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  #1  
Old 04-23-2006, 10:24 PM
astro astro is offline
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If you Photoshop a child's face onto an adult naked body that's child porn

Not a strict GQ, but placed here because I can't think of a better venue for discussion of legal issues. Mods move if you must. Story via Fark-

Per this story a photographer was convicted for cutting and pasting pictures of (clothed) children's heads onto pictures of naked bodies. Are we on a slippery slope with this sort of ruling? As an example would pictures in Maxim or Playboy of very young, adolescent looking 18 and 19 year olds caressing each other to fall under this category at some point if the standard is to prevent "children from being depicted as engaging in sexual activity". If cut and paste stuff is allowed under this legal umbrella where will the slope end for what counts a pornographically depicted "child"?


Intial arrest story


Quote:
MILFORD, N.H. -- A photographer for a local youth camp faces four counts of child pornography after the camp's director allegedly found suspicious photos on his camera.


Man Says He Did Nothing Wrong
Marshall Zidel, 59, of Somerville, Mass., was taking photographs of Camp Young Judaea. Director Ken Kornreich told police that he noticed other photos on the camera, including two of a 15-year-old girl's head copied onto the naked body of a young woman.

Conviction Story below


Quote:
Manchester – A Massachusetts man was found guilty yesterday of nine counts of possession of child pornography stemming from his more than 20-year association as a photographer for a youth camp in Amherst.

Marshal Zidel, 59, of Somerville, Mass., was convicted after a stipulated facts trial before Justice John M. Lewis in Hillsborough County Superior Court, North.

Each charge alleged Zidel “knowingly possessed a visual representation of a child engaged in sexual activity.”

Zidel was a longtime photographer at Camp Young Judea in Amherst, where he took photos of campers and compiled them into yearbooks. He used those photos to create what he called his own “personal fantasy,” according to a county attorney press release.

The telephone at Camp Young Judea is not in service until June 1. A message left on an answering machine at a Massachusetts phone number for the camp was not returned.

Zidel was accused of juxtaposing the heads and faces of campers onto images that depicted the youngsters engaging in sexual activity. Those images, saved on a CD ROM, were accidentally given to the camp’s director, according to the press release.

While Zidel’s attorney admitted that his client knew the campers depicted in the photos were under 16 years old, the attorney argued the images were not child pornography because the children were not subjected to sexual content, according to the press release.

Assistant Hillsborough County Attorney Nicole Fortune prosecuted the case and argued that the images were child pornography, as the law was designed to protect children from being depicted as engaging in sexual activity.

Over Fortune’s objection, Lewis allowed Zidel to remain free on $50,000 cash or corporate surety bail.

Zidel faces a maximum of 3½ to 7 years in prison on each of the nine counts. A presentencing hearing has not been scheduled. Fortune said she expects sentencing to take place within the next couple of months
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  #2  
Old 04-23-2006, 10:56 PM
Frosted Glass Frosted Glass is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by astro
Are we on a slippery slope with this sort of ruling? As an example would pictures in Maxim or Playboy of very young, adolescent looking 18 and 19 year olds caressing each other to fall under this category at some point if the standard is to prevent "children from being depicted as engaging in sexual activity". If cut and paste stuff is allowed under this legal umbrella where will the slope end for what counts a pornographically depicted "child"?
I am somewhat confused by your question because I thought he was found guilty of child pornography. Would you mind clarifying for a tired doper who has been staring at a screen all day?

This ruling may also be of interest to you.
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  #3  
Old 04-23-2006, 11:18 PM
astro astro is offline
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Originally Posted by Frosted Glass
I am somewhat confused by your question because I thought he was found guilty of child pornography. Would you mind clarifying for a tired doper who has been staring at a screen all day?

This ruling may also be of interest to you.
He was convicted of "child porn" for photoshopping kids faces onto adult naked bodies. The fact that the children were originally clothed for the original pics was seen as irrelevant. The non-naked kid's head shot attached to an adult naked body via Photoshop constituted "child porn" in the eyes of the law and he was convicted of it.

My question for discussion is - At what practical point does this expanded notion of "child porn" stop if a synthetic picture is allowed to be classified as the criminal exploitation of children? Would adult porn actors that look like adolescents and portray adolescents having sex be considered child at some point in this context? Are we on a slippery slope in this ruling? That's the question.
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Old 04-23-2006, 11:20 PM
astro astro is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by astro
He was convicted of "child porn" for photoshopping kids faces onto adult naked bodies. The fact that the children were originally clothed for the original pics was seen as irrelevant. The non-naked kid's head shot attached to an adult naked body via Photoshop constituted "child porn" in the eyes of the law and he was convicted of it.

My question for discussion is - At what practical point does this expanded notion of "child porn" stop if a synthetic picture is allowed to be classified as the criminal exploitation of children? Would adult porn actors that look like adolescents and portray adolescents having sex be considered child at some point in this context? Are we on a slippery slope in this ruling? That's the question.
be considered child porn
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  #5  
Old 04-23-2006, 11:21 PM
alaricthegoth alaricthegoth is offline
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this is very confusing. The scienter component of the statute seems directly to cut against to conviction, since Zidell (perhaps uniquely) knew that the pictures in question did not represent a cshild engaged in sexual activity. (per contra, the camp director, had he pocketed the cd rather than turning it over, might have been guilty of the said violation, which seems on its face to turn upon the specific facts known to the person possessing the offensive material.)

Maybe it depends on what the meaning of "represent" is, but in that case, how would a sketch be exempt from the same reasoning. How about a sketch of a kid's head on an adult's body?--(Dodgson, this bud's for you....)

It's hard to see how a superimposed sketch would pose lesser liability for zidell, notwithstanding that it seems preposterous.

query:what about a sketch involving no photo, but all charcoal? What about a sketch stipulated to arise from no model?

I'm gonna bet that this last hypothetical would be found (at least by this trial judge) to violate the law. I couldn't detect in the statute as reproduced any language that limited the proscribed visuals to photographic representation.
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  #6  
Old 04-23-2006, 11:31 PM
Rigamarole Rigamarole is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by astro
if the standard is to prevent "children from being depicted as engaging in sexual activity"
Maybe I'm taking a slight tangent here - but what is the point of this? I never realized a "visual representation" of children engaged in sexual activity was against the law - I thought only actual child porn was. I always assumed a cartoon would be OK (though I've never sought it out).

I thought the point of anti-child porn laws was to protect children from being put in sexual situations when they haven't reached a level of maturity yet to decide if that's what they really want to do. So what the heck is the harm of a visual representation, that never actually involved children, anyway?
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  #7  
Old 04-23-2006, 11:33 PM
alaricthegoth alaricthegoth is offline
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to make things more confusing, suppose a sketch is drawn of a thirty year old woman, who is drawn as younger (not normally considered a hostile act by an artist....), and named in the drawing so that it is plain that the representation is of a thirty year old, albeit she is "airbrushed" to a 16 year old's characteristics?

There is the obligatory usc. record keeping disclaimer that (I am told....) frequently preceeds the action portion of what are (I understand from my friends who view them....) called adult videos.

What if Zidell had imposed a digital disclaimer on his photos? I think in this case that would have immunized him, which makes the whole thing preposterous since HE had what we call in the trade "actual notice" that the bodies (at least) were over the age of 18 at the time of the photographing, etc.

On deconstruction, perhaps that's the nub of the offense--he could not actually sustain such a disclaimer in toto, inasmuch as parts of the pictures (albeit the inoffensive part) did contain pictures of models not over 18, etc.
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  #8  
Old 04-24-2006, 12:25 AM
KGS KGS is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by astro
He was convicted of "child porn" for photoshopping kids faces onto adult naked bodies. The fact that the children were originally clothed for the original pics was seen as irrelevant. The non-naked kid's head shot attached to an adult naked body via Photoshop constituted "child porn" in the eyes of the law and he was convicted of it.
The rationale for making this type of pornography illegal is because it involves an actual child, even if the face was cut out of a Disneyland flyer or something. Frankly, I don't get it. What kind of pedophile would get off looking at an ADULT body?!?

Quote:
My question for discussion is - At what practical point does this expanded notion of "child porn" stop if a synthetic picture is allowed to be classified as the criminal exploitation of children? Would adult porn actors that look like adolescents and portray adolescents having sex be considered child at some point in this context? Are we on a slippery slope in this ruling? That's the question.
You may remember the "Virtual Kiddy Porn" bill that was proposed by Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) in '96, signed by Pres. Clinton that same year, and overturned by the Supreme Court a few years later. That law would have made EVERY naked image of a child illegal, even cartoons/drawings, even movies where the actor/actress APPEARED TO BE underage. That's right, if a 22-year-old actress plays a 17-year-old who's having sex, it's kiddy porn, and you're a babyraper if you watch it. Nice, huh? The whole brouhaha over "The Tin Drum" was based on this badly written, overbroad law.

"Photoshop Porn" was the only part of this law that was not overturned by the Supreme Court.
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Old 04-24-2006, 12:45 AM
Frosted Glass Frosted Glass is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KGS
You may remember the "Virtual Kiddy Porn" bill that was proposed by Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) in '96, signed by Pres. Clinton that same year, and overturned by the Supreme Court a few years later. That law would have made EVERY naked image of a child illegal, even cartoons/drawings, even movies where the actor/actress APPEARED TO BE underage. That's right, if a 22-year-old actress plays a 17-year-old who's having sex, it's kiddy porn, and you're a babyraper if you watch it. Nice, huh? The whole brouhaha over "The Tin Drum" was based on this badly written, overbroad law.

"Photoshop Porn" was the only part of this law that was not overturned by the Supreme Court.
Child Pornography Protection Act of 1996 found unconstitutional

In this case I do feel that pasting a minor's face onto a naked body is a form of exploitation. You are using a child's face in a manner that they are not developed enough to approve of. In this case, it is difficult to even argue artistic merit. More importantly, I find it hard to believe that personal use of these children’s photographs was not prohibited under his contract. I doubt that they would even permit him to use the photographs in a portfolio without parental permission. With regards to personal use, I will defer to any professional photographers out there until I get a chance to ask my father about it.

The only thing that I see as unclear is whether or not he is actually guilty of child pornography as defined by United States law. If he was granted personal use of the photos that he had taken, then I would rather see him paste them onto naked adults then encourage children to pose nude for him.
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  #10  
Old 04-24-2006, 01:25 AM
GIGObuster GIGObuster is offline
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http://www.uexpress.com/coveringthec..._date=20020424
Quote:
04/24/2002

CASE OF THE VIRTUAL-CHILD

Justice Sandra Day O'Connor last week struck a blow for clarity. In the cyberworld of pornography, she said, the actual-child and the virtual-child are not of the same species. As a matter of law, all they share is a hyphen. One may be abused. The other may be deleted.
That summation is oversimplified, but it reflects the common sense behind the Supreme Court's 7-2 decision striking down the Child Pornography Prevention Act of 1996. The majority opinion, skillfully written by Justice Anthony Kennedy, leaves in place plenty of federal law to punish those who produce and sell obscene materials involving images of children. The opinion also leaves untouched "the First Amendment's vast and privileged sphere." The court got this one exactly right.
I agree with Frosted Glass, in this case the face of a real child was used, the abuse is in the scary possibility that the families would have been harassed by bad people or (in what in some occasions would be worse) the authorities, lives would had been already ruined by the time the truth was found, if it had been a completely cartoon or digitally created being it would had been allowed, regardless of the squeamish factor.
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  #11  
Old 04-24-2006, 01:28 AM
alaricthegoth alaricthegoth is offline
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it's pretty hard not to see this as classic "thought crime" (which is especially weird when the purported pedophile knows the body is adult, as mentioned above)
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  #12  
Old 04-24-2006, 01:47 AM
GIGObuster GIGObuster is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alaricthegoth
it's pretty hard not to see this as classic "thought crime" (which is especially weird when the purported pedophile knows the body is adult, as mentioned above)
But the deal breaker, on why I don't consider it a thought crime, is in the fact that the guy used real photos for his creations, if the pictures had accidentally been released on the web at large, I do think many lives would had been terribly affected.

And I do think it is fair to assume that some families were disturbed when the evidence was being collected for this case.
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  #13  
Old 04-24-2006, 02:32 AM
alaricthegoth alaricthegoth is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GIGObuster
But the deal breaker, on why I don't consider it a thought crime, is in the fact that the guy used real photos for his creations, if the pictures had accidentally been released on the web at large, I do think many lives would had been terribly affected.

And I do think it is fair to assume that some families were disturbed when the evidence was being collected for this case.
I think you are reaching the same point as I circled around in the inability to produce a veridical disclaimer--some part of some real child does appear in the photo, hence liability. I guess what makes it weird is that the part of the real child is not the sexual part, but your point is nonetheless well taken. There are potential harms other than the obvious ones that we recognize in actually using children in sexual situations for purposes of photographing them.
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  #14  
Old 04-24-2006, 04:51 AM
Shakes Shakes is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KGS
The rationale for making this type of pornography illegal is because it involves an actual child, even if the face was cut out of a Disneyland flyer or something. Frankly, I don't get it. What kind of pedophile would get off looking at an ADULT body?!?

You may remember the "Virtual Kiddy Porn" bill that was proposed by Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) in '96, signed by Pres. Clinton that same year, and overturned by the Supreme Court a few years later. That law would have made EVERY naked image of a child illegal, even cartoons/drawings, even movies where the actor/actress APPEARED TO BE underage. That's right, if a 22-year-old actress plays a 17-year-old who's having sex, it's kiddy porn, and you're a babyraper if you watch it. Nice, huh? The whole brouhaha over "The Tin Drum" was based on this badly written, overbroad law.

"Photoshop Porn" was the only part of this law that was not overturned by the Supreme Court.

Nothing to add here except I was just watching "The Blue Lagoon" on cable last night. I couldn't help thinking to myself: If this movie were made today; the first twenty minutes of it would have ended up on the editor's floor.
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Old 04-24-2006, 07:20 AM
Hamlet Hamlet is online now
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The Supreme Court in Ashcroft v. Free Speech Coalition (the case cited to earlier by Frosted Glass) specifically excluded these kinds of images from their ruling. Kennedy, in his majority, stated: "although morphed images may fall within the definition of virtual child pornography, they implicate the interests of real children and are in that sense closer to the images in Ferber."

Since this was a New Hampshire case, I looked and found New Hampshire v. Cobb, which discussed these kinds of images. In that case, the majority held that similar kinds of morphed images can be illegal, and stated "Although the people whose photographs have been "morphed" were not made to engage in the behavior displayed in the photographs, they are nonetheless victimized each time photographs containing their image are displayed or exhibited." They went on to discuss the issue by saying "While the children in the morphed photographs may belong to a different class of victims than children made to actually engage in sexual behavior in the production process of child pornography, the children in the morphed photographs are nonetheless actual identifiable human victims, rather than computer-generated virtual images. In other words, morphed photographs create direct and identifiable child victims of sexual exploitation, whereas purely computer-generated virtual child pornography does not, absent additional criminal conduct, directly victimize any particular children. The underlying concerns which informed the Ferber decision, therefore, are implicated by the facts of this case in a manner they were not in Ashcroft."

Since there are real children involved, albeit just facially, in the images, I have no problem with it being illegal.
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Old 04-24-2006, 09:01 AM
Autumn Almanac Autumn Almanac is offline
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This is all going to get very interesting once CGI technology advances to the point of producing renderings indistinguishable from a photo of a real person.
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Old 04-24-2006, 02:13 PM
SentientMeat SentientMeat is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wm--
This is all going to get very interesting once CGI technology advances to the point of producing renderings indistinguishable from a photo of a real person.
Already done, to an astonishingly accurate degree I'm sure you'll agree.

OK, OK, but you get the idea.
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  #18  
Old 04-24-2006, 02:41 PM
coffeecat coffeecat is offline
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While looking for pictures of naked, grown-up ladies on Usenet, I frequently stumble across pictures of dressed kids. (Kills the mood, let me tell you.) By New Hampshire v. Cobb's reasoning, posting such pictures to alt.binaries.pictures.erotica.soccer-moms victimizes the kids and is therefore kiddy porn, even though there's no nudity at all!
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  #19  
Old 04-24-2006, 03:18 PM
Lightnin' Lightnin' is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frosted Glass
Child Pornography Protection Act of 1996 found unconstitutional

In this case I do feel that pasting a minor's face onto a naked body is a form of exploitation. You are using a child's face in a manner that they are not developed enough to approve of.
If someone were to paste my mug onto a nude body, they'd be using my image in a manner I'd disapprove of... but there'd be nothing I could do about it (unless, perhaps, they then tried to sell the resulting image). How does the age of the, ah, pastee enter into it?
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Old 04-24-2006, 04:06 PM
RTFirefly RTFirefly is online now
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This discussion reminds me of a Penthouse pictorial from a coupla decades back, featuring a model known as "Baby" Brease, IIRC. She was of legal age, and had a woman's body, but she had a face that looked more like that of a 9 year old.

Guess that wouldn't have been child porn under current law, but it would have been hard to tell the difference between that pictorial and the photos being discussed here.
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Old 04-24-2006, 04:58 PM
Hamlet Hamlet is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coffeecat
While looking for pictures of naked, grown-up ladies on Usenet, I frequently stumble across pictures of dressed kids. (Kills the mood, let me tell you.) By New Hampshire v. Cobb's reasoning, posting such pictures to alt.binaries.pictures.erotica.soccer-moms victimizes the kids and is therefore kiddy porn, even though there's no nudity at all!
Baloney. From Cobb: "a person is guilty of a felony if he or she "[p]ublishes, exhibits or otherwise makes available any visual representation of a child engaging in sexual activity." A dressed child, unless they're doing something you're not telling me, is not a "visual representation of a child engaging in sexual activity.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lightnin'
If someone were to paste my mug onto a nude body, they'd be using my image in a manner I'd disapprove of... but there'd be nothing I could do about it (unless, perhaps, they then tried to sell the resulting image). How does the age of the, ah, pastee enter into it?
Maybe I'm missing your point, but child pornography kinda requires that a child be involved, so the age of the "pastee" is pretty important.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RTFirefly
Guess that wouldn't have been child porn under current law, but it would have been hard to tell the difference between that pictorial and the photos being discussed here.
Which is one of the major problems with the computer generated child pornography. It's gotten, and will continue to get, harder and harder to differentiate between a unknown child victim and a created victim.
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  #22  
Old 04-24-2006, 05:30 PM
Lightnin' Lightnin' is online now
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Originally Posted by Hamlet
Maybe I'm missing your point, but child pornography kinda requires that a child be involved, so the age of the "pastee" is pretty important.
1) I.M. Scumbucket, photographer and photoshopper, takes a kid's picture and pastes the head onto the body of a naked adult. According to Frosted Glass, this would be "using a child's face in a manner that they are not developed enough to approve of."

2) I. M. Scumbucket then takes MY picture and pastes the head onto the naked body of another adult. I, unlike the child, am indeed capable of approving or disapproving of the usage of my image. However, even if I disapprove of it, there's not a damn thing I can do about it- because (unless I'm mistaken), it's not illegal for Mr. Scumbucket to do so with my image.

My point is that I don't think the age of the, uh, "victim" (for want of a better word) is important, at least as far as Frosted Glass' argument goes. So what if the kid can't can't approve of the use of his face in that manner? It's a non-issue. Why does the kid's age matter? If he was an adult, he could protest 'til the cows come home and it wouldn't do a lick of good- but since he's a minor, it's illegal? Huh?

For example, I could (legally) take a picture of the cute girl who works at the sandwich shop down the corner, and paste her head onto Jenna Jamesons' nude body. It'd be perfectly legal, if more than a little skeevy. But if she happens to be a minor (entirely possible, as I haven't asked her), it's illegal.

I guess I'm a little confused as to how photoshoppery can result in child pornography. Is it skeevy and wrong? Of course. But should it be illegal? It's gettin' mighty close to thought crime, in my book.

As an aside... I'm an artist. Specifically, a 3D artist. I'm pretty darned good. I could, without too much effort, create what would be classified as "child porn"- but in which no actual humans were involved. That kinda frightens me, ya know?
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  #23  
Old 04-24-2006, 06:30 PM
clairobscur clairobscur is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hamlet
Since there are real children involved, albeit just facially, in the images, I have no problem with it being illegal.

I agree that it should be illegal, but shoudln't it be a crime completely different (with different sentences, etc..) from what is usually understood by "child pornography"?
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Old 04-24-2006, 06:33 PM
Hamlet Hamlet is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lightnin'
My point is that I don't think the age of the, uh, "victim" (for want of a better word) is important, at least as far as Frosted Glass' argument goes.
I don't mean to speak for Frosted Glass, but child pornography isn't illegal only because the child didn't consent.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lightnin'
So what if the kid can't can't approve of the use of his face in that manner? It's a non-issue. Why does the kid's age matter? If he was an adult, he could protest 'til the cows come home and it wouldn't do a lick of good- but since he's a minor, it's illegal? Huh?
Again, I must be missing something. Adult pornography... legal. Child pornography... illegal. How is age not relevant? Maybe you're meaning to focus only on the possible civil suits for invasion of privacy, misappropriation of identity, or false light. These civil suits can be had by both the child and the adult in your examples. But it's the criminal child pornography charges that are based on the age of the child.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lightnin'
For example, I could (legally) take a picture of the cute girl who works at the sandwich shop down the corner, and paste her head onto Jenna Jamesons' nude body. It'd be perfectly legal, if more than a little skeevy. But if she happens to be a minor (entirely possible, as I haven't asked her), it's illegal.
Again, it's the difference between adult pornography and child pornography that makes it illegal to make or distribute the images. Her age may not matter if she sues you civilly, but the criminal distinction between the two is fairly obvious.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lightnin'
I guess I'm a little confused as to how photoshoppery can result in child pornography. Is it skeevy and wrong? Of course. But should it be illegal? It's gettin' mighty close to thought crime, in my book.
In New Hampshire, if the photoshopping results in a "visual representation of a child engaging in sexual activity," and it is not a completely virtual image, it can be prosecuted as child pornography. It has absolutely nothing to do with being a "thought crime", and everything to do with trying to stop the sexual exploitation of children.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lightnin'
As an aside... I'm an artist. Specifically, a 3D artist. I'm pretty darned good. I could, without too much effort, create what would be classified as "child porn"- but in which no actual humans were involved. That kinda frightens me, ya know?
I too am afraid that people can and do, create completely realistic virtual child pornography, but the Supreme Court has found that it is protected speech.
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Old 04-24-2006, 06:36 PM
clairobscur clairobscur is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lightnin'
As an aside... I'm an artist. Specifically, a 3D artist. I'm pretty darned good. I could, without too much effort, create what would be classified as "child porn"- but in which no actual humans were involved. That kinda frightens me, ya know?

Since you must be aknowledgeable... Could you give a link to some virtual pictures depicting humans (not necessarily yours) that you deem to be of particularily high quality, so that I could judge how close they come to an actual picture?

(I've seen virtual art, of course. And even virtual porn. But nothing that could be in any way mistaken for an actual picture. That's why I'd want to see what "top notch" art looks like. Also, I'm refering to something that could be done by an independant artist or a small team. Not something done at very high cost in some studio working for Hollywood)
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  #26  
Old 04-24-2006, 06:46 PM
clairobscur clairobscur is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hamlet
I too am afraid that people can and do, create completely realistic virtual child pornography, .

I can see a good reason for that : avoiding that owning child pornography would become mostly impossible to prosecute when the child depicted can't be identified (American law, as far as I can tell from reading this board, and french law for sure both allow prosecution when the person depicted *appears* to be a minor, even when it can't be proved, for this very reason).

However, I'm wondering if you're thinking there might be another reason to fear "completly realistic virtual child porn" ?
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  #27  
Old 04-24-2006, 07:00 PM
Miller Miller is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frosted Glass
Child Pornography Protection Act of 1996 found unconstitutional

In this case I do feel that pasting a minor's face onto a naked body is a form of exploitation. You are using a child's face in a manner that they are not developed enough to approve of. In this case, it is difficult to even argue artistic merit. More importantly, I find it hard to believe that personal use of these children’s photographs was not prohibited under his contract. I doubt that they would even permit him to use the photographs in a portfolio without parental permission. With regards to personal use, I will defer to any professional photographers out there until I get a chance to ask my father about it.
I don't see how the child is being exploited in this case, assuming the guy was keeping these photos for his own personal use. How is that different from him going home and beating off while just imagining these fifteen year olds naked? Freedom of speech and freedom of expression should only be abrogated when there's a clear danger to the life or well being of others. Child porn is illegal not because its wrong to fantasize about children, but because it's damaging to the children involved in its creation. If there are no children involved, it should not be illegal. In this case, although there were real children involved, their involvment is at such a remove from the creation of the sexually explicit content that it seems difficult to argue that they've suffered any tangible damage as a result. They weren't naked when the photos were taken, and had this guy not been caught, they'd never have known the edited photos exsist. While the ruling may have been in line with the law, I think this case is evidence of exactly why the law is poorly conceived.

Also, while these photos may have been in violation of the guy's contract with the camp, that would still be a civil matter, not a criminal matter. I'd have no beef with this guy getting fired over these photos, but I do not think he should be serving jail time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by clairobscur
Since you must be aknowledgeable... Could you give a link to some virtual pictures depicting humans (not necessarily yours) that you deem to be of particularily high quality, so that I could judge how close they come to an actual picture?
From the recent XBox 360 game Fight Night. It's not quite there yet, but you can see that it's getting pretty darn close. The PlayStation 3 will likely be capable of even more realistic graphics. I imagine that by the time the PS4 rolls around (in a little under ten years or so) truly photo-realistic computer graphics will probably be pretty common.

Quote:
I can see a good reason for that : avoiding that owning child pornography would become mostly impossible to prosecute when the child depicted can't be identified (American law, as far as I can tell from reading this board, and french law for sure both allow prosecution when the person depicted *appears* to be a minor, even when it can't be proved, for this very reason).
I'm very leery of this line of argument. It's unfortunate that new technology will make it increasingly difficult to prosecute this sort of crime, but one of the drawbacks of living in a free society is that it's often much harder for the police to do their job. It'd be a lot easier to solve crimes if we let the cops beat the living shit out of suspects, too, but we still don't allow it.
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Old 04-24-2006, 07:13 PM
Lightnin' Lightnin' is online now
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Originally Posted by clairobscur
Since you must be aknowledgeable... Could you give a link to some virtual pictures depicting humans (not necessarily yours) that you deem to be of particularily high quality, so that I could judge how close they come to an actual picture?

(I've seen virtual art, of course. And even virtual porn. But nothing that could be in any way mistaken for an actual picture. That's why I'd want to see what "top notch" art looks like. Also, I'm refering to something that could be done by an independant artist or a small team. Not something done at very high cost in some studio working for Hollywood)
Here's a pretty impressive gallery done by a married couple. I particularly like this picture. Her hair's not perfect, and there are a few other elements which make it look "not quite right", but it's pretty damned good. Smack dab in the middle of the "uncanny valley" in my eyes.

For the record, they're WAY better than I am, or ever hope to be.

Let's say that picture depicted her nude (it doesn't). And let's say that someone claimed it was child pornography, because she looks kinda young. If you don't have the actual .max file that generated the image, could you prove it wasn't (short of hiring some expert to side with you)?
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Old 04-24-2006, 07:26 PM
Hamlet Hamlet is online now
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Originally Posted by clairobscur
However, I'm wondering if you're thinking there might be another reason to fear "completly realistic virtual child porn" ?
Very briefly, I disagree with the Supreme Court's thoughts that virtual child pornography isn't related to the sexual abuse of children. I also think that true child pornography is, by and large, obscene, and has little to no redeeming value as speech.
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Old 04-24-2006, 09:19 PM
astro astro is offline
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Originally Posted by clairobscur
Since you must be aknowledgeable... Could you give a link to some virtual pictures depicting humans (not necessarily yours) that you deem to be of particularily high quality, so that I could judge how close they come to an actual picture?

(I've seen virtual art, of course. And even virtual porn. But nothing that could be in any way mistaken for an actual picture. That's why I'd want to see what "top notch" art looks like. Also, I'm refering to something that could be done by an independant artist or a small team. Not something done at very high cost in some studio working for Hollywood)
In addition to virtual artists there are a few Photoshop artists, mostly European, who specialize in making fake nude and semi-nude pictures of celebrities (typically attractive actresses) as a serious hobby. They spend many, many hours crafting composite images that are so perfect and realistic that even experienced Photoshop mavens can't tell if the image is synthetic or real.

See These are definitely not Scully's breasts

Here are the fake detective case files page with links for pics No all pic links on case page are work safe.
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  #31  
Old 04-24-2006, 09:24 PM
GIGObuster GIGObuster is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lightnin'
Here's a pretty impressive gallery done by a married couple. I particularly like this picture. Her hair's not perfect, and there are a few other elements which make it look "not quite right", but it's pretty damned good. Smack dab in the middle of the "uncanny valley" in my eyes.

For the record, they're WAY better than I am, or ever hope to be.

Let's say that picture depicted her nude (it doesn't). And let's say that someone claimed it was child pornography, because she looks kinda young. If you don't have the actual .max file that generated the image, could you prove it wasn't (short of hiring some expert to side with you)?
You are making it harder that it is, remember that the defense needs only a reasonable doubt, if the guy that has the pictures also has access to software and computers that do that, he would be confident in saying there is no real counterpart to the beings in the pictures, it will be then the burden on the prosecution to find the real persons affected. Good luck on that. (I am assuming here the guy is innocent BTW)

If you insist that the possible perpetrator does not have the originals anymore, he just needs to show to the court how he did it by recreating the steps, like Han van Meegeren did to avoid jail for treason, he had to show how he created the fake Vermeers. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Han_van_Meegeren
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Old 04-24-2006, 09:43 PM
JRDelirious JRDelirious is offline
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OK, this has been discussed in the Board several times in the last couple of years. In 2003 the Congress sought to adjust the law according to the 2002 decision, and it has yet to be tested in a high court challenge. What was done was distinguish from the offense for real CP a new, separate, different offence for "virtual" CP.

Allow me to quote myself extensively from this post inthis thread last January: I have marked any updated-to-the-last-news-I-hear or expanded-for-clarity's-sake text [like so] and any added emphasis like so.


Quote:
DMC, The current law is Title V (sections 501-521) the PROTECT Act of 2003, specifically Title 5 thereof.

Full text at: http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/cpquer...66&dbname=108&

Regarding CGI, it forbids such representation as :
Quote:
that is, or is indistinguishable from, that of a minor engaging in sexually explicit conduct.
Notice: not in ANY sexual context, in an explicit one (My emphasis added)

Regarding drawings, paintings, etc, it forbids those that:
Quote:
(1)(A) depicts a minor engaging in sexually explicit conduct; and
(B) is obscene; or
(2)(A) depicts an image that is, or appears to be, of a minor engaging in graphic bestiality, sadistic or masochistic abuse, or sexual intercourse, including genital-genital, oral-genital, anal-genital, or oral-anal, whether between persons of the same or opposite sex; and
(B) lacks serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value;
Again, not just ANY sexual context, but an obscene or pornographic one.

In pieces using actors, it specifically exempts scenes between two people over 18 playing minors.

Laws already in effect did forbid using any part of an image of a real minor, whether cut-and-pasted or morphed, in a sexually explicit image. This was sustained because even if no material sex crime was committed against the minor, it's still in violation of a real person's rights to use their image in such a manner. You can't have any image or part of image or morph of image of a minor in a sexually explicit scene, period.

NOT sexually-explicit situations, OTOH, are a different case, and as long as measures are taken to protect the integrity and safety of the minor they do not come under the legislation. Dept. of Family and Child welfare agents may ask to take a look to ensure that nothing funny's going on, but as long as they're satisfied it's so, then... [Master Thespian]"that's ACTING!"[/MT] The marketplace generally takes care of any mainstream film that portrays too ooky a situation.

Putting aside that many of the "findings" section 501 are major exercises in begging the question, the approval of PROTECT Title V is the latest in a sequence of previous legal maneouvres:

The first laws that forbade even the appearance of a minor in even the appearance of a sexual situation, in the 1990s, were thrown out in the courts in that decade because that was too damn broad, and it would allow every Podunk prosecutor in the land to haul Blockbuster clerks into jail and the Sex Offender Registry for stocking The Tin Drum, Porky's, Lolita or The Blue Lagoon (OK, some of these are quite bad, but hardly criminal).

The ones that came after that were thrown out in 2002, on account that they were still not properly focused; that if the purpose of the law is to protect children, it can't be the same crime if NO children are used; and that it is up to the prosecution to prove a crime happened or was attempted, not that "it could, possibly, in the worst case scenario, maybe someone will copycat it for real".

In seeking the PROTECT Act, DoJ raised the alarm that eventually CGI will become so good that you won't be able to tell, and kiddie porn producers would use that as a defense. AND they argued as a "given fact" that pedophiles will use simulated CP or lolicon cartoons to "entice" their victims. (Which leads me to speculate as to how likely is it that your average Evil Uncle Ernie out there will spend a whole lot of cash and time recreating the Pixar studio in his garage and training himself to use it, when he can just go on using the neighborhood kids and his camcorder. [And every minute a geekperv is in his basement trying to properly configure the system and download the child-sex skins, he is NOT stalking any real kids...] Also, what will an average juror consider "indistinguishable from real"? As in, the level of animation of Final Fantasy? Of Tripping the Rift? Of GTA Vice City?)

Title V of PROTECT has not been tested in the courts yet. [There have been a handful of cases where it has been applied for cartoons, but apparently it has been ] cases of folks who were already [in hot water for either regular] CP or regular obscenity [or violations of sex-offense parole that includes a "no porn" restriction]; though the rumor mill says they're concentrating on the CGI aspect.
The potentialy weakest link is the section that states:

"(c) NONREQUIRED ELEMENT OF OFFENSE- It is not a required element of any offense under this section that the minor depicted actually exist.",

which has repeatedly been an objection at SC level to prior versions. The idea seems to be to create a category of offense that is independent of the presence of real children, so that anyone on the wrong end of the stick would have to argue the material is NOT obscene, or be left to challenge that he [is indeed peddling obscenity but] should not be punished under the same guidelines as a real CP purveyor. IANAL, but the effect of that clause sounds like "you're guilty, until proven guilty of something else".

Disclosure: as an amateur Web-cartoonist who has produced some "Adult Material" in my time (under other identities), I followed a lot of these discussions in Y-Groups and other Boards. Right now the web has boards that have completely banished any "underage" content; boards that have kept drawings and paintings but got rid of CGI; and boards that happily keep on torrenting Japan's latest volume of Lolicon or Shota hardcore.
BTW, the law in most of the US is against ANY use of the likeness of any real minor in the context of a sexually explicit display, whether or not the minor is engaging in the activity -- it is indeed about exploitation. Lightnin', IANAL but AFAIK, as an adult you DO, too, have recourse: if you're not a public figure you HAVE a right to object to the use of your likeness w/o your approval. It's a civil rather than criminal procedure usually, but you're not helpless.)
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Old 04-24-2006, 11:40 PM
Frosted Glass Frosted Glass is offline
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Originally Posted by Lightnin'

My point is that I don't think the age of the, uh, "victim" (for want of a better word) is important, at least as far as Frosted Glass' argument goes. So what if the kid can't can't approve of the use of his face in that manner? It's a non-issue. Why does the kid's age matter? If he was an adult, he could protest 'til the cows come home and it wouldn't do a lick of good- but since he's a minor, it's illegal? Huh?
The age of the person involved does indeed make a huge difference. At the day camp I work at during summer, the management makes a point of stressing to us that we are not allowed to take any of the campers pictures without written permission from the parents. Additionally, we are not allowed to permit anyone to photograph the campers. A town council member attempted to photograph the campers last summer and we had to stop her and she voluntarily confiscated her camera. These are not small children either; they are all between 12 and 15 years old.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lightnin'
I guess I'm a little confused as to how photoshoppery can result in child pornography. Is it skeevy and wrong? Of course. But should it be illegal? It's gettin' mighty close to thought crime, in my book.
IMHO it is damn close to thought crime, but not close enough for me to think that it should be a legal practice. An actual child is being taken advantage of. While they may not have been directly exposed to sexual acts, they are still being taken advantage of. My discomfort mainly stems from the fact that the defendant had personal contact with the children. He took advantage of the power that his position granted him.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lightnin'
As an aside... I'm an artist. Specifically, a 3D artist. I'm pretty darned good. I could, without too much effort, create what would be classified as "child porn"- but in which no actual humans were involved. That kinda frightens me, ya know?

That is awesome. I love 3D modeling but I can really only do buildings and rooms. I suck at anything organic, however, I really only use 3dsmax and FormZ. I really need to learn Maya. What programs do you use? *cough* Umm, so...about that virtual porn, realistic but not an actual person? Peoples' views on child pornography tend to be based on their feelings and beliefs about Pedophilia. Is it a psychosexual disorder or something else entirely?
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  #34  
Old 04-25-2006, 02:49 AM
Mr2001 Mr2001 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frosted Glass
IMHO it is damn close to thought crime, but not close enough for me to think that it should be a legal practice. An actual child is being taken advantage of. While they may not have been directly exposed to sexual acts, they are still being taken advantage of.
I don't see how the child was taken advantage of any more than if the guy had simply imagined their face on a nude adult body.
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Old 04-25-2006, 08:35 AM
Frosted Glass Frosted Glass is offline
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Originally Posted by Mr2001
I don't see how the child was taken advantage of any more than if the guy had simply imagined their face on a nude adult body.
There is a significant difference between imagining a child’s face on a nude adult body and creating the image in Photoshop using pictures that you have taken personally. These scenarios are distinguished by the degree to which they contribute to a psychological disorder.

Joe imagines Little Susie's face on his girlfriend's nude body. This is perverse but ultimately it is in his head. At this point, your feelings about Joe will depend largely on how likely you believe it is for him to attempt to make his fantasies a reality. Here is where we have problem. I could argue all day about the dangers of pedophilic fantasies and you could spend all day explaining how the prosecution of these non-criminal individuals is an infringement upon their rights. Personally, I do believe that a preoccupation with sexual fantasies involving children is not healthy. I challenge anyone to find a viable statistic of people who limit their pedophilia to sexual fantasy. It is easy to see the difficulties in producing such a statistic. To admit to sexual fantasies involving children, is to admit to pedophilia. Forgive me if I do not believe that people would be willing to share these fantasies so freely with the world.

Joe is tired of only being able to imagine and now he wants something that is more tangible. After having developed an interest in Susie, Joe now begins to interact with her. Hanging around while she skips rope in the street and offering to baby-sit. He is not touching her right now, nor is he exposing himself to her, but he is beginning to cultivate a relationship. One day he decides to take her picture. Nothing sexual but he takes it so that he can later create a picture of his former fantasy. This is where he crosses the line. By using an image gathered from personal interaction with the child, he has made a fabrication into something perceptible.

Treatment notwithstanding, prevention of pedophilia is largely conditional on avoiding situations that may encourage action.
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  #36  
Old 04-25-2006, 06:42 PM
Mr2001 Mr2001 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frosted Glass
There is a significant difference between imagining a child’s face on a nude adult body and creating the image in Photoshop using pictures that you have taken personally. [...] One day he decides to take her picture. Nothing sexual but he takes it so that he can later create a picture of his former fantasy. This is where he crosses the line. By using an image gathered from personal interaction with the child, he has made a fabrication into something perceptible.
Again, why does that matter? It's perceptible to him, but not to anyone else. As long as it stays in his possession, it may as well be in his head. From the child's POV, he has simply taken an innocent photo of her.
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  #37  
Old 04-25-2006, 09:04 PM
Bill Door Bill Door is online now
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I know someone who was arrested for this kind of thought crime, except it was someone else's thought. His wife was hostessing some "Undercoverwear Parties" and he distributed some catalogues to people's porches. A link to a similiar catalogue, which I have not looked through completely, and which may or may not be work-safe, is here .

Someone who looked at the catalogue decided that a model appeared to be younger than eighteen, and filed a complaint. Although there was proof that all models were indeed of age, the appearance of being a minor was enough to merit his arrest on a charge of distributing child pornography.

This was in Georgia in the late 1990's. I don't know if he was convicted, I was doing some contract work down there and moved on, but you can imagine the effect a child pornography charge on someone's life, especially in a small town.
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