Case Law: Morphing REAL photos of minors into porn falls under 2252 violation

This did not take place in criminal court, events took place 13 or so years ago, the defendant, the producer was placed on a diversion program. Also had to pay $300k in restitution. (Likely roughly 2-4 years of his gross income). Once again, my goal here is to illustrate USC 2252 is enough to protect children. We do not need 1466A (which oversteps into banning fiction) to hold producers of morphed photos of real minors accountable.

This took place on the 6th circuit of appeals. Another court, 2nd circuit has also ruled on similar challenges to 2256(8) C and affirmed that morphed images are not protected speech.

This $300,000 award undoubtedly amounts to tough medicine for Boland. When
he created morphed images, he intended to help criminal defendants, not harm innocent
children. Yet his actions did harm children, and Congress has shown that it “means
business” in addressing this problem by creating sizeable damages awards for victims
of this conduct. Boland, 630 F.3d at 495. Nor was this Boland’s only option for trying
to help his clients. He could have shown the difficulty of distinguishing real
pornography from virtual images by transforming the face of an adult onto another, or
inserting a child’s image into an innocent scene. If he felt compelled to make his point
with pornography, he could have used images of adults or virtual children. Instead, he
chose an option Congress explicitly forbade: morphed images of real children in sexually
explicit scenes. That choice was not protected by the First Amendment, and the children
therefore are entitled to the relief Congress offered them.

Good reason to research the impact fictional obscene depictions have on crime, whether contact offenses or CSAM offenses. If it has no impact, or even serves as a deterrent, than the adult-adult distribution of obscene depictions of any fictional character, whether through CGI or cartoons is truly a victimless crime.

Virtual children or
actual adults create the same visual effect as a morphed image, yet do no harm to the
interests of identifiable minors.