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Court accepts virtual porn case (fwd)

Das adult-business:

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Mon, 22 Jan 2001 10:44:36 -0600
Subject: Court accepts virtual porn case

   AP Washington

   Justices To Review Virtual Porn Ban

   Associated Press Writer

   WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Supreme Court agreed Monday to decide whether
   Congress can attack child pornography by banning computer-altered
   pictures that only appear to show minors involved in sexual activity.

   The court said it will hear the government's argument that by banning
   sexual images that do not actually portray children, a 1996 law
   ''helps to stamp out the market for child pornography involving real

   A coalition of adult-oriented businesses that challenged the ban says
   it violates free-speech rights, and a San Francisco-based federal
   appeals court agreed.

   The Child Pornography Prevention Act expanded a long-standing ban on
   child pornography to prohibit any image that ''appears to be'' or
   ''conveys the impression'' of someone under 18 engaged in sexually
   explicit conduct.

   The law targeted computer technology that can be used to alter an
   innocent picture of a child into a depiction of a child engaged in

   The Free Speech Coalition, a California-based trade association of
   adult-oriented businesses, challenged the law in federal court. The
   group said it opposes child pornography, but that films and photos
   produced by its members could wrongly be deemed to show minors engaged
   in sexual conduct.

   The group did not challenge a section of the law that banned the use
   of identifiable children in computer-altered sexual images.

   A federal judge upheld the law, but the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of
   Appeals decided in December 1999 the provisions challenged by the
   coalition violated the Constitution's free-speech protection. The
   court said the government did not show a connection between
   computer-generated child pornography and the exploitation of actual

   Several other appeals courts have upheld the provisions, and in the
   appeal acted on Monday, Justice Department lawyers asked the nation's
   highest court to resolve the conflict.

   The government has a compelling interest in preventing the sexual
   abuse and exploitation of children, government lawyers said, adding
   that pedophiles often use pictures to seduce other children into
   sexual activity.

   Because it is hard to distinguish computer-generated pictures from
   those actually portraying children involved in sex, ''The government
   may find it impossible in many cases to prove that a pornographic
   image is of a real child,'' Justice Department lawyers said.

   The Free Speech Coalition's lawyers said that even without the
   disputed provisions, the 1996 law ''remains a comprehensive and
   effective tool for fighting the real evils of child pornography.''

   The case is Reno v. Free Speech Coalition, 00-795.


   On the Net: For the appeals court ruling in Reno v. Free Speech
   Coalition: http://www.uscourts.gov/links.html and click on 9th

   AP-NY-01-22-01 1025EST<


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