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US Couple Gets Prison Time For Internet Obscenity

timothy posted more than 5 years ago | from the your-honor-it-was-just-some-good-clean-fun dept.

The Courts 574

angry tapir writes "The husband and wife owners of a California company that distributed pornographic materials over the Internet have been each sentenced to one year and one day in prison. Extreme Associates and owners Robert Zicari, also known as Rob Black, 35, and his wife, Janet Romano, aka Lizzie Borden, 32, pleaded guilty in March to a felony charge of conspiracy to distribute obscene material through the mail and over the Internet."

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Privacy? Huh? (5, Insightful)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 5 years ago | (#28570333)

In August 2003, a federal grand jury in Pittsburgh returned a 10-count indictment against Extreme Associates for violating federal obscenity statutes. In January 2005, a district court judge dismissed the indictment, saying that the federal obscenity statutes were unconstitutional. The government appealed, and Buchanan argued the case in October 2005 before the Third Circuit Court of Appeals.

In December 2005, the appeals court reversed the decision of the district court and held that the federal statutes regulating the distribution of obscenity do not violate any constitutional right to privacy. The case was then remanded back to the district court.

Wow.. just Wow. What the fuck has happened to the US? What happened to free speech? Wasn't all this shit worked out in the 70s? Why the hell was the unconstitutional finding to do with privacy and not freedom of speech?

Please tell me the next stop is to the supreme court where this will be sorted out.

Re:Privacy? Huh? (5, Informative)

sopssa (1498795) | more than 5 years ago | (#28570357)

Since the summary didnt tell it: "Extreme Associates produced and distributed sexually degrading material that portrayed women in the most vile and depraved manner imaginable," U.S. Attorney Mary Beth Buchanan, of the Western District of Pennsylvania, said in a statement. "These prison sentences affirm the need to continue to protect the public from obscene, lewd, lascivious or filthy material, the production of which degrades all of us."

It's nice that theres no problems killing people in movies, but once theres some titties you go to jail in usa :)

Re:Privacy? Huh? (4, Insightful)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 5 years ago | (#28570385)

I have no doubt that the porn they were distributing could well have been "degrading" women by portraying them in a "vile and depraved manner", as for the "most imaginable" part, I'm sure my imagination is a little better than yours Mary Beth, being that many pornographic movies serve exactly that purpose.. but last I looked that was still protected speech.. thus my shock at the finding.

Re:Privacy? Huh? (5, Insightful)

Andr T. (1006215) | more than 5 years ago | (#28570395)

It's nice that theres no problems killing people in movies, but once theres some titties you go to jail in usa :)

'We train young men to drop fire on people. But their commanders won't allow them to write "fuck" on their airplanes because it's obscene! '

Re:Privacy? Huh? (4, Insightful)

tygerstripes (832644) | more than 5 years ago | (#28570451)

Precisely. Bill Hicks would have had a bloody field-day with this.

Here is my final point. About drugs, about alcohol, about pornography and smoking and everything else. What business is it of yours what I do, read, buy, see, say, think, who I fuck, what I take into my body - as long as I do not harm another human being on this planet?

Re:Privacy? Huh? (3, Insightful)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 5 years ago | (#28570715)

Fat lot of good it did. Same with George Carlin. For all of the insight they had, all they did was make people laugh at their own idiocy.

I wonder why they didn't say, half way through the show "Why are you laughing? What's funny about what I'm saying? Here's a petition stating that we want this shit sorted out. Sign it. It's going in this envelope on stage, and that envelope is going to Congress. I'm tired of this shit, and the fact that you're paying to hear me talk about it means you are too! Do something about it! Put your name down."

Instead, he said a few rude words in a sentence and the sheeple giggled.

Re:Privacy? Huh? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28570419)

Extreme Associates produced and distributed sexually degrading material that portrayed women in the most vile and depraved manner imaginable

So they made kinky porn? Well damn, lock them up and throw away the key guys!

lol America

Re:Privacy? Huh? (2, Informative)

mdwh2 (535323) | more than 5 years ago | (#28570525)

It's depressing on both sides of the Atlantic ... in the US, you go to prison for publishing it, in the UK, you now go to prison for privately possessing it.

(I wonder if this case follows on from the precedent set by the Max Hardcore cases? I remember there being worry that this would open the floodgates, now that people can be prosecuted for material made with consenting adult actors.)

I don't know about that (3, Funny)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 5 years ago | (#28570527)

"Extreme Associates produced and distributed sexually degrading material that portrayed women in the most vile and depraved manner imaginable,"

I don't know about that. I've got a pretty good imagination.

Re:Privacy? Huh? (3, Insightful)

hesaigo999ca (786966) | more than 5 years ago | (#28570567)

I have to agree, someone sitting over top of a female squatting and taking a dump, seems to violate some kind of law, but when a guy does it to another guy, no problem. Pooper films as I call them have been around for so many years, they are just NOW figuring out they exist?

Snuff films, rape, etc...you have all types, but they have been around for sooo many years, are they saying we can't publish them on youtube or are they saying the contents of the film are illegal, this is what I would like
better explained, as well, being so cryptic about what is going on in the movie, does not help the average joe follow any sort of precedent, if you need to tell us taking a dump on someone and filming it is criminal, then say it, stop indirectly saying some sort stuff happened, which should not have happened, but we think it was bad enough to prosecute.....sounds like that bit from Team America for christ's sake....or are we not allowed to swear anymore as well?

Re:Privacy? Huh? (2, Insightful)

Tom (822) | more than 5 years ago | (#28570677)

the need to continue to protect the public from obscene, lewd, lascivious or filthy material,

Uh, maybe I missed something here. Did they display their simulated rape in a public square? Is it "the public" or isn't it rather voluntary customers of such material?

Re:Privacy? Huh? (1)

beowulfcluster (603942) | more than 5 years ago | (#28570833)

"These prison sentences affirm the need to continue to protect the public from obscene, lewd, lascivious or filthy material"

Can't the public protect themselves by not ordering it? Why does it need help from the government to do that?

Re:Privacy? Huh? (5, Interesting)

Andr T. (1006215) | more than 5 years ago | (#28570373)

I was thinking to myself... why is this any different to any porn site out there? Is porn now prohibited in the US?

I thought there was child porn or something like that, but, after reading TFA, I can't see a problem at all.

Re:Privacy? Huh? (3, Informative)

struppi (576767) | more than 5 years ago | (#28570411)

I saw the documentary "Deep Throat" some time ago, and it said that there were still laws against porn in the US - I couldn't believe it, but it seems to be true. But I am not a lawyer and not from the USA - Can someone with an understanding of the US laws and legal system explain what exactly the crime was? Is producing and distributing porn really a crime for which you can get jail time in the USA?

Re:Privacy? Huh? (3, Insightful)

ciderVisor (1318765) | more than 5 years ago | (#28570621)

I saw the documentary "Deep Throat" some time ago.

"Deep Throat" is regarded as a documentary, now ? Shit, Linda Lovelace is now my favourite research scientist !

Re:Privacy? Huh? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28570629)

Im not very familiar with the laws, but as a US resident I can say:

Yes, laws against porn exist. Basically, its only 'obscene' porn that the laws target. Exactly what that means is very subjective, but since almost everyone looks at porn, 'obscene' porn is usually regarded as porn that most people dont look at. A few decades ago, bondage was obscene and was targeted by the government (not to good effect, however, as afterwords it became more mainstream). A few years after Bush became president a crackdown happened on porn sites, basically things that where overly rough where targeted (and produced by small-ish time porn makers, rather then large companies). This site was just one that was targeted.

So, to wrap up the US laws on porn production/distribution: anything thats popular enough to get noticed, yet niche enough not to cause a backlash if they are targeted, is fair game. If your looking to make porn and want to avoid being targeted: dont do anything that pushes the limits, especially (or perhaps, specifically) in areas that could be regarded as degration/humiliation by whoever happens to be in power.

Re:Privacy? Huh? (1)

beowulfcluster (603942) | more than 5 years ago | (#28570861)

If your looking to make porn and want to avoid being targeted: dont do anything that pushes the limits, especially (or perhaps, specifically) in areas that could be regarded as degration/humiliation by whoever happens to be in power.

And once people start doing that you have a nice chilling effect in .. err.. effect.

Re:Privacy? Huh? (1)

value_added (719364) | more than 5 years ago | (#28570843)

Can someone with an understanding of the US laws and legal system explain what exactly the crime was? Is producing and distributing porn really a crime for which you can get jail time in the USA?

You might want to start with a read through of Wikipedia's page on Larry Flynt [wikipedia.org] . I think it's still the case that adult material isn't sold in certain states.

Note that the term obscene has a legal definition. IIRC, bestiality and golden showers, for example, are considered "obscene", whereas Janet Jackson's nipple is considered "indecedent".

Re:Privacy? Huh? (2, Informative)

the linux geek (799780) | more than 5 years ago | (#28570423)

"different than any porn site out there?" Wikipedia tells me that one of the porno videos involved in this case was about a teenage girl being raped by an older man. Its not really an underage girl and not really rape, of course, but this is hardly just normal porn. While I don't necessarily agree with the ruling in this case, there's no doubt that this was unusually extreme content.

Re:Privacy? Huh? (5, Insightful)

xZgf6xHx2uhoAj9D (1160707) | more than 5 years ago | (#28570463)

the porno videos involved in this case was about a teenage girl being raped by an older man

Thanks for the extra info, though I still have to say it's a stupid law. I can't help but think that if the teenage girl had been graphically murdered they'd be nominated for Oscars rather than put in prison :\

Torture porn (4, Insightful)

professorguy (1108737) | more than 5 years ago | (#28570551)

If the teenage girl had been graphically murdered they'd be nominated for Oscars rather than put in prison.

And if she had been portrayed as being chained in a dungeon and having various body parts sliced off in slow motion, it'd be pretty much every third dvd now playing at Blockbuster.

So the lesson: Sex porn is illegal but torture porn is perfectly OK. Nice job assholes.

Re:Privacy? Huh? (1)

Andr T. (1006215) | more than 5 years ago | (#28570481)

Yeah, TFA didn't tell this. Let's get it straight:

Porn = ok

Violence and killing and murdering and torturing and... = ok

Porn + Violence = omg omg not ok.

Re:Privacy? Huh? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28570635)

In other words:
Portraying people fucking people = ok
Portraying people fucking people over = ok
Portraying people fucking people that they are fucking over = omg omg not ok.

The creators of "True Blood" should be jailed at once!

Re:Privacy? Huh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28570689)

Baileys Irish Cream = delicious.
Juice of two limes = also delicious.

The combination however, I would not recommend.

Re:Privacy? Huh? (2, Insightful)

mdwh2 (535323) | more than 5 years ago | (#28570543)

Who decides what's "normal"? And why should only being an interest of a minority of people make it acceptable to criminalise them? This is the same argument people make of gay material.

If anything, targetting a minority should be seen as worse, not better. I appreciate you don't approve of the ruling, but the sentiment is still worrying - imagine gay material being banned, and someone saying "But it's not like we're talking about anything normal here"?

Re:Privacy? Huh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28570913)

"Wikipedia tells me that one of the porno videos involved in this case was about a teenage girl being raped by an older man."

An 18 and 19yo are teenagers.

And isn't this from Pennsylvania? Maybe they've changed the law, but the age of consent was 16yo. 14 if the other partner was 3-4 years older.

Re:Privacy? Huh? (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 5 years ago | (#28570699)

I was thinking to myself... why is this any different to any porn site out there? Is porn now prohibited in the US?

According to the US Supreme court, yes, *porn* is prohibited and has been for a while now. *Adult material* isn't. ( and they get to define which is which )

Re:Privacy? Huh? (1)

nattt (568106) | more than 5 years ago | (#28570399)

So the 1st amendment is dead.

Re:Privacy? Huh? (5, Funny)

HangingChad (677530) | more than 5 years ago | (#28570425)

So the 1st amendment is dead.

Gunned down in the street by the 2nd amendment.

Re:Privacy? Huh? (1)

selven (1556643) | more than 5 years ago | (#28570673)

Fortunately, the 3rd amendment came to the rescue when they tried to hide in people's homes.

Re:Privacy? Huh? (1, Troll)

Minwee (522556) | more than 5 years ago | (#28570695)

Gunned down in the street by the 2nd amendment.

Remember, guns don't kill people. Amendments kill people.

Re:Privacy? Huh? (2, Insightful)

Lifyre (960576) | more than 5 years ago | (#28570445)

Not so much dead as just highly crippled by the past 8 years of having religious zealots in control.

Re:Privacy? Huh? (2, Insightful)

e9th (652576) | more than 5 years ago | (#28570559)

The feds' investigation into net porn began the year after a PBS Frontline documentary on the subject. Now if only we could wrest control of PBS from religious zealots...

Re:Privacy? Huh? (1)

Threni (635302) | more than 5 years ago | (#28570633)

Don't blame them. A large number of fat, stupid people are now in control of elections (and not just in the US), so we're going to only have more and more support for more and more ridiculous restrictions/obligations on how the rest of us live our lives.

Re:Privacy? Huh? (0)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 5 years ago | (#28570637)

That's okay. Libertarians keep telling me that the second amendment prevents the government from doing anything to the first, so I'm sure this is only a temporary issue.

Re:Privacy? Huh? (1, Troll)

wiredlogic (135348) | more than 5 years ago | (#28570427)

What the fuck has happened to the US?

Only vanilla sex as needed for procreation is legal in the US. We only begrudgingly accept homosexuality. The article doesn't say but my guess is that they were distributing videos containing the more extreme types of sexual activity which is still considered "depraved" enough to throw people in jail. It used to be that a lot of these types of acts were difficult to come by in the VHS and DVD era but with the explosion in online video the banned activities are becoming available since the USPS is cut out of the picture. Their mistake was to not keep a low profile to keep the government prudes off their case.

Re:Privacy? Huh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28570433)

Really sad.

This concept transcends political lines as all sides do it: the Constitution applies only when its something is deemed right in the beholder's "eye". If it appears to go counter to the beholder's beliefs then the Constitution no longer matters.

This is a perfect example of it.

Re:Privacy? Huh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28570469)

Wow.. just Wow. What the fuck has happened to the US? What happened to free speech?

A lot of the rest of the world have been looking on in horror and asking these very questions for a while now...

Re:Privacy? Huh? (4, Informative)

rsmith-mac (639075) | more than 5 years ago | (#28570499)

The key factor appears to be the content of the pornography. The feds may have given up on prosecuting the tamest stuff, but they have not given up on prosecuting the most hardcore material. The Extreme Associates Wikipedia article [wikipedia.org] gives you an idea of what they're being prosecuted for:

  • Extreme Teen 24[1]: contains a scene of a naive supposed young girl being talked into having sex by an older man. The actress involved was over 18, however dressed and acted like a young girl.[8]
  • Cocktails 2[1]: various scenes of women drinking vomit, saliva and other bodily fluids.[17] It was the director's cut version of the film that was cited in the case.[1]
  • Ass Clowns 3: a female journalist is being raped by a gang led by Osama bin Laden; the journalist is freed and the gang members killed. The director's cut version also contains a scene where Jesus steps off the cross and has sex with an angel.
  • 1001 Ways to Eat My Jizz:
  • Forced Entry[15]: The film depicts the beating, rape and murder of women by a serial killer, who is eventually killed by a mob of vigilantes.[15] There are three scenes which graphically portray rape and murder, and women are also spat on.[8] Extreme's website called it their "most controversial movie" and "a stunningly disturbing look at a serial killer, satanic rituals, and the depths of human depravity."[15] Forced Entry was directed by Lizzy Borden and released in 2002. Again it was the director's cut version of the film that was cited in the case.[1]

.

Similarly, Max Hardcore [wikipedia.org] was put in the slammer early this year for similar material:

Hardcore's films generally consist of rough sex with women who act like underage girls.[3] For example in Hollywood Hardcore 13 he says to Cloey Adams, "If you're a good girl, I'll take you to McDonald's later and get you a Happy Meal."[3] He then urinates in her mouth, and Adams asks, "What do you think of your little princess now Daddy?"[3] In several of his films Max stretches the actress's anus or vagina with a speculum, then urinates into it, after which the actress sucks the urine out through a hose.[3] Although the actresses in Little's movies appear to dress and act in a way as to suggest that they are a young, possibly under the age of consent, but all of the actresses used were over the legal age of 18. In his film Max Extreme 4, an actress stated during one verbal exchange that she was 12 years-old[4].

The short and long of the matter is that vague obscenity laws are still on the books, and technically all porn is still illegal because someone somewhere is going to find it obscene. The Feds know they can't win however, so they are choosing to prosecute whomever makes the stuff that offends them the most. Nothing has really been worked out since the 70s, the Feds just can't keep prosecuting everyone like they used to.

Re:Privacy? Huh? (1)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 5 years ago | (#28570545)

Hopefully this case will go to the supreme court and this shit will get worked out.

Re:Privacy? Huh? (3, Insightful)

Qzukk (229616) | more than 5 years ago | (#28570935)

While I think the Miller Test replaced "I know it when I see it" at the SCOTUS level, the fact of the matter is that the Miller Test is "I know it when I see it", just applied at a lower level. If this gets appealed, I'm sure the SCOTUS will just say "well, after the most dire of voires, the prosecutors managed to find 12 stuck-up prudes that were offended by your movie, so it's obscene". The real problem is that the government has managed to convince everyone that "obscenity" isn't speech. Since they control the definition of obscenity, they control the definition of speech.

Re:Privacy? Huh? (1)

meyekul (1204876) | more than 5 years ago | (#28570811)

[15] Forced Entry was directed by Lizzy Borden and released in 2002. Again it was the director's cut version of the film that was cited in the case.

Well, compared to her real life escapades [wikipedia.org] I think the movies aren't such a big deal.

Re:Privacy? Huh? (2, Insightful)

Just Some Guy (3352) | more than 5 years ago | (#28570939)

The Extreme Associates Wikipedia article gives you an idea of what they're being prosecuted for

That's filthy, disgusting, meritless, reprehensible, and none of the government's damn business. Two consenting adults filmed scenes that other consenting adults wanted to watch. That should be the end of the story.

I normally mean for my sig to be funny. Sometimes, like now, I don't.

Re:Privacy? Huh? (0, Offtopic)

Kokuyo (549451) | more than 5 years ago | (#28570943)

The director's cut version also contains a scene where Jesus steps off the cross and has sex with an angel.

Oh my god, this sounds hilarious! I wanna see that!

Re:Privacy? Huh? (2, Interesting)

unlametheweak (1102159) | more than 5 years ago | (#28570583)

When I read the summary I thought that the American couple was arrested while on vacation or on a business trip in a country like Iran or North Korea. Americans (et al) are trying to do their best to be like the countries that they demonize the most.

Re:Privacy? Huh? (1)

dublindan (1558489) | more than 5 years ago | (#28570653)

What happened to free speech?
What happened? I don't really understand this.. I always hear it mentioned everywhere, but I've seen no evidence of this mythical free speech my American peers keep telling me about. It sounds very much like a "do as I say, not as I do" type of thing on the US governments part. Every time I hear someone go on about free speech and free country and all that, my first thought is always bullshit. Please, someone, show me where this free speech can be found, because I don't see it.

Re:Privacy? Huh? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28570817)

The got what they deserve, pornography does more harm to the mind than you can imagine. How may lives has it destroyed? Countless.

Re:Privacy? Huh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28570883)

Here's a bit from Wikipedia....could this be it?

        * Extreme Teen 24[1]: contains a scene of a naive supposed young girl being talked into having sex by an older man. The actress involved was over 18, however dressed and acted like a young girl.[8]
        * Cocktails 2[1]: various scenes of women drinking vomit, saliva and other bodily fluids.[17] It was the director's cut version of the film that was cited in the case.[1]
        * Ass Clowns 3: a female journalist is being raped by a gang led by Osama bin Laden; the journalist is freed and the gang members killed. The director's cut version also contains a scene where Jesus steps off the cross and has sex with an angel.
        * 1001 Ways to Eat My Jizz:
        * Forced Entry[15]: The film depicts the beating, rape and murder of women by a serial killer, who is eventually killed by a mob of vigilantes.[15] There are three scenes which graphically portray rape and murder, and women are also spat on.[8] Extreme's website called it their "most controversial movie" and "a stunningly disturbing look at a serial killer, satanic rituals, and the depths of human depravity."[15] Forced Entry was directed by Lizzy Borden and released in 2002. Again it was the director's cut version of the film that was cited in the case.[1]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Extreme_Associates#Obscenity_prosecution

Slashdot users fucking bastards (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28570363)

Admit you are all morbidly obese virgins who waste all their time using linux "on the desktop" only to see it ruined by having to boot into windows to play games.

Admit linux will never be used again so stop using it

Most amazing of all... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28570371)

People are still getting porn delivered in the mail?

The Brits had sense enough to run the Puritans out (5, Insightful)

Leghorn (44886) | more than 5 years ago | (#28570403)

Unfortunately, they came to America.

Re:The Brits had sense enough to run the Puritans (1)

ATMD (986401) | more than 5 years ago | (#28570437)

Even more unfortunately, some of them came back. [iwf.org.uk]

Pornography illegal? (1)

Svenne (117693) | more than 5 years ago | (#28570409)

Is it illegal to distribute pornography in California? I'm not familiar with California state law and I'm genuinly curious. I'm assuming it's not illegal nationwide, considering all the porn I've watc.. ehh.. heard of that's produced in the USA.

If it's not illegla, why were they sentenced? I read the article and it didn't help make me understand.

This doesn't make sense. (4, Insightful)

xous (1009057) | more than 5 years ago | (#28570413)

I'm extremely confused... I don't see anything wrong here.

Is porn illegal in the US?

Did someone forget to tell the multi-billion dollar industry?

Re:This doesn't make sense. (1)

The Ultimate Fartkno (756456) | more than 5 years ago | (#28570573)

Porn is not illegal in the US. However, there are few lawyers willing to stake their reputations by vigorously defending porn that combines graphic depictions of sexuality and violent content and few communities willing to stand up and say that that sort of thing is within their standards. "Max Hardcore" got almost 4 years in prison for producing child pornography even though the actress was over 18.

This is America. We *love* porn... until it's the kind that doesn't turn us on. Then it's filth and should be banned.

Re:This doesn't make sense. (4, Funny)

ciderVisor (1318765) | more than 5 years ago | (#28570667)

We *love* porn... until it's the kind that doesn't turn us on.

Prude: Someone who enjoys sex less than you.
Slut: Someone who enjoys sex more than you.

Simulated Rape (5, Informative)

jamesoutlaw (87295) | more than 5 years ago | (#28570421)

Apparently several "simulated rape" scenes in their film "Forced Entry" is what led them to be charged with committing a crime:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rob_Zicari#Obscenity_prosecution [wikipedia.org]

Zicari asked for help from the rest of the Adult Entertainment industry and they declined- even Larry Flynt declined to help fight the charges.

http://news.prnewswire.com/DisplayReleaseContent.aspx?ACCT=104&STORY=/www/story/07-01-2009/0005053905&EDATE= [prnewswire.com]

Re:Simulated Rape (3, Insightful)

xous (1009057) | more than 5 years ago | (#28570477)

"simulated rape" is a crime?

That's fucking ridiculous.

How long before simulated murder is a crime?

Re:Simulated Rape (1)

Threni (635302) | more than 5 years ago | (#28570601)

> "simulated rape" is a crime?
> That's fucking ridiculous.

Doesn't "the accused" feature simulated rape?

Re:Simulated Rape (1)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 5 years ago | (#28570765)

Shhhh, Jack Thompson's spies are everywhere.

I think we're safe for a while. The State - which is at heart still an Abrahamic church wearing secular clothes - thinks slaughter is just fine and dandy. View their procurement and promotion of the "murder simulator" America's Army: Operation Darkie Cull.

No, it's enjoying sex that's the dirty, unforgivable sin. I mean, crime.

Re:Simulated Rape (1)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 5 years ago | (#28570879)

Never happen; There's still at least 15 more Saw movies which can be made.

Re:Simulated Rape (4, Interesting)

tjonnyc999 (1423763) | more than 5 years ago | (#28570897)

Yes, it is ridiculous.
If Hollywood can get away with portraying real rape, why can't a porn producer get away with portraying a simulation of the same?

FFS, there's movies like "Cannibal Holocaust" and "Last House On The Left" that show [what most people would consider to be] extreme depictions of rape, cannibalism, genital torture, and plenty of other perverse acts.
Even classics like Ingmar Bergman's "Aus dem Leben der Marionetten" feature rape scenes and stark violence.
Not simulated or implied rape, but real, violent, gory, crying-and-shitting rape.
There's a torrent compilation of over 130 rape scenes from mainstream movies. And the torrent poster states that this is just a "small sample" of what's out there.
But, apparently if it's done "ars gratia artis", it's OK - if it's done for profit+pleasure, all of a sudden we have a moral shit-storm.

Bullshit double-standards, and weak-assed half-measures, will be the end of this society.

Also, COCKS.

Re:Simulated Rape (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28570489)

How about the rape scene in the Sopranos? It's OK to show a rape in a show about murder and all sorts of violent acts, but if it's in a porno and you can actually see genitals, it's not OK...

Re:Simulated Rape (1)

Nathrael (1251426) | more than 5 years ago | (#28570803)

The difference is what the movie/TV show/etc is all about. If it's about telling a story in which rape happens, that's one thing - if it's about turning people on who get turned on by rape fantasies (essentially *promoting* their desire for rape), that's another however.

Re:Simulated Rape (1)

arbitraryaardvark (845916) | more than 5 years ago | (#28570493)

It's called "extreme video" for a reason. they were intentionally not making the bland boring sorts of porn, ala vivid entertainmen, but were pushing limits. combine the typical horror genre and the typical porno and you get their kind of stuff. under clinton, porn wasn't prosecuted. bush and ashcroft came in and started going after this stuff, but it bit them on the ass when extreme won the first round in court. after 9-11, bush moveed prosecutors from the war on porn to the war of terror. Extreme was able to ride out thee Bush administration. Maybe they had "hope" for "change", instead they got "same", so cutting a plea bargaain makes sense now. They will do a year, emerge as heroes.

Re:Simulated Rape (3, Informative)

SirLurksAlot (1169039) | more than 5 years ago | (#28570513)

Ah, another individual who didn't think the summary told the whole story. Here are a couple more links:

The appellate court ruling [uscourts.gov]

The case summary from Wikipedia: United States vs. Extreme Associates [wikipedia.org]

I usually don't criticize on these kind of things but honestly, but would it take all that long to do just a little more digging before posting the story? (Yes, I realize it is easier to get readers to the rest of the work :-P).

Re:Simulated Rape (3, Interesting)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 5 years ago | (#28570571)

I don't really care if they were simulating bestiality.. its protected speech.

Re:Simulated Rape (2, Insightful)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 5 years ago | (#28570805)

The trick is to criminalize not the "speech" per se, just the distribution of it. As long as you "say" it where nobody can hear you, that pesky ol' Constitution doesn't get in the way. See also "First Amendment Zones".

crackdown on BD/SM websites since 2005 (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28570441)

The crackdown on BD/SM websites started in late 2005. It's the same reason that Insex [wikipedia.org] stopped producing clips. See also the following articles:
BD/SM Internet Sites Under Attack [sfbaytimes.com]
Tortured Logic [thestranger.com]

And yet this is what gets censored. (5, Insightful)

egandalf (1051424) | more than 5 years ago | (#28570449)

It seems odd to me that pictures of naked people is censored, but, if I wanted, I could post videos of "zombies" killing mowing each other down with chainsaws with no public outcry whatsoever.

Carlin had it right: I'd rather my kids saw images of two people making love than of two people killing each other.

Re:And yet this is what gets censored. (1)

divisionbyzero (300681) | more than 5 years ago | (#28570809)

It'd be interesting if someone actual brought a case of obscenity for violence. I wonder what would happen?

Re:And yet this is what gets censored. (1)

meyekul (1204876) | more than 5 years ago | (#28570851)

Making love? You don't watch much porn, do you?

This is why they were prosecuted (1, Informative)

Angeliqe (1390757) | more than 5 years ago | (#28570465)

From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_v._Extreme_Associates [wikipedia.org]
* Extreme Teen 24[1]: contains a scene of a naive supposed young girl being talked into having sex by an older man. The actress involved was over 18, however dressed and acted like a young girl.[3]
* Cocktails 2[1]: various scenes of women drinking vomit, saliva and other bodily fluids.[15] It was the director's cut version of the film that was cited in the case.[1]
* Ass Clowns 3: a female journalist is being raped by a gang led by Osama bin Laden; the journalist is freed and the gang members killed. The director's cut version also contains a scene where Jesus steps off the cross and has sex with an angel.
* 1001 Ways to Eat My Jizz:
* Forced Entry[16]: The film depicts the beating, rape and murder of women by a serial killer, who is eventually killed by a mob of vigilantes.[17] There are three scenes which graphically portray rape and murder, and women are also spat on.[3] Extreme's website called it their "most controversial movie" and "a stunningly disturbing look at a serial killer, satanic rituals, and the depths of human depravity."[18] Forced Entry was directed by Lizzy Borden and released in 2002. Again it was the director's cut version of the film that was cited in the case.[1]

So, your traditional porn is still safe in the US. There is porn and then there is sick minded porn. This addresses the more violent side that porn can take.

Re:This is why they were prosecuted (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28570521)

Ass Clowns 3: a female journalist is being raped by a gang led by Osama bin Laden; the journalist is freed and the gang members killed. The director's cut version also contains a scene where Jesus steps off the cross and has sex with an angel.

Damn, where can I get this?

Re:This is why they were prosecuted (2, Insightful)

cenc (1310167) | more than 5 years ago | (#28570825)

It was the including Jesus in the porn that made the conservative right-wing at the DOJ go ape shit. Had they just stuck to bin Laden, they likly would have been nominated for an Oscar by the attorney general.

Re:This is why they were prosecuted (2, Insightful)

xous (1009057) | more than 5 years ago | (#28570531)

I see nothing wrong with this.

As long as the actors are legal and the sex (and other acts) are consensual.

Anyone know where I can get the one with Jesus fucking an Angel? That's hilarious.

Re:This is why they were prosecuted (1)

Angeliqe (1390757) | more than 5 years ago | (#28570603)

It's a touchy subject. I can see how both sides could be argued. I was merely pointing out that it was not the nudity or sex acts themselves that was being prosecuted, but the violence and depravity that crossed the line (according to the courts). Even with all that, it was ruled different ways by 2 different courts.

Re:This is why they were prosecuted (2, Insightful)

unlametheweak (1102159) | more than 5 years ago | (#28570783)

I was merely pointing out that it was not the nudity or sex acts themselves that was being prosecuted, but the violence and depravity that crossed the line (according to the courts).

So water-boarding is legal and fictional depictions of (deviant) sex are illegal. The world is upside down.

Re:This is why they were prosecuted (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28570615)

More importantly, are these videos on ThePirateBay?

Re:This is why they were prosecuted (1)

unlametheweak (1102159) | more than 5 years ago | (#28570885)

You said, "More importantly, are these videos on ThePirateBay?".

From the article:

They forfeited the domain name, Extremeassociates.com, as part of their plea agreement, in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania. The company is now defunct.

Hopely that means that the movies are now in the public domain. I'll be looking for them on the Internet Archive [archive.org] .

Re:This is why they were prosecuted (0, Redundant)

The Ultimate Fartkno (756456) | more than 5 years ago | (#28570649)

* Forced Entry[16]: The film depicts the beating, rape and murder of women by a serial killer, who is eventually killed by a mob of vigilantes.

"Forced Entry?" I thought that it was called "Last House on the Left?"

Oh, no, wait. You don't actually see a penis in that one, just the graphic rape and murder and torture. I certainly don't have a problem with that.

Goooooood bless America...

Re:This is why they were prosecuted (4, Insightful)

ditoa (952847) | more than 5 years ago | (#28570651)

I saw some movies worse than that! This dude keeps kidnapping people and hooking them up to machines that they can't escape from. The only way to survive is to admit something about yourself and sacrifice part of yourself or do some kind of other horrible act like cut the key out of somebody elses stomach. The worst one for me was a reverse bear trap on somebodies head which ripped their head in half when the timer went off. Needless to say I don't think anybody actually ever survived any of it.

Oh yeah these movies were called Saw. And I saw it in the cinema. The realism and gore was extreme. If these people were put away for making similar movies and selling them on the net then how can Amazon and Play.com sell the Saw movies? Surely every horror movie should be illegal and the directors and distributors arrested?

Re:This is why they were prosecuted (2, Insightful)

Tiger Smile (78220) | more than 5 years ago | (#28570777)

"* Forced Entry[16]: The film depicts the beating, rape and murder of women by a serial killer, who is eventually killed by a mob of vigilantes.[17] There are three scenes which graphically portray rape and murder, and women are also spat on.[3] Extreme's website called it their "most controversial movie" and "a stunningly disturbing look at a serial killer, satanic rituals, and the depths of human depravity."[18] Forced Entry was directed by Lizzy Borden and released in 2002. Again it was the director's cut version of the film that was cited in the case.[1]"

And, yet, the murder was okay. Everything was okay. If these movies contained no visible sex. It's nothing but the inclusion of sex on camera that causes a problem. Had the sex been off-camera, then we'd be happy with the film content? Wow. America is a sickly weird place. It's okay to cut off a womans head, but don't rape her first? Rape is horrible, and their are many many people who are living with that experience in their past. It's an unimaginable horror. How can it be okay to depict rape one way, but not another. Additionally how is it okay to show a woman's murder, but rape though vile and horrible, is survivable and it's not okay.

In the end we are talking about a film, a fake, nothing more. The real thing is the horror, murder and rape, but not the fake version. We're punishing people here because they made a film which simulates the crimes the federal justice department ignores to go after film makers?

One down, few more hundred millions to go ... (1)

meist3r (1061628) | more than 5 years ago | (#28570479)

Distributing porn over the internet ... what where they thinking.

This sort of attitude really bugs me... (4, Insightful)

NoNeeeed (157503) | more than 5 years ago | (#28570487)

U.S. Attorney Mary Beth Buchanan, of the Western District of Pennsylvania, said in a statement. "These prison sentences affirm the need to continue to protect the public from obscene, lewd, lascivious or filthy material, the production of which degrades all of us."

In what way is this protecting people? Presumably they were only supplying this stuff to people who paid for it, not projecting it onto the side of schools or posting it to small children.

I don't understand this attitude of protecting people from things they want to do, and I don't see why the state should intervene (assuming all the parties involved consented).

It seems to be the same logic as used by opponents of gay marriage, who claim that it will somehow destroy the institution of marriage. How will someone else getting married to someone of the same sex, in any way change yours or anyone else's marriage? In the same way, how does the production of this material (again, assuming consent on all sides) "degrade us all"? It doesn't degrade me, I had nothing to do with it, don't watch it, and am unaffected by it. This whole idea of "someone's doing something I don't like, therefore I can object and stop it" is just narrow minded control-freakery.

Thanks for protecting the public... (5, Insightful)

jaypifer (64463) | more than 5 years ago | (#28570517)

The American Taliban strikes again.

what's the difference? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28570565)

what's the difference between these films and simulated rape scenes in hollywood movies?

Both are artistic expression.

Why wouldn't they prosecute the filmmakers of "American Psycho" ?

Because some female U.S. Attorney got a bug up her cunt!

Back off People we've solved the worlds issues. (1)

Tiger Smile (78220) | more than 5 years ago | (#28570595)

This case, no matter how vile the porn clips were, was not at all important. In today's cash strapped times where states cannot even afford to pay their police, we've got time for "protecting" people from the stuff they ordered in the mail to watch on their VCR. Amazing. I think these people are sick if they made a movie simulating rape. The people who watch it that is. But the people involved in this "investigation", which no doubt involved purchasing and watching the material over and over again, are part of a larger disease. Can we afford the morality police? Have we put away all the real rapists, pedophiles, killers, and Wall Street cheaters? We've found every missing child? We've fed the hungry? We fixed the federal budget and debt? Now you and I have to pay these idiot investigators, and pay for the 1 year and 1 day of the prison term. We're being punished for this "crime". So if you are proud of this victory make sure you remember it when you pay your taxes and notice what's missing from your paycheck. These people who stole from the federal budget to enjoy their porn and imprison the distributors should be put to work doing something useful. They should pay us back by looking for missing children for the next 1 year and 1 day.

There are three branches of government, which are controlled by a single more important branch of government, The People. We the people in the constitution are the only thing that gives permission to the branches of the federal government to have any power at all. A single overriding branch of government. So, why did you allow your federal government to be so stupid. After all it's only a reflection of your wishes. You need to fix this. We need to fix this. Well, then, back to work.

Hmm.. (1)

inamorty (1227366) | more than 5 years ago | (#28570597)

What are the implications for rule 34?

Anonymous Coward (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28570611)

Did anyone else read that as internet obscurity?

Streisand Does Dallas (1)

pieterh (196118) | more than 5 years ago | (#28570645)

The most likely consequence of this sentence is that clips of Jesus having sex with an angel will soar in popularity and previously uncool notions of what to put where, and with whom, dressed how, will become cool and fashionable.

Having one's product banned for being immoral is usually very good for business.

They'll probably earn more by being in jail for a year and a day than if they were found innocent.

Free publicity (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28570663)

Of course, now that this has made slashdot, the number of people aware of the film will skyrocket. From what another poster describes as the content, it is sick. However, one should not forget the truism:

"The trouble with fighting for human freedom is that one spends most of one's time defending scoundrels. For it is against scoundrels that oppressive laws are first aimed, and oppression must be stopped at the beginning if it is to be stopped at all." - H L Mencken

Simulations gets you jail-time (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 5 years ago | (#28570675)

But the real thing doesn't. Glad we have our priorities straight.

Speaking of degrading us all... (0)

DarrenBaker (322210) | more than 5 years ago | (#28570679)

http://www.csmonitor.com/2009/0629/p02s07-usju.html [csmonitor.com]

The fact that they censor this act between consenting adults, made for consenting adults, where nobody is injured, and they allow these people to propagate their hate speech is abhorrent.

Frontline episode (2, Interesting)

cenc (1310167) | more than 5 years ago | (#28570775)

I remember that Frontline documentary episode. I believe these where the people that made videos of women being kidnapped, beaten, and gang raped. They did not show anything in the documentary, but they did show the Frontline camera crew that was filming the making of video had to stop in the middle because they could not watch anymore. Now, it might have been shocking stuff at the edge of what is possible to do with actors, but it was still within the bounds of the law as far as consenting parties willing to be filmed.

At least it is the kind of thing that is not up to a judge to decide what they find repulsive, otherwise we are on the slippery slope back to the 70's where more conservative taste will make any portrayal of sex illegal.

The only thing obscene... (4, Insightful)

divisionbyzero (300681) | more than 5 years ago | (#28570801)

is this verdict. Between the First Amendment and the Fourth I'm not sure that this is remotely constitutional. I could see the point if the person involved filed rape charges, but then it would be a case about rape, not obscenity. Totally stupid.

Fascism is here... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28570819)

I see this as another example of how America is becoming fascist.
As amazingly distasteful as simulated rape porn, and simulated pedo porn is, I'm amazed it's not protected by free speech. After all isn't free speech to protect whatever people say assuming it doesn't directly hurt someone, (ie yelling fire in a crowd) even if I disagree so much I would rally against those beliefs my entire life?
This sort of fringe porn would have to be searched for and the people ordering it I'm sure are very aware of what they are getting. So to prosecute this as obscene in a different district from the accused, one the government figured would be easiest to get a conviction sounds like a witch hunt.
Along with the entire Bush era, and the AT&T internet tapping case, and the digital copyright millennium act this is just another example of fascism coming to America.
Thank god I don't live there, not that Canada is always much better lately.

Salo? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28570855)

Has Richard Ashcroft ever seen the Italian movie Salo? It's available from Netflix. Has all of these aspects (and I mean all of them). Why hasn't Netflix been thrown in prison?

Don't blame the system (2, Informative)

Psyborgue (699890) | more than 5 years ago | (#28570873)

These idiots pled guilty. It's their fault. They should have fought it.
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