Maiden Voyages: July 2015

(Last Updated On: December 8, 2015)

Alternative Lifestyles: Pip wanted to offer a couple of movie recommendations to our readers to commemorate the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in favor of the universal right to gay marriage. The two films are: Ma Vie en Rose and Tomboy. Both deal with the early onset of homosexuality and transgenderism—boy turned girl in the first and girl turned boy in the second. There is a Pigtails review of Tomboy here.

Word Processor that supports Japanese Characters: I recently had my hard drive crash. Fortunately, I was able to recover most of my material and there is no loss as far as Pigtails is concerned. However, because of the new drive, certain software that came with my computer is no longer included. Microsoft Word seemed the only program that supports Japanese (and Chinese) characters. The problem is that their pay structure means I will have to renew every year just for this one function. Any alternatives?

Anime Writers Needed: And while on the subject of Japanese, Pigtails is still looking for someone who would like the opportunity to write about the anime/manga medium. This is an obvious medium which covers young girls and neither Pip nor I are experts. Anyone want to give it a shot?

Unusual Request (Estonia): I have been meaning to ask any of our Estonian readers (or anyone with contacts in Estonia) if they could help with a thorny problem. An art and books dealer there was charged and convicted of some kind of crime (I don’t know the specifics) and is in prison. The problem is that he was entrusted with a number of historically significant items and I am trying to get this property back to their rightful owners. His wife does not speak English and so it is difficult to get good information (term of sentence, etc.), but it does not appear that these materials are connected to the conviction and so are just lying around in an office somewhere collecting dust and degenerating.

Rare Videos: One of our readers provided a lead to a video club that carries films that focus on children. They have many hard-to-find titles and offer a kind of rental service to its members in good standing. They are also soliciting people who may have access to titles they are looking for (as are we). It is called CVMC Movie Club  (cvmc.net) and I recommend you take a look.

Girls with Bicycle Sculpture: One of our contributors gave me this lead. I do not know if there is enough here for a dedicated post, so I am sharing it here. The artist’s name is Riet Vandecasteele and the title of the piece is Schoolmeisjes met fiets (schoolgirls with bicycle) and is located in Sint-Maartensplein, Moorsele in Belgium. He shared two relevant links (with text in Dutch) here and here.

Legal Briefs, First Installment: The Effect of Child Pornography Laws on the First Amendment Rights of Photographers and Artists by Chris Madaio

One of the most common convictions in the courts nowadays is for possession, receipt and/or distribution of materials referred to as “Child Pornography” (CP). Not only does a conviction like this affect a person’s immediate situation (most likely serving time in prison), but also his/her long-term future (registration as a “sex offender” and the subsequent extreme difficulties of reintegrating back into society). Even if the person is not convicted, the effects of a lengthy investigation, indictment, prosecution and trial can significantly affect his/her rights and future livelihood, especially if that person is an artist/photographer.

This is the first of several articles regarding how current child pornography laws and their enforcement specifically affect the First Amendment rights of photographers, artists and, to a certain extent, parents/guardians of children and minors. For now, we’ll focus on federal and state laws in the United States (U.S.) and how they’re applied in this context. These articles will initially focus more on criminal prosecutions rather than civil actions. Also, any analysis in these articles will not cover those situations where the person being investigated/prosecuted was in possession of clear-cut child pornography.

One more summary judgment of general interest before I get into the “nuts-and-bolts” of the U.S. legal system—the effects on you as a photographer/artist, and even as a viewer, depend much more on the community you’re in and the aggressiveness/maliciousness of the prosecution. In other words, the laws regarding CP are fairly uniform across the U.S.; but what isn’t uniform is how vigorously those in the legal system (and how much they’re influenced by the political concerns) decide to prosecute.

A Primer on Law and the Legal System in the United States:
The “Law”: It should be understood that in the U.S., there are both federal laws and state laws regarding possession, receipt and/or distribution of child pornography (or other restricted materials), and that federal laws typically “trump” the state laws. What most people don’t know is that laws are typically divided into the following general areas:
Constitutional Law: A prosecution/conviction on constitutional law (either federal or state) based primarily on the language of the constitution and interpretations thereof. There is no provision in the federal or any state constitution (as far as I know with respect to the latter) applicable to the possession, receipt/distribution of child pornography. There are provisions in the U.S. Constitution relating to what is commonly referred to as “protected speech” and as “First Amendment Rights”.
Statutory Law: Statutory laws are laws enacted either by the U.S. or state congress(es). Title 18 of United States Code (USC) covers Crimes and Criminal Procedures. More specifically, “Certain activities relating to material constituting or containing child pornography” is governed by 18 USC 2252A(a)(5)(B) {Possession} and 18 USC2252A(a)(2)(A) {Receipt}.
There are other U.S. Codes associated with criminal procedures and/or the civil procedures associated with them. For example, Title 42 of the USC deals with the The Public Health and Welfare. There is a specific provision of Title 42 that may be used for defense by artists/photographers in child pornography prosecutions.
Often statutes and codes are instituted following an Act of congress. For example, the Adam Walsh Act regards certain controls over how the community is to deal with sex offenders. The Act itself is not used to enforce the law. Instead, it led to several detailed statutes describing how its provisions are to be enforced.
Case Law: Case law is not a separate set of laws. As described in Black’s Law Dictionary (an authoritative law reference)—“the law to be found in the collection of reported cases that form all or part of the body of law with a given jurisdiction”. In other words, it is not a separate set of laws in and of itself, but simply a description of how decisions by courts in previous cases (of a similar context or jurisdiction) can be applied to the current (i.e.; instant) case. From my personal experience, case law carries a significant weight in the U.S. Legal System.
For example; a typical case decision is “cited” (legally “referenced”) as: U.S. v. Dost, 636 F.Supp.383, 832 (S.Dist Cal – 1986). This was a case in the Southern District of California (federal) where the a U.S. Prosecutor indicted a man named Dost on possession of child pornography (based on whatever statutes there were at the time) and the case was decided based on various factors (“the Dost Factors”) that describe what constitutes child pornography. The court’s decision in this case was based on various factors that he/she developed and used to determine whether the material Mr. Dost possessed were actually prosecutable under the statute for possession of child pornography. It is not the first or last determination of what constitutes child pornography, but one of the most cited in later cases. In other words, cases subsequent to this have often used the Dost Factors as a “reference” (i.e.; cited) to make a determination in the specific case at hand.
Common Law (from Google): “the part of English law that is derived from custom and judicial precedent rather than statutes. Often contrasted with statutory law”. In other words, this is law that arose from the old English system, which was not written down (codified). Most of it has been codified by statutes, some have not. Anything to do with child pornography has undoubtedly been codified in statutes, therefore this are is of little interest, except to know that it exists.

The Legal System: There are various legal systems in use in the United States. I’ll be concentrating on those relevant to how prosecution of child pornography cases by the legal system has affected the First Amendment rights of photographers/artists.
The Federal Court System: The Federal Court System was created by Article III of the U.S. Constitution. This system is divided up into: The District Courts, The Court of Appeals, The Supreme Court and other courts not associated with the scope of this article.

Discussion of the typical State Court System will be cover in a future installment.

7 thoughts on “Maiden Voyages: July 2015

    • I appreciate this lead. LibreOffice is working out fine and it even opens Word documents, no problem. I might be interested in the character look up option because, as you know, finding Kanji characters quickly is a challenge. -Ron

  1. About cvmc, it should be added that if you become a new user of the site, it is a good idea to REGISTER on the site (no charge).
    When you browse that site, some of the listed movies are visible only to “Preferred Members”, that is, registered members.

  2. LibreOffice is a free word processor that supports Japanese. It is well supported, cross-platform (runs on Linux, Mac, and Windows), and overall quite excellent.

  3. One photographer who in my opinion should be on this site is Lotte Herrlich.
    She was a German woman who did on-topic photographs of both girls and boys. She worked during the first half of the 20th century, ironically when attitudes about photographic art were more “advanced” than they are now in these prudish, paranoid times.

    • We are planning a post on Herrlich, but an associate of mine is working on publishing a biography and I would like to wait and have access to that for the eventual post.

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