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Comment Re:No. Not defending this one. (Score 1) 933

Dude. He's buying lolicon doujins, not Nabokov. This isn't art and literature -- it's porn.

So the age old debate of how to tell art from porn has been solved? Of course not (and the terms are not mutually exclusive).

Well, two problem here. In fact, most anime characters are teens under 18. Age of consent in Japan is 14, which lets them get away with having high schoolers in sexual situations. Anime protagonists that are of age in America are frankly the minority, weird censorship laws on pubic hair aside.

What, did you check their birth certificates? How exactly do you claim to know the ages of fictional images?

Oh, just read up on Miller and shut up with the hysterics.

"Shut up, shut up" - that's all you censorship people know, isn't it? Why don't you shut up - I don't see any artistic or literary merit in what you post, so let's say no more posts from you, or else you get to spend time in prison.

Of course, it's probably true that images in museums wouldn't be affected, but then it's even more ridiculous if the same images become illegal when found on somebody's hard drive. A selectively enforced law is a bad law. And don't think that laws are never used in stupid ways - from images in art galleries, to 30 year old album covers on online encyclopedias.

The only hysterics here are from people who think cartoons are anything to with child porn.

Comment Re:Indistinguishable. (Score 1) 933

but the fact that real photographs may be "turned into" non-realistic images that are indistinguishable from drawn cartoons.

Note that that's also already possible. I'd have no objection to criminalising images derived from abuse (as is the case in the UK, for example). It might be useful to have some way to track which images were derived from abuse, but either way, there is no justification for criminalising all images of non-realistic images.

I also find it rather odd that someone would ever want to do this - wouldn't it be far easier to just create the cartoon without abusing children? I'd be curious to see evidence on how much this ever happens - it may well be a myth created to help support new laws on non-realistic images (the UK Government recently made these claims).

Also I would be careful of the argument that child abuse images are converted into other things - where will it end? Supposing we hear stories that pedophiles are photoshopping images of child abuse to look like adults - shall we criminalise adult porn, or do we need to track which adult porn images came from adults and which were photoshopped from children? Supposing pedophiles are photoshopping images of child abuse to look like non-pornographic images of children - do we need to do the same for all images of children now? Or perhaps all images full stop, as they might have been converted from a child abuse image?

but I wonder how many people are looking to outlaw cartoon images simply because they cannot be distinguished from real images which have been doctored to look like cartoons, thus painting the law with broad strokes?

Indeed, some such as the UK Government are. Though it is a pretty poor argument as I say above, especially with little evidence presented of how much this actually happens. I am also suspicious if this is really the true reason, as the proposed law has no defence for images that can be proven to not come from actual abuse (see my comment here - people who make arguments of "we have to criminalise it all, just in case it might be abusive" typically are not even willing to consider the burden of proof being on the defendant). I suspect that they simply want to criminalise images they find "disgusting" (as was the case with the recent law criminalising possession of so-called "extreme" adult porn), and simply stir up claims of pedophiles converting images of abuse to cartoons in order to lend support (even though the UK has already criminalised possession of non-realistic images that were derived from abusive images...)

Comment Re:More complex dilemma hiding behind this (Score 1) 933

In ten or twenty years, it will be a very real question where the burden of proof is to lie: Should the prosecution have to prove child abuse (as criminal law normally demands)? Or should owners or producers of such images have to prove it is an artificially rendered image (on the side of caution)? Or should the content, real or artificial, be banned completely because, well, "ew, you sicko"?

Unfortunately, the only debate that people pushing these laws are concerned with is on the last of those questions.

There might be an argument to say that with realistic images, the burden of it being fake is on the defendant. But typically, laws on fake child porn do not even allow such a defence! Sure, supporters of the law will claim the difficulty of proving guilt as a reason, but they'll never allow such a defence in law, despite the fact that such a law would already be biased against the defendant.

And then with laws on non-realistic images, as in this case, the question of it involving actual children is irrelevant - that clearly isn't the case.

Note, there's no reason to wait ten or twenty years. It's been possible to construct realistic faked images for years - just a simple copy and paste, for example, although Photoshop allows for more advanced methods.

What will likely be more of an issue is people role-playing sexual acts in online games, where one of them uses a model that might appear under 18. But given how doing this in Second Life with non-realistic graphics is already causing people to call for criminalisation on non-realistic images (e.g., in the UK: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2006/12/13/pedo_art_illegal/ , http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1022387/Cartoon-style-child-sex-abuse-images-banned-MPs-close-paedophile-loophole.html ), I think it's clear their concern is not the abuse of children.

Don't get me wrong, freedom of expression is important. But so is the safety of children. This is not just some nanny-state legislature about whether the word "fuck" can be said in public.

A false dichotomy. How on earth does anything you have said relate to non-realistic images that clearly did not involve actual children?

Comment Re:What about Kes? (Score 1) 933

Indeed. In response to the UK's "consulation" on criminalising possession non-realistic sexual images of under-18s, I raised the issue of anal sex with the Rice Krispie Elf "Crackle", and asked them if the Government was planning to introduce an age of consent for elves and other non-existent creatures... (Needless to say, the Government's consultation response document doesn't answer this question - it's full steam ahead with the legislation, ignoring the many flaws and problems pointed out to them.)

Comment Re:Indistinguishable. (Score 1) 933

The underlying problem that is worrying many, I believe, is that as technology advances it will become increasingly difficult to distinguish between real photographs and cartoons. They're be indistinguishable.

I think most people would say that a cartoon, by definition, isn't realistic.

Presumably you meant to say that eventually technology will allow for realistic fake images to be created? But that's already the case. And many countries (such as the UK) brought in laws to treat realistic fake images as equivalent to child porn.

I think such laws are still mad - but that's off-topic here. The issue here is non-realistic images of child porn. Saying that non-realistic images will one day become realistic is non-sensical - a non-realistic image isn't realistic by definition. If it was realistic, then it would be caught by the laws on realistic images, and there's still no need for a law on non-realistic images.

Comment Re:She is a dumbass (Score 2, Insightful) 315

Read the post I replied to. The OP didn't say the fine was justified because it was against the law, he said it was justified because of a statement made by the defendant:

"The reason why she got slammed with such high levels for each instance of infringement is because she tried to make the jurors feel stupid"

If you don't believe the law is ethical, there are proper channels to go through in order to change it.

That's irrelevant - that doesn't mean that such people should be fined excessively more for what they believe. If your point is to simply say that the law allows for such vast fines, then yes, we know what the law says, and no one is disagreeing with that point - that's a straw man.

Comment Yes really (Score 1) 898

A 20 year old Amiga 500 could do a GUI with it being fully responsive, and the massive advancement in graphics hardware, even when not fully utilising the GPU, is still more than enough to handle the increase in screen resolution since then.

Yes, a GPU can use more tricks that Aero might use. But you have not provided any evidence that these make the slightest bit of difference in Vista. You're like the people who claim things would be done faster in assembler even before actually writing it. Things only make a difference in performance if it's a bottleneck, and the only way to find out is to test it.

Even when fully using the GPU, you still have lots of information travelling across to the graphics card, as the CPU still does a lot, which causes the screen to change, not to mention software that still uses the CPU to draw graphics or otherwise affect the appearance of the application.

I'm also not sure you understand how graphics cards work. It's been years since the CPU had to be used to laboriously draw every pixel - even on the Amiga, there were specialised chips to quickly draw blocks of memory. What's changed with the GPU is that the graphics processor is now a fully fledged processor (i.e., turing complete, and hence can run any program on it).

Comment Re:Free speech (Score 1) 377

Indeed they did - covering simple possession of even private material. The law comes into force January 26.

The law I saw was nebulous enough that Hitchcock gets banned just as quickly as BDSM porn.

One ridiculous thing is that the Hitchcock film itself would be exempt simply because BBFC material is exempt from the law (which means the Government must fear that the law would otherwise criminalise BBFC material - despite their insistence that it only covers material already illegal to publish). But then another clause of the Act says that screenshots from legal films are not exempt.

Comment Re:Campaign Against Free Speech (Score 1) 377

What we object to, and what these proposals are about, is people posting graphic depictions of acts in which they are physically hurting or even killing real people.

I'm more concerned with people being physically hurt and killed.

Rape and murder are not protected speech.

They're not speech at all.

You're basically confusing acts, with images of acts. I don't support bank robberies, but should we implement some great new censorship system to block images of bank robberies?

Even if we don't care about those beheading images, do you seriously think that the rating systems will be purely used for those few images? Supporters of censorship will make claims about the most serious content that may exist, such as beheadings or alleged Nazi content, but the proposed laws are never restricted to those most serious items.

Comment Re:Noooo (Score 3, Interesting) 377

Don't worry; he's talking out of his arse, he hasn't a cat in hell's chance of getting a Bill through parliament to implement this spatchcock guff. We have this thing called the Human Rights Act... and if they repeal that, there's the European Court.

The problem is that even if a law is incompatible with the ECHR, there's nothing stopping the Government passing the law, and you've then got to wait until someone pays the large amount of legal fees to take this to the european courts. To pass the law, the Government just has to claim that the law is necessary for the "protection of morals". They've already done this to pass a law that criminalises even possession of images of adults they don't want people to see, so I fear that classification of websites could come just as easily, if that's what they wanted.

You may be right - sometimes these laws are just a bit of self-publicity that the Government have no plans in doing. But occasionally a law gets passed, no matter how draconian and ridiculous and unlikely it might have seemed.

Comment Re:Noooo (Score 5, Informative) 377

The BBFC's job is classification, not censorship. It has no power to ban material or demand cuts in any material.

As of the Video Recordings Act 1984, video can only be legally sold or hired if it has been classified. (Consider the recent case of Manhunt 2 as an example.)

Indeed, the BBFC's name changed from "censors" to "classification" at the same time that the Act changed their job from that of classification to censorship. As summed up in a House of Lords debate:

"On Report, I spoke about the Video Recordings Act 1984. I did not repeat one of the juiciest pieces about it. Until that time, we had a British Board of Film Censors, which was not a censorship board. It classified films, and if it refused to classify them, they could still be shown with the permission of local authorities. The Video Recordings Act 1984 changed the board from being a classification board to being a censorship board because if a video recording was not approved by the board, it could not be shown at all. From being a classification board, it became a censorship board, but its name changed from being a censorship board to a classification board. George Orwell would have been proud."

but certification is only withheld where it's considered the material in question would breach the criminal law, usually the Obscene Publications Act.

That's one reason, but the class of material they will refuse to classify is slightly broader than that (e.g., see http://www.bbfc.co.uk/classification/c_R18.php ).

Now having said that, I agree with the main point of your post in that the problem is with the laws rather than the BBFC - in this case, the Video Recordings Act 1984, and the Obscene Publications Act (not to mention a new law that as of January 26 will criminalise possession of adult images considered "extreme" by the Government).

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