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Man in Court Over Simpsons Porn

samzenpus posted more than 4 years ago | from the worst-porn-ever dept.

Censorship 673

Ever get the urge to look at pornographic drawings of famous cartoon children? Neither do I, but 28-year-old Kurt James Milner did, and that's what got him registered as a sex offender. Police received a tip about the pornographic material and eventually found images featuring child characters from The Simpsons and The Powerpuff Girls on Milner's computer. Back in 2008, a Supreme Court judge in Australia ruled that cartoons in which child characters engage in sexual acts is child pornography. Milner said he downloaded the images to show them to his friend 'because he believed they were funny.' Guess it's not so funny now.

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First Pr0n (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30930134)

All your hentai are belong to us.

Re:First Pr0n (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30930230)

BART GET OUT I AM PISS

Insanity. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30930136)

Ridiculous.

Simpsons Already Did It! (1)

Korbeau (913903) | more than 4 years ago | (#30930140)

Marge clearly showed her tits, please move on to other types of porn.

Re:Simpsons Already Did It! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30930190)

Marge clearly showed her tits, please move on to other types of porn.

I don't get this obsession that people have about breasts. Oh, I'm sorry, the obsession that people have about female breasts. I guess you don't think the same about Homer naked on the upper body.

Re:Simpsons Already Did It! (1)

dwarfsoft (461760) | more than 4 years ago | (#30930222)

We see that every second episode. It was hawt to start with but now we are looking for what we haven't seen... Oh wait, I'm in Australia! *dwarfsoft run's and hides under the bed*

Re:Simpsons Already Did It! (4, Insightful)

Rennt (582550) | more than 4 years ago | (#30930494)

I don't get this obsession that people have about breasts.

Could it be you are not a heterosexual male?

Re:Simpsons Already Did It! (4, Interesting)

h4rm0ny (722443) | more than 4 years ago | (#30930574)


Tastes and preferences vary from culture to culture and era to era. Go back even a century and whilst breasts were considered erotic then, they were much less eroticised and size less emphasized. Go back a couple of centuries more and they were hardly eroticised at all (in a general sense). A couple of centuries before that, and breasts were eroticised again. We can roughly infer these sorts of things from changes in costume style, art from the period, etc. At other points in time, shoulders and necks have been eroticised, legs and, rather a lot, bottoms. :)

Anyway, you can be straight, male and attracted to girls primarily by things other than breasts. And if you are, the media fixation on them may well seem a little perverse. There are loads of girls you find attractive all the time who don't particularly have large or pronounced breasts. They're just, you know, pretty. :)

Cartoon porn is still porn (-1)

mjwx (966435) | more than 4 years ago | (#30930146)

and Australian law expressly prohibits the possession of pornography depicting sexual acts with people under the age of 18 years.

Despite that this appears to be his first offence and he was not distributing, give him a $1000 fine and tell him not to do it again which is what will likely happen.

Re:Cartoon porn is still porn (5, Informative)

abigor (540274) | more than 4 years ago | (#30930156)

I guess you didn't read the article, which is no big surprise.

It's his second offense. The first involved real children.

Re:Cartoon porn is still porn (2, Interesting)

Kell Bengal (711123) | more than 4 years ago | (#30930186)

If you ask me, he should have the book thrown at him. Not for the animated stuff, but for having had -real- pictures. How the hell was he let off the hook the first time?

Re:Cartoon porn is still porn (1)

skine (1524819) | more than 4 years ago | (#30930324)

He's already had the book thrown at him for potentially promoting the harm of children.

Now, he's just in trouble for watching cartoon images of other people's depictions of his sexual fantasy.

Surely there is a slight disconnect...

Re:Cartoon porn is still porn (2, Insightful)

Capsaicin (412918) | more than 4 years ago | (#30930394)

How the hell was he let off the hook the first time?

Maybe because it was a first offence?

And how serious was the nature of the "child exploitation material" the first time, given this is also classifed as such?

OTOH wanting to throw the book (or something even heavier) at him for looking like that I can understand!

Re:Cartoon porn is still porn (1)

Kral_Blbec (1201285) | more than 4 years ago | (#30930584)

It mentions that the first offense was of actual kids. That means it was real kiddie porn. Under those circumstances you should only need one offense to get thrown into the slammer.

Re:Cartoon porn is still porn (4, Insightful)

wiredlogic (135348) | more than 4 years ago | (#30930170)

depicting sexual acts with people under the age of 18 years.

Technically, even Maggie is over 18 now.

Re:Cartoon porn is still porn (1)

MartinSchou (1360093) | more than 4 years ago | (#30930206)

So ... if someone has 20-year-old pictures of a 10-year-old being raped, it's okay because now the child in question is 30?

While I don't see the harm in cartoon-sex, you can't really expect the "but technically $person is over 18 today " defence to work or even be acceptable.

If you can, what's wrong with killing people? Technically they're already dead by the time you get to court over it, and there's no point in crying over spilt milk.

Re:Cartoon porn is still porn (4, Interesting)

dgatwood (11270) | more than 4 years ago | (#30930266)

It's not a 20-year-old picture. It's a new picture of a character that has existed for 23 years. If a new picture of a person who has been alive for 23 years is legal, so should a new picture of a character that has existed for 23 years. The logic is actually fairly sound; if a cartoon character is going to be treated as a person, it must be fully treated as a person, and therefore if the character has existed for more than 65 years, it should also qualify for social security.... Anything less is just absurd. Anything more is also absurd. Indeed, the entire nature of the question is absurd....

Re:Cartoon porn is still porn (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30930350)

Then maybe I'll invest in a flock of pre-schoolers and a cryogenics lab.

Re:Cartoon porn is still porn (1)

mweather (1089505) | more than 4 years ago | (#30930518)

The characters have been active for 23 years, not in suspended animation. You could genetically modify some preschoolers so they never grow up if you want. Having sex with them would be perfectly legal. The genetic manipulation, not so much.

Re:Cartoon porn is still porn (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30930280)

Wow, this argument got taken too far. Their point implied that the characters in the Simpsons look more or less the same today. So those drawings are technically up-to-date depictions of characters that are over 18. The intent of child-porn laws (I hope) is to protect people who are under a given age, so even if the cartoon characters had real emotions (boy, I sound stupid), the law would not apply.

Why you tried to stretch an argument about cartoons and apply it to real human beings is a mystery. Uh... but now you've got me doing it.

Re:Cartoon porn is still porn (5, Insightful)

_KiTA_ (241027) | more than 4 years ago | (#30930380)

So ... if someone has 20-year-old pictures of a 10-year-old being raped, it's okay because now the child in question is 30?

While I don't see the harm in cartoon-sex, you can't really expect the "but technically $person is over 18 today " defence to work or even be acceptable.

If you can, what's wrong with killing people? Technically they're already dead by the time you get to court over it, and there's no point in crying over spilt milk.

Except Maggie, Bart, and Lisa are not real people. They do not have human rights. They are not children. They are cartoon characters.

Child Pornography is illegal because it violates the rights of the children contained therein -- the right to consent, amongst others. The Simpsons "kids" have no such rights because they don't exist.

Treating this material differently is merely a way to punish people modern society considers "creepy." That's all.

Re:Cartoon porn is still porn (3, Funny)

Kell Bengal (711123) | more than 4 years ago | (#30930464)

Treating this material differently is merely a way to punish people modern society considers "creepy." That's all.

As we rightly should! If today we allow this, then tomorrow it might be acceptable for fat guys in beards to dress in sailor moon outfits. And when we start to allow that, then humanity's slide into depravity will be unstoppable.

Re:Cartoon porn is still porn (1)

angelwolf71885 (1181671) | more than 4 years ago | (#30930662)

or that Japanese dude who married his Nintendo DS last year >.>

Re:Cartoon porn is still porn (2, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 4 years ago | (#30930564)

I consider it way creepier that the legal system considers cartoons real enough to protect their "human" rights.

That's creepy!

A truly sick society that's lost it's way (3, Interesting)

syousef (465911) | more than 4 years ago | (#30930570)

Child Pornography is illegal because it violates the rights of the children contained therein -- the right to consent, amongst others

That's a strong argument against creation, but a weaker one against distribution. (You could still argue that distribution does further damage by embarassing the child, so it's still a valid argument - just not as strong)

Treating this material differently is merely a way to punish people modern society considers "creepy." That's all.

I think you'd find the powers that be phrase it differently. For instance argue that gratification from cartoons leads to or encourages real world abuse.

I'm in 2 minds about this, but I do think we should save harsh punishment for harsh crimes, and destroying someone's life and imprisoning them definitely qualifies as a harsh punishment where as having a giggle at immature cartoon porn that may involve depiction of child characters I find difficult to classify as a harsh crime. People and the laws they make have no sense of proportionality as soon as the word sex is mentioned. The dichotomy of laws like this with prolific sexual material and the legal sexualisation of children through idiotic kiddie pagents and the like is disturbing. It's a sign of a truly sick society that's lost it's way.

Re:A truly sick society that's lost it's way (4, Insightful)

_KiTA_ (241027) | more than 4 years ago | (#30930612)

I think you'd find the powers that be phrase it differently. For instance argue that gratification from cartoons leads to or encourages real world abuse.

I don't think there's ever been a study done proving such a link.

It would be an interesting study, no doubt, but it sounds like there's a chance that it would go against "accepted wisdom," which means said study would never be done, or would simply be ignored.

Re:Cartoon porn is still porn (2, Insightful)

LBt1st (709520) | more than 4 years ago | (#30930514)

But of course, having pictures of murdered children (cartoon or otherwise) is perfectly legal.

Re:Cartoon porn is still porn (2)

angelwolf71885 (1181671) | more than 4 years ago | (#30930686)

ass backwards...sounds like a job for bureaucracy man

Re:Cartoon porn is still porn (1)

Cimexus (1355033) | more than 4 years ago | (#30930558)

The relevant Australian law requires a depiction of a person that is, or appears to be, under 18. Maggie/Lisa/Bart satisfy this definition by any 'reasonable person's' standard (which is what the law looks at in interpreting this kind of stuff).

Re:Cartoon porn is still porn (5, Insightful)

mysidia (191772) | more than 4 years ago | (#30930210)

Interesting... a cartoon character rises to the level of person now. Whoever knew.. I suppose it is the next logical step.

How do you measure the 'age' of a cartoon character, I wonder.

Is it whatever age the author says it is.... or does the jury have to make some sort of subjective determination based on carefully examining the imagery to make a judgement on the appearance of the images filed as evidence?

With careful consideration as to not be prejudicial against midgets and people who appear much younger than their actual age.

Next step is to extend the law to include imagery depicting violence as well.

And then expand the age a little bit... age under 21 instead of 18.

And then extend the law to include images depicting not just porn and violent acts, but drug usage also

Then extend the age rule a little bit... persons under age 25 instead of 21.

Then expand the scope a little bit... images depicting any crimes or hostile activities at all against such persons.

Then extend the age rule a little bit... persons under 30 instead of age 25.

Then expand the scope a little bit... images depicting or showing anything the least bit offensive to community values to persons depicted.

Then remove the age limit entirely.

Then expand the scope a bit to include anything disruptive to the civil order, government business, or disparaging to authority.

Next make it retroactive, include text, writings, blog posts, opinion columns, as well as images. And anything offensive to even dead people or non-governmental highly-regarded entities. Increase the penalty for some years of confinement to permanent imprisonment, and eventual execution.

Wow, instant censorship (in 10 steps)

Re:Cartoon porn is still porn (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30930354)

Wow, censorship in 10 steps

ftfy.

Re:Cartoon porn is still porn (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30930356)

Actually, every one of those steps is censorship.

What's in place now is censorship, too. It's just milder - for now.

Also, art censorship in Australia is nothing new. Internet censorship is coming in. The government has even enacted laws that allow them to censor political representatives' reports to their constituents.

Re:Cartoon porn is still porn (3, Insightful)

Nikker (749551) | more than 4 years ago | (#30930310)

From TFA

The Leichhardt resident was convicted of possessing child exploitation material in 2003 after 59 sexual images of actual youngsters were found on his computer. He received two years probation with no conviction recorded.

This was his second offense but something doesn't really make sense with all of this. If these laws are put in place to protect then why is he not 'dangerous' enough to be taken off of the streets? This is starting to sound like parking or speeding tickets where they just do it to make a point but not really make a difference. It's not like I personally view 'cartoon porn' as something that serious although it is fucked up to get off of anything related to kids but obviously the courts see it the same way since their ruling was not much more than a slap on the wrist. So either the first conviction was too much or the system is all wrong becuase how can you say how much of a sex offender someone is? I would either think you are a threat to society or you are not how can you be kind of a sex offender?

Re:Cartoon porn is still porn (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30930482)

Ppl are allowed to get off any any "fuqed up" thing they want. If no one is hurt (a cartoon) then who really cares? His business.

And btw, I think you are a threat to society for thinking about how fucked up you think cartoon child porn is because you thought about (and imagined) it. Shame on you.

Re:Cartoon porn is still porn (1)

f0rk (1328921) | more than 4 years ago | (#30930536)

Well, The Simpsons is ~21 years old. That makes the kids at least 30 years old.

Re:Cartoon porn is still porn (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 4 years ago | (#30930544)

I'm fairly sure the first drawing of Lisa is WAY older than 18 years by now, which makes her an adult by all legal standards.

What? It's silly to the extreme already, why not kick it up a notch?

Bad write up. (5, Informative)

Lemmy Caution (8378) | more than 4 years ago | (#30930148)

This is not what got him registered as a sex offender: he was already registered as a sex offender from a previous case, in which he had been found guilty of actually having child porn (with images of real children) on his computer. The prior conviction is reason for the severe response to the cartoon images. This being the case, his claim that he didn't get sexual titillation from these images rings rather false.

Re:Bad write up. (2, Insightful)

MrMista_B (891430) | more than 4 years ago | (#30930208)

What's wrong with sexual titillation from a drawn image of imaginary characters?

Wrong question (5, Insightful)

Mathinker (909784) | more than 4 years ago | (#30930318)

> What's wrong with sexual titillation from a drawn image of imaginary characters?

You're asking the wrong question, IMO. You should have asked:

"Why is it any worse than pure textual depictions of fictional children having sex?" (which AFAIK is not considered child pornography in most jurisdictions)

Would ASCII art depictions of child-like figures having sex, which are simultaneously textual erotic fiction about children having sex, be considered child pornography?

You could, of course, go in a different tangent and come up with the question:

"Why is a simulated depiction of the sexual abuse of children any worse than simulated depictions of other heinous crimes?" (AFAIK there are no other crimes for which possessing a depiction of them is also a crime. No, wait! Under the DMCA, a depiction of copyright protection circumvention which is sufficiently detailed to aid in circumvention itself could be criminal. Oops, no. Even there, mere possession is not criminal, distribution might be.)

Re:Wrong question (3, Insightful)

Lemmy Caution (8378) | more than 4 years ago | (#30930418)

This is the rationale of the Judge:

However it was also to deter the production of other material, including cartoons, that could "fuel demand for material that does involve the abuse of children."

It's not clear whether this is a "gateway drug" argument or something somewhat different.

Personally, I would not advocate criminalizing these images, but this guy makes a horrible test-case. It could be argued that it makes sense to register him as a sex offender for his previous case, that this situation revokes the basis for earlier leniency, but then to let it go at that. But this guy makes a horrible poster child for arguing for the right to produce and distribute these kinds of images: he practical makes the case for the "slippery slope" argument.

Re:Wrong question (1)

laughingcoyote (762272) | more than 4 years ago | (#30930608)

That's a strangely shaped slippery slope, if his first offense was images of actual children, and the second was of imaginary ones.

One can at least make a case that prohibiting child porn depicting real, actual children prevents real, actual harm. That still comes a little close to thought crime for my liking, and I'd much prefer to see them focusing on the person who commits the crime rather than those who view the lurid video of it, but at least I understand where the position comes from. We don't prosecute those who view other types of lurid crime videos or images, we prosecute the criminals they depict. But even if I disagree with the position, I can comprehend it and the reasoning behind it.

But this? This is absolutely thought crime. The Simpsons are not real people. They have no right to be free from harm, because they cannot be harmed. They're a figment of Matt Groening's imagination. A very famous figment, perhaps, but no less imaginary for it. There's no argument to "protect" someone who does not really exist. It's as silly as prosecuting Dad for assault when he taps the broom on the closet wall and tells his child he just drove the monster in the closet away.

His prior conviction has no bearing here. It's like saying someone previously convicted of a computer crime charge should be prosecuted again simply for reading an exploit site. That's thought crime, and it's not a valid reason to prosecute someone in the first place. There should be no question of "repeat offender" sentencing when the action in question shouldn't be a crime to start with.

Re:Wrong question (1)

Lemmy Caution (8378) | more than 4 years ago | (#30930658)

It doesn't work that way, especially for offenses that are associated with profound behaviorial disorders. After a conviction, in many countries, you can lose rights that are protected for most other people, and sometimes the rights you lose are vague or designed for your circumstances. Restraining orders are characteristic of these sorts of things: for the past crime of threatening someone, you are forbidden from doing something that in and of itself is legal (getting within so many meters of someone.) Hackers are often prohibited from getting near a computer after they've been found guilty and then served their time: your very example is, in fact, a substantive one, and hackers may well lose their parole or be brought in for questioning if they start hanging out on exploit sites. There are pragmatic, if not legal, limits to the presumption of innocence when in an effective state of probation or parole. Sometimes, parole is made contingent on therapy, or abstinence from alcohol, or such.

And in this case, it was within the letter of the law that he was convicted, anyway. That's what makes him a bad test case: he almost proves the case that links the cartoon images with the real ones.

The "slippery slope" argument is that he was slipping back down, that there is a correlation between the position of the real ones and the fake ones.

Beating around the bush (5, Insightful)

Mathinker (909784) | more than 4 years ago | (#30930642)

When I think about this issue, I come to the conclusion that the real reason for simulated depictions of sexual child abuse being criminal is something which no judge would ever admit to: society wants to criminalize people who are sexually attracted to children, even if they have never committed any such crime, and because of their psychological makeup are even unlikely to ever commit such a crime in the future, because society is afraid of such people.

All this "slippery slope" BS is just beating around the bush. My guess is that simulated child pornography will continue to be illegal even in the far future when it will be trivial to produce, so trivial that only the very, very stupid would consider producing it using real children (assuming, of course, that the only goal involved is the production of the pornography; I'm not talking about the case where a pedophile wants to film his illegal acts).

BTW, your argument that he's a horrible poster child seems weak. His first offense was for actual child pornography, rather than simulated child pornography. If anything, he seems to be slowly climbing up that slippery slope.

Re:Bad write up. (5, Insightful)

pipedwho (1174327) | more than 4 years ago | (#30930228)

WTF? Two things:

1. The concept of making child pornography illegal has nothing to do with whether or not someone was 'sexually titillated'. It is ostensibly there to prevent exploitation of children, which happens during the creation of the child porn.

2. The argument that his prior conviction is grounds for a 'severe response to cartoon images' is ridiculous. As the cartoon images never required an illegal act to create them in the first place, the only thing making them illegal is the ludicrous ruling by the supreme court judge that made 'cartoon child porn' the equivalent of real porn.

It's bad enough that partial nudity is starting to be considered porn. But, the 'cartoon porn' court ruling should be thrown out, and the supreme court judge(s) should be removed from the bench.

Re:Bad write up. (1)

defireman (1365467) | more than 4 years ago | (#30930288)

Soon enough we'll be arresting people for looking at baby diaper commericals because they depict topless babies. Babies are children too!

Re:Bad write up. (2, Interesting)

pengin9 (1595865) | more than 4 years ago | (#30930492)

Coppertone [wikipedia.org] is in for a world of hurt.

Re:Bad write up. (1)

Lemmy Caution (8378) | more than 4 years ago | (#30930336)

All that may be true. It doesn't change the fact that he was a sexual offender before this case took place, and that his claim that these were mere amusements rings false.

Re:Bad write up. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30930438)

So what if it rings false? If he gets his kicks from watching Lisa Simpson, how is that anyone elses business? Unlike material with real kids, noone gets hurt when making cartoon pron.

Re:Bad write up. (1)

slimjim8094 (941042) | more than 4 years ago | (#30930444)

But it shouldn't make two shits worth of difference! Look, I personally think that we shouldn't persecute for mere possession of child porn (just purchase and obviously creation), but I can see the rationale. This makes no sense. It doesn't, or rather shouldn't matter if he enjoyed it or not - the fact of the matter is that cartoon pornography can not hurt children. There's a strong case that it lessens the demand for CP, but this also isn't the issue.

Point being that the response to "he had Simpsons porn on his computer" is "that's a little fucked up... weird guy" or some other variation of "whatever", not "let's throw him in jail".

Re:Bad write up. (1)

Lemmy Caution (8378) | more than 4 years ago | (#30930572)

See my discussion of it above. The rationale is that it normalizes the market for CP, that the proliferation of these images makes the real ones more acceptable, and that it stokes an appetite for more. It is, partially, a gateway-drug argument. i am not convinced that this argument has been proved accurate, but I also understand the public interest in erring on the side of caution.

Also, he wasn't thrown in jail. He had a prior conviction which was "taken off the books" due to apparent good behavior; they find evidence suggesting he's not trying that hard to get over his past behavior. He was fined, forced to actually register, and then given probation for a 1 year sentence. He's actually being let off pretty easily considering his past.

I pity pedophiles, but I think that the best that they can hope for is a life under supervision and scrutiny.

Re:Bad write up. (2, Insightful)

lordholm (649770) | more than 4 years ago | (#30930428)

"It's bad enough that partial nudity is starting to be considered porn. But, the 'cartoon porn' court ruling should be thrown out, and the supreme court judge(s) should be removed from the bench." The whole thing certainly makes no sense, but that is NOT HOW A CIVILISED STATE WORKS. What happens, if the supreme court is interpreting the laws in a certain way that is not really what was intended, but because the law was written in a certain way is that the legislative authorities MAKE AN AMENDMENT to the law, clarifying the situation, the previous convictions by the law still stands however. It is not the fault of the judge if the law is not clear on the topic. I am sure they did not really define child porn as being between two natural persons, just some other vague description that also included cartoons. This is the fault of the law, not the judge who interprets the law as it is written. This is called rule of law and is one of the most important foundations for a free society and civilisation.

Re:Bad write up. (2, Informative)

Cimexus (1355033) | more than 4 years ago | (#30930542)

Mod parent up.

The real story here is NOT that the judge erred in his ruling. A judge can only work with the law as written, and as interpreted in the light of normal statutory interpretation rules and past judgements (precedent/stare decisis).

The story here is that the Australian definition of child porn was apparently written in such a way as to (unintentionally) include drawn/cartoon images. And yes, it should probably be amended (I'll leave that argument alone for now though). The point is though that the judge only has some leeway in interpretation. He can't go against clearly written and unambiguous language.

Here is the relevant Australian legal definition of child pornography:

CRIMINAL CODE ACT 1995 (Cth)
SECT 473.1 Definitions

"child pornography material "means:

(a) material that depicts a person, or a representation of a person, who is, or appears to be, under 18 years of age and who:
(i) is engaged in, or appears to be engaged in, a sexual pose or sexual activity (whether or not in the presence of other persons); or
(ii) is in the presence of a person who is engaged in, or appears to be engaged in, a sexual pose or sexual activity;
and does this in a way that reasonable persons would regard as being, in all the circumstances, offensive; or

(b) material the dominant characteristic of which is the depiction, for a sexual purpose, of:
(i) a sexual organ or the anal region of a person who is, or appears to be, under 18 years of age; or
(ii) a representation of such a sexual organ or anal region; or
(iii) the breasts, or a representation of the breasts, of a female person who is, or appears to be, under 18 years of age;
in a way that reasonable persons would regard as being, in all the circumstances, offensive; or
(c) ; or
(d) .

Note that the key test under Australian law is whether or not a reasonable person would deem the material offensive, rather than merely consideration of the content itself. This test is almost certainly satisfied by most 'Simpsons porn' cartoon drawings. It requires only a representation of a person who 'appears to be' under 18 years of age. Certainly Bart, Lisa and Maggie satisfy this definition.

The equivalent US law requires that the subject of the images be "identifiable", which one might equate to "real". But there is no requirement for "identifiable" or "real" persons in the Australian law.

So basically the story here is that Australia has a section of law that could probably use an overhaul. I don't really feel that the judge did anything wrong here - he judged in accordance with the law (and given the defendant's past history of having REAL child porn images, I don't think he was hard done by).

Partial nudity (3, Insightful)

loshwomp (468955) | more than 4 years ago | (#30930440)

It's bad enough that partial nudity is starting to be considered porn.

The whole idea of "partial nudity" is silly anyway. Anyone who isn't covered from head to toe is "partially nude".

Re:Partial nudity (1)

b4k3d b34nz (900066) | more than 4 years ago | (#30930502)

Are you really trying to make that your case? We wouldn't tell women "show me your genitals" if it wasn't quite obviously different from looking at wrists or necks.

Source: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qqXi8WmQ_WM [youtube.com]

Re:Bad write up. (5, Insightful)

DerekLyons (302214) | more than 4 years ago | (#30930240)

The prior conviction is reason for the severe response to the cartoon images.

In other words, he wasn't convicted of having pornographic images - he was convicted of being convicted and having pornographic images.

He didn't learn his lesson... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30930382)

He was convicted of not staying the hell away from that sort of crap after he was shown to be prone to it to begin with. Maybe they only found the cartoons, but...

It's sort of like associating with known felons while on parole. It's a sign that you haven't learned your lesson and are going to get in trouble again.

Re:Bad write up. (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30930254)

Australia is putting people in jail for thought-crimes now?

No wonder we're losing the battle on child porn... (5, Interesting)

tck44 (1399467) | more than 4 years ago | (#30930150)

The best part of this story... "Officers discovered the computer would no longer turn on but a year later police forensic experts recovered 64 images of cartoon child exploitation material in the machine’s recycle bin." So, it took officers a year to mount the hard drive in another system, and take a look in the recycle bin.

Re:No wonder we're losing the battle on child porn (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30930202)

Well, the police were likely just being cautious. After all you never know what a system might do to a newly found hard drive. I think Windows offers to immediately format the drive, doesn't it? It's been too long since I had a Windows machine at my place. A good Linux hacker could have dissected the file system and had whatever they were looking for in a few minutes, probably from a bit-for-bit copy made to another drive. (to keep the original safe.)

Re:No wonder we're losing the battle on child porn (3, Interesting)

JWSmythe (446288) | more than 4 years ago | (#30930234)

    That's really sad. They sat on the evidence for a year before processing it.

    I guess what would be worse would be if they confiscated someone's equipment, sat on it for a year, and found nothing. I'd be a bit pissed if my computers were taken for a year before they found that I had nothing illegal.

    My mother-in-law's computer was taken as evidence in a case where a roommate may have used her computer in relation to child porn. They imaged the drive and gave it back the next day. I assume a block by block copy of the drive, so they could try to recover any deleted information. Needless to say, he was quickly invited to not be a roommate any more. This may have been because she wasn't a suspect, but they needed her assistance to look for further information.

    Her case turned out out to be nothing except a lapse in judgement that didn't quite cross any legal boundaries (but came very close), and he did nothing on her computer. From what I knew of the case from the investigator and my mother-in-law, the police were perfectly justified in their pursuit of evidence. I had worked on her computer between the time he used it, and the time they collected it to process, so I gave a detailed report of what I had done. Unfortunately, that had been clearing the browser cache and history, scanned for viruses, did some housekeeping, updated a few things, and defragged the drive. They may have been able to recover some things, but it was less likely after my cleanup. I wish they had called a few days earlier, and they may have found something more.

Re:No wonder we're losing the battle on child porn (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30930238)

It wasn't officers. It was forensic experts. And it took them a year to pull the data off? WTF, was the drive encrypted or something, or were they just that dumb?

Any fool with a drive formatted in FAT32 or NTFS can recover data with Recuva.... fucking morons!

Oh ya, linky to the utility in questions. http://www.piriform.com/recuva [piriform.com]

Re:No wonder we're losing the battle on child porn (1)

DerekLyons (302214) | more than 4 years ago | (#30930528)

More likely it took a year for the prosecutors to get around to submitting the drive for analysis.

Re:No wonder we're losing the battle on child porn (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30930270)

As an Australian working in Digital Forensics who works in the private sector but worked in the public sector, Law Enforcement Digital Forensics folks are woefully trained in my experience and under-resourced.

Re:No wonder we're losing the battle on child porn (2, Informative)

honkycat (249849) | more than 4 years ago | (#30930422)

I'll wager that it's the under-resourced that was the limiting factor, since it doesn't sound like it took major effort. Given that California has something like a decade of unprocessed DNA rape kits due to lack of resources, it wouldn't be the least bit surprising if data forensics had a year long wait before they even got around to touching a new case.

Re:No wonder we're losing the battle on child porn (1)

tokul (682258) | more than 4 years ago | (#30930314)

So, it took officers a year to mount the hard drive in another system, and take a look in the recycle bin.

If they just connect drive to other system, they would corrupt evidence.

Re:No wonder we're losing the battle on child porn (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30930430)

no, they wouldn't. not if they mounted the drive read-only. i do it all the time because I do not trust linux to write to ntfs partitions without corrupting them.

of course it took a year (0, Flamebait)

commodoresloat (172735) | more than 4 years ago | (#30930650)

So, it took officers a year to mount the hard drive in another system, and take a look in the recycle bin.

the other system was running Vista

No animals... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30930184)

No animals were harmed in the making of this drawing.

Well, except afterward, when some of the human children (who might have been visited by adults who, after viewing cartoon Lisa being $_ in a jpg, therefore immediately knew it was acceptable to $_ their cousin's child), were abused on very rare location as a result.

Aren't child pornography for protecting children? (4, Insightful)

lbigbadbob (1731592) | more than 4 years ago | (#30930218)

I thought the point of harsh laws against child pornography were meant to prevent the exploitation of children. Child cartoon characters are not actual people and thus were not actually exploited. Clearly he should have been arrested for copyright infringement instead.

Re:Aren't child pornography for protecting childre (2, Funny)

pipedwho (1174327) | more than 4 years ago | (#30930290)

Maybe he plea bargained to the lesser offence of "possessing images of child exploitation".

Not any more (5, Insightful)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 4 years ago | (#30930316)

That was the original intent, yes. The original idea was that children are not fully developed individuals mentally as well as physically and thus need adults to protect them against various things. As such laws were created that say that children can't enter in to a contract on their own. Likewise, it was decided that children lack the understanding to consent to making porn. So it was outlawed to keep adults from exploiting them for that purpose.

However now it has become more or less a witch hunt tool. The laws exist only to further themselves and to punish indiscriminately. Best example is two teenagers who were convicted of sending naked photos to each other. They made no effort to distribute the photos to a wider audience and were both under 18. However, they were successfully tried and convicted on child porn charges and that conviction has since been upheld on appeal. After their prison stay, they'll both have to register as sex offenders.

Clearly such a situation is not designed to protect them from anything. While they may cause themselves harm by sharing nude photos, that harm has already been caused. The harm of going to prison and being labeled a sex offender is far, far worse. So they aren't being protected, they are being punished. There is no point, other than strict enforcement of the existing law.

There is very little sense to what goes on with regards to these laws at this point. It seems to bypass people's ability to think logically and start off a witch hunt mentality.

Re:Not any more (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30930368)

fuck, if I had ever been convicted of something so stupid while under 18 I'd kill as many people involved in the prosecution as possible. not like you're gonna get anywhere in life labeled a sex offender anyway

Re:Not any more (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30930626)

The human race has jumped the shark. Everyone should slice themselves open and let their guts roll out onto the ground now.

Re:Not any more (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30930638)

Something that scares me about all these laws is how easily you could either accidentally run across child pornography (on any sort of image sharing website, particularly of the pornographic kind, for example) or be tricked into it -- and then have no recourse, since it's all 'for the children'. Many people will click random links a some point in their lives. I've also heard stories (or ideas, at least) of setting up websites that embed those FBI/etc. honey pot pages/images, with otherwise innocuous content (as a 'funny joke' on someone -- ha, ha, you're in jail).

Re:Aren't child pornography for protecting childre (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30930390)

Clearly he should have been arrested for copyright infringement instead.

Copyright infringement? In which episode did the child porn appear in?

Old News (2, Informative)

SJ2000 (1128057) | more than 4 years ago | (#30930232)

Old News from 2008 [theage.com.au]

Uh oh, he's a fatty. We'd better put him away. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30930332)

This seems obvious to me, but I'm not hearing it from anyone else, so I'm just going to be the voice of reason here.

Guy downloads real child porn (I'm going to assume deliberately). Get's busted for it, because law makes the argument that he's contributing to actual child exploitation.
- I don't agree with this, but it could be argued

Guy downloads cartoon child porn. Get's busted for it, because law makes the argument that he's contributing to actual child exploitation?
- Hard to argue the benefit to society here.

Only possible explanation: It's been made into a thought crime. They just need proof someone has been thinking sexual thoughts about children. And apparently that's been made illegal.

If a guy tries to abide by a law he got busted for by looking at cartoon child porn instead of real child porn, my first reaction is to support him. Am I crazy?

Re:Uh oh, he's a fatty. We'd better put him away. (1)

slimjim8094 (941042) | more than 4 years ago | (#30930458)

No, you're not crazy. I sympathize with you on your first statement, but even if I didn't I'd much rather have this guy looking at cartoons than real kids.

That is, if I was a rational person who wanted to protect children. Don't seem to be any of those left.

Re:Uh oh, he's a fatty. We'd better put him away. (1)

honkycat (249849) | more than 4 years ago | (#30930466)

I agree. I pretty strongly suspect that most pedophiles would more than gladly give up their urges if it were as simple as that. It's exactly thought crime --- these laws aim to punish the urge rather than acting upon the urge. It's ridiculous. But like other taboo-related crimes, there's enormous political gain to be had from being unjustly "tough" on the crime. People idealistic enough (and with enough foresight to see the endgame of the proliferation of thought crime laws) to stand up for the rights of these defendants are far too rare to keep things in balance.

Re:Uh oh, he's a fatty. We'd better put him away. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30930470)

Yes, if you dont look tough on child porn you are a pedophile.
So you did the right thing posting that as AC, dont ever bring that up again.
Next time i will be in the moralfags mob, throwing stone at you.

Idiot. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30930334)

Officers discovered the computer would no longer turn on but a year later police forensic experts recovered 64 images of cartoon child exploitation material in the machine’s recycle bin.

So he threw the pictures in the recycle bin then blew the power supply. Very smart.

Then again, that doesn't speak very well of the police forensic experts who spent a year trying to connect the hard drive to another computer to read it. Or maybe they just couldn't find the RECYCLED folder. I'm not surprised though, government efficiency and all that.

Thought Crime Cliché (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30930348)

This guy sounds like a less than savoury character, and genuine (ie. real, as in, with real children) child pornography is not excusable, but I'll bite for the ethical argument.

Question: Why is child pornography illegal?

I'd argue the primary reason is the obvious trauma, emotional and often physical, that such pornography involves. Occassionally you hear claims that it may be consensual (think 13 year olds consenting to the acts), but there's the reasoned argument that a person of that age is probably not mentally developed enough to fully appreciate what they are getting into. Those who download child pornography can be considered an accessory to the crime, to the extent they are perpetuating its continued existence by providing the market. However, in the case of animated/drawn child pornography, who's been hurt? These characters don't exist, they are a pure fantasy, they feel no more than the Doom monsters I killed thousands of as a child.

Legally, who's the victim? Who's been harmed? Society has a habit of working itself into an absolute frenzy whenever child pornography and pedophilia comes up; it could well be the only thing that trumps terrorism in sheer levels of hysteria. But from a rational perspective, why should I care if the creepy dude next door likes to wank to Lisa Simpson? If those activities enter into the real world, then yes, we have a serious problem, but I've "murdered" a lot of beings, both alien and human, I've yet to do that in the real world, but I'm not stigmatised by society and labelled a, what, "murder offender"? My point being, I find the notion of prosecuting and convicting someone for what they have thought, versus what they have actually done in the real world, seriously disturbing; put simply, if someones actions don't cause any harm to others or themselves, I don't view it as my business to intrude. Bluntly, I think a lot of people have very creepy fetishes, it's just children have that particularly special status.

What's sad, is that so few people will stand up in these kind of cases, for fear of themselves being labelled a closet pedophile or similar. I mean, what decent human being could possibly want to side with a pedophile? So people stay quiet and just let governments legislate against this sort of stuff. Child Pornography has been one of (if not THE) argument for the mandatory internet filter the government intends to implement down here in Australia, despite the fact, anyone with an ounce of grey matter can tell you it isn't going to work to stop the distribution of this stuff for a multitude of reasons, one of the most obvious being, it can only filter HTTP traffic. But, pointing this out to others can be difficult thanks to the pedophile invocation.

Re:Thought Crime Cliché (0)

Robotech_Master (14247) | more than 4 years ago | (#30930378)

I think the theory is that "child porn" of any kind, including cartoon character or virtual, promotes the child-molesting mindset in a child-porn fan. So, even cartoon kiddie porn might make it more likely that the viewer might go and molest a real kid someday.

Not saying it's right, but just that I seem to remember hearing that's what the theory was.

Re:Thought Crime Cliché (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30930546)

Just like Grand Theft Auto IV promotes the killing spree mindset of the murder fan.

Re:Thought Crime Cliché (1)

slimjim8094 (941042) | more than 4 years ago | (#30930522)

I have, do, and will side with pedophiles in cases such as this. And publicly too, not just on the internet. I'm much happier having him wank to cartoons than children, and happier to have him wank to child porn than fucking a kid.

My personal opinion is that the creation of child pornography is immoral and heinous. Children truly don't know what they're getting themselves into. That's why the creation or purchase of CP should be met with very strict punishments.

But mere downloading? I doubt you'll convince anyone that it should be legal. Legalizing something (that is, repealing the law against it) says something more than just ignoring it, since it's an active process. Maybe a better (political) tactic is to not enforce it.

Now children don't know what they're doing, but teens sure do. I'd say 15 and up - after that point, you are as responsible about sex as you ever will be. Or, more accurately, if you mature further at all it'll definitely be after 18. I can support this with personal evidence from growing up, and collaboratory evidence from friends.

I defy anyone to tell me that a 15-16 year old has less of an ability to consent to sex than an 18-year-old on their birthday. Biologically, 16 is about the right time - so is it a surprise that us males are turned on by young-to-mid teens and up?

A fine line has been drawn (4, Insightful)

Ace905 (163071) | more than 4 years ago | (#30930360)

This guy is obviously a pedophile, the article points out he has a prior conviction of posession of actual child pornography. His defense that the images were just funny is a total lie -- and other people have pointed this out.

The problem I have with this case is that the guy is disgusting, his motives were obvious and so it is very easy to support his conviction. But with Cartoons, it could be argued that there is _no victim_ at all. And as much as I hate pedophiles, and I do - I don't believe that the images, real or cartoon, actually encourage pedophile tendencies.

Images of children being exploited sexually have been banned all over the world because the children have to be protected from those images remaining in circulation for their entire lifetime; images of children being exploited sexually encourage other pedophiles to exploit more children on camera for the purpose of trading images, etc. BUT with the case of a cartoon -- none of these reasons hold true, and more importantly, at best - they encourage pedophiles to draw cartoons of children being sexually exploited which, as i said, doesn't create any victims. Distributing actual child porn may encourage the creation of child porn, but it doesn't turn otherwise normal hetereosexual people into pedophiles. You have to be a pedophile to begin with to even want it.

Now that this guy has been charged, and this is obviously a precedent setting case - it will be easier to charge and dole out harsh sentences for people found posessing cartoon porn even if it is their first offense and they really aren't pedophiles. I mean, cartoons are sometimes funny and in the case of Simpsons porn - I know I've seen a few cartoons featuring Bart and Lisa that were funny and.... at least to me, not sexually exciting at all. I mean christ, they're cartoons.

It seems to me that they've gone after an easy person to hate, with a history of child porn collecting - to blindside people to the over zealous and really very useless law they've just created.

never under estimate the stupidity of the law (5, Insightful)

cl191 (831857) | more than 4 years ago | (#30930366)

I guess I need to draw some clothes on my stick figure man just to be safe from now on.

Thought crime... (1)

nightfire-unique (253895) | more than 4 years ago | (#30930402)

...defined.

Our species fails it here... big time.

Underaged? (0, Offtopic)

flaptrap (1038180) | more than 4 years ago | (#30930404)

I will drink no Aussie Beer aged ten years or over. Make that however long it takes to get to the stores in the States plus a week or two.

Bart's Unit (5, Insightful)

flyboy974 (624054) | more than 4 years ago | (#30930412)

So everyone who owns or has seen the Simpson's movie is liable for child porn? Is it me or didn't Bart go skateboarding naked in the movie, including showing his "talent". If I draw two stick figures in a suggestive manner, is that child porn? How old is a stick figure?

Re:Bart's Unit (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30930500)

If I draw a dead stick figure, will I be arrested for murder??

MOD PARENT UP (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30930506)

Pretty insightful if you ask me, especially the part about stick figures.

If dude has a lawyer worth his/her weight in whatever, the jury will get the same or stronger arguments.

And no, I didn't rtfa.

Re:MOD PARENT UP (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30930676)

No way he is going to get a fair trial. If there is any mention of his past conviction, the jury won't feel any sympathy for him. Perhaps.

But, yeah. Maybe this decision makes The Simpsons movie illegal in Australia now? Is it illegal to sell child pornography in Australia? Maybe some people can go to video stores and report them to the local police if they're selling the movie.

In all fairness... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30930424)

Aren't the children of The Simpsons, like real old by now? They were like under 10 back in 1989. Wouldn't they be at least 30 by now?

Violent games (1)

Dracil (732975) | more than 4 years ago | (#30930484)

Isn't this basically the same arguments people make to ban violent games? You get excited from killing fake people.

A silly crime deserves an equally silly defense (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30930534)

Aren't the Simpson kids all in the their 20s now? The show passed a 20th anniversary. I'd like to see the prosecutor make the perpetually 10 argument. I've got no idea the ages on the Powerpuff Girls but I'm guessing in their teens. I'm all for locking up child molesters for life but this is nuts. I might consider the guy dangerous if he had other kiddie porn or had a massive collection of cartoon kiddie porn but a few downloaded images fits his excuse which doesn't make him a child predator just some one with tacky tastes. Didn't they go after Pee Wee Herman over some coffee table art books that happened to have naked kid photos in them? The police will at times bring up some one on charges just to avoid looking bad. I more than once had cops try to find something else to charge me with over bogus traffic stops. They used to pull me over for a busted tail light as an excuse to search my car knowing they had the tail light to fall back on if the search turned up nothing, which it never did. I once got pulled over for driving too fast past a crime scene and my car got searched. The irony being the road was a washboard and I was driving 20 mph in a 25 mph zone. It was just an excuse to search my car.

Jesus Facepalming Christ. (1, Troll)

Rod Beauvex (832040) | more than 4 years ago | (#30930540)

I don't get it. I just don't fucking get it.

Goverment trying to take away your privacy? Meh.
Corporations and wealthy people gaming the legal system for fun and profit? Yawn.
Corrupt politicians rigging elections? *snore*
Government trying to take away the 'right' to cartoon child porn? Holy shit. It's time to take up arms and mobilize the civilain milita and fight this freedom infringing evil.

Don't give me that BS that it's a victimless crime. It does not change the fact that you're a dereanged weirdo that is spanking off to kids.

Re:Jesus Facepalming Christ. (0, Troll)

Rod Beauvex (832040) | more than 4 years ago | (#30930610)

Damn, that was fast. Even for Slashdot.

two cents (1)

taucross (1330311) | more than 4 years ago | (#30930594)

There's not much to be said on this topic that hasn't already been said - particularly on Slashdot. Sure, this man is probably a threat to society. But my mate Mickey is more of a threat to society when he goes clubbing on a Friday night. It may be a witch hunt, thoughtcrime, whatever you want to call it. But really, it represents nothing more than the upper limits of human reasoning capability. Humanity is becoming reliant on abstract in the extreme - look at the financial systems which only exists in databases, cartoon "exploitation", IP law, and so on.

The truth is, these kinds of problems represent a breakthrough in the way we perceive our reality. They are the subtle beginnings of a major leap forward. Laws have always progressed through a further legislation of intention - prosecuting what we believe is in someone's heart rather than their actions. The more we legislate these incremental steps in intention, the more we realise our interconnectedness - that one's actions lead to another's, that we are all subservient to our respective environments, and that no single person is in control.

This is the path that our wise men have called 'Beito'. And through this increasing restriction of law upon law, which we are realising in its negative aspect, humanity will take itself into the next phase of human evolution.
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