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Author Topic: Man claims outlawing child porn is censorship
snopes
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A man who was jailed for possessing child pornography maintains the law against it is wrong and constitutes government censorship.

http://www.azcentral.com/offbeat/articles/0131porn-case31-ON.html

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Canuckistan
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quote:
The judge said the notion that child pornography is a victimless crime is wrong because the children in the images are clearly being exploited and sexually assaulted.

And that's precisely why no court will ever consider overturning a ban on child porn.

But you can't really stop scum like this from trying, can you?

::Canuckistan sighs, loses even more faith in humanity::

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Oualawouzou
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The argument it is a victimless crime would at least make a minimum of sense if no children had been involved (drawn pics, written stories, etc). But now... Geez. That's just... weird.

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Troodon
It Came Upon a Midnight Clearance


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Isn't there a big difference between creating child porn and merely owning child porn? I think a good case could be made for legalizing possessing child porn, as opposed to creating or paying for someone else to create child porn. After all, if there are laws against having (as opposed to creating) other sorts of images that it is illegal to create (leaked crime scene photos, etc.), I think that they are not generally enforced.

P.S.: Is snopes's avatar the icon for the Druid's Raven skill from Diablo II?

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Lainie
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quote:
Originally posted by Troodon:
Isn't there a big difference between creating child porn and merely owning child porn? I think a good case could be made for legalizing possessing child porn, as opposed to creating or paying for someone else to create child porn. After all, if there are laws against having (as opposed to creating) other sorts of images that it is illegal to create (leaked crime scene photos, etc.), I think that they are not generally enforced.

But one of the reasons that people are motivated to create child porn is that there is a market for it -- in other words, that people want to own it. Also, by making possession illegal, you give people who are found in possession of it an incentive to help capture the producers of the child porn.

The leaked crime scene photo is a false analogy. It's not illegal to produce crime scene photos; they are not explotative until they are leaked; and it's unlikely that anyone would take more crime scene photos because they perceive a larger market to sell leaked photos.

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LeaflessMapleTree
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Well if you pay someone else to create it you ARE contributing to the harm. As for owning it if it is illegally made by someone else...well again, so long as you buy it, you are contributing to the harm. The only way that argument could make sense is if you were given it for free.

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Troodon
It Came Upon a Midnight Clearance


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The legal sort of pornography can easily be obtained for free, so I presume that illegal child porn can be too (although presumably with greater difficulty). Honestly, while the thought of being attracted to children disgusts me, I look at plenty of (legal) things online that I enjoy but that would disgust most other people. Thus, I have some sympathy towards people arrested for the posession of child porn who were neither creating it nor materially assisting others who were. The main problem with what they are doing, I think, is that the children portrayed in the pornography do not want those pictures of themselves to exist. That is where my analogy to leaked crime scene photos applies - presumably the victim of the crime (or the relatives) do not want those photographs to be public, and releasing the photographs was a crime, but should people who obtain copies of the photographs (without paying for them) be punished?

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Silas Sparkhammer
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At this point in time, the government has surely seized a great quantity of illegal child porn.

It should be published. For free. To anyone who wants it. (Faces can be de-rezzed to protect identities.)

Owning child porn *from the government* should, thus, be legal. Owning or producing any other variety (involving real children) can continue under ban.

This would (partially) satisfy the market, thus reducing demand, thus reducing the rewards of producing more of this stuff.

Also, entirely fiction child porn (drawings, paintings, computer renderings using body-modeling software, etc.) should always remain entirely legal.

Silas (hey, honest, I have had worse ideas!)

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GenYus
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quote:
Originally posted by Silas Sparkhammer:
At this point in time, the government has surely seized a great quantity of illegal child porn.

It should be published. For free. To anyone who wants it. (Faces can be de-rezzed to protect identities.)

Owning child porn *from the government* should, thus, be legal. Owning or producing any other variety (involving real children) can continue under ban.

This would (partially) satisfy the market, thus reducing demand, thus reducing the rewards of producing more of this stuff.

Also, entirely fiction child porn (drawings, paintings, computer renderings using body-modeling software, etc.) should always remain entirely legal.

Silas (hey, honest, I have had worse ideas!)

Except, as Troodon said, the victims probably don't want those images out there. If I were in a child porn movie, I wouldn't want people still able to legally obtain my movie. I'd want it buried as far as possible (maybe in the Raiders of the Lost Ark warehouse).

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IIRC, it wasn't the shoe bomber's loud prayers that sparked the takedown by the other passengers; it was that he was trying to light his shoe on fire. Very, very different. Canuckistan

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robbiev - singin' off key
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quote:
Originally posted by Troodon:
The legal sort of pornography can easily be obtained for free, so I presume that illegal child porn can be too (although presumably with greater difficulty).

Depending on what you are looking for, it really isn't that much more difficult to find.

I also am a connoisseur of legal porn, although what I find appealing would be incredibly boring to most people. I just simply like looking at pictures of pretty women...nothing exotic. For example, Playboy is good enough for me. I don't have to have Hustler.

I'm too cheap to buy it on a regular basis, so I used to use the internet newsgroups to look for it, but unfortunately, it's all to easy to come across pictures of obviously underage girls accidentally. A picture of something like that could be hidden under the headline "Erika Eleniak naked."

The problem is two-fold (IMO).

1. Too many people want it.

2. Too many newsgroup "trolls" that post crap
to the wrong newsgroup, whether intentionally
or accidentally, but that's really irrelevent.

If I'm in a "Playboy Centerfold" newsgroup and downloading pictures of the PMotM, I don't expect to get a picture of a 12 YO girl (or sometimes boy), but it happens, so I quit doing it.

Additionally, I suspect there are newsgroups devoted to underage pictures. I wouldn't think it would take too much to find it.

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glisp42
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It doesn't take much to find.

for research purposes I set out to find some on newsgroups. Took me 30 seconds flat. Personally I think killing's to good for them but I will admit that past experiences have prejudiced me.

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First of Two
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Just for the sake of argument, what about the definition of "child porn?"

If two seventeen-year-old American teenagers get it into their heads to film themselves for fun, is there, in fact, a victim here?

If a picture or video is made of someone, with their consent, in a country with different laws concerning age, and transmitted through the wires to one where taking it is a crime, when does the photo become illegal?

I once heard that it used to be - or is it still? - legal in some European countries for individuals as young as sixteen (or 14?) to be in "adult" films. This may have been a lie - the person who told me this was pretty strange.

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Jay Temple
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My idea for some time has been this: When the police uncover footage of an adult having sex with a minor, arrest the adult for statutory rape. Then let him walk in exchange for turning in the person who made the film. Let that person get a reduced sentence for turning the person who financed it.

In this scenario, no one is prosecuted for producing or possessing pornography, only for an actual crime.

For footage of two minors having sex, all you need is for one participant to testify that the filmmaker coerced their activity, and follow as above.

And don't prosecute anyone for computer-generated child porn, nor for paying adults to have sex in which one or more of them portray minors. (Of course, if you sell a video that purports to be child porn when the actors are all of legal age, you should still be prosecuted for fraud.)

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El Camino
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In England and other European countries the age of consent for a sexual relationship is 16, so I wouldn't be surprised if the legal age to be filmed doing it were the same.

I think this is just another example of the fact that censorship is not always bad. Some things should be censored. Child porn is one of them.


Also, who was the victim in the Tracy Lords scandal (aside from the porn companies who lost lots of money)? I'd say no one. But you have to have a cutoff somewhere, and 18 seems to be it.

ETA: Also, I think most child porn isn't produced in a studio or anything. Often it's just the perpretrator and the victim. And the example given was just two kids and no filmer: maybe they used a webcam, set down the camera or just took turns holding it.

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Troberg
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Yes, it's censorship. That's what the word means.

But, it's also one of the very few forms of censorship that I agree with.

As robbiev427 said, there is a possibility of downloading it accidentally, so there should also be a requirement of some kind of proof of intent. You could click on a completely ordinary and innocent looking link that leads you to a web page that contains inapropriate images, and you should not have to go to prison for that kind of accidental downloads.

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Spikey
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quote:
Originally posted by El Camino:
In England and other European countries the age of consent for a sexual relationship is 16, so I wouldn't be surprised if the legal age to be filmed doing it were the same.

Nope; although the legal age for sex is 16, I'm pretty sure you still have to be 18 to be in porn.

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Pogue Ma-humbug
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quote:
Originally posted by First of Two:
Just for the sake of argument, what about the definition of "child porn?"

Here's Kentucky's law. See here for additional laws.

quote:
If two seventeen-year-old American teenagers get it into their heads to film themselves for fun, is there, in fact, a victim here?
Doesn't matter if there is a "victim." Under Kentucky laws, both would be guilty of a crime. And anyone possessing or distributing the video also would be committing a crime.

quote:
If a picture or video is made of someone, with their consent, in a country with different laws concerning age, and transmitted through the wires to one where taking it is a crime, when does the photo become illegal?
Again, I'm going by Kentucky law (which is based on the model penal code, and thus likely similar to many other states' laws), but it's illegal when you "possess" it -- such as downloading it to your computer. Perhaps just looking at it on your computer -- unless you're caught in the act -- without downloading it would not be a prosecutable offense.

But one thing we've not discussed is when the images are digitally manipulated. Is it illegal -- or immoral -- to make a 21-year-old look like a 12-year-old by digitally changing her body? Should it be illegal?

Kentucky law states that any person who appears to be underage shall be presumed to be underage -- a presumption that can be rebutted by "competent evidence."

Pogue

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Mad Jay
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quote:
Originally posted by Pogue Mahone:
Perhaps just looking at it on your computer -- unless you're caught in the act -- without downloading it would not be a prosecutable offense.


Pogue

"Just looking" at a picture is impossible without downloading the picture. Whenever you look at a picture on the internet, it is downloaded into your Temporary Internet Files first. Technically, there is really not much differrence between "viewing an image" and "downloading an image and opening the image". If you have to remove the picture from your computer, you have to take the same precautions you would for erasing a downloaded picture.

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faceless007
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quote:
But one thing we've not discussed is when the images are digitally manipulated. Is it illegal -- or immoral -- to make a 21-year-old look like a 12-year-old by digitally changing her body? Should it be illegal?

Kentucky law states that any person who appears to be underage shall be presumed to be underage -- a presumption that can be rebutted by "competent evidence."

Wasn't that ruled unconstitutional just a few years ago? IIRC, the ruling made mention of the movies "American Beauty" and "Traffic" since those films have underage characters participating in sexual situations.
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Troberg
Angels Wii Have Heard on High


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quote:
"Just looking" at a picture is impossible without downloading the picture. Whenever you look at a picture on the internet, it is downloaded into your Temporary Internet Files first. Technically, there is really not much differrence between "viewing an image" and "downloading an image and opening the image". If you have to remove the picture from your computer, you have to take the same precautions you would for erasing a downloaded picture.
It's even worse. Downloading is the act of transfering the image to your computer, not storing it. As soon as it has arrived at your network card, it is downloaded. It is by definition impossible to check an image without downloading it.

Anyway, even if storage would be required, with the growing market for various kinds of solid state disks, the line between memory and storage is getting blurry.

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/Troberg

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robbiev - singin' off key
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quote:
Originally posted by First of Two:
Just for the sake of argument, what about the definition of "child porn?"

If two seventeen-year-old American teenagers get it into their heads to film themselves for fun, is there, in fact, a victim here?

There may be no victim, but it would still be illegal (in places where under 18 is considered a child).

quote:

If a picture or video is made of someone, with their consent, in a country with different laws concerning age, and transmitted through the wires to one where taking it is a crime, when does the photo become illegal?

I'm not sure if you meant to, but you answered your own question within your question. It becomes illegal when it is viewed in a country where it is illegal to view.

It may be perfectly legal in country "X" to have a picture of a 16 year old naked, but in many states (maybe all, I don't know) in the U.S. it's illegal to possess or view a picture of a naked 16 YO, so it would be illegal to view it in the U.S.

The same could be said for anything. Marijuana is perfectly legal in some countries. If I go to country "X" and buy perfectly legal pot, I'm ok as long as I'm in country "X". It becomes illegal the moment I get back to the U.S. assuming I still have the pot.

An even better example is gambling. A few years ago when it was still illegal in Mississippi to gamble, there were several boats in Gulfport that went out into international waters. Once the boat hit a certain point (3 miles out, I think) gambling started, and was perfectly legal.

The "cruise" would last for 4 hours, and at the end of the 4 hours, someone would announce "last bet" and you were done for the day. If anyone had still been gambling at the moment the boat reached a point within 3 miles of the coast of the U.S. it would at that point be illegal.

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El Camino
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quote:
Originally posted by Spikey:
quote:
Originally posted by El Camino:
In England and other European countries the age of consent for a sexual relationship is 16, so I wouldn't be surprised if the legal age to be filmed doing it were the same.

Nope; although the legal age for sex is 16, I'm pretty sure you still have to be 18 to be in porn.
Fair enough. Not a bad policy, actually. I think the hard 18 years age of consent in some U.S. states is a bit silly: a willing 17 and 19 year old having sex is not rape. But a teenage being in porn: well, it may have serious and lasting consequences that they don't understand. Not that this changes at 18, of course, but you have to draw the line somewhere.
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Alyssa098
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In Canada the age of consent is 14 but you have to be 18 to be a stripper/porn actress/nude model.

Tracey

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Oualawouzou
Angels Wii Have Heard on High


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quote:
Originally posted by Alyssa098:
In Canada the age of consent is 14 but you have to be 18 to be a stripper/porn actress/nude model.

Tracey

And then again, at 14, there are restrictions on the age of your partner. If I recall right, your partner must be within 2 years of your own age as long as you are not 16 years old. Don't quote me on this though, it's been a while since I checked that.

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robbiev - singin' off key
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quote:
Originally posted by Alyssa098:
In Canada the age of consent is 14 but you have to be 18 to be a stripper/porn actress/nude model. Tracey

Robbiev: making plans to visit Canada on my upcoming vacation.


quote:
Originally posted by Oualawouzou:
And then again, at 14, there are restrictions on the age of your partner. If I recall right, your partner must be within 2 years of your own age as long as you are not 16 years old. Don't quote me on this though, it's been a while since I checked that.

Damn...Never mind. Have to call and cancel those airline reservations.


Robbiev -lighten up people, I was joking- 427

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Alyssa098
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From what I understand by this page http://www.ageofconsent.com/canada.htm
the 2 years or less age difference only applies if one is under 14. A 13 year old and an almost 15 year old can legally have sex. A 14 year old boy can legally have sex with any female and a 14 year old girl can legally have sex with anyone. It's news to me but for gay sex the age of consent is 18.

Tracey

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ThistleSoftware
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quote:
Originally posted by Jay Temple:
My idea for some time has been this: When the police uncover footage of an adult having sex with a minor, arrest the adult for statutory rape. Then let him walk in exchange for turning in the person who made the film. Let that person get a reduced sentence for turning the person who financed it.

In this scenario, no one is prosecuted for producing or possessing pornography, only for an actual crime.

I consider having sex with a child, even at someone else's behest, to be a crime. I don't know why financing such a film would be any bigger a crime than participating in it. Also, plea bargains for people involved in child pornography would end the career of a D.A. I would think.

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First of Two
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Um, sorry if I was unclear, I wasn't asking so much about the actual legal status of the topics I broached above, as much as whether or not people thought that the law as written was good law.

Seemed to me that the discussion was trending that direction, so I was curious about whether people thought there was a difference between what is and what should be.

I've heard it argued that if you're old enough to legally do something, then it's not logical that you're not old enough to be filmed legally doing it. It seems a rational argument... on the face of it.

Then again, the AoC for legal contracts is also usually 18, so maybe the counterargument would be that you can film it, but not distribute it, because that would require a legal contract, which a minor cannot sign.

First "am I actually debating this? EUURGH. Time to go throw up." of Two

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El Camino
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quote:
If two seventeen-year-old American teenagers get it into their heads to film themselves for fun, is there, in fact, a victim here?
No. The only reason it is illegal is because you have to have hard laws. If someone else is filming it, then they are wrong. But if not, who is to blame? Who could even be prosecuted if they both filmed it consensually and then, say, put it on the internet themselves.

quote:
If a picture or video is made of someone, with their consent, in a country with different laws concerning age, and transmitted through the wires to one where taking it is a crime, when does the photo become illegal?
When it is possessed in the country where it is illegal, whether that be receiving it in the mail, bringing it into the country or simply downloading it for view on a computer.
Posts: 1048 | From: Brunswick, Maine | Registered: Oct 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
ThistleSoftware
Little Sales Drummer Boy


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quote:
Originally posted by El Camino:
quote:
If two seventeen-year-old American teenagers get it into their heads to film themselves for fun, is there, in fact, a victim here?
No. The only reason it is illegal is because you have to have hard laws. If someone else is filming it, then they are wrong. But if not, who is to blame? Who could even be prosecuted if they both filmed it consensually and then, say, put it on the internet themselves.

I think the answer is, anyone who looked at/ downloaded it.

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rodh
Deck the Malls


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quote:
Originally posted by Alyssa098:
From what I understand by this page http://www.ageofconsent.com/canada.htm
the 2 years or less age difference only applies if one is under 14. A 13 year old and an almost 15 year old can legally have sex. A 14 year old boy can legally have sex with any female and a 14 year old girl can legally have sex with anyone. It's news to me but for gay sex the age of consent is 18.

Tracey

I've been wanting that clarification ever since I heard that the age of consent is 14. I, as a 38 year old man, can legally have sex with a 14 year old girl. That just doesn't seem right. I know we have to have a cut-off age somewhere but 14 seems too low.
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robbiev - singin' off key
Happy Xmas (Warranty Is Over)


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quote:
Originally posted by El Camino:
quote:
If two seventeen-year-old American teenagers get it into their heads to film themselves for fun, is there, in fact, a victim here?
No. The only reason it is illegal is because you have to have hard laws. If someone else is filming it, then they are wrong. But if not, who is to blame? Who could even be prosecuted if they both filmed it consensually and then, say, put it on the internet themselves.

quote:
If a picture or video is made of someone, with their consent, in a country with different laws concerning age, and transmitted through the wires to one where taking it is a crime, when does the photo become illegal?
When it is possessed in the country where it is illegal, whether that be receiving it in the mail, bringing it into the country or simply downloading it for view on a computer.

Spanked a few posts back.

Robbiev -finally got one!- 427 [Big Grin]

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Every time I see a good looking woman, I think, "0oooh. There's another one I'll never have!"

Corvette. The louder you scream, the faster I'll go.

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robbiev - singin' off key
Happy Xmas (Warranty Is Over)


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quote:
Originally posted by rodh:
quote:
Originally posted by Alyssa098:
From what I understand by this page http://www.ageofconsent.com/canada.htm
the 2 years or less age difference only applies if one is under 14. A 13 year old and an almost 15 year old can legally have sex. A 14 year old boy can legally have sex with any female and a 14 year old girl can legally have sex with anyone. It's news to me but for gay sex the age of consent is 18.

Tracey

I've been wanting that clarification ever since I heard that the age of consent is 14. I, as a 38 year old man, can legally have sex with a 14 year old girl. That just doesn't seem right. I know we have to have a cut-off age somewhere but 14 seems too low.
My other posts not withstanding, in all seriousness, yes, there seems something wrong with a 37 YO man (in my case) having sex with a 14 YO girl, regardless of legalities.

Perhaps (and it's a big perhaps) if I was from Canada and grew up with that law, it wouldn't seem wrong, since there are some in the U.S. that would same the same thing about a 37 YO and an 18 YO even though it's legal here.

In other words, maybe 18 just "seems" different because that's what I'm used to by our laws.

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Every time I see a good looking woman, I think, "0oooh. There's another one I'll never have!"

Corvette. The louder you scream, the faster I'll go.

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El Camino
We Three Blings


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I would say they are very different. 14 is at the pretty early stages of adolescence - physically and mentally, the kid is still developing. At 18, they're pretty much at the end of adolescence - physically almost developed and hopefully mentally mature as well. A 14 year old is a kid - an 18 year old is a young adult.
I think the period between 12 and 18 is the period where the largest mental changes occur to accompany the physical ones. Not that their aren't significant changes after that for a lot of people, but this difference here is a huge one. The difference between a 14 and an 18 year old is huge, on average, while the difference between an 18 year old and a 22 year old is pretty small. Although 18 is still pretty arbitrary, I'd have to say 14 is way to young.

I don't really see how it could be that different in Canada. I mean, I've been to Montreal and it's a pretty crazy place, but still...

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asnakeny
Deck the Malls


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quote:
Posted by Troodon:Isn't there a big difference between creating child porn and merely owning child porn? I think a good case could be made for legalizing possessing child porn, as opposed to creating or paying for someone else to create child porn.
quote:
Posted by Troberg:Downloading is the act of transfering the image to your computer, not storing it. As soon as it has arrived at your network card, it is downloaded. It is by definition impossible to check an image without downloading it.
Anyway, even if storage would be required, with the growing market for various kinds of solid state disks, the line between memory and storage is getting blurry.

And now, ladies and gentlemen, threads and posts collide. Here is a recent case in Michigan, where a man was convicted of creating child pornography (maximum sentence=20 years) simply by the act of storing his images from his computer memory onto a CD-Rom. (His lawyer had argued that this was merely possession on child pornogrpahy: maximum sentence=4 years.) (Here is the slashdot discussion about this case.)(BTW, hat tip to Howard Bashman's blog for sniffing this case out.)

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Is here no telephone?

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