case not yet decided) was this:
JUSTICE GINSBURG: Even though -- even though what you are, in fact, showing or presenting does not fit the definition? Even if what you're showing -- you say, have I got some hot child porn and here it is, and the "it" is -- is -- an adult pretending to be a child, or a virtual image. So the -- the problem is not an accurate representation that this is hardcore porn, and it is, but saying, have I got the real stuff, but what you present is not at all the real stuff.
- It seems the justice takes it as a matter of fact that a virtual image is "not the real thing", just like an adult actor portraying a child.
- For the internationally curious, UK law muddies the water with the concept of indecent pseudo-photographs. This would exclude the non-photo-realistic Softpaw, but other works might be covered (at this point whether or not the characters depicted are officially children or animals becomes important).
- Of course, none of this means that a prosecution under the laws concerned could not be started, or covered in a negative fashion by the mass media, even if it seems clear that it would be defeated on the merits of the case. That is what the convention was concerned about. --GreenReaper(talk) 06:34, 29 January 2008 (UTC)
- Yes, I was going to clarify that I knew that FC knew that it ought to be OK. It's just a classic chilling effect of law interfering with private matters, that's all (as if it were just another routine case of this sort of thing happening... oh wait, it is. ;) –Bersl2 08:38, 29 January 2008 (UTC)