�
You are here: Home » Adult Webmaster News » Op-Ed: 'Obscenity Law Explained'...By...
Select year   and month 
 
August 24, 2016

Op-Ed: 'Obscenity Law Explained'...By An Ignoramus

CYBERSPACE—The National Center On Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE) has a reputation for hardly ever getting anything right when it comes to adult entertainment, and specifically pornography—and their latest "PornHarms" YouTube video, starring apparent non-attorney Dani Pinter, continues that stirring record on non-accomplishment. The video, which can be found on YouTube here, begins with Pinter noting, "People ask us all the time, 'Is pornography protected by the First Amendment?'" Her response: "This is a tough question. On a broad and general scale, yes, like any speech is presumptively protected because 'pornography' is not a legal term and it can mean a lot of different things to a lot of different people." Of course, if she stopped there, no one would fault her—but of course, she had to continue: "But what's not protected is 'obscene pornography.' So the First Amendment protects our freedom of speech, exchange of ideas, but there's some large categories of speech that are completely unprotected and that we wouldn't want to be protected. For example, child pornography, and also maybe, you know, more common but less obvious is like blackmail and defamation, criminal speech. We understand these things are not protected by the First Amendment, and so too, obscenity is not protected by the First Amendment." Hmmm... is that so? Let's look: The First Amendment reads, in pertinent part, "Congress shall make no law ... abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press." Not only is the word "pornography" not found in there as some sort to exemption from free speech, neither is "blackmail" or "defamation." Now, while we might all (or most of us) agree that blackmail and defamation should be crimes, the plain wording of the Constitution doesn't allow it. And there are plenty of people who think pornography in all its many forms should also be illegal, but the First Amendment doesn't allow that either. That said, the U.S. Supreme Court, in violation of the Constitution, has ruled that some types of speech are illegal, and there's not a lot average citizens can do about that—except perhaps to move their congressional representatives to amend the Constitution further to specify what forms of speech should be considered illegal, but that's not likely to happen anytime soon. But just because what Pinter says is in line with what the Supreme Court has ruled doesn't make it constitutionally correct. "But what is obscenity?" Pinter continues. "Sometimes this is a really tough question, as it has to be determined by a jury on a case by case basis. But, we do have a body of case law at this point that sort of forms what we know to be the threshold of obscenity. So we know certain things are definitely obscene, so anything that goes above that is obscene in a way that at least a prosecutor and law enforcement can go investigate it and bring action against that." While it's unclear what Pinter means by "goes above that," how many will note that she's contradicting what she earlier said about obscenity having "to be determined by a jury on a case by case basis"? Pinter continues, "So what the court has said—and the court also—the Supreme Court has also outlined some specific instances of things that are obscene; certain actions, certain sexual especially explicit actions that when depicted on-screen are obscene." Again, what happened to the "determined by a jury on a case by case basis"? Now, she's correct to the extent that the courts have decided that any work that depicts actual children engaging in actual sexually explicit activity is obscene under the child porn laws, and any sexually explicit conduct with a non-human (aka bestiality) is obscene, but pretty much everything beyond that ("above that"?) still has to go before a jury before it can be deemed "obscene." "So all of this pretty much sums up what hardcore pornography is today. When we say 'hardcore pornography,' we know that that is synonymous with 'obscenity'," Pinter claims—and of course, she is wrong, wrong WRONG! Leaving "softcore pornography" aside for a moment, court after court and jury after jury have found that except in certain rare instances, EVERYTHING released by the adult entertainment industry is First Amendment-protected, and if Pinter were actually an attorney, she should know that. Nonetheless, she soldiers on: "So that means—what that practically means today is that all of the hardcore pornography that is being, you know, streamed all over the internet is most likely illegal, and at the very least could definitely be brought—cases could be brought by the Department of Justice." Yeah, they definitely could—if the Department of Justice wants another string of acquittals like it saw throughout the '00s with cases like Five Star Video in Phoenix and Evil Angel in D.C., though it did manage to convict Max Hardcore in Tampa, Ira Isaacs in L.A., and obtain guilty pleas from Rob Black, Lizzie Borden and disabled blogger Karen Fletcher in Pennsylvania. "Also, all the hardcore pornography that is advertised freely on our on-demand pay-per-view and in our hotels is also obscene," she concludes, equally incorrectly, "so we definitely urge the DOJ to do its job. If they would merely bring these cases, they would be able to curb this really harmful content and those who are exploited by it." Seems to us that the only people being "exploited" are the suckers that are contributing to NCOSE's campaign to deprive all Americans of their sexual speech rights! Pictured: Dani Pinter.

 
�
�
�
home | register | log in | add URL | add premium URL | forums | news | advertising | contact | sitemap
copyright © 1998 - 2009 Adult Webmasters Association. All rights reserved.