His 5th circuit appeal was mostly unsuccessful and the court issued its judgement for that in october 12th.
This appeal for writ of certiorari was filed on jan 13th. Apparently the supreme court will decide if they want to review the case on february 17th (if they do decide to hear the case, it will take a while before they give a decision).
I am not familiar with obscenity laws, but is it true that some states don’t use it? Is that even possible since I thought it is a federal law.
Would this then not also affect the big companies and websites dealing with such content?
I read the article in the first link and from my understanding this will have a huge impact on artistic expression in the US:
This repugnant exploitation of innocent children has no place in society. The FBI will vigorously pursue anyone that profits on the publishing of visual and textual depictions of the sexual abuse and murder of children. Today’s sentencing shows that we will work tirelessly to prevent the exploitation of children to the fullest extent of the law,” said Acting FBI Special Agent in Charge Coburn.
So, are all the FBI jokes actually becoming reality now?
Who told you this (about the FBI not pursuing obscenity with fiction)? An FBI person? I am curious because we all know that all these sites with fiction are hosted in the USA (ATF, Lolicit, Lolibooru, nhentai, AO3), and none have been taken down. The one exception is obviously Mr. Double’s website, but that’s because some stories were written by sex offenders and they could’ve been based on real people, and Arthur also molested children in the past. The government cannot take down a website with alleged obscenity until it is proven obscene, but in this case they did as it could have involved real kids. There is a precedent about this as well.
But basically it seems very unlikely the FBI meant that statement. If they did, none of the sites I listed would exist and no “Creature Girls” by Kakeru or “To Love Ru Darkness” would’ve been licensed and published in the USA.
What I mean by the exception is that Mr Doubles site was taken down before being proven obscene. According to SCOTUS precedent, that cannot happen. In this case it did because the judge had determined there could be danger to real kids as the stories possibly depicted them. Work is presumed non-obscene until a judge says it is after a trial. And even then if a case is local, the content can only be banned in that jurisdiction and not nationwide.
I’d prefer if we left the Jane Doe involved in this particular case off the forum, since they were a middle-aged sex abuse survivor whose stories were created to be therapeutic.
She was the target of efforts by one of the most sickening examples of conservative moralism out there, much at the expense of an innocent person’s freedom.
These people deserve privacy.
A tear rolled down my face typing this… what senselessness could permit this.
I mean “To Love ru” and the likes are nothing compared to what is out there. If a jury would be shown let’s say something along the lines of “Ugly Bastard”, “Guro” and what not then I don’t see them going “Yeah, this is definetly not obscene” esp. with how society and lawmakers just started to ramp up fighting against CSAM and actually take it serious.
Anything that is somehow associated with pedophilia is being rejected, because it is disgusting to the general public. It’s more about protecting their own morals and feelings than anything else. If the wellbeing would be so important than those people wouldn’t buy throwaway fashion.
Voicing any support towards the concept of pedophilia (in their mind: accepting fictional depictions = accepting CSA(M)) is suicide. It is easier to be against it and feel validated.
Thankfully there are enough people in positions of political influence to stand against this, especially in private. These policymakers are not wholly deaf to the prospects and implications of their actions and desires, the fact that child sex dolls and loli/shota materials are still legal in the US is proof of that.
If you wanted proof that the people against this were madmen, just look at the pinned post.
Granted, not everyone who has these offices are smart, but enough are there to give some breathing room.
They can be pretty out there tbh. I remember scenes with Mikan which would definitely be considered sexually explicit (her genitals were at least clearly delineated), and she is 12. Not like the other things on the internet granted, but still would make others wince.
Now this gets my brain a-thinkin’. What exactly is considered “obscene”? If I were to write a paper about real-life cases of sexual slavery or rape, is that considered obscene? Eg, if I described in excruciating detail the rape and torture that high schooler Junko Furuta suffered at the hands of the yakuza, is it obscene? Or would my paper get a pass because it’s informative and therefore has merit/value? Who decides such things?
About the former, I have no info. About the latter, the FBI presumably tries to deal only with credible allegations. Pizzagate and QAnon were/are not credible allegations. They’re fake-pedophilia scares cooked up for herding right-wing fools. The earlier 90s Satanic panics didn’t survive sober re-examination once the hysteria had died down.
I’m not the least bit surprised no one has filed amicus briefs. The Feds are very good at choosing unsympathetic defendants. Let’s not forget Arthur was accused of hands-on (contact) offenses in the past – due to this, and his apparent preference for underage characters as subject matter, he is hardly a ‘normal’ adult publisher or writer. Look at how they have characterized his operation: “running a child obscenity website”.
In most people’s minds, child obscenity and child pornography are synonymous – they chose this wording very carefully, in order to stigmatize/scapegoat the man, and drive an enormous wedge between him and any people or organizations who otherwise might have been likely to support him.
One of the more slimy tactics used by the government – and permitted by the trial judge – was the government’s assertion that the charged materials amounted to “child pornography” and that Arthur’s attorneys were prohibited from making copies of these for review by Arthur’s chosen experts. The Court of Appeals ruled as follows:
Arthur argues that the district court erred in denying his request to copy the charged materials. The district court denied Arthur’s motion on the ground that the charged materials constituted child pornography. See 18 U.S.C. § 3509(m). A district court’s discovery orders are reviewed for an abuse of discretion. United States v. Dailey, 868 F.3d 322, 327 (5th Cir. 2017). This court “will not reverse on that basis unless a defendant establishes prejudice to his substantial rights.” Id. (quoting United States v. Ellender, 947 F.2d 748, 756 (5th Cir. 1991)).
Before us, the parties rightfully agree that none of the charged materials meets the definition of child pornography. See § 2256(8). Though the district court’s contrary conclusion was error, Arthur has not met his burden to demonstrate that the error affected his substantial rights. Dailey, 868 F.3d at 327. The Government made the charged materials available to defense counsel and defense experts at the FBI offices in Midland and Alpine, Texas. Arthur makes general assertions that limiting the availability of the charged materials to an in-person visit to a West Texas FBI office during the COVID-19 pandemic prevented him from retaining experts to assist in the preparation of his defense. However, Arthur has not specified any particular expert who he wished to retain but was unable to due to the limited availability of the charged material. See United States v. Kimbrough, 69 F.3d 723, 731 (5th Cir. 1995) (“His conclusory assertion that the amount of material seized and the time it took the Government agents to review the material demonstrates he was precluded from having an adequate opportunity to review the material and obtain an expert for trial is simply insufficient.”). In addition, three defense experts did view the materials at the FBI office. Therefore, Arthur has failed to show that he was prejudiced by the district court’s error.