Internet Pornography

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defense for internet pornography charges in ohio and kentuckySince the Internet is international, a standard set of laws have not yet been defined with regards to the distribution, purchase, or possession of Internet pornography. For now, the law of a person's home nation applies to Internet pornography. This becomes a special issue since, for example, a pornographer may be well within his legal rights distributing pornography according to where he lives, but the person receiving it may be doing so illegally per his own local laws.

In the United States, the legal status of Internet pornography is still unsettled with the exception of child pornography. Traditionally, the Miller Test is used to determine whether or not something is legally pornographic. Results of this test are far from standard, however, and the test actually dictates that each community sets its own standard for obscenity. This means that what might be considered pornographic in Kentucky, may not be in Texas.

When you add the Internet to the equation, this becomes much more problematic. If the Miller Test were applied to the Interent, the most restrictive, conservative community would set the standard for all websites based in the United States. This issue continues to be examined by the courts.

Federal Communications Decency Act of 1996

The first attempt to regulate pornography on the Internet prohibited the knowing transmission of indecent messages to minors and the publication of materials which depict "patently offensive as measured by contemporary community standards, sexual or excretory activities or organs" unless those materials were protected from access by minors. Both of these provisions were struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court since "indecent transmission" and "patently offensive display" provisions were ruled to limit the freedom of speech guaranteed by the First Amendment.

defense for internet child pornography charges in ohio and kentuckyChild Online Protection Act (COPA) of 1998

The second attempt to regulate pornography on the Internet forced all commercial distributors of "material harmful to minors" to protect their sites from access by minors. COPA was found to violate the First and Fifth Amendments of the United States Constitution and was struck down.

Children's Internet Protection Act (CIPA) of 2000

The third attempt to regulate pornography on the Internet required that public libraries employ filtering software to prevent patrons from using Internet terminals to view images of obscenity and child pornography, and to prevent children from viewing images "harmful to minors", a phrase typically used for otherwise legal pornography. In June 2003, the Supreme Court ruled that CIPA was constitutional.

18 U.S.C. 2257

A common disclaimer seen on Internet sites distributing pornography, this federal law regulates the production of sexually explicit materials. It requires that the "original" producers to retain records showing that all performers were over the age of 18 at the time of the production for inspection by the Attorney General. On Oct. 24, 2007 the 6th circuit court of appeals in Ohio, struck down the 2257 law, and ruled it unconstitutional under the First Amendment.

defend internet pornography charges federal stateDefending Internet Pornography Charges

Since the definition of Internet Pornography is somewhat vague, it then becomes subject to personal interpretation. Most often it refers to the distribution of child pornography over the Internet, but can sometimes mean the distribution of pornographic materials without the permission of the subject or recipient.

Prosecutors consider the "intent" to distribute the pornographic materials and their intended audience as well. Unfortunately, the mere presence of pornographic images on a computer hard drive can implicate the owner or user of the computer regardless of how or when these images were obtained.

Internet Pornography charges should be defended by an attorney greatly experienced in cybercrimes and sex crimes both on a state and federal level. Internet criminal charges are often made by the federal government and so requires different strategies.



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