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    • CommentAuthornep
    • CommentTimeJun 24th 2011 edited
    I'm having a time out until I can learn some manners.
    Any opinions on Warren's blog post on 'American Comics Reader Facing Criminal Charges In Canada' (

    O.k., obviously all 'manga' isn't 'porn, but where do we draw the line? Or do you at all?

    From the post (circulated on other blogs BTW) there is a call for support but no info on what the images contained.

    How is it for you? Is everything to be defended, or are there limits?

    ETA: To unhyperlink.
      CommentAuthorHEY APATHY!
    • CommentTimeJun 24th 2011 edited
    there is a call for support but no info on what the images contained

    which makes the whole article absolutely impossible to decipher. I ain't giving anyone money who won't really tell me what that money is for.

    Eli Langer was an artist charged in Canada for his work, his story was interesting, some might like to investigate it as well.
  1.  (9973.3)
    Everything needs to be defended -- especially that which people find indefensible.

    Canadian Customs have a long history confiscating materials safe for both ownership and sale within the country and this, at first glance, seems to be an extension of their behaviour into personal material on electronic devices.

    While the actual content spawning the charge hasn't been made clear, that it's manga, therefore no children were victimized in its production and it's quite possible the issue is once raised by not being visually literate in contemporary Japanese-inspired comics. That aside, it doesn't matter if it actually is drawn representations of sexual acts involving a minor, the person charged deserves a vigorous defense if not for his freedom but to ensure that the boundaries of what is currently allowable to be better defined by the process and to ensure works of merit are rightly protected against government censorship.

    I recall the horrible decision rendered upon Mike Diana -- the judge barred him from drawing and gave the police warrantless 24-hour access to his premises to enforce it.

  2.  (9973.4)
    I'm of two minds on this;

    1. Canadian Customs has long been despised by nearly every Canadian who has ever traveled or ordered something from another country. I hope this guy manages to kick their asses because it's long overdue.

    2. If it IS kiddy porn, drawn or otherwise, fuck him.
  3.  (9973.5)
    which makes the whole article absolutely impossible to decipher. I ain't giving anyone money who won't really tell me what that money is for.

    The money is for CBLDF's efforts in this case. It is not a "get dude out of jail" fund, it is a "give a vigorous defense so that the appropriate decision can be reached in court fund". Not that you don't still have plenty right to want to know more, first, or to be against their efforts regardless. I would just assume that as far as these things go the material prolly isn't going to be inspiring of sympathy; and as far as these things go it prolly isn't going to be something someone should go to jail for regardless.

    But the money is for CBDLF and they will spend it on doing what they are going to do.
  4.  (9973.6)
    There are just so many things wrong with that situation I don't even know where to begin.

    Its really hard to comment without seeing the pictures as well. But in the end I don't think someone should be label as a pedo and sent to jail because of the content in a comic book.
    They are drawings and although the content may offend... they are still just drawings. There is no victim.

    The idea that people have to be frightened of traveling with comics is just ridiculous.
  5.  (9973.7)
    well, I hope everyone remembers not to take Lost Girls in their bag if they're crossing into Canada
  6.  (9973.8)
    Would Canada also arrest people for carrying antique Asian prints of underage concubines and courtesans engaging in anal sex with older men? I assume I could find that in every decent art school library in the country. And Amazon Canada seems to have no trouble selling Salo, a D-grade Italian exploitation film based on The 120 Days of Sodom that portrays underage actors being graphically raped and mutilated (sometimes simultaneously). So it seems that the crime here is carrying erotic art that is neither old enough to be antique or beloved by bad movie critics.
    • CommentAuthorDC
    • CommentTimeJun 24th 2011
    Manara is going to be in big trouble if he sets foot on Canada...
  7.  (9973.10)
    Manara is going to be in big trouble if he sets foot on Canada...

    Hasn't Canada stopped some issues of Heavy Metal with his work in it? I know for sure that they stopped some of the Serpieri's Druuna stories.
    • CommentAuthorDC
    • CommentTimeJun 24th 2011
    Really? Was that incident recently (ie, with Harper government)? Because if it is, it doesn't surprise me at all.
    • CommentTimeJun 24th 2011 edited
    I'm in the camp that, if it is drawn, there is no victim. No victim, no crime.
  8.  (9973.13)
    @DC I'm not sure when the incidents occurred. I know I've read about it in either interviews with Kevin Eastman or his Heavy Metal letters from the editor, but that's a lot of old stuff to sift through.
    • CommentTimeJun 25th 2011
    @nep it might be helpful to know what the porn (if any) is legal in Canada. Pornography is protected speech in the US. Whether or not erotica or drawn porn featuring underage subjects (or other illegal matters that regard sex - e.g. rape) falls under free speech is a matter currently being fought in the courts. I'm a huge proponent of freedom of speech and I say pornography itself should be legal - unprotected expression is that which falls from or results in actions that are not legal, e.g. rape, statutory or otherwise.

    So I really don't know what the standards are in Canada and I wouldn't speak to them. But since you asked for opinions, I say this. Even manga that is straightforward porn should be defended. Manga that teeters on any "line" should be defended. If the content of the manga is too much for me I won't buy or read it. But I'll defend anyone's right to own it. Only if manga somehow requires real, living people who are underage would I hedge.
  9.  (9973.15)
    I read a comment by a Canadian who claimed that drawings are considered the same as photos in Canadian law, so the argument is to prove if the drawing has artistic value or somesuch. Dunno if this is true or not.

    Somebody mentioned having to see the pictures before passing judgement.

    If it's a drawing, unless a child was posed for the picture, doesn't that make it impossible for a child to be exploited for this?

    Didn't Gaiman say something to the effect of where do you stand on drawings of murder?
    • CommentAuthorNil
    • CommentTimeJun 25th 2011 edited
    Someone in the BoingBoing comments thread linked to this - "Offences Tending to Corrupt Morals" in the Canadian criminal code.

    The most important section seems to be this one:

    163.1 (1) In this section, “child pornography” means

    (a) a photographic, film, video or other visual representation, whether or not it was made by electronic or mechanical means,

    (i) that shows a person who is or is depicted as being under the age of eighteen years and is engaged in or is depicted as engaged in explicit sexual activity, or

    (ii) the dominant characteristic of which is the depiction, for a sexual purpose, of a sexual organ or the anal region of a person under the age of eighteen years;

    While I agree with commenters above that drawn material shouldn't be dealt with in the same fashion as, say, explicit photographs of actual children, Canadian law appears to do just that.

    Usual disclaimers apply - I am not a lawyer, I am not familiar with the Canadian criminal code, etc. As noted above, there's been no mention of exactly what is portrayed in the offending material.

    EDITED TO ADD: The sections on defence and question of law, which might be of some interest


    (6) No person shall be convicted of an offence under this section if the act that is alleged to constitute the offence

    (a) has a legitimate purpose related to the administration of justice or to science, medicine, education or art; and

    (b) does not pose an undue risk of harm to persons under the age of eighteen years.

    Question of law

    (7) For greater certainty, for the purposes of this section, it is a question of law whether any written material, visual representation or audio recording advocates or counsels sexual activity with a person under the age of eighteen years that would be an offence under this Act.

    2ND EDIT: A bit off-topic, but Canadian law also appears to make "crime comics" illegal. What exactly constitutes a crime comic?

    Definition of “crime comic”

    (7) In this section, “crime comic” means a magazine, periodical or book that exclusively or substantially comprises matter depicting pictorially

    (a) the commission of crimes, real or fictitious; or

    (b) events connected with the commission of crimes, real or fictitious, whether occurring before or after the commission of the crime.

    Once again, not a lawyer, but that seems rather wide-ranging to me.
  10.  (9973.17)
    Yeah put me down in the camp of if it's drawn there's no proof of exploitation.

    And if Canadian law treats drawn art the same as photography, someone should draw Obama having sex with a minor and then turn said photo over to the police and demand his arrest. Since you have photographic evidence of his molestation of a fictional minor.
    • CommentTimeJun 26th 2011 edited
    Having been around 4chan's /b/ long enough to see lolicon doujin, I am under the impression that if someone owns that crap there is something wrong with them. No victim no crime doesn't cut it either. Let's say that someone exposed to lolicon thinks "Wow! That was great! I wonder if there are real photos of children somewhere...". I think that was the reason laws against such things are passed, to prevent the perversion of the mind. The laws do allow some leeway when it can be shown that the material has some artistic or social value, think the underage rape in "Go Ask Alice" or "Clockwork Orange". Lolicon is the same deal as with the guy who wrote the How to Molest Children guidebook, he was writing something inherently without artistic value, no matter what he tried to pass it off as. IMO - if someone owns stacks up stacks of lolicon, I'm not saying they need imprisoned, but they definitely need help.

    I draw the line at explicit images of pre-sexual humans, mangafied or not.
  11.  (9973.19)
    I think that was the reason laws against such things are passed, to prevent the perversion of the mind.

    Sure, but depicted child sex or child nudity can't own the exclusive rights to making people child molesters. What if I get that way from commercials of fully clothed children eating cereal? What if I get that way from just seeing real children at the swimming pool when I myself am still a child, though maybe an older one in his teens? Perversion happens. Do we think that the Catholic priest molestation phenomenon has its roots in secret porn stashes that previously healthy priests bought due to complete pure curiosity? I doubt that cart ever came before the horse for any molester priest.

    If we see someone having a lot of child porn it's probably not a good sign; if we see someone having a thousand pages of clip-outs from the Sears kidwear catalogue it's just as worrying. Again, the way it often goes when a specific obscenity case becomes news is typically that the material in question is disturbing -- but the reason we have to keep the law from punishing art production or consumption is because art is not a crime. No more than building swimming pools is a crime.

    Typed on mobile
    • CommentAuthorWood
    • CommentTimeJun 26th 2011
    My opinion is that if someone is sexually aroused by drawn images of child sex, he probably needs help. Help from a professional, and maybe a support group. He needs to get his shit sorted before he starts thinking about acting on that fantasy.

    BUT ! He certainly doesn't need to be punished for it, because HE HAS NOT HARMED ANYBODY.

    Thinking about a crime and being aroused by it is not the same as committing it.