News talk:AAE bans Softpaw from Further Confusion 2008 over legal fears

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Possible conflict[edit]

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. -- 03:42, 23 January 2008 (UTC)

Court rulings[edit]

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)