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U.S. Manga Obscenity Conviction Roils Comics World
05-28-2009, 10:04 PM,
#1
U.S. Manga Obscenity Conviction Roils Comics World
In an obscenity first, a U.S. comic book collector has pleaded guilty to importing and possessing Japanese manga books depicting illustrations of child sex abuse and bestiality.

Christopher Handley, described by his lawyer as a “prolific collector” of manga, pleaded guilty last week to mailing obscene matter, and to “possession of obscene visual representations of the sexual abuse of children.” Three other counts were dropped in a plea deal with prosecutors.

The 39-year-old office worker was charged under the 2003 Protect Act, which outlaws cartoons, drawings, sculptures or paintings depicting minors engaging in sexually explicit conduct, and which lack “serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value.” Handley’s guilty plea makes him the first to be convicted under that law for possessing cartoon art, without any evidence that he also collected or viewed genuine child pornography. He faces a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison.

Comics fans are alarmed by the case, (.pdf), saying that jailing someone over manga does nothing to protect children from sexual abuse.

“This art that this man possessed as part of a larger collection of manga … is now the basis for [a sentence] designed to protect children from abuse,” says Charles Brownstein, executive director of the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund. “The drawings are not obscene and are not tantamount to pornography. They are lines on paper.”

Congress passed the Protect Act after the Supreme Court struck down a broader law prohibiting any visual depictions of minors engaged in sexual activity, including computer-generated imagery and other fakes. The high court ruled that the ban was overbroad, and could cover legitimate speech, including Hollywood productions.

In response, the Protect Act narrows the prohibition to cover only depictions that the defendant’s community would consider “obscene.”

“It’s probably the only law I’m aware of, if a client shows me a book or magazine or movie, and asks me if this image is illegal, I can’t tell them,” says Eric Chase, Handley’s attorney.

Chase says he recommended the plea agreement (.pdf) to his client because he didn’t think he could convince a jury to acquit him once they’d seen the images in question. The lawyer declined to describe the details. “If they can imagine it, they drew it,” he says. “Use your imagination. It was there.”

The case began in 2006, when customs officials intercepted and opened a package from Japan addressed to Handley. Seven books of manga inside contained cartoon drawings of minors engaged in sexually explicit acts. One book included depictions of bestiality, according to stipulations in Handley’s plea deal.

Frenchy Lunning, a manga expert at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design, was a consultant in the case. She says the books were from the widely available Lolicon variety — a Japanese word play on “Lolita.”

“This stuff is huge in Japan, in all of Asia,” Lunning says. Handley, she adds, “is not a pedophile. He had no photographs of child pornography.”

Handley remains free pending a yet-to-be scheduled sentencing date. Mike Bladel, a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Iowa, declined to state what kind of sentence the government would seek, but claimed there were hundreds of obscene panels in the seized manga.

Chase says he’s hoping the judge will take into account the circumstances.

“He was a prolific collector,” says the lawyer. “He did not focus on this type of manga. He collected everything that was out there that he could get his hands on. I think this makes a huge difference.”


http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2009/05/manga-porn/
In the 60's, people took acid to make the world weird. Now the world is weird and people take Prozac to make it normal.

As a reputed atheist, the reverential nature of his film was surprising, but Pasolini himself said &If you know that I am an unbeliever, then you know me better than I do myself. I may be an unbeliever, but I am an unbeliever who has a nostalgia for a belief.&


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05-28-2009, 11:48 PM,
#2
U.S. Manga Obscenity Conviction Roils Comics World
this is the leading step to getting busted for thinking shit.

rubbish of the highest order.
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05-30-2009, 04:55 PM,
#3
U.S. Manga Obscenity Conviction Roils Comics World
This is how they roll back our rights. Passing draconian laws focusing on the borderline stuff that can then be used to censor anything and everything.
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05-30-2009, 11:48 PM,
#4
U.S. Manga Obscenity Conviction Roils Comics World
No children are being harmed in the process of creating a Manga. So, what kind of crime is that when there is no party being harmed?
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05-31-2009, 07:26 AM,
#5
U.S. Manga Obscenity Conviction Roils Comics World
Shooting people is illegal. Does that mean i cant draw people shooting each other? What about smoking pot? This is retarded.
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05-31-2009, 11:07 AM,
#6
U.S. Manga Obscenity Conviction Roils Comics World
The people responsible for enacting and enforcing this law think that they are doing the right thing...

The road to hell is paved with good intentions.
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06-02-2009, 11:41 AM,
#7
U.S. Manga Obscenity Conviction Roils Comics World
Quote:The 39-year-old office worker was charged under the 2003 Protect Act, which outlaws cartoons, drawings, sculptures or paintings depicting minors engaging in sexually explicit conduct, and which lack “serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value.”


Ok so does that mean we wont be seeing any more advertising?
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