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back to article US judges leave definition of obscenity to Amish, Kansas

United States judges are squaring up for an almighty battle over the proper standards to apply to internet published material. The final verdict will determine whether the US eventually falls back into a new era of prohibition – this time for porn – or whether those living in more openly liberal states will be able to access …

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Silver badge

It's the feckin' internet!

Just like TV, if it offends you simply stop watching! Jay-zuz.

I you are concerned enough that an actual, bona fide CRIME has been committed (not just your own morals attacked) then report it. That would cover child pr0n, incitement to violence etc.

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Silver badge
FAIL

I'm offended, but I'll take me a peek anyways

Aren't our American cousins so very quaint some times.

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Happy

Quaint....?

.... they're barking! And internationally dangerous with it...

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Coat

Other issues

This also makes gambling of any kind online, even free, illegal in every state. It makes certain types of sales illegal in the whole country as well. It could apply local tax collection laws to companies that don't have such systems implemented. Worse, it could easily cause conflicts, where in one locality, you;re required by law to list certain details on your site, but in another, those details either can't be published, or have to be in a different specific place on your site (contact information for the company, etc). It also opens the door to states passing laws that run afoul of anti-competitive legislation, by passing laws that make it difficult or impossible for non-local companies to sell across state borders online favoring their own local companies. This will all lead to continual court challenges, and waste billions of dollars and tie up court time, and in the end, either Federal Congress will alter the Code of Commerce to correct this, or the supreme court will get involved, undo all this stuff, and then MORE lawsuits will fly.

Here's a simple option, if the judges and congress really think this is a good idea, and don;t stop it, make one minor change: State and local laws enforced outside of the municipality require FULL FUNDING from that local municipality for the continuing education, and money to implement systems to permit compliance, for all non-local entities subject to the law. In other words, if i can't sell something in your community online, I need software to help prevent that sale (since there's no human interaction to prevent it), and the COST of implementing that software should be billed to the municipality, after which an implementation grace period applies, before the seller can be subject to any punishment at all. Should a company sell something into a municipality, and then receive a summons, without having first been notified in advance of the law, and been provided paperwork to begin a funding process, (which a local court in the SELLERS back yard gets to determine what is "reasonable" funding), then any action against the seller is automatically dismissed by the courts, and the locality pays all attorney's fees.

This is a fair and balanced system, where I can enforce my law on you, but I have to PAY for it.

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FAIL

costs...

How much do i have to pay you not to kill me? :D You could do all that pish...or just build yourself a great big bridge and get the fuck over it. Just another reason why "laws" are "anti-human" and point to a sick society. I wonder how many more you can create? Think hard now...

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I may be missing something but ...

The article is about publishing, not consumption. The guy was jailed because his servers were in Tampa. But if the servers had been in (say) California, why would the Tampa laws (or even the Amish) be used in prosecution?

Can States lawyers explain?

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Anonymous Coward

So if say something published by a

loony such as Sarah Palin, Rush or even the Catholic Church offends you deeply can they be brought to book?

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Gav
Unhappy

Why pick on the Amish?

It's not fair to be dragging them into this latest bit of idiocy. I doubt they would ever bother trying to use this ruling as the outside is so far gone, in their opinion, that it would be pointless. Generally speaking they keep themselves to themselves and good luck to them.

No, the ones to be worrying about are the more fundamentalist communities who have a history of wishing to decide what's best for the rest of us.

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WTF?

Erm, whose computer would the Amish be using?

In order to be offended by this evil godless filth surely the Amish in question would have to use a computer and thereby relinquish any claim to being Amish and therefore their god given right to be offended by things that have nothing to do with them?

(point taken about the Amish mostly being decent and only applying their standards to themselves unlike most of the god bothering nut jobs out spouting hocus pocus and trying to force the rest of the world to sink to their level)

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Pirate

Next

The logical next step, by US standards of justice, would be that anything published anywhere in the world on the internet becomes subject to the laws of any US state.

Not just Pentagon hackers and gambling site owners.

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Silver badge

Not just US standards

And if they really meant it, it would mean that US sites could be prosecuted for material that was obscene in other countries.

Pictures of unveiled women drinking alcohol, driving cars and talking to men they are not related to?

Of course being the US the obvious reciprocal will somehow not apply.

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Big Brother

Ahem...

Pretty much the system now mate - especially if your country has oil or comes in handy as an aircraft carrier....

Big Brother because I don't have a pic of Mr Brown assuming the position...

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Silver badge

If we publish something legal in the UK

Will we be extradited to America to stand trial in some backwater state?

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Anonymous Coward

Only a matter of time....

... as the schoolyard bully pushes harder and harder, and the UK gets more and more acquiescent...

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Joke

Think of the children!

The problem is not the people who complain it's the ones that carry on watching because they enjoy themselves.

As a society, we can't possibly allow that to happen, because, erm, I forget why, might be something to do with special books and invisible friends.

Of course what should also be happening is that every US citizen who drives should be arrested if they travel to Japan or Australia or New Zealand or the UK or indeed anywhere else that drives on the left as they have been breaking the local laws of these countries by driving on the right when at home. Or something. You get the idea.

There's a worrying trend from western countries and states to try and export their laws to events in other places around the globe and it's getting worse.

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Re: Think of the children

Loved the comment about invisible friends :-)

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WTF?

So, what this really means...

... is that if anyone, anywhere in the world, publishes material on the Internet, they could liable to prosecution if they visit the USA if it violates some arbitrary "community standard" (read: prejudice of narrow minded bigots)

Of course meanwhile in the UK we only have to worry if some MP decides they don't like it...

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@Graham Marsden

"Of course meanwhile in the UK we only have to worry if some MP decides they don't like it..."

No, not an MP, an unelected Lord.

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Silver badge

@Cazzo Enorme

it was MPs who first put forward the Dangerous Pictures and Dangerous Cartoons legislation. Of course since the Government then Guillotined debate on the Criminal Justice Bill and the Coroners and Justice Bill, MPs never got to debate these proposals and it was left to the Lords to do something about it.

Of course since the only people with the balls to do that are the Lib Dems and since (as a Tory Lord admitted to me) Tory Peers don't vote on Lib Dem amendments, both pieces of nonsense legislation went through virtually unchanged.

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Possibly, yes.

Just as the UK allows Americans to sue other Americans in British courts for cases of "libel" that would fail if brought in the U.S.

Or the French and Germans have gone after ebay and others for undermining their efforts to bowdlerize the history of the Nazis.

Or Pinochet, who got arrested in London for actions that he had made "legal" in Chile ("It's good to be the king. It's also good to be the absolute dictator"...), but offended the sensibilities of the Brits.

Or the various human rights activists, religious missionaries, and others that get busted when they visit countries who don't like what they have to say.

Sadly, there is no shortage of precedents for this sort of (over-)reaching by a large number of governments. This is why groups like the ACLU will defend the rights of groups like the KKK: to help keep governments from charging down the slippery slope that leads to their taking away _your_ rights.

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Big Brother

@@Graham Marsden

"Of course meanwhile in the UK we only have to worry if some MP decides they don't like it..."

"No, not an MP, an unelected Lord."

Not even a lord, just some rich bloke with a yacht.

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Anonymous Coward

Nom de porn

I can see why he adopted a nom de porn instead of Paul Little. Well, at least his parents didn't call him Peter or Richard.

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FAIL

Amish WTF ?

I thought they were unlikely to have the net anyway ... besides I've seen little to suggest they are any more inhibited than the average american.

How many complaints for a tiny hint of nipple during the superbowl ?

Not sure whether the author wants us to believe that prudishness is limited to a tiny religious sect in Kansas. Or was attempting a joke.

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(Written by Reg staff)

Re: Amish WTF ?

It's like a literal-mindedness party and everyone's invited - I mean, not everyone, there isn't anywhere big enough to accommodate them, and it couldn't be an actual party because the costs would surely be prohibitive...

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WTF?

not that I'd visit that kind of site...

but don't they normally have a button to enter with text saying something along the lines of;

"by clicking this button to enter the site you are verifying that you are over 18 / 21 and this material does not violate any local / state / country laws"

.......?

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verbal contract

not worth the paper it is printed on

on in this case

click throught contract not worth the record that is kepted of it

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Outsource

So why not just outsource to a server not in the US ?

Next .......

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Kansas ?

That must be a new sect then, last time I checked the Amish were based pretty much exclusively in Ohio, Pennsylvania and Indiana

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Who's the one doing the publishing?

It occurs to me that until a person in one of the relevant states actually views this material, then it hasn't yet been published in that state, so the fault is surely more with the person viewing something that's locally illegal than the person who is serving it legally from afar.

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WTF?

Yeah, freedom of speech, right.

Any of you liberal pillars of democracy actually seen any of his footage? I have and I'm not a prude, but his stuff makes 4chan look like a bunch of Jesuit priests in comparison.

Go ahead, look at the technicalities, laugh at Amish and defend the Little S.o.B., but make sure to remember your great love for pluralism, democracy and freedom of speech when a drunken chav vandalises your car because he can't afford one. I'm sure you'll treat his rights equally with this perfectly acceptable protest against the establishment and social injustice.

AC because I don't fancy being flamed.

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Stop

not revlent

just cos you do not like it dose not make it illigal there are a lot of things I do not like (big brouther, I am not a cleb keep me here, x factor etc) but I am not trying to ban them

I belve it was aq ferirley importent us man that said "I disgaree with what you say sir but I shail defend to the death your right to say it"

a more modden one said

" if you beleave in freedom of speech you will oftern find your self on the same side as pepol who do things you find descusting cose there right to publish things you do not like is your right to publish things they do not like"

as for your drunbiken chav argument there is a large gulf between physicle vilonce and publishing

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Bronze badge
Flame

Flame you? Of course not.

You'll get nothing but sympathy from me. No one should be subjected to that. I'm curious though, did Max Hardcore secretly replace your Bambi DVD with one of his his movies, or actually chain you to a chair and force you to watch that filth? But in either case, I think it's just reprehensible, and I hope he gets what's coming to him.

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Silver badge
FAIL

Kansas sucks

Kansas is like the USA's fundamentalist Christian mecca where the last two centuries of science are largely ignored. Its flat (except towards Missouri side where it is hilly and full of urban slums like KC, St. Joseph, etc), its boring, its redneck as hell, and even the weather sucks. Still as much as everyone is giving them a cheap shot like me they didn't cause this case, the just as redneck southern US did. We should have just let the south go its own way and accepted having two third world countries south of us. Oh wait then we would never have received the cultural benefits of Lynard Skynard, NASCAR, and white lightning.

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Thumb Up

actually in Kansas

Not sure about Amish but their are quite a few of their close cousins the Mennonites in Kansas. The settled their because the land was cheap and only a tough Northern European wheat farmer would think that is nice land. I know because that is how my family wound up in the States. Still Kansas sucks but nothing in the world compares to the rest of the American West.

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What?

How can you be committing a federal crime based on community values? Surely that's a state issue, not a federal one? That's utterly, utterly preposterous!

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Anonymous Coward

Time to Apply a Different Amendment

Seems like this is yet another case in which the application of the Privileges and Immunities Clause needs to be applied.

If it is legal to publish this 'porn' in California, then the P&I clause should shield it from attach by someone in Florida. The P&I clause is up for consideration in the MacDonald v Illinois gun case.

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Paris Hilton

What if the web site is in the cloud?

What if I publish something on Google sites? Heck if I know where the server is based... And for all I know, the actual emplacement might change every couple of days!

PH is in the clouds, too...

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Badgers

but

the problem in the floriduh' was they shipped physical material to the state.

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Anonymous Coward

Shame on you for picking on the Amish

I have never heard of them complaining about anything outside of their group, they just farm their land and let be.

I suppose someone born to the Amish community could feel a little restricted, but probably less so than mainstream society, and it only seems to get as bad as shunning.

They don't take government handouts, and in this crazy screwed up world, they are generally a little pool of tranquillity.

Anyway, yes ridiculous laws again, time to download your porn, and crypt up I suppose. Another industry well and truly .... up, well you can add the ironic word yourself.

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Nazi basterds strike again.

Will they apply this to Atheists that publish things strict religious towns think are dirty? What will those that plan to save us from ourselves do next? Can my town sue the publishers of art books showing nude statues from Rome? If you don't want your stupid brats on porn or other "bad" sites then monitor what they do or cut the cord. We don't need anymore Nazi schemes from the courts or from Obummass.

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Silver badge
FAIL

Hey Toto!

We're not in Kansas now!

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Coat

Ahem..

"gaping great hole" + Max Hardcore = I see what you did there..

Mine's the one with the "Gonzo Porn is Bad, Hm'kay" in the pocket

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Flame

The internet is illegal

Shut it all down!

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Silver badge
Unhappy

Been on the Interwebs too long...

>>the standard that will be applied is the "local community standard".

I read that as the "lolcat community standard"...

OMG, IZ PR0N! Yoo is bad hoomin, no cheezburger fuh yoo.

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Linux

Queensland

Don't I recall a judgement in favour of an extremely dodgy Queensland politician, made by the only courts in the world that would ever decide in his favour, those in Queensland, that internet published material was published everywhere and therefore could be sued under any jurisdiction the plaintiff wished to sue under? Rather as Americans sue for libel in English courts because English courts are more amenable to allegations of libel.

It was rather assumed at the time that the same logic would apply everywhere. The internet is universal, where the servers are is irrelevant and furthermore what does it mean to say where the servers are when the information is distributed across several server farms and constantly moving as a consequence of load balancing, maintenance, etc? Is there a specific server location where my gmail sits?

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FAIL

a bunch of weird comments

The amish that I know don't use electricity and don't use computers, so what they have to do with this is beyond me. There are some relatively large communities down in Ky, also.

I can only hope that this goes to the supremes and that they revisit the incorrect "I know porn when I see it" and go back to the full intent of the 1st amendment. If you don't like it, don't look at it. There is nothing in the 1st that says "except for".

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Happy

I am Amish

And that horse sure has a purty looking ass.

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