Sunday, July 14, 2013

Intimate family photos clash with the way prosecutors, politicians, and retail outlets interpret child pornography laws -- "too literally"?

There is quite a bit of controversy on the Internet over whether intimate family pictures, which used to be commonplace in the 1940's, now meet the definition of child pornography in some states.  Salon has a long article about this by James Kincaid, although back to 2000.

A Findlaw blog entry weights in on the problem here.

And the Wall Street Journal law blog has a 2009 discussion of a defamation suit against Wal-Mart after it called police on innocent photos,(website url) here.

We're deputizing retail clerks and sometimes computer technicians as a posse in the name of protecting children. And such persons won't have legal training in what defines c.p. and believe they have to take the strictest possible course, whereas aggressive predators remain relatively undeterred in practice.

The problem is that prosecutors and politicians overreach on what used to be common sense.  My own parents took pictures of me in the 1940's (in 8 mm home movies, now on a DVD) that would not be acceptable today, but there is no conceivable lewd intent behind them.  The political culture has changed, not always for the best.

But no, I won't post those pictures. 

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