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Fandom's not above the law - moonspinner
Fandom's not above the law
I'm so sick and tired of people who think that it's because it's *just* fan fiction or art, we can all forget to act like decent human beings. Yeah, I'm thinking about recent personal events but I'm also thinking about the recently deleted journals on LJ.

The way I see it, if you express yourself by drawing minors engaging in sexual activity, you're lucky if you get off with only a deleted blog. A jail sentence is the usual legal penalty for people who host and create such *artistic* expressions. You don't need more entitlement, you need a good shrink. :-|

Current Mood: angry disgusted

23 comments or Leave a comment
lazypadawan From: lazypadawan Date: August 4th, 2007 03:45 pm (UTC) (Link)
Legal or not, LiveJournal is not the government and as a private entity, it can prohibit anything it wants. I've seen some arguments that anime characters can look like children even if they're not, and some LJ employee unfamiliar with that particular anime could think, "Aha! Perverted stuff!"
It's a fair point, but it *seems* to me that this more of a problem in HP fandom and most people know what HP is. I've also seen some arguments about teenage sexual behavior, where it would be "legal" if it involved actual people (i.e., what if your character is 17?). But any halfwit can tell the difference between somebody who's "developed" and who is not.

I've posted before about my disgust with fan fiction and fan art depicting minor characters having sex either with each other or with adults. It's even more disgusting to see people try and defend this type of material. You can't. These are the types of fans who feel like they have to sexualize everything and cannot leave youngsters to their innocence, and they're naive to think they're not attracting pedophiles to their sites.
moonspinner From: moonspinner Date: August 4th, 2007 10:26 pm (UTC) (Link)
Glad to know I'm not the lone thinker of these thoughts. *g* Please point me to those posts of yours.
lazypadawan From: lazypadawan Date: August 4th, 2007 11:56 pm (UTC) (Link)
I don't remember when I posted it and while looking through the archives, I couldn't find it. Oops.
charmisjess From: charmisjess Date: August 4th, 2007 04:01 pm (UTC) (Link)
I rather agree with you for the most part--(Guh, I could use a bit of decent human being over on ff.net, certainly)--but while I'm not sure I condone their actions, I can sort of see where said wanky mob is coming from. It seems like because so much of the Harry Potter cast is underage there are more blurred lines for the writers/artists (I think the picture in question that got the user banninated had a caption mentioning they were 18, but abuse team didn't think they looked old enough, even though 16 is apparently okay for LJ) Plus you have users who are from other countries with lower ages of consent. But I think the issue that keeps this crap-storm a-whirling is mostly how LJ/S-A handled it all. That being: horrendously. They've contradicted themselves, gone back on their words, made terribly vague, nonsensical statements...these fandomers are, after all, paying customers, a clear TOS isn't really that much to ask.

And unfortunately, in America, a jail sentence isn't the penalty at all. That's where this whole thing gets really sick. I was listening on the news just this week---there's some guy out in CA, a self-proclaimed pedo, who goes to fairs and stuff and takes pictures of children, posts said pictures on his website/blog, and talks about what he would like to do to specific children. It's sick, and because he hasn't done anything physically to the kids, the law can't do anything.

Blah, and now I've written you a really long comment, and probably depressed us both. :< Sorry. But yeah, this whole thing is such wankery.
moonspinner From: moonspinner Date: August 4th, 2007 10:31 pm (UTC) (Link)
You're right. I am depressed. That's just wrong, Wrong, Wrong.

I understand the logic about HP fandom, but you've got to admit that bending the rules for one group will only make things worse in the long run. Plus it doesn't change the law - even when the law is a wimp, as evidenced by aforementioned depressing story.
r0ck3tsci3ntist From: r0ck3tsci3ntist Date: August 4th, 2007 06:54 pm (UTC) (Link)
Those kinds of pictures and fics make me uncomfortable too, but it isn't hard to see through to the people who do them. They are 99.9% young girls.

Maybe I'm a bad person, but I'm more worried about the people who will be judging what is morally acceptable than I am the little girls who write or draw the stuff.

Yeah, maybe they do need a good shrink, but most of them are just pent-up and unhappy.
moonspinner From: moonspinner Date: August 4th, 2007 09:46 pm (UTC) (Link)
It's not really to do with morality/immorality, but about legality. Child porn is illegal and you can't fault LJ for wanting to cover their own backsides. Whether or not child porn *should* be illegal is now the morality question. As for the sad, little girls, it may sound mean but adult offenders were once sad and lost young people. I really believe that this kind of art could and should be recognised as a cry for help.
r0ck3tsci3ntist From: r0ck3tsci3ntist Date: August 4th, 2007 10:33 pm (UTC) (Link)
You are absolutely right about legality issues. Most of the people doing this work are ignorant of them it seems.

Interestingly, the vast, vast number of adult offenders are men, not women, so I'm not sure that these young people are actually the ones to worry about - although I'm sure they have their own issues.

For many young women in Japan I think it's a reaction to hentai, which often puts girls in the rolls that they in turn put boys in.

It's a strange world.
moonspinner From: moonspinner Date: August 10th, 2007 06:38 pm (UTC) (Link)
The law's not going to change just because the perpetuators are young girls, no matter the reasons .
thewhiteowl From: thewhiteowl Date: August 4th, 2007 09:20 pm (UTC) (Link)
Meh, I'm just loling that LJ doesn't see any difference between 17 and 12.
moonspinner From: moonspinner Date: August 4th, 2007 09:50 pm (UTC) (Link)
I never saw the pictures but I find it hard to believe that *anyone* couldn't tell the difference between children and adults in that situation.
ladyaeryn From: ladyaeryn Date: August 4th, 2007 11:50 pm (UTC) (Link)
I haven't seen any of the pictures in question either, but I think there are some cases, such as when the younger party is in their late teens, where it is difficult (especially if the picture isn't labeled) to distinguish whether the younger party was technically underage or not. For instance, I believe one of the offending pieces in question was a Snarry art. Apparently the author intended Harry to be 19-20 or so in the pic, but - since the characters' age wasn't labeled - it wouldn't have been hard to think it was, say, a 16 year old Harry (which would be illegal).

I was under the impression that most teacher/student (and other cross-generational) smut in HP fandom - be it fic or artwork - is depicted with the characters being of legal age, anyway, though I'm sure there are a number that don't. Such as the weird smutty manips that, while meant to depict adults, were still using images of the child actors from when they were still underage... that does squick me out.
moonspinner From: moonspinner Date: August 10th, 2007 06:43 pm (UTC) (Link)
I've read teacher/student PG fics where the kids in question were in school so there're probably a lot the more adult fics of the same type.

Such as the weird smutty manips that, while meant to depict adults, were still using images of the child actors from when they were still underage... that does squick me out.

That's just evil.
thewhiteowl From: thewhiteowl Date: August 5th, 2007 12:55 pm (UTC) (Link)
Someone who did see one of the pics in question says Harry definitely looked late teens—possibly LJ just don't like Snarry (I can see their point). I wonder would they do the same for two 16/7 as for 18/9 and 30-something.
moonspinner From: moonspinner Date: August 10th, 2007 06:48 pm (UTC) (Link)
*eyeroll* Giving them the benefit of the doubt... what was the point of deliberately making the artwork so ambiguosly borderline?
(Deleted comment)
garnettrees From: garnettrees Date: August 10th, 2007 10:53 pm (UTC) (Link)
And... here's the big regret. *sighs* Sorry, Leia_N.

Someday, I'll learn to keep my mouth shut no matter how I feel.
moonspinner From: moonspinner Date: August 11th, 2007 09:27 am (UTC) (Link)
I respect your right to an opinion (yes, even when your opinion means I should shut up about mine).

However this is not [just] about opinions, it's about the law and what's legal and what's not. No doubt a lot of opinions can and have changed the law but I think they'll need a better argument than a crime being victimless.
garnettrees From: garnettrees Date: August 11th, 2007 12:55 pm (UTC) (Link)
Agreed to disagree. I respect yours as well, and I probably could have used fewer choice words.

From what I've heard, there's a great deal of disparity between states as to the law regarding these matters. (Hell, half the time you can't find five states that agree on the law about anything.) I know there are federal standards in both the US and Canada, but I'm not exactly sure what they are. The sad thing is, I'm most familiar with Japanese legislation in this area. ^^ In the end, it doesn't matter-- Six Apart is a business, and they ban whomever they chose. (It might be nice, in light of recent events, to have some sort of appeals process. Might take too many resources, though.) I suppose I just see spending so much time on something that ultimately involves fictional characters as a bit of a waste. And, of course, my deep and innate sense of paranoia makes me really, really touchy about things that smell even vaguely like censorship. ^^;;
moonspinner From: moonspinner Date: August 13th, 2007 07:07 am (UTC) (Link)
I don't know much about Canadian law, but LJ/Six Apart is a US registered entity and this is what US law says:

US Code: Obscene visual representations of the sexual abuse of children

(a) In General.— Any person who, in a circumstance described in subsection (d), knowingly produces, distributes, receives, or possesses with intent to distribute, a visual depiction of any kind, including a drawing, cartoon, sculpture, or painting, that—
(A) depicts a minor engaging in sexually explicit conduct; and
(B) is obscene; or
(A) depicts an image that is, or appears to be, of a minor engaging in graphic bestiality, sadistic or masochistic abuse, or sexual intercourse, [... as above...]

(c) Nonrequired Element of Offense.— It is not a required element of any offense under this section that the minor depicted actually exist.

In the eyes of the law, the law makers and the law enforcers, there's no difference between the man in charmisjess's comment and the well-meaning fan artists of Japanes anime, even if those cute little girls are really thousand year old deities. In fact, I wager that the average Joe on the street, who lives outside fandom, sees those little girls and thinks of this.

laariii From: laariii Date: August 5th, 2007 10:09 am (UTC) (Link)
Its just icky...
Where i live you can get arrested for just looking at kiddie porn sites on the net.
moonspinner From: moonspinner Date: August 10th, 2007 06:57 pm (UTC) (Link)
fialleril From: fialleril Date: August 7th, 2007 02:14 am (UTC) (Link)
I think some people tend to post whatever they feel like, because it's "just" fandom and it's "just" on the internet. Since there's no personal contact, sometimes posting things online feels less...real (for lack of a better term) than doing the same thing in "real life" would be. But fandom is a huge thing, especially on the internet. People ought to be aware that what they post can be viewed by anyone. And yes, that has just as many, if not more, consequences than the same action in "real life."
moonspinner From: moonspinner Date: August 10th, 2007 06:55 pm (UTC) (Link)
And yes, that has just as many, if not more, consequences than the same action in "real life."

I agree. It's ridiculous to feel that one should somehow be exempted because it's 'just fandom'. *eyeroll*
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