Welcome to the website of the Digital Media Law Project. The DMLP was a project of the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society from 2007 to 2014. Due to popular demand the Berkman Klein Center is keeping the website online, but please note that the website and its contents are no longer being updated. Please check any information you find here for accuracy and completeness.
I'm the first to admit that Phillip Greaves is not the most sympathetic figure in America. Greaves wrote "The Pedophile's Guide," which was originally for sale on Amazon.com before the online retailer bowed to public pressure and pulled the book from its online shelves.
I don't necessarily have a problem with that.
But, I have a big problem with today's developments. The Orlando Sentinel reports that Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd had Mr. Greaves arrested in Pueblo, Colorado on obscenity charges.
Despite the "real crime" in his jurisdiction, Judd instructed his detectives to request an autographed copy of the book. Mr. Greaves obliged and Judd used that as his justification for having Greaves indicted on obscenity charges in his little caliphate of inbred-methistan.
Greaves told ABC News last month he wasn't trying to promote pedophilia and was not himself a pedophile: "I'm not saying I want them around children, I'm saying if they're there, that's how I want them to [behave]." (source)
It is a good thing to want to protect children from the vulgarity of the world. Accordingly, states have adopted prohibitions on exhibiting or selling harmful material to minors. These laws make sense, in that we usually don’t want sex shops selling pornography to kids. But occasionally the legislature goes a bit insane and decides that, in order to fully protect the children, we need to criminalize or block off whole sections of the Internet.
An Indian NGO filed a petition before the Bombay High Court seeking a blanket prohibition on websites that display any "material pertaining to sex." The justification for the proposed ban was that this material "is harmful to the youth of this country in their formative years." (Op. at 1).
Jeffrey A. Kilbride and James Robert Schaffer are spammers. They sent millions of unsolicited e-mails advertising pornographic web sites, and were paid a fee whenever a recipient of their e-mails purchased a subscription to one of the sites, earning a total of $1.1 million.
Today, a federal district court in South Carolina issued a consent order temporarily restraining South Carolina Attorney General Henry McMaster from "initiating or pursuing any prosecution against craigslist or its officers and employees in relation to content posted by third parties on craigslist's website." The order specifies that it is issued "by agreement of the parties.&qu
In the latest case involving the absurd and unconstitutional obscenity statutes, the Fourth Circuit has upheld a conviction of a man for mere private possession of allegedly obscene material. See United States v. Whorley, __F.3d__ (4th Cir. 2008). While the facts may not fit any conduct in which you might engage, the logic could very well ensnare you one day.
We are looking for contributing authors with expertise in media law, intellectual property, First Amendment, and other related fields to join us as guest bloggers. If you are interested, please contact us for more details.