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Supreme Court Rules on Challenge to COPA

timothy posted more than 12 years ago | from the know-it-when-they-see-it-a-few-times dept.

The Courts 298

Publiux writes: "LawMeme is reporting today that the Supreme Court upheld portions of the Child Online Protection Act because using community standards to determine what could be harmful to minors was not overly broad and thus not unconstitutional. Before you stop spreading your 'sexually explicit material' online, a lower court still has to determine if the law is unconstitutional for other reasons." Snibor Eoj submits this link to coverage at Yahoo! as well. Other readers link to AP coverage running at NandoTimes and the decision itself (PDF).

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teh frist ps0t (-1)

Fecal Troll Matter (445929) | more than 12 years ago | (#3511018)

yeah, its all up in your rectum, baby.

Re:teh frist ps0t (-1)

returnofthe_spork (552824) | more than 12 years ago | (#3511067)

Congrats on that excellent firt post, Good Sir.

That suicidegirls.com link is very interesting. Perfect for amateur stalkers like myself.

Good Day.

lies, lies I tell you!! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3511164)

User Info for Fecal Troll Matter (445929)

Fecal Troll Matter has posted 828 comments. Below find the most recent 24 comments.

User Info for spookysuicide (560912)

spookysuicide has posted 23 comments.

hrm @ that....

Re:lies, lies I tell you!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3511269)

wtf duz that mean?

Heh (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3511021)

People that make "first post" comments are lame.

Re:Heh (-1)

Anonymous Cowrad (571322) | more than 12 years ago | (#3511063)

this one goes out to spider man

try not to suck so much in the sequel.

oh, and just bang her already.

FREE DIONNE WARWICK (-1)

ElCagado (575762) | more than 12 years ago | (#3511022)

First Free Dionne Warwick post!!

Re:FREE DIONNE WARWICK (-1)

Fecal Troll Matter (445929) | more than 12 years ago | (#3511241)

She is free, dumbass.

A Good Thing (0, Insightful)

Free Bird (160885) | more than 12 years ago | (#3511028)

There are some places where liberty of speech doesn't apply, and k1dd13 pr0n is one of them.

Re:A Good Thing (5, Informative)

DarkZero (516460) | more than 12 years ago | (#3511059)

This isn't about kiddie porn. It's about run-of-the-mill porn, featuring adults, which could possibly be VIEWED by children on the internet.

Re:A Good Thing (1)

DEBEDb (456706) | more than 12 years ago | (#3511072)

Why? Because you say so?

Re:A Good Thing (0)

hettb (569863) | more than 12 years ago | (#3511131)

On Monday, May 13, 2002, DEBEDb wrote:


Why? Because you say so?

DO YOU KNOW JUST HOW MUCH I HATE PEDOPHILES?

Re:A Good Thing (0)

L1nUx h4x0r (574828) | more than 12 years ago | (#3511285)

Enough to write in all caps with bold html tags around it.

Do I win a prize or somethin'?

Re:A Good Thing (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3511108)

And why is that?

What makes kiddie porn worse than any other kind of porn? A few centuries ago it was commonplace to marry 13 year old girls and have children with them and look where it got us. Alexander the Great was a 16 years old emperor.

Re:A Good Thing (2)

rosewood (99925) | more than 12 years ago | (#3511121)

Because they are children and if you dont understand this then you have serious maturity issues that need to be addressed and I suggest you use the time you have devoted to /. posting to rectifing this situation.

Re:A Good Thing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3511144)

You are carefully trying to avoid the embarrasing (to you, that is) fact that "girls" who have reached puberty have been married to men, have given birth to perfectly healthy children and lived perfectly sane lives in the history of the mankind

I don't have any desire to have sex with a pre 16-year old but what you're spouting is historically inaccurate, politically correct, psychologically and physiologically invalid and historically revisionist crap.

Re:A Good Thing (2)

goldspider (445116) | more than 12 years ago | (#3511174)

That is of course correct. But then it is also correct that back then people weren't expected to live very far into their 30's. 13 was considered middle-aged.

And decidedly a 13 year old today is far less mentally and emotionally mature than they were back then... simply because back then they had to grow up fast.

The simple fact is that today children are far less capable of dealing with the physical and emotional burdens of a sexual relationship and child-rearing, and kids shouldn't have to be. Let them be kids for crying out loud!

Re:A Good Thing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3511194)

And decidedly a 13 year old today is far less mentally and emotionally mature than they were back then

Which is, of course, bollocks.

Pray tell me how this evolutionary miracle happned in just a few centuries whereas most evolutionary changes take at least tens of thousands of years?

A 13 year old today is not any less mentally or emotionally mature than they were back then. You're letting the "mom's gonna take care of everything, just watch the shiny bright things on the MTV" thing confuse you.

Re:A Good Thing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3511274)

Children today (most of them anyway) don't have to work the farm or die, nor do they have to defend the household from murderous bandits, or watch his or her entire family get hacked up and burned alive.

Such things tend to make a child grow up quick, simply because it forced them to take responsibility for themselves at a much earlier age.

It's exactly that "mom's gonna take care of everything, just watch the shiny bright things on the MTV" shit that prevents children from growing up today.

Re:A Good Thing (2)

Kintanon (65528) | more than 12 years ago | (#3511235)

And decidedly a 13 year old today is far less mentally and emotionally mature than they were back then... simply because back then they had to grow up fast.

The simple fact is that today children are far less capable of dealing with the physical and emotional burdens of a sexual relationship and child-rearing, and kids shouldn't have to be. Let them be kids for crying out loud!



Of course, this sucks ass for the kids since they are maturing physically much faster than the were a hundred years ago. There are girls as young as 8 years old developing breasts and going through puberty. Part of the blame rests with the meat heavy, hormone rich diet they consume. So we're breeding generations of children that become interested in sex much earlier than they used to, but are being taught far less about sex than they once were. So maybe you SHOULD teach your 9 year old about sex, since she looks like a 15 year old, so all of the 17 year old guys are going to be hitting on her... Might be a good idea if she knows what they mean when they want to play "doctor"....

Kintanon

Re:A Good Thing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3511293)

I agree with you, but the problem is that that only solves half of the problem.

Educating a child about sex isn't going to prevent them from engaging in it earlier unless you also educate them about the responsibilities that come with it. Not giving them the whole picture will only encourage the behavior, let alone everything they are seeing in movies, TV, music, and every other avenue that pop culture uses to sell sex to children.

MYTH!!! (2)

geekoid (135745) | more than 12 years ago | (#3511283)

Clearly, you have no idea what "average age" means. sheesh.
Average age was 30 because of a high infant mortality rate! if you calculate average age based from the age of five, are average age has only increase 4-5 years!
a 13 year old has the same "mental capacity" now as they had 5000 years ago!
yes, I know i'm exclaiming a lot! it my attempt to get people to buy a clue!

Re:A Good Thing (1)

delta407 (518868) | more than 12 years ago | (#3511309)

Actually, I believe Alexander the Great was 20, but your point is moot anyway. (Alexander the Great has nothing to do with porn.)

Anyway, kiddie porn is worse in that it (arguably) psychologically damages the parties involved, while (arguably) adult porn doesn't.

Re:A Good Thing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3511140)

I totally agree, but isn't that already illegal? Ummm.. no. not entireley. all you have to do is call it art. Simple.



Laws cannot replace parenting. If i swear in front of your kids, so come have a go if you think you're hard [or intellectual] enough. the net is a mean city, dont let them wander alone. And it's not like they're not gonna learn all about that shit sooner or later.

MODZ: THAT IS AN OPINION! GET OFF THE CRACK (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3511202)

Heh, so much for freedom of speech on /.

A story related to community standards and someones [sensible] opinion is modded down to troll. That just about says it all about american "Freedom of Speech": It's okay, as long as you dont offend anyone.

So now the question is... (1, Troll)

Dimensio (311070) | more than 12 years ago | (#3511033)

Will the FBI try to have foreign parties prosecuted for violating COPA? After all, it works for DMCA and with COPA they only need to have a website that can be accessed from a US IP, they don't need to be offering any services.

Re:So now the question is... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3511138)

Slashtard bingo!

Re:So now the question is... (1)

MarcoJROM (412323) | more than 12 years ago | (#3511284)

Will the FBI try to have foreign parties prosecuted for violating COPA? After all, it works for DMCA and with COPA they only need to have a website that can be accessed from a US IP, they don't need to be offering any services.

This sounds like a troll, but I'll go ahead and respond anyway.

First, DMCA is about protecting copywritten digital content. COPA is about preventing younger audiences from coming into contact with material deemed "pornographic" by the U.S.

Its an american law, so special circumstances can occur. COPA only applies to FTP,HTTP,etc. servers that don't have any "front doors" that prevent "children" from viewing online "porn". There is also controversy with ISPs and libraries having to take responsibility, but I didn't see anything like that in COPA unless they are affiliated with the "porn" servers violating COPA.

I would say, if you're not a US citizen, your internet server is not in the US, your AOK.

ALthough, I'm sure the following cases could make it through the pre-trial if your server violates COPA and:
-your internet server is in america
-you are physically located in the US and are managing the (non-US) server in question.

But then, I'm no lawyer, do your own research.

COMMON SLASHDOT MYTHS 2 (-1)

returnofthe_spork (552824) | more than 12 years ago | (#3511034)

Myth: The second Amendment of the US Constitution gives all Americans the right to own guns, and it is our duty to keep ourselves well armed in case we need to fight against our own government.
Fact: 1996 gun murders in the US: 9390; in Great Britain: 30. If you support the fascist conservatives who oppose gun control, these deaths are on your head. Sleep tight. Also, we have a word for individuals who actively fight against the government - terrorists.

Myth: Hahaha, those jocks who used to pick on me in high school are now pumping my gas! HA.
Fact: Those "jocks" are probably mid or upper-level management, e.g. your bosses now. That is, if you're not unemployed, you dot-com open-source loser.They probably all have wives/girlfriends now too, do you?

Myth: The MPAA is using our own government against us, and taking away our freedoms!
Fact: Typical Slashdot weenie: "I can't wait 'til the new Star Wars movie comes out! Rock on!"

Myth: It's ok to download music because the RIAA only gives the artists $0.10 per CD anyway.
Fact: So you'd rather they get $0.00? You think that's a good way to solve the problem?

Myth: Microsoft is going to collapse under it's own weight any day now.
Fact: You've been saying that for 5 years now, and it hasn't happened yet. It won't happen any time soon. In fact, when you die, Microsoft will still be around producing most of the world's software. Will "open-source" still be around then?

Yes, sometimes the truth hurts.

Re:COMMON SLASHDOT MYTHS 2 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3511218)

The united states is also like 20 times larger in population. You need to do per capita statistics, not gross statistics.

First COPA post (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3511042)

HI!!
Just bored, taking pics of my pre-teen daughter and posting on mclt.

Re:First COPA post (2, Insightful)

peddrenth (575761) | more than 12 years ago | (#3511090)

So just to check: I can still post whatever pictures I like here in the UK, so long as they're legal under UK law?

What about if I holiday in America? Will I get kidnapped like Skylarov did?

It's a sad day when only companies with credit-card processing equipment are allowed the freedom of the press.

Jurisdiction over UK citizens (1)

markwelch (553433) | more than 12 years ago | (#3511263)

Yes, if you choose to vacation in the USA, you could be arrested and prosecuted if your adult content was viewed by someone in the USA and your web site did not comply with all the requirements of COPA and other laws of the United states. (Prosecution under COPA is not permitted currently, but if the law is upheld, you might later be prosecuted under that law. Prosecution under other laws, including local obscenity ordinances, could happen any time. If you are an adult webmaster in the UK or elsewhere, and if you think there is any likelihood that you might be prosecuted, I would certainly suggest you avoid Tennessee (and probably the entire Southern and Midwestern USA) on your next USA vacation. However, even if you chose to vacation only in a decadent USA city like Los Angeles or San Francisco or New York, you would still potentially be subjected to arrest and extradition to Tennessee (though the cost of extradition is so high that it's quite unlikely for this kind of alleged offense).

Re:First COPA post (2)

Stonehand (71085) | more than 12 years ago | (#3511292)

FYI, COPA specifies "...in interstate or foreign commerce", so yes, I think you'd still potentially be held liable if the law is upheld in the end.

Waste your karma on this post.... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3511044)

HELLO.

GENTLEMEN !!

hhhhhhhhhhhoasflaksfdjklsajdflkaf;ajs ehe ehe ehe

For those of you too lazy or ignorant... (5, Insightful)

rebelcool (247749) | more than 12 years ago | (#3511060)

...to read the articles, here's the gist:

Supreme Court rules that using a law using 'community standards' does not mean its automatically unconstitutional.

That's it. They then sent the case back to the lower court to try unconstitutionality on other merits.

This was a very limited ruling, and the government is still barred from enforcing the law.

This isn't much of a news story...

Re:For those of you too lazy or ignorant... (3, Insightful)

Bootsy Collins (549938) | more than 12 years ago | (#3511112)

This was a very limited ruling, and the government is still barred from enforcing the law.

This isn't much of a news story...

I think the real story is in the fact that eight out of nine justices asserted that a law regulating content on the net which relied upon local community standards was not overbroad -- that is, that those who wish to obey such laws must cater to the community standards of every place in the U.S. or risk prosecution. Whether the COPA itself is ultimately upheld or struck down, this statement about the sort of content restrictions of which the Court would approve with is kinda scary, IMHO.

Indeed (-1)

IAgreeWithThisPost (550896) | more than 12 years ago | (#3511064)

The supreme court is all about some COPULATION. just ask Clarence Thomas. Dat's right!

not very troubling? (1, Insightful)

tps12 (105590) | more than 12 years ago | (#3511066)

At first blush, this is scary. I thought, "You mean limiting speech is okay as long as it's not 'overly broad'?" But then I reconsidered.

Before you mod me down, read what I have to say. True, it deviates from the standard sheepbot formula, but I'm trying to reason through this objectively.

First, our right to speech is granted (i.e., it is not presumed) by the Constitution, a document that has weathered the test of time and provided the foundation for the civilized modern world. Therefore, this speech is colored by the other contents of the Constitution, including the possibility of limiting "Such Speach as may be Found Hurtful to the Citizens of the Nation." I think this falls into the "hurtful" category pretty clearly.

I'm not going to argue against this. Our children are too precious to sacrifice them at the altar of free speech.

Re:not very troubling? (0, Flamebait)

DEBEDb (456706) | more than 12 years ago | (#3511092)

Our children are too precious to sacrifice them at the altar of free speech.

Marks: Rhetoric: 10. Substance: 0.

Re:not very troubling? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3511120)

Our children are too precious to sacrifice them at the altar of free speech.

Oh fuck you.

Your or my children are not too precious for a sacrifice at the altar of free speech.

Such Speach as may be Found Hurtful to the Citizens of the Nation.

Oh, you mean un-American activities?! Are you having a flashback to the fascist McCarthyite 50s by any chance?

Re:not very troubling? (3, Insightful)

jonnythan (79727) | more than 12 years ago | (#3511128)

Actually, you're wrong.

The rights ARE presumed, and then Congress is forbidden from abridging them.

Reread the Constitution ;)

Re:not very troubling? (4, Insightful)

kfg (145172) | more than 12 years ago | (#3511130)

The single largest problem with your argument is that the constitution itself * explicitly * states that rights are *not* granted but are presumed.

In fact, this is the single fundamental point at the center of all American law and politics and if you don't understand that you understand nothing of our legal society.

What's more, the constitution is document that not only reserves *all* rights to the people but exists almost entirely to define the *restrictions* on the action of the government, *not* the people!

KFG

Re:not very troubling? (2)

Kintanon (65528) | more than 12 years ago | (#3511196)

Oh I see... But adults are Ok to sacrifice since they are worthless globs of matter. As opposed to the precious and angelic children, right?
Children are easily replaceable, mostly useless, and quit annoying. Not to mention completely selfish by default. Don't go preaching about how 'precious' children are. I'm against underage pornography, but not because I give a flying fuck about the kids specifically. I don't like to see anyone hurt, be they child or adult. I'm also against exploitave adult pornography where the subject is not fully willing to participate. There should be no lesser or greater amount of civil rights extended to children than adults.

Kintanon

Re:not very troubling? (2)

symbolic (11752) | more than 12 years ago | (#3511229)

You don't have to sacrifice them. Training them so that they know what to do once they get there is a more effective option, since it's something they can use their entire lives.

Re:not very troubling? (3, Interesting)

RailGunner (554645) | more than 12 years ago | (#3511236)

First, our right to speech is granted (i.e., it is not presumed) by the Constitution

Actually, the Constitution does not grant anyone any rights, nor was it ever intended to. The U.S. Constitution was written to limit the ability of the Government to infringe on your rights. The concept of your rights is not debatable, you have certain unalienable rights.

Therefore, this speech is colored by the other contents of the Constitution, including the possibility of limiting "Such Speach as may be Found Hurtful to the Citizens of the Nation." I think this falls into the "hurtful" category pretty clearly. I'm not going to argue against this. Our children are too precious to sacrifice them at the altar of free speech.

I'm not going to argue that exposing kids to hardcore pr0n isn't harmful... it is. However, I am going to argue that it's dangerous ground when we try to "insulate" kids from the realities of the world via legislation. Where do you draw the line of what is acceptable? Is non-sexual nudity OK?

I feel the real issue of contention is this: It's not the Government's business what sites my children view. It's *MY* business, and as a parent it becomes my job to filter what my kids see on the Net, on TV, in games, at the movies, etc.

It doesn't take a village to raise a child, or government, it takes parents who care.

Re:not very troubling? (3, Interesting)

rossz (67331) | more than 12 years ago | (#3511258)

our right to speech is granted (i.e., it is not presumed) by the Constitution

You could not be more wrong. The Bill of Rights reiterates some of the rights you are born with. It does not give you those rights. Those rights can not be taken away. The Constitution did not even mention those rights origially. They were added after the fact because of great concern about government abuse (those guys were pretty damn smart, in my opinion, and correctly guessed the future).

Even if Congress tried to abolish the Constitution, we would still have those rights. We would also have a civil war.

Send 'em back to school (4, Informative)

CaptainSuperBoy (17170) | more than 12 years ago | (#3511069)

Send them back to school.. because they are obviously unable to read:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

Re:Send 'em back to school (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3511097)

Justice and fairness is a highly complex philosophical question. If laws could be fairly interpreted by common (and let's face it, stupid) people we would not need to have lawyers and judges around.

At best common justice is barbaric "eye for an eye" justice.

My favorite definition of anarchist: (2)

kfg (145172) | more than 12 years ago | (#3511141)

Someone who doesn't *need* a cop just to tell him what to do.

KFG

Re:My favorite definition of anarchist: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3511160)

Someone who doesn't *need* a cop just to tell him what to do.

Like the morons in the UK who browsed through the phonebook, saw a "pediatrician" and decided to go out and bash the bastard for having sex with kids. Too bad paedophiles do not advertise themselves in the phone book -- not even as pediatricians.

In other words, anarchists are idiots.

Re:My favorite definition of anarchist: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3511268)

One member of a group is an idiot. Therefore all members are idiots.

Can I borrow your logic for a few days? I have some witches to burn.

Re:Send 'em back to school (2, Interesting)

ekephart (256467) | more than 12 years ago | (#3511152)

Right, but freedom doesn't mean whatever, whenever, whoever. There is a reason why it is illegal to publish child pornography (yes I know that's not what the ruling was about). Same reason that a 13yr old boy can't walk into a beer store and by Playboy. The law states that parents' ability to police their children's activities online is becoming more and more difficult. It also says that as a result government has a responsilibity to help. It would be hard to stop Timmy from buying Playboy on the walk home from school, so there is a law to prevent him from doing so.

No doubt, as the articles say, Congress did have good intentions here. It was aiming to make it difficult for children to get pornography even without their parents around - just like the beer store scenario. The problem here is that in the beer store the person working there can use his/her judgement and stop the child. Even with preventative measures on the Internet it would be similar to porn locked up in a case of sorts, no person working at the beer store, and the child possessing sufficient skills to pick the lock. The beer store could have a camera or some other security device that monitors the case, but on the Internet how would this be implemented? Would there be a system where each user is tracked where they go? I don't think so.

Then what if the site is hosted outside the United States? Then, as one poster has laready said, what if the owner of the site vacations in Florida, will they be arrested?

This law is messy. This subject is messy, and I don't have an answer.

Re:Send 'em back to school (1)

steelrecluse (540234) | more than 12 years ago | (#3511180)

Freedom of speech is simply that, freedom of speech, it isn't the freedom to see pictures of a guy raping a goat.

I don't believe protecting porn is anything even remotely close to what the founding fathers intended.

Seems like people try to protect pretty much everything by attempting to rationalize it as some bizarre form of speech, but lets face it, speech is speech and porn is porn. The line might get fuzzy when dealing with artwork etc, but when you are just talking about Hustler, Playboy, or the hardcore porn found on the internet then it really should be a no brainer. I'm not at this particular time arguing that it should all be outlawed by default, but please stop insulting our intelligence and comparing that type of material to speech.

Of course this is not the typical geek party-line which wholeheartedly endorses porn so I don't expect to be well received :-)

Re:Send 'em back to school (1)

the_2nd_coming (444906) | more than 12 years ago | (#3511234)

speech is not just vocal. it is writen, pictoral, expresional, infact, speech is anything that conveys information, Ideas, or concepts.

Re:Send 'em back to school (2)

xtal (49134) | more than 12 years ago | (#3511260)

Don't like it, don't look at pr0n. Don't want your kids to look at pr0n, then watch your kids. What goes on between consenting adults and or a photographer is none of the state's business. If you need the state to babysit your children, then don't have them. You should be a big boy and be able to restrain yourself, and the GOD FORBID glance at a 18 year old's breast isn't going to kill you.

Some people might find the bible an incredibly sexist, violent, and inappropriate for minors piece of material, too. Same can be said for just about everything. You think it's wrong? Fine, but don't deny me the fun.

What's wrong with sex anyway? - it's part of the human experience, like it or not. Most cultures have figured that one out by now. I don't understand the problem. If I find something repulsive, I just don't look at it. Easy.

Re:Send 'em back to school (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3511296)

Today's lesson was how to fuck a man with the girl on top. He had Tina stand over him, and slowly lower her hairless, pink pussy down onto his upright cock. He guided the tip of his cock into the entrance of her tight little orifice, and then let her lower herself slowly down onto his cock until the pre-teen was stooped down over him with his erection fully engulfed by her bald cunt lips. He had her start bounding up and down, her feet on the bed on either side of him, and her hands on his chest for balance. Her warm tight hole milked his hard cock, and her nearly came again before stopping her. He then had the 11 year old stand over him again, only this time with her small round but facing him. Once again, he told his 11 year old lover to lower herself down onto his prick. This time he made her guide it in, wrapping her small hand around his slimy throbbing cock and rubbing the large head of his penis against her cunt lips until they spread to admit him. Again, she lowered herself onto the man and began to fuck him with her bouncing motions.

Sick, isn't it? Yet I would fight for the right of some sick asshole to publish that kind of material. Why? Because it is speech and, as disgusting it is, it must be allowed.

If you ban the author of the above text, you're effectively banning me from expressing my views on any other subject.

So please fuck off with your censorship.

Re:Send 'em back to school (2)

the_2nd_coming (444906) | more than 12 years ago | (#3511216)

ok, tell me where the speach was abridged?

Abridgment: The act of abridging or the state of being abridged

Abridged: To cut short; curtail

Regulate: To control or direct according to rule, principle, or law

sems to me that by telling internet porn sites that they will be held to community standards is a regulation, not an abridgment.

one thing they realy erks me though, is the miss interpretation of the reigion clause. saying a child can not pray in school or where the garb of his/her religion or even display symbols of your religion in school is a bastardization of the meaning of that clause.

COPA, DMCA and beyond (0, Flamebait)

October_30th (531777) | more than 12 years ago | (#3511073)

So now that an abominatoin like COPA is practically enforced by the highest legal authority in the land, what hope is there that DMCA and following draconian legislation will be ruled unconstitutional?

Re:COPA, DMCA and beyond (1)

Kierthos (225954) | more than 12 years ago | (#3511142)

It's not enforced. COPA is still being held in a lower court for review. The Supreme Court said that the "community standards" wasn't 'overly broad', and therefore not unconstitutional under that one criteria. It still may be found unconstitutional under other criteria, in the lower court to which the Supreme Court returned this ruling.

Next time, try a little thing I like to call "reading the article".

Kierthos

Re:COPA, DMCA and beyond (1)

October_30th (531777) | more than 12 years ago | (#3511259)

Next time, try a little thing I like to call "reading the article".

Why should I? Hardly anyone else does.

Who's Community Standards? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3511074)

Does this mean that if there exists an enclave of ultra liberal, free thinking perverts who firmly believe that everything should be accessible to everyone, that is alright worldwide?
I smell venue shopping suits to follow! Salem, MA, watch out, they will be after you for Witchcraft next...

Re:Who's Community Standards? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3511247)

my guess is that whomever you elect into office is going to imply his or her standards.

First Amendment (3, Insightful)

DarkZero (516460) | more than 12 years ago | (#3511093)

So the Supreme Court thinks that "free speech" means "free if the majority of the populace likes it or agrees with it" (community standards). Isn't the First Amendment sort of nullified by a reading like that? If you're not allowed to make a statement or produce an artwork (including photographs) that the general populace doesn't agree with, then your speech isn't really free. It's just allowed or banned under the will of the government, which is the sort of situation that the original constitutional amendments were meant to put a stop to.

Re:First Amendment (1)

Kierthos (225954) | more than 12 years ago | (#3511187)

Free speech has never meant freedom to say absolutely anything you want. Freedom of speech does not cover things like yelling "Fire!" in a crowded theater, you cannot use it as a defense in slander or libel cases (okay, you shouldn't be able to, but I'm sure it's been done), and you can't claim rights of Freedom of Speech for diseminating information that the federal government has sealed for security reasons.

Now, I'm not arguing that all sites must meet the standards of each and every community (unless, of course, some community out there decides to ban all that Harry Potter junk), merely pointing out that "free speech" is not absolute.

BTW, it isn't free either.

Kierthos

Re:First Amendment (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3511205)

The problem with your argument is that any law is itself a reflection of community standards. The only reason we don't allow murder or rape is because the majority of the community doesn't want them.

Re:First Amendment (4, Informative)

Stonehand (71085) | more than 12 years ago | (#3511208)

If you actually read the law, you'll notice that it uses a Miller-style test for determining "harmful to minors", which requires that a work "taken as a whole lacks serious literary, artistic, political or scientific value for minors".

Hence, picture of the nude Statue of David -- fine. Print of Venus de Milo: fine. Bestiality pictures on basketballs inside a fishtank: hmmm, no.

Re:First Amendment (1, Flamebait)

goldspider (445116) | more than 12 years ago | (#3511244)

How bout I go down the street and express myself with a rifle and a full clip? I don't like people, so I'm going to express that by shooting some at random. Are you going to defend my free speech? If you are consistent, you will, regardless of whether or not murder, like child porn, is ILLEGAL.

Re:First Amendment (1)

the_2nd_coming (444906) | more than 12 years ago | (#3511255)

no, it means that this is a regulation, not an abridgment. will it keep adults from seeing this stuff? no, will it help prevent children yes. just as it helps to prevent children from buying playboy at the beer store on the corner.

Re:First Amendment (2)

peddrenth (575761) | more than 12 years ago | (#3511279)

"free speech" means "free if the majority of the populace likes it or agrees with it"

and more importantly, is video footage of police brutality considered "harmful to minors"?

Is this just an attempt to get the whitehouse.com domain back?

Re:First Amendment (2)

zpengo (99887) | more than 12 years ago | (#3511307)

So the Supreme Court thinks that "free speech" means "free if the majority of the populace likes it or agrees with it" (community standards). Isn't the First Amendment sort of nullified by a reading like that? If you're not allowed to make a statement or produce an artwork (including photographs) that the general populace doesn't agree with, then your speech isn't really free. It's just allowed or banned under the will of the government, which is the sort of situation that the original constitutional amendments were meant to put a stop to.

Dimwit, it doesn't mean that they agree with what you're saying, it means that each community gets to decide for themselves what is legal and what's not, instead of having Big Brother force it down their throats. The liberals get to be liberals, and the conservatives can be conservatives. If you disagree with the standards of the community in which you leave, you're free to move, but don't expect the government to create laws to pamper your beliefs at the expense of others'.

That's what cracks me up about liberals. You want to defend people's rights, but you want to do it by having one massive tyrannical government declare what each and every place must do, regardless of the individual character of that town, city, or area. What kind of screwed up thought processes lead to those conclusions?

So where do we find this "community"... (5, Insightful)

Godeke (32895) | more than 12 years ago | (#3511104)

It's interesting to see how poorly understood the Internet is to the justices. The terminology is the same as if they were using "local community standards" to determine if a strip club should be allowed. That works when you are talking about a place with physical presence, but are we now going to apply the "local community standards" of some enclave of rich religious puritans to every internet user? I'm a member of a church who's "community standards" would reject most PG-13 movies (and in fact has specially edited versions of popular movies made to prevent the members from fleeing to R rated movies and "corrupting" themselves).

Let's hope that subjecting those who did not agree to a strict "community standard" themselves to the harshest that can be found turns this around...

Re:So where do we find this "community"... (3, Funny)

shren (134692) | more than 12 years ago | (#3511161)

Ick. Which church?

How many seconds were left in The Matrix?

Re:So where do we find this "community"... (1)

ekephart (256467) | more than 12 years ago | (#3511203)

That's very interesting about those movies. Are they edited based on explicit content or on, say, "artistic intent or meaning"? I wonder how many movies are even more horrible without all that distracting eye-candy and bloodlust. :)

Re:So where do we find this "community"... (2)

Seth Finkelstein (90154) | more than 12 years ago | (#3511246)

t's interesting to see how poorly understood the Internet is to the justices.

I don't think the problem is that they didn't understand. I think the problem is that they didn't care:

While JUSTICE KENNEDY and JUSTICE STEVENS question the applicability of this Courtís community standards jurisprudence to the Internet, we do not believe that the medium's "unique characteristics" justify adopting a different approach than that set forth in Hamling and Sable. ... If a publisher chooses to send its material into a particular community, this Courtís jurisprudence teaches that it is the publisherís responsibility to abide by that community's standards. The publisher's burden does not change simply because it decides to distribute its material to every com- munity in the Nation. See Sable, supra, at 125n126. Nor does it change because the publisher may wish to speak only to those in a "community where avant garde culture is the norm," post, at 6 (KENNEDY, J., concurring in judgment), but nonetheless utilizes a medium that transmits its speech from coast to coast. If a publisher wishes for its material to be judged only by the standards of particular communities, then it need only take the simple step of utilizing a medium that enables it to target the release of its material into those communities.

Sig: What Happened To The Censorware Project (censorware.org) [sethf.com]

Re:So where do we find this "community"... (1)

peddrenth (575761) | more than 12 years ago | (#3511295)

"but are we now going to apply the "local community standards" ... to every internet user?"

Well, Slashdot is one of the largest communities on the internet, so I guess the "local community test" will resolve to "more pr0n, faster!"

With Yahoo clubs and groups the second largest community, I hardly think they're gonna come out against posting pr0n on the internet either (regular users may see a hint why)

Tricky call... (1, Offtopic)

rhadamanthus (200665) | more than 12 years ago | (#3511107)

I think that the judge's here (regardless of you personal opinion on censorship) are facing a rather tough challenge. The majority of people do NOT support child-porn, no matter what the circumstance (thankfully). However, it is not really within the realm of judges, IMO, to decide what constitutes offensive material.


The crux of the problem lies in just how much "censorship" they should support, while at the same time retaining some amount of control over what is morally acceptable. If they censor too much, they set a dangerous precedent which future generations of pro-censorship "moralists" may use as a weapon. If they don't support it at all, you leave some portions of the populace (children, in this case) defenseless against a heinous and perturbing crime. Worse, because of its ambiguous nature, any substance akin to child-porn is under fire. Not only must the judges weigh in the protection of children and censorship issues, they must ensure that no solution is too extreme.


My point? This is a tough call, so one should not rant to vigourously against the judges. I am anti-censorship but also anti-childporn...where does the line get drawn?
----------rhad

Re:Tricky call... (1)

Xannor (174984) | more than 12 years ago | (#3511177)

Well, unfortunalty, the line gets drawn at the anti-censorship. No matter how vile, immoral, or socially depraved an act is if you think it is bad and try to stop it that is censorship. censorship is not really about right or wrong, but forcing your moral values on others. Now you do not have to be against morality ot be anti-censorship, but you do have to be willing to let others forgo your moral values and adhere to their own. Otherwise you should claim you are against censorship that does not go against your own morals.

Damn, sometimes I just get carried away.

Re:Tricky call... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3511223)

>The majority of people do NOT support child-porn

Of course, they haven't seen any such thing,
probably not even if they were looking for it.

Re:Tricky call... (1)

tricorn (199664) | more than 12 years ago | (#3511228)

Child porn isn't an issue. It is illegal, regardless of whether it is on the Internet or elsewhere. Community standards have no say in whether child porn is allowed. All the judges have said is that a statute can refer to "community standards" to decide what is allowable for kids to access. What it doesn't sound like they did is define what "community" means in the context of material made available on the Internet. Until a lower court makes that decision (or makes a decision that a particular interpretation of the government is either right or wrong), the Supreme Court isn't going to say anything else about it.

you're so very dumb (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3511243)

This is not about kiddy porn... it is about regular porn that kids *might* see.

First AOTC cant save the putrid pile of shit PM (-1)

IAgreeWithThisPost (550896) | more than 12 years ago | (#3511111)

Even Lucas says it sucked.

The only way he can save the new trilogy is to RESHOOT the first one.

Why not? The money is there. People will STILL flock to see a remake(maybe more), as long as it's got Star Wars engraved in the title.

Get a kid who can act. Replace jar jar and the gunguns with a species with some type of vocal skill(better yet, have them speak a foreign tongue and subtitle it). Jar jar isnt as annoying as the fat ass leader of the gunguns.

come up with a little more plot than "they're attacking naboo with robots!"

Everyone says AOTC is good. Let's say Ep III is good too. Will anyone watch the entire series? Hell no, I'm starting at 2-6. I can't even sit through 1. It's painfully bad.

I sure am glad (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3511123)

I just love living in a country run by a bunch of uptight crybaby Christians, don't you? Child pornography is always going to be online. Passing laws against it and throwing people who happen to have a few cached or saved images into prison helps NOTHING.

While we're at it, let's throw some more drug users in there too!

Re:I sure am glad (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3511168)

Well crap! You are RIGHT! Why should we punish them since they will always be out there? That is so stupid. Hell, lets not go after drug users or sellers either cause they are always out there. Hey, lets not go after people who speed because everyone speeds. Also, no need to fine jay-walkers since everyone jay-walks every-so-often, and no need to give parking tickets because sometimes you *have* to park in a fire-lane to get in and out of the store in a short amount of time. Since blocking a fire-lane is okay now, why not allow movie theaters to block their fire exits with cool consession stands since movie theaters rarely burn down. Ya know what else, people are constantly sneaking into the movie theaters so why not just allow them too under this same logic. Of course, since people can sneak into the theater for free, why not any other pay-to-enter venue. Shit, if you dont pay to enter anymore, why not just allow everyone to take what they want when they want - people now do it all the time but its illegal. Well, its because of those damn uptight crybaby Christians probably, since everything is their fault - so now its legal to take whatever. You know what, if I can take your good - why can I not take your life? Those fucking Christians call it murder and make it illegal - but they do it all the time, but they call them "casualties of war" when we know they are women and children, so its partially legal to them -- why not just make it 100% legal to kill anyone. Hell, people are always going to be killing other people - passing laws against it and throwing people who happen to have killed a few people into prison helps NOTHING!

While we're at it, let's throw some more rapists free too!

Ours no more. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3511124)

I guess what most of these issues come down to is something I keep having a hard time with.
The internet isn't our little playground anymore, and we can't continue to use it like we have been.

I guess we really need to give up, and realize that Ashcroft and his men really do run things now. The internet has become not a tool of geeks, a place with Code rules all, but a corporate vehicle, to be regulated, and policied by whatever is popular at the moment, by whomever is in power, and we can't do a damn thing about it. There just aren't enough of us.

The internet is a victim of it's own success. The more people who use it without understanding how and why it works, the less it will be useful to those of us who liked having out own place to play.

We've already lost this fight. Viva La Freenet [freenetproject.org] !

Misleading headline... big suprise (3, Interesting)

_LORAX_ (4790) | more than 12 years ago | (#3511145)


Held:COPAs reliance on community standards to identify what material is harmful to minors does not by itself render the statute substantially overbroad for First Amendment purposes. The Court, however, expresses no view as to whether COPA suffers from substantial overbreadth for reasons other than its use of community standards, whether the statute is unconstitutionally vague, or whether the statute survives strict scrutiny. Prudence dictates allowing the Third Circuit to first examine these difficult issues. Because petitioner did not ask to have the preliminary injunction vacated, and because this Court could not do so without addressing matters the Third Circuit has yet to consider, the Government remains enjoined from enforcing COPA absent further action by the lower courts. P. 22.


Basicly the supreme court ruled against the ACLU's argument that the "community standards" were unconstitutional, but left the rest up to the lower coutrs to decide. This may bounce back to the supreme court at a later date, but for now it's been repremanded back to the federal circuit.

The injunction is still in place which means that the law cannot be enforced currently.

Why it's a slippery slope (4, Informative)

b.foster (543648) | more than 12 years ago | (#3511146)

Readers of the Congressional Register will recognize the following future threats to free speech and free commerce online, which had been held up in committee until the Supreme Court ruled on the COPA:
  • H.R. 4239, which makes it a felony to distribute any kind of sexually explicit material to a user who does not register with a government-sanctioned age verification service (like AdultCheck).
  • H.R. 4551, which outlaws the creation and distribution of "electronic burglary devices" such as system cracking scripts and port scanners.
  • H.R. 4608, which taxes all sales of goods over the internet that originate overseas.
  • H.R. 4277, which requires all ISPs to keep 6 months of records of all user activity and give law enforcement access to the records without a court order.
The list goes on. Naturally most of these will never become law, but statistically at least a few are likely to pass and make the internet that much more repressive. It's high time to vote Libertarian [lp.org] and try to preserve the few remaining liberties we actually have in this country.

Re:Why it's a slippery slope (1)

ekephart (256467) | more than 12 years ago | (#3511242)

Hell yeah, vote Libertarian. In principle it makes sense at least. However one could argue that a "good" Libertarian government (which wouldn't be much of one) is similar to the purest form of democracy, a unanimous direct one. All the laws that are made are basically what everyone would have done anyway. Problem is no one is sensible and reasonable all the time. By God, if I wanna get drunk and high and shoot my .38 into the air I damn well better be able to. Anyone who thinks otherwise is itchin fer a fight.

Mod : Troll, Offtopic, Flaimbait

Re:Why it's a slippery slope (2)

wannabe (90895) | more than 12 years ago | (#3511289)

Although it is high time to vote Libertarian, I am of the firm belief that it is time for people to stand up and ask WTF?

All of the above bills have the prefix HR meaning House of Representatives (for those not in the know). This means that a Representative sponsored them. This is not a Senator of whom there are 2 in every state.

What needs to be done is to call what ever individual has been elected in your district and arrange a meeting about this. When they decide to marginalize you, organize the community. Run against them. Make them realize, as well as all the others, that the time to sell out our liberty is over and it will not stand.

Chilling effect (5, Insightful)

markwelch (553433) | more than 12 years ago | (#3511153)

It was disappointing that the Court did not rule on what "community" can be used to measure the community standards.

In particular, we know that there have been strategic efforts to prosecute purveyors of "adult" materials in the "least tolerant" communities.

Since it is technically impossible to know what community a web visitor is in (thanks to AOL and other proxy servers), the end result is simple: nobody can offer ANY "adult" materials to anyone in the world, unless those materials are acceptable under the community standards of the most conservative community in the United States.

The real goal, of course, is not to prosecute violations of this law -- it is to create a system that strongly deters creation or distribution of ANY adult content online. By imposing an impossible standard to prevent access by minors, the law effectively closes off access to everyone.

It would be interesting to see an analysis of the current minimum costs associated with starting an adult business, even ignoring the cost of legal advice and any costs associated with harassment by local law enforcement. I suspect the costs are quite high, especially for a firm producing original content. The bottom line, in my view, is that our government is imposing the moral views of a few to strongly discourage and often prevent access to adult materials wanted by the majority.

Re:Chilling effect (2)

Seth Finkelstein (90154) | more than 12 years ago | (#3511302)

The real goal, of course, is not to prosecute violations of this law -- it is to create a system that strongly deters creation or distribution of ANY adult content online. By imposing an impossible standard to prevent access by minors, the law effectively closes off access to everyone.

This is often said. But both the CDA and this decision are clear that, paradoxically, outright commercial pornographers have affirmative defenses in the law. It's one of the ironies of this whole debate. Out-and-out professional sex sites are SAFE FROM THE LAW, because they use credit cards. It's the amateurs, the people who give it away to everyone, who are subject to prosecution:

Like the CDA, COPA also provides affirmative defenses to those subject to prosecution under the statute. An individual may qualify for a defense if he, 'in good faith, has restricted access by minors to material that is harmful to minors: (A) by requiring the use of a credit card, debit account, adult access code, or adult personal identification number; (B) by accepting a digital certificate that verifies age; or (C) by any other reasonable measures that are feasible under available technology.'

Sig: What Happened To The Censorware Project (censorware.org) [sethf.com]

Why is everyone talking about child porn? (3, Informative)

kfg (145172) | more than 12 years ago | (#3511191)

The COPA has nothing to do with child porn. It restricts *adult* material that *may* be viewed by a minor. In other words, " dirty pictures."

By applying " community standards" bikini pinups could be all that is needed to invoke prosecution under COPA.

It's the disturbing sort of law that makes it illegal to distribute the sort of material it's perfectly legal for the intended recipient to possess, even under the standards of the supposed "community."

KFG

Re:Why is everyone talking about child porn? (2)

Stonehand (71085) | more than 12 years ago | (#3511272)

Not distribute -- sell. COPA specifically applies to communication for commercial purposes. Posting free porn, for instance, wouldn't fall under COPA unless it's something like advertising/teasers for a pay service, or otherwise part of a for-profit enterprise like getting banner clicks.

Also, it's an affirmative defense if the seller, in good faith, restricts access to minors by, say, credit card age verification, or the various adult-checking services. If the minor stole an adult's credit card and uses it to pass the check, the vendor doesn't get nailed for a COPA violation as long as it's still operating in good faith.

Dissenting Opinion (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3511201)

Steven's dissent is interesing, he seems to believe that the majority was wrong in saying that community standards don't make the staute overbroad, which is what the Court of Appeals said.

elections and judges (3, Funny)

ghostlibrary (450718) | more than 12 years ago | (#3511212)

So how do we contribute to Judge Steven's election campaign, and get rid of the other 8?

Oh, wait, they're appointed. Rats. His point on how this means sites would have to cater to the least permissive denominator is darn insightful.

Clearly, in most cases there's going to be a lag between internet-saavy judges and reality, even moreso with politicians (as politicians cycle through quicker than high-level justices).

Freedom of Speech: 0 Censors: 1 (1, Troll)

Anomolous Cow Herd (457746) | more than 12 years ago | (#3511282)

This ruling is complete and utter bullshit. I can't believe that a so-called "strict constructionist" court would allow such a blatant trampling of our rights to free speech.

I'm about to make a big admission here: I work in the porn industry. I have a wife and 2 children that I have to feed and provide for for the next dozen years. These laws are totally misguided and are simply based on the will of a Christian fundamentalist minority that controlls Congress and wants, no, needs to see me out of a job and my family starve. This is just simply wrong, not to mention bad science.

Bad science how, you ask? Well, take my family for example. I can remember several occaisions where I have caught my 7-year-old daughter or my 11-year-old son watching some of the pornographic videos we have laying around the house, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with them! They were enjoying it! The only reason the governement passes these laws is because they want to keep us from expanding our market to children, for some misguided moralistic crusade. I envision a day when we will be able to distribute our videos at a special low rate on the playgrounds of America. And frankly, my kids' future college educations ain't getting any cheaper.

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