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Court Rules Burning Porn = Making Porn

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the that's-kind-of-a-stretch dept.

The Courts 887

An anonymous reader writes "An appeals court has upheld the prosecution of a Michigan man who was charged with production of child pornography after downloading and burning pornographic pictures from the Internet. The pictures were created by a Russian website that the man was not affiliated with in any form. From the court decision (PDF): 'After reviewing the dictionary definition of the word make, the circuit court stated that the bottom line was that, following the mechanical and technical act of burning images onto the CD-Rs, something new was created or made that did not previously exist.' Is this simply a court's overreaction to a scumbag pedophile? And how does this affect the lawsuits by the BSA, RIAA, and MPAA?"

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So (5, Insightful)

tsa (15680) | more than 8 years ago | (#14589741)

If I understand this correclty I am an artist when I burn the music I illegally downloaded?

Re:So (4, Insightful)

imoou (949576) | more than 8 years ago | (#14589764)

Making != Creating, so you may be a music producer if you burn those music.

Re:So (5, Funny)

tehwebguy (860335) | more than 8 years ago | (#14589770)

ah, even better! that means the RIAA owes me a lot of money!

Re:So (5, Funny)

tsa (15680) | more than 8 years ago | (#14589812)

That certainly is better! Ah, I can see it now: Sgt. Pepper's lonely hearts club band, produced by Willem Tjerkstra. Let the big bucks roll in...

Re:So.....If Making Music Was Illegal (1)

YellowTop (464955) | more than 8 years ago | (#14589837)

If making music was illegal, then the penalty should also apply to
those who download "illegal music".

Re:So (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14589872)

If I understand this correclty I am an artist when I burn the music I illegally downloaded?

No, but you have made a music CD. Not an album in the sense of releasing an album, but the physical article. If you photocopied a kiddie porn photo, you have just produced an article that is child porn, too!

The law is not a prohibition only against the initial photographer of such things... it's against ALL PUBLICATION AND DISTRIBUTION of pornographic material depicting (real) minors! Not just the original abusers, EVERYONE in the whole chain right to the end person who's getting off on it are in violation of the laws!

Re:So (1)

Red Alastor (742410) | more than 8 years ago | (#14589876)

If I understand this correclty I am an artist when I burn the music I illegally downloaded?
Yes. And I own your post at the moment it is copied in my cache. You owe me loads of money for using my copyrighted material !

Please read the ruling instead of the /. spin (5, Informative)

sopuli (459663) | more than 8 years ago | (#14589939)

The prosecutor requested the district court to bind defendant over on all counts.
Regarding the counts related to the CD-Rs, the prosecutor argued that MCL 750.145c(2)
encompassed activity where an individual arranges for, produces, makes, or finances child
sexually abusive material, and when defendant took the blank CD-Rs and burned images on
them, he clearly created child sexually abusive material. The prosecutor noted that the statute
defines "child sexually abusive material" as including any reproduction, copy, or print of a
photograph depicting a child engaged in a sexual act. The prosecutor argued that, therefore, by
copying, reproducing, or burning the images onto a CD-R, defendant "made" or "produced"
child sexually abusive material.


Of course by reproducing the material, he knowingly became part of the chain, and therefore also part of the abuse.

No, he didn't (4, Insightful)

phorm (591458) | more than 8 years ago | (#14589964)

Unless you mean by downloading...

He joined the chain at the time he downloaded the articles. Until or unless the material was pass on to another individual - thus creating another link in the chain - he had already become a member and the downloading was a moot point.

We're not arguing that what the guy did wasn't an illegal act, we're just argueing which parts of it are actually illegal vs the creation of new definitions of illegality.

Re:So (1, Interesting)

jbolden (176878) | more than 8 years ago | (#14589954)

No you are a publisher when you burn the music. Creating a greatest hits album is a new creation.

Re:So (1)

eclectro (227083) | more than 8 years ago | (#14589970)

If I understand this correclty I am an artist when I burn the music I illegally downloaded?

And like an artist, you will be forced to sing and the RIAA will take all your money.

frist pors (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14589743)

first post

fuck post (0, Flamebait)

I WILL KICK YOUR ASS (263791) | more than 8 years ago | (#14589744)

if i ever meet you i will kick your ass

Burning porn..? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14589748)

Is that like porn with STDs?

Why worry about the {MP|RI}AA... (4, Informative)

DaHat (247651) | more than 8 years ago | (#14589752)

any more than we already do... provided we don't burn our illicit wares to CD or DVD.

No doubt those with iPods and other portable media devices with nonvolatile and erasable memory are safe from being liable under this ruling.

Re:Why worry about the {MP|RI}AA... (1)

BierGuzzl (92635) | more than 8 years ago | (#14589773)

That was intended as satire, right?

Re:Why worry about the {MP|RI}AA... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14589781)

Depends on how they construe "burning". If that simply means the act of placing data into permanent storage, then storing such files on your hard disk would be sufficient.

Wow (5, Funny)

evil agent (918566) | more than 8 years ago | (#14589753)

I didn't know I was making music all these years.

Uhh, it's Child Porn (4, Insightful)

sheldon (2322) | more than 8 years ago | (#14589755)

Please change the title.

Child Porn is classified completely differently from Adult Porn, for good reason.

Re:Uhh, it's Child Porn (1, Informative)

_Sharp'r_ (649297) | more than 8 years ago | (#14589778)

Sadly, I don't recall all the recent Google vs. U.S. request for statistics stories making that distinction, even in the parts of the comments that I happened to read, although it was Child Porn the law was against, not Porn in general.

Re:Uhh, it's Child Porn (1)

paulthomas (685756) | more than 8 years ago | (#14589820)

This is surely true.

However I think it is safe to say that this certain precedent can be generalized to any porn. What is at issue is the meaning of the word 'make' in a legal context.

Although this won't legally set a binding precedent for cases dealing with different matters of fact, it may be called upon in future judgments as an example of a similar case for so-called "persuasive precedent."

Cue the "make: *** No rule to make target `porn'. Stop." jokes.

Re:Uhh, it's Child Porn (1)

Belseth (835595) | more than 8 years ago | (#14589832)

Child Porn is classified completely differently from Adult Porn, for good reason.

Actually it's not, the president it sets applies to all porn. Personally I'm all for the death penalty for child porn makers and I'm all for throwing the book at him for even downloading it. The problem is this president will be used to charge people with other crimes. Say you download and burn adult porn to disk. By definition then you are a pornographer not some one that simply views porn. They are playing the letter of the law game to attack a guy viewing child porn but others will abuse the finding to go after non kiddie porn cases. Throw away the key with the guy fine but it's a bad ruling and will lead to rampant abuse. If the guy was burning them to sell or distribute to friends fine but that's distribution not "making" and is illegal under other existing laws.

Re:Uhh, it's Child Porn (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14589850)

The word is precedent. Please don't regale us with your legal theories until you have a basic grasp of the English language.

Re:Uhh, it's Child Porn (1)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 8 years ago | (#14589907)

Indeed, with this precedent it's (basically) suddenly illegal to view porn anywhere where making it is illegal.

Re:Uhh, it's Child Porn (1)

log0n (18224) | more than 8 years ago | (#14589928)

It's precident. Not president. Though 'presiden't could potentially make sense given the current administration.

Re:Uhh, it's Child Porn (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14589833)

>Child Porn is classified completely differently from Adult Porn, for good reason.

Yeah, because we all know that someone that's only a mere 17 years 11 months 29 days old is soooooo much younger and naive and in need of protection than someone that's lived to the ripe age of 18 years; however, that's the dividing line between child and adult in the eyes of the law.

Re:Uhh, it's Child Porn (2, Insightful)

Geoffreyerffoeg (729040) | more than 8 years ago | (#14589952)

What would you prefer, that anyone under 16 (for example) is a child, anyone over 18 is an adult, and you're at the judge's mercy if the picture is of a 16 to 18-year-old as to whether they're a child or an adult? Should we roll a d20+age to see if they're a child?

There's no better option for a law than setting a sharp cutoff, and 18 seems to be working well.

OUTGOING (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14589765)

HELLO WORLD
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HELLO WORLD
68237 68237 82887 82887 56340 56340 77580 77580 59764 59764
64682 64682 82453 82453 90987 90987 52935 52935 99912 99912
96240 96240 82004 82004 62894 62894 86390 86390 44134 44134
34808 34808 82877 82877 78726 78726 71759 71759 51622 51622
55085 55085 03499 03499 91712 91712 46333 46333 09881 09881
41491 41491 06748 06748 71246 71246 88540 88540 78693 78693
47794 47794 55385 55385 83789 83789 21747 21747 09483 09483
60690 60690 16427 16427 57700 57700 45560 45560 92374 92374
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37942 37942 43607 43607 47342 47342 07263 07263 00004 00004
17922 17922 15131 15131 17883 17883 37487 37487 26031 26031
43516 43516 47427 47427 60613 60613 13157 13157 56894 56894
51369 51369 25099 25099 18797 18797 16278 16278
K-BYE

Three points (5, Insightful)

John Nowak (872479) | more than 8 years ago | (#14589769)

1. This verdict is absolutely crap. COPYING child porn is not the same as CREATING NEW child porn. No children are harmed by such an act.

2. Submitter -- Why is he a *scumbag* pedophile? People generally don't choose what and who they're attracted to. It is not illegal to be attracted to children. It is only illegal to act on it. Provided that he doesn't, he can still be a good man in my book.

3. Laws against pedophiles (not against pedophiliac acts -- pedophiles) are counter-productive. For example, it is illegal to create computer-generated child pornography. Why!? Provided that it gives people who are into such things a release, and no children are harmed, I have no problem with it. Many of today's sex-related laws are based on some twisted idea of morality, and nothing more.

Re:Three points (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14589813)

Eww.

MOD PARENT DOWN (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14589815)

This is an obvious troll.

Sheesh... Commenting on this is scary (3, Interesting)

Firethorn (177587) | more than 8 years ago | (#14589828)

This is a somewhat scary decision, as much as I like the nailing Pedophile's balls to walls. For example, that case in Vermont that made the news about the judge giving the guy 60 days, I'd have given him 40 years.

As for point three, I believe that that the law, at least about totally generated art, was struck down. It doesn't matter about the 'computer', it's the whole no minors being involved.

Then again, there's the whole 'looking at it on a screen might intice you into doing it for real' thing.

Of course, being at work, I'm not exactly going to search wide and far for it.

Re:Sheesh... Commenting on this is scary (1)

John Nowak (872479) | more than 8 years ago | (#14589856)

Then again, there's the whole 'looking at it on a screen might intice you into doing it for real' thing.

By that logic, I'd expect to never see another movie with violence again.

Re:Sheesh... Commenting on this is scary (3, Interesting)

GigsVT (208848) | more than 8 years ago | (#14589877)

'looking at it on a screen might intice you into doing it for real' thing.

The supreme court struck down that line of reasoning when it struck down the ban on "simulated child porn".

Besides, if you follow that reasoning to its logical conclusion, you better start pulling about half the movies at the rental store off the shelves, since most depict illegal acts of some sort.

Re:Three points (0)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | more than 8 years ago | (#14589829)

Simply because in life where there is smoke there is usually fire.

If you are happy to be associating yourself with peadophiles and have no problems with them then thats your decision, however as a parent myself you would not be welcome in my house.

Re:Three points (1)

belarm314 (663118) | more than 8 years ago | (#14589852)

...you would not be welcome in my house.

Yes, but how many slashdot readers would be? :-P

Re:Three points (1)

John Nowak (872479) | more than 8 years ago | (#14589874)

I would associate with people who are attracted to children but do NOT act on it. As for letting me in your house, I am not a pedophile, and that fact that I am not willing to persecute people for some fetish beyond their control should not be a mark against me.

Someone who is attracted to children has no more control over it than someone who is gay. Are they "scumbag homosexuals" to you?

Re:Three points (1)

brian0918 (638904) | more than 8 years ago | (#14589905)

"Someone who is attracted to children has no more control over it than someone who is gay."

Strict homosexuality is simply the product of a society afraid of homosexuality. Does that mean it's wrong? Of course not. But they are as much in control of their lives as anyone else. Does that mean any of us are ever in control? I don't know.

Re:Three points (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14589962)

I guess if it was up to you, you would probably legalize child pornography since they can't control it, and therefore not responsible for their actions, right? You have the first foot in already, you think animated child pornography should be legal...

What about homosexuals raping other of their sex? No persecution of them either, since they can't really control it?

Replying to Your 'three points'. (4, Insightful)

sglider (648795) | more than 8 years ago | (#14589834)

No children are harmed by such an act.
If you ignore the fact that mass producing of Child porn only fuels the interest for more child porn, adding 'fuel' to their proverbial 'fire'.
COPYING child porn is not the same as CREATING NEW child porn.
I agree with this statement; I'm not sure which hole they pulled this verdict from, but it can't stand on that premise.
It is only illegal to act on it.
Does encouraging an act count? By people downloading Child porn, does it give those that hurt the children more means to make child porn? I'm not trying to make a point with this question, I'm actually asking that question.
Many of today's sex-related laws are based on some twisted idea of morality, and nothing more.
I disagree with the 'nothing more' part; Also the 'twisted' part. It's far to say that the majority of people find the act of murder repugnant, so there's a law against it (not to mention the detrimental effect it has on a society). Also with Child pornography. The act itself screams, "this is wrong", and the majority of people agree with that, so there's a law against it. Keep in mind I only speak of social law, as opposed to economic law, where those with the most money make the rules.

Re:Replying to Your 'three points'. (1)

Qzukk (229616) | more than 8 years ago | (#14589851)

Does encouraging an act count?

Ask the RIAA what they're encouraged to do when people download their music.

Aside from that, I have to wonder how much child porn is just sitting out there on p2p networks and such where whoever made it has no clue if anyone's downloading it and will probably continue to abuse children either way.

Re:Replying to Your 'three points'. (1)

John Nowak (872479) | more than 8 years ago | (#14589895)

I did not RTFA -- If he was MASS PRODUCING, that is very different than making personal copies. Similarly, I do agree that giving money to those producing such pornography should be illegal. I was under the impression he was being jailed for copying pornography for personal use, and they used this to lock him up for longer than he would've been otherwise. If he was NOT mass producing, the burning should be of no consequence.

Forgive me for posting without reading, but when I see a phrase like "scumbag pedophile", I get rather pissed off.

Re:Replying to Your 'three points'. (1)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 8 years ago | (#14589927)

By people downloading Child porn, does it give those that hurt the children more means to make child porn? I'm not trying to make a point with this question, I'm actually asking that question.
I can't see how it would, considering that the pornographer doesn't profit from it. Buying child porn would, certainly, but not downloading it off P2P.

Re:Replying to Your 'three points'. (1)

bani (467531) | more than 8 years ago | (#14589940)

If you ignore the fact that mass producing of Child porn only fuels the interest for more child porn, adding 'fuel' to their proverbial 'fire'.

Which is exactly the same reasoning used by jack thompson in his argument against violent video games.

Are you *SURE* you want to go down this road? Think hard.

Re:Replying to Your 'three points'. (1)

IAAP (937607) | more than 8 years ago | (#14589943)

If you ignore the fact that mass producing of Child porn only fuels the interest for more child porn, adding 'fuel' to their proverbial 'fire'.

Where did you get that from?

There's plenty of "deviant behavior" porn out there ("shit eating", "golden showers", "screwing very old people", and much more), but it has never fueled interest in me. I've seen some of it and was completely grossed out over it. There could be child porn legally available, and I would never be interested in it - no matter how much is out there.

Those folks who are into the child porn need help.

Re:Replying to Your 'three points'. (1)

mrmeval (662166) | more than 8 years ago | (#14589967)

You make a resond argument to evil. It won't effect them but is good for those readin.

Re:Three points (5, Insightful)

Anthony Liguori (820979) | more than 8 years ago | (#14589840)

1. This verdict is absolutely crap. COPYING child porn is not the same as CREATING NEW child porn. No children are harmed by such an act.

This would be an argument that child pornography should not be illegal. From an economic perspective though, if people are consuming child porn, they are creating a demand which is going to increase the supply. This is why child porn is illegal to possess--it indirectly contributes to more children being exploited for it (the general wisdom being that the vast majority of child pornography is exploitative--if not all of it).

2. Submitter -- Why is he a *scumbag* pedophile? People generally don't choose what and who they're attracted to. It is not illegal to be attracted to children. It is only illegal to act on it. Provided that he doesn't, he can still be a good man in my book.

You choose to act upon impulses though. I often have an impulse to smash stupid people's heads in, but I control it. You may say "he's only consuming so it's not destructive..." but then see my response to #1.

3. Laws against pedophiles (not against pedophiliac acts -- pedophiles) are counter-productive. For example, it is illegal to create computer-generated child pornography. Why!? Provided that it gives people who are into such things a release, and no children are harmed, I have no problem with it. Many of today's sex-related laws are based on some twisted idea of morality, and nothing more.

The reasoning behind computer-generated child porn is #1. It creates a demand...

It's certainly true that the current laws are curious. Even the most softcore porn featuring a 17 year old is illegal, yet incredibly hardcore material from the follow day that she turned 18 is legal... Strange.

This judge got out of hand. If the guy has a descent lawyer, it'll be appealed. The guy may end up walking which would be sad.

Re:Three points (4, Interesting)

porcupine8 (816071) | more than 8 years ago | (#14589914)

The reasoning behind computer-generated child porn is #1. It creates a demand...

Please explain to me how computer-generated child porn, in which no actual child is involved, creates demand. Are people not pedophiles until they've consumed some child porn? If nobody made child porn, would we have no pedophiles who want to look at it? Perhaps it fills a demand, but how could it create demand?

You choose to act upon impulses though.

Yes. And I would MUCH rather someone act upon their impulse by viewing pretend-child-porn that involves no actual children than by finding a real kid to fondle. Which would you prefer? Until we've found a way to "cure" pedophiles of what is basically a mental illness, I don't see any reason to make it illegal for them to soothe their impulses in ways that don't harm any real children.

Re:Three points (1)

bani (467531) | more than 8 years ago | (#14589957)

The reasoning behind computer-generated child porn is #1. It creates a demand...

Do you agree with this reasoning?

Re:Three points (5, Informative)

Savantissimo (893682) | more than 8 years ago | (#14589854)

But he was allegedly producing porn using unconsenting girls. From the google cache of an MSNBC story:
(Muskegon County, August 23, 2005, 7:36 p.m.) The child pornography trial of an Egelston Township treasurer has been adjourned, pending an appeal.

Brian Hill was arrested late last year on charges of possession and manufacturing of child pornography.

Police were tipped off when a friend found a videotape that Hill had made of foreign exchange students who were staying with him.

Police say Hill set up a camera in the bathroom at his home.

In a Muskegon County courtroom on Tuesday, Hill's attorney appealed the manufacturing of child pornography charge.


If true, he definitely crossed the line.

Re:Three points (5, Informative)

GigsVT (208848) | more than 8 years ago | (#14589862)

For example, it is illegal to create computer-generated child pornography

No, it's not.

See Ashcroft v. Free Speech Coalition

The court ruled that simulated child porn that involves no images of children and no children in its production is constitutionally protected free speech.

Re:Three points (1)

John Nowak (872479) | more than 8 years ago | (#14589910)

Forgive me, I was mistaken. Thank you for clearing this up.

Re:Three points (1)

iella (904885) | more than 8 years ago | (#14589865)

For example, it is illegal to create computer-generated child pornography. Why!? Provided that it gives people who are into such things a release, and no children are harmed, I have no problem with it.

Maybe because computer-generated child pornography could potentially encourage such a person to "act on it." It's back to the whole video game debate - is it okay for me to have a virtual reality in which I repeatedly commit violent acts of murder? Does that increase the possibility that I might one day go out there and make my virtual reality, reality? If there's even such a possibility, I believe it's better to err on the side of caution. But hey, I'm not the one making the laws.

Re:Three points (5, Interesting)

abbamouse (469716) | more than 8 years ago | (#14589866)

In response to #2: I agree with part of what you're saying, but there are three things to consider.

A. Looking at porn makes people want more porn. The link between porn and sexual conduct is quite controversial, but the effect of viewing porn on the demand for porn is not. Viewing porn makes people want to view more porn. So far so good. This brings us to....

B. The demand for child porn causes some child sexual abuse. Some abuse would occur anyway, but some of it is profit-motivated. Increased demand for child porn means a stronger incentive to make the stuff. Note that this is true even if no buying or selling is involved (ie trading). Open and free distribution might undercut the market to some extent -- but given that music companies continue to thrive despite widespread file-sharing, I doubt that market saturation will make child porn unprofitable.

C. Viewing child porn violates the privacy of the kids. It's like reading someone's diary or peeking in on them in the shower. Unlike grown-ups, kids didn't consent to being displayed for sexual purposes. These kids are already traumatized; how do they feel moving into adulthood, knowing that people are viewing their abuse?

I do tend to agree with your third objection, however. I suspect that if synthetic child porn were legal there would be quite a bit of substitution going on -- purveyors of real child porn would find it more profitable and less risky to just make the fake stuff and pretend it was real. There might still be an effect on demand that might outweigh this substitution, however.

Of course, if child porn causes people to want to molest kids then you don't need any of the above arguments in order to oppose it. But even if it doesn't, it may still cause harm through its effect on the market.

Re:Three points (0, Flamebait)

Kenrod (188428) | more than 8 years ago | (#14589880)


It is not illegal to be attracted to children. It is only illegal to act on it. Provided that he doesn't, he can still be a good man in my book.


Your book sucks.

Re:Three points (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14589892)

1. This verdict is absolutely crap. COPYING child porn is not the same as CREATING NEW child porn. No children are harmed by such an act.

Yes, they are. First of all there were children harmed producing the original content, and then people continue to spread it, and make it more worthwhile or even necessary to create new content because income loss of piracy or because people want more or whatever.

2. Submitter -- Why is he a *scumbag* pedophile? People generally don't choose what and who they're attracted to. It is not illegal to be attracted to children. It is only illegal to act on it. Provided that he doesn't, he can still be a good man in my book.

I guess you are a pedophilephile? So murderers are good in your book too? They have psychological problems (usually psychopats) and they didnt choose to be so.

3. Laws against pedophiles (not against pedophiliac acts -- pedophiles) are counter-productive. For example, it is illegal to create computer-generated child pornography. Why!? Provided that it gives people who are into such things a release, and no children are harmed, I have no problem with it. Many of today's sex-related laws are based on some twisted idea of morality, and nothing more.

Im getting more and more sure you are a pedophile yourself. Free availability of content with real or not real children having sex with adults will attract more attention to this sickness and in result probably well have more pedophiles.

Pedophiles know what they are doing is wrong this is why they are hiding it, and if they cared they would seek professional help. There is no reason and noone should be helping them feeding this "attraction" you so finely put it. And those pedophiles who did act on this, should either be executed or castrated.

Re:Three points (1)

John Nowak (872479) | more than 8 years ago | (#14589922)

So murderers are good in your book too?

No, murderers are not good in my book, just as someone who commits an act of child abuse is not. Being attracted to a child is NOT the same as abusing a child, just as wanting someone to drop dead is not the same as killing them. It is not illegal to wish anyone ill-will.

why he is a 'scumbag pedophile' (1)

hildi (868839) | more than 8 years ago | (#14589893)

because scumbag pedophiles prey on children, children go missing all over the world every year, rich business men go to southeast asia to visit brothels of underage prostitutes forced into the profession by modern day slave masters, because 'pedophile' has a lot more connotations than "someone who is sexually attracted to children"... by downloading pictures of those children this person has committed an act; these downloads support the creators of such content, and the creators, without question, are harming the children. legally, perhaps it is not going to 'work' to 'ban child porn'... due to various reasons. but that doesnt mean 'scumbag' is not an appropriate predicate for 'pedophile'. and scumbag pedophile apologists, such as yourself, cannot escape the pain caused these children, by some elaborate argument and logical house of cards you build on sand.

Re:Three points (0)

MBCook (132727) | more than 8 years ago | (#14589909)

OK, I'll probably get modded to hell for this, but your post is FREAKING SCARY.

FIRST, the verdict is NOT crap. I think it is a GOOD verdict. He produced something with child pornography on it. Child porn is illegal, thus he produced something illegal, thus he did something illegal. A=B=C. Not it's the same as creating child porn, but if you stick to that definition then people could make all the child porn they want out in international waters in or 3rd world countries where they don't care, then they could e-mail the files to the US where they could be distributed and sold. Under your interpretation, that would be perfectly legal.

PS: Possession of any child porn is illegal. So this isn't a question of "is he innocent or is he guilty", this is a question of "is he guilty of X or is he guilty of X and Y".

SECOND, why isn't he a *scumbag*? Are you comparing him to the nice pedophiles who give little kids candy and show them their puppies? You point out that it is illegal to act on the desire for children. It has been PROVEN that possessing child porn significantly increases the chances of someone committing a crime because the fantasy stops being enough and they want to do the real thing. Same for violent rape porn.

Anyone who looks at child porn is a scumbag in my book. They are free to choose NOT to look at it. They don't have to.

THIRD, laws against pedophiles are not counterproductive, they prevent things from getting worse than they are now. Of course it is illegal to make computer generated images of sex with children. See my second point. The fact that image was not taken with a camera doesn't make it any less harmful.

If they do it with fake images and it relieves the pressure, good for them. Nice idea. Until it doesn't relieve the pressure and they can only get it up with children. But the images don't do it, so they start sitting in the park watching children. Or they offer to "babysit" someone. Or they just get the nerve up to abduct a child.

You're right though. Our laws are based on a common morality. Like the common idea that I can't grab any women I see and force her to have sex. That's a terrible thing. "Common Morality" is clearly stepping on my rights. What a twisted idea that I can't force people to have sex with me.

Again, I find a post like your TERRIFYING. Let me just ask you a simple question. Do you believe in evil? That's all I'll say.

Re:Three points (1)

GigsVT (208848) | more than 8 years ago | (#14589934)

Of course it is illegal to make computer generated images of sex with children

It's not. Sorry to burst your fascist bubble.

The supreme court ruled against your "thoughtcrime leads to real crime" line of logic. They said the only good reason to ban child porn is to protect children from the actual acts, not some potential increase in acts, and therefore any porn that doesn't involve real children is legal, even if it depicts adults that are pretending to be children, or drawn or rendered images that are presented as children.

Re:Three points (1)

John Nowak (872479) | more than 8 years ago | (#14589950)

Do you believe in evil?

No, I do not. No one is "evil" for being attracted to children, just as no one is "evil" for being gay for for liking women with big butts for for being into (fake) japanese rape pornography. As a society we have to draw the line somewhere to protect ourselves and others, but I do not think that those on the other side are any more "evil" than we are.

Making, burning, downloading, and eavesdropping (2, Insightful)

phorm (591458) | more than 8 years ago | (#14589944)

At some point though, it sounds like he was supporting the production of child pornography, and that is what they should have nailed him for. Instead, they've come up with this burning=making precedent, which could be misused in so many other cases it's scary. From the linked article though, I catch very little about burning and a lot about downloading... the PDF goes into more about the burning.

Now, there are a few points:

a) He got the pictures from a Russian website. From my experience with porn websites in general, you probably aren't going to get much content from a single site, so chances are they he was using some sort of paysite. In a way, he was in fact funding the creation of such content.

b) In the PDF, possibly unrelated, the guy had spycams which he used to take pictures/videos of a foreign exchange student staying at his house. It doesn't detail the age of the student though... but it might be beyond the age of majority.

c) We're not talking about a few CD's... there were approximately 50 of them. This in itself indicates a dangerously obsessive behavior, but again if they were all different I don't agree with the arguement that burning=creation. Certainly it seems a stretch to put somebody who archives such things on the same rack as the person forcing children into sexual acts. However, it doesn't indicate whether there were multiple copies of the same clips, or 50 discs worth of unique content. This in itself could be important, as if may be that the defendent was in fact producing media for purpose of distribution. Again, not necessary a charge of creation in itself, but pushing the line a bit.

What scares me:

it found that one who burns a computer image onto a CD-R is making a reproduction or copy. The court ruled that "the crime is committed when the person clicks the mouse to reproduce the image onto the CD-R." The circuit court also rejected defendant's argument that MCL 750.145c(2) was

OK, fine so we've got a copy. A reproduction.

But above that we have

After reviewing the dictionary definition of the word "make," the circuit court stated that the bottom line was that, following the mechanical and technical act of burning images onto the CD-Rs, something new was created or made that did not previously exist.

Which dictionary did they use... the judge's book of court-convenience? Also, what didn't exist? The disc existed, the files existed, they simply were not located on the disc at that time.

Personally, I have no problem with them nailing the guy properly under the existing laws. He possessed, funded the creation of, and possibly had intent to distribute an illegal material. There are also the other charges in relation to his cameras. However, this sets a terrible precent and I think it is incredibly stupid overall to use the given arguement. Now the Supreme has the choice of junking a very stupid legal decision/precedent and letting out a pedophile (again, 50 discs shows a rather dangerous obsession), or approving it and letting it stick for later cases involving copying of files to CD.

The issue at here isn't whether acting as a pedophile should be illegal, but whether the courts are far stretching laws in order to catch such individuals, to the detriment of society as a whole.

Re:Three points (1)

boldtbanan (905468) | more than 8 years ago | (#14589949)

  1. Children are harmed by the proliferation of child porn, and thus the copying/burning of it because it reinforces the economic benefits of creating it in the first place. The more there is available, the more demand there will be for it, and the higher the payoff will be for creating it (and not getting caught). Is there less porn on the internet (for sale or free) than there was before people were able to download it en masse? No, there's far more because the demand has gone up and supply followed. That said, creating and copying are two completely different things, and this person really should be guilty of distributing child porn, not creating it.

  2. He did act on his attraction by downloading the child porn. That means he supported the creation of it in the first place, and he's guilty of harming the kid(s) involved indirectly. That's called conspiracy. It's the same with other crimes -- if you know something is stolen when you buy it, you're guilty of possessing stolen goods. And if someone was murdered in the theft and you knew about it but still bought the item, you may be charged with conspiracy after the fact in the murder because you aided the person who committed the murder by providing financial gain.

  3. All laws are based on some sense of morality. Many go too far, some not far enough. The government intrudes far too much into our personal lives, and releases are necesary, however, pedophilia tends to be a progressive act. If you allow a pedophile to act out some level of his/her fantasy, the chance of escalation is much much greater than the chance that they will stop at that level.


I'm sure someone will start equating me with Jack Thompson because of #3, but it's apples and oranges. I'm not saying watching kiddie porn turns people into pedophiles, but pedophiles who watch kiddie porn are more likely to escalate beyond just watching. Playing Need For Speed won't turn you into a street racer, but if you're a street racer who plays NFS, don't you think it will spark the desire for the rush of actually racing?

Re:Three points (1)

FidelCatsro (861135) | more than 8 years ago | (#14589955)

People who are sexual attracted to children have a serious problem that needs addressed .
Their crime however is not the burning it , or looking at it , or even being attracted to it , the crime in my eyes is not reporting the existence of the site to the authorities .
You are allowing the abuse of children to continue by not doing anything to stop it .

Re:Three points (1)

belarm314 (663118) | more than 8 years ago | (#14589968)

I agree with you on points 1 and 3...in light of a quote from TFA, which says the man actually taped some foreign exchange students staying with him, it would seem he did actually cross the line in regards to point 2, but i do agree that an attraction to underage persons should not be grounds to call someone a scumbag. Given the number of "teen sex" sites on the net, and their popularity, we'd have to disdain a very large portion of the population if we decided otherwise.

As for consumption of child porn, I find your signature somewhat ironic, since this is one instance in which the free market should not, IMHO, be allowed to govern itself. We should provide penalties and fines for those who consume child porn, but any jail time, should, i believe, be served as mandatory couseling. The whole point of these laws should be deterance, not punishment. Fact of the matter is, by looking at porn that's already been made, one does not directly harm society. The creators, of course, have a much heavier offense to answer for, and should be jailed appropriately.

As for the third point, this is one of those sticky situations where, even in a republic, the "tyranny of the majority" causes problems. Notification laws and the like would, I imagine, virtually destroy the life of anyone convicted of child molestation or exploitation, even after they've paid their debt to society. OTOH, I can certainly see why parents would want to know this information, and it is, of course, nigh impossible to determine who's actually made progress in ignoring their urges and who hasn't.

All in all, there are no easy answers to this sort of thing, because it involves the blurry line between morality legislation and that which protects society. It's difficult enough to tackle this sort of thing logically without the populace screaming for morality, and statesmen taking up the same cries in the middle of debates. This is just one of those things a democratic republic will have to work through, I'd think, on it's way to becoming the least bad government in the world :-)

Why stop at CDRs? (1)

Concerned Onlooker (473481) | more than 8 years ago | (#14589777)

...following the mechanical and technical act of burning images onto the CD-Rs

There is something mechanical and technical happening when you copy something to a hard drive as well. Or floppy-style media.

Re:Why stop at CDRs? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14589879)

True, but it's far easier to distribute a CD-R to someone else.

Still, your logic is good. I think this is one of those cases where the law is out of sync with reality.

Make? (4, Funny)

Gunark (227527) | more than 8 years ago | (#14589779)

But your Honour... I didn't copy these Britney Spears albums, I made them!

Re:Make? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14589899)

That'll only make them _more_ likely to want you in jail

From the title, I thought he was protesting porn (2, Insightful)

modmans2ndcoming (929661) | more than 8 years ago | (#14589785)

By burning it. Circuit Court: burning CDs of porn == making porn

Do I own the copyright then? (3, Insightful)

smallfeet (609452) | more than 8 years ago | (#14589786)

If I "make" the music I burn to CD do I then own the rights to it? If not, then what does it mean to make something?

Re:Do I own the copyright then? (2, Insightful)

MBCook (132727) | more than 8 years ago | (#14589938)

It seems to me this is probably based off of the same idea with books.

If I copy a book verbatim, it is not my book. It is the original author's.

But what if I take various short stores that I like from all over and put it in a book (we'll assume I got permission). I have now made a new book that didn't exist before.

While I didn't produce any of the content, I did produce a new book. This is my understanding of the decision.

Of course, in classic /. style, I have not read the decision to see if that is the argument the court used. But that would be my interpretation.

Think about the patent model... (1)

PornMaster (749461) | more than 8 years ago | (#14589971)

Making something doesn't give you the rights to associated intellectual property. Think about patents. You could make something that's covered under one or more valid patents, but that doesn't negate the patent-holder's rights to the design/process, nor give you rights to the design/process.

Already true in the UK. (5, Interesting)

nicolaiplum (169077) | more than 8 years ago | (#14589788)

This is already true in the UK. Someone who downloads child pornography over the internet is considered to be "making pornography" under the same laws that the photographer taking the pictures would be charged under.
This can lead to sentences for downloading or copying and distributing child pornography that approach those for making it in the first place, which is treating the two acts as equivalent, when they are not.
More relevant to the slashdot crowd, if one copies child pornography for any reason whatsoever one can be considered to be "making pornography". If one administers computers used by others and discovers child pornography in one way or another, and copies it aside as evidence, one is at risk of being accused of "making pornography". Therefore the general advice is that if one finds a computer with child porn, one should step away from the computer and call the police, not attempt to do any of the usual sort of evidence preservation, further investigation, etc, that one might if it was another sort of computer intrusion.

Re:Already true in the UK. (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14589931)

Part of my job is to scan work networks for pr0n and other nasties. I had to get a signed "memorandum of understanding" from the local Chief Constable that if I discovered child pornography on the network, I wouldn't be prosecuted for "creating" copies if I notified them ASAP.

In the UK, this is an absolute offence; there is no efence in law, and you can go down for up to five years. Per offence.

Well (1)

itior (943153) | more than 8 years ago | (#14589796)

Even though the decision is totally asinine, the downloaders are the ones who create a market for this kind of stuff. In my opinion the sentences should be much harsher than four years for possession.

Sick mofos.

Not overreacting (1)

twocoasttb (601290) | more than 8 years ago | (#14589797)

I don't think there are too many punishments I would qualify as "overreacting" when it comes to pedophiles. It shouldn't matter if you create, distribute, burn or otherwise. The posting's statement "...the man was not affiliated with [the child-porn website] in any form" is insulting. I don't give a rat's ass whether he was affiliated or not.

Can you say "Cruel and Unusual?" (1)

students (763488) | more than 8 years ago | (#14589798)

It would be far too harsh to put this man in prison for 20 years when it appears that he has not personally hurt anyone. I presume that the judge will exercise his right to ignore sentancing guidlines and give this man a fine or maybe a few days of prison.

Imagine if everyone who burned a disk of pornography was in prison for 20 years.

Not that I want to defend this guy (1)

rolfwind (528248) | more than 8 years ago | (#14589799)

But what's the difference between burning it on CD-R and "burning" (writing) it onto your harddisk? Both create a copy that wasn't there before.

I'm forseeing problems with people who might have objectionable stuff in their browser cache by browsing X-rated sites but at the same time not looking for underage content.

Does a file in Firefox's cache constitute "make"? (1)

reporter (666905) | more than 8 years ago | (#14589803)

Pedophiles are scumbags, and so are child abusers.

However, the court overreached in this case, and I hope that the decision is annulled on appeal. If the decision is upheld, then technically a file that is cached by Firefox in its cache directory falls under the definition of "make".

Note that many Slashdotters view pornography online. We cannot be 100% sure that all pictures are those of women exceeding the age of 21. Most pornographic sites do not offer PDF files containing the signed consent of the women in the pictures. There is no way to be certain of their ages. If any Slashdotter accidentally viewed a picture of an underaged youth, then that Slashdotter would be headed straight to prison -- under the scope of this court decision.

Caching a file of an image is essentially "making" or "creating" something that did not previously exist -- on your computer.

Dictionary? (5, Insightful)

venicebeach (702856) | more than 8 years ago | (#14589804)

After reviewing the dictionary definition of the word make

Is it just me or does consulting a dictionary sound like a really poor way of deciding an issue of law?

Re:Dictionary? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14589881)

When laws are written down, the wording is carefully chosen to say something exact. Some words don't mean quite what you think they do. Looking them up in a dictionary (as the original writer would have) doesn't sound too dumb to me.

Re:Dictionary? (2, Informative)

abbamouse (469716) | more than 8 years ago | (#14589889)

Actually, it is quite common to see judges use a "plain meaning" standard in which they look up the words of a law in a dictionary (not necessarily a law dictionary, either) and see what it says. Indeed, this textual approach seems to be the leading competitor to originalism among conservative judges. Believe it or not, Merriam-Webster does show up in the occasional opinion.

Re:Dictionary? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14589898)

Absolutely, especially when you consider that over the past couple of hundred years lawyers have managed to create thousands of entirely new words specifically for use in the legal environment. Furthermore, they have (ahem) "reporposed" many others, to the extent where "legalese" is, for most people, a completely different dialect of the English language. Literally, it's like reading Shakespeare ... sure the words are recognizable but make no sense in context because the meanings have changed. In any event, it sounds like this guy ran up against a judge that was intent on "making" an example.

Re:Dictionary? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14589942)

In order to rule they would need a definition for the word. If the Legislature didn't specifically define "make" in the statute then it would be sensible to use a dictionary.

Re:Dictionary? (2, Funny)

joNDoty (774185) | more than 8 years ago | (#14589948)

Is it just me or does consulting a dictionary sound like a really poor way of deciding an issue of law?

I agree. I just burned a photo CD of an old Phish concert. Now I could be arrested on multiple counts of making, possessing, and distributing marijuana!?

Now, Wait... (1)

CWRUisTakingMyMoney (939585) | more than 8 years ago | (#14589811)

Isn't burning a CD/DVD just storing data to a permanent medium? If burning to an optical disk constitutes creating pornography, why not burning to a magnetic disc (a hard drive)? Hell, even temp files are stored there. Could you extend this to someone who clicks a wrong link or whatever, kiddie porn pics pop up on the screen which then get written to a cache on the hard drive, and now the poor sap is guilty of accidentally creating child pornography? Give me a break.

Re:Now, Wait... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14589919)

Isn't burning a CD/DVD just storing data to a permanent medium? If burning to an optical disk constitutes creating pornography, why not burning to a magnetic disc (a hard drive)? Hell, even temp files are stored there. Could you extend this to someone who clicks a wrong link or whatever, kiddie porn pics pop up on the screen which then get written to a cache on the hard drive, and now the poor sap is guilty of accidentally creating child pornography? Give me a break.

What you are looking at is the camel's nose.

Completely misinterpreted article title (1)

Mark Programmer (228585) | more than 8 years ago | (#14589819)

The whole article was kind of a let-down for me. Immediately after reading the title, I thought I'd be treated to a bizarre story about a Christian fundamentalist group getting in ironic trouble for an anti-porn demonstration.

That's bad. (2, Insightful)

zoloto (586738) | more than 8 years ago | (#14589823)

While I don't condone this pedophile's actions in the spread, making or distribution of such material I believe the courts were wrong in how they defined "making porn". It's a digital copy. It's not as if who ever burns a CD/DVD "creates" the piece of work; eg. If I were to copy a disc, I certainly didn't write the code, write the UI etc. and this is what it looks like they jury and court tried to make him guilty of.

I'm all for riding the demand and material of such child pornography in every possibly way (obviously not conflicting with law or human rights (ie: torture)) but from what it looks like, the jury went too far by taking the definition of "making" out of context / too close to the line to be of any good. There's an understanding for wanting this person to be put away for his disgusting actions, but maybe I'm wrong in my understanding of this judgement.

Re:That's bad. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14589973)

No, you're pretty much right. The charge was stupid, the ruling was stupid, and the worst part is that because of the prosecutor's hardon for fucking over pedophiles instead of doing things right, the guy will probably get the case overturned and walk in the end. He should have just stuck with the actual crime that the guy performed, and let the whole vigilante aspect of being friendless, jobless, familyless and having to live the rest of his life with a big sign saying "hey rednecks, come shoot me!" in his yard take care of the rest.

downloading child pornography (1)

wzeallor (837325) | more than 8 years ago | (#14589825)

just to be clear: downloading child pornography is not pedophilia.

I fail to see the logic.... (3, Insightful)

ShyGuy91284 (701108) | more than 8 years ago | (#14589826)

Technically, it's just a strage medium. A CD or DVD is no different then a hardrive in the basic function (other then technical limitations on size, rewritability, and speed). So shouldn't just downloading it to a hardrive be considered making a copy of it by this logic, since the data is "made" on the hardrive? If the downloaded it onto a Tape drive, USB drive, or portable hardrive, would it still count as making a copy? What if he ripped the hardrive he downloaded it to out of his computer? Would that then turn into making a copy? I don't accept. What he did was terrible, but from a overall perspective, this sounds like the kind of loophole that could be taken advantage of in situations where what the person did wasn't really that bad. I find it hard to believe this was done. It seems like such a common-sense loophole that it would have been patched up long ago.

This is a no brainer. (0, Flamebait)

mustafap (452510) | more than 8 years ago | (#14589841)

> Is this simply a court's overreaction to a scumbag pedophile?

Who cares. Let the scumbag become someones bitch in jail for the rest of his life.

Ouch! (1)

4x5 (945537) | more than 8 years ago | (#14589861)

I'd expect a ruling like that if he put labels on them and was trying to distribute them, but when does making a backup of files (sick child porn in his case)mean your "making" something original. Sure he is making unique content (with my b/w goggles on) but something as simple as me "making" copies of data cd's and drivers and other archives I "collect" every month doesn't mean I'm "creating" anything other than a copy of a set of files I downloaded, just like moving them to a different hdd; plain and simple.

BTW Does this cover Tapes? cause I got lots of DDS sitting around with gigs of "original content" on them...

Grrr... my fireplace just ate my cds and tapes... ;)

Child porn laws are very strict (3, Interesting)

The Famous Druid (89404) | more than 8 years ago | (#14589886)

There was a case a few years ago here in Australia, where a guy accidentally followed a link to a child porn site, was disgusted at what he saw, and reported it to the police. The police took his report as a 'confession' to the crime of downloading child porn.

Never heard the result of the court case, but I'd like to think the court had a bit more sense than the police.

Does that mean (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14589890)

If I download music, and burn it into CD-R that now I'm a producer of my music CD, and that I can sell the CD? :)

Real reason for this ruling (4, Insightful)

panxerox (575545) | more than 8 years ago | (#14589897)

The real reason for this ruling is to find a way to give child porn downloaders more jail time, reason or precident have no meaning. If prosecuters can finagle or subvert any method of logic to make J6P think that they are "protecting the children" TM then by god thats what they are going to do.

What was the intent of the law? (4, Insightful)

no_pets (881013) | more than 8 years ago | (#14589915)

IANAL but if the law was intented to apply to person(s) mass producting child porn for distribution then I would believe that only one copy (or even just a couple) of CD-ROMS would not apply to this law. If convicted there is a pretty stiff penalty so I would think only possession would apply.

"Making" porn would most likely imply forcing a child into sexual acts in order to photograph, or "make", the pornography. Unless, of course, the law is in reference to mass production of this illegal content.

Either way, IMHO the guy should get the maximum penalty for possessing child porn, but not penalized for making it. Someone in Russia made it.

Where's my money, RIAA? (4, Interesting)

blackholepcs (773728) | more than 8 years ago | (#14589936)

If this court decision is the final say and starts a chain reaction in court decisions everywhere, then I'm going to sue RIAA and MPA for every cent they have. Because, technically according to the decision of this court, all 3000 mp3's I've burned and 250 movies (give or take) are new creations that I created that didn't exist before, and I had a hand in "making" them. So I want my damned money : recording fees, sales percentages, box office royalties, rental and DVD royalties. With interest.
Seriously, I don't condone child porn in any way, shape, or form. But this ruling is a rediculous scare tactic, created by old, wrinkled retards who still think it's 1946 and that LCD and iPod are some kind of illegal drugs us punk kids are taking.
That has been and always will be the problem with court systems. They are generally full of old, outdated, disconnected duesche bags who go by a world view that is 50 years outdated. Thus we have stupid judgements, asanine laws, and the continued existence of paradoxical things like RIAA. Our generation (20's and 30's) will be these people in another 30 years or so, which means that in 2035, we will finally legalize file sharing and what not, but our children will be writing the same kind of rants on /. about us making it illegal to share your holodeck programs.
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