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PostPosted: December 9th, 2007, 7:33 pm 
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"USA, Japan Propose Limits on Explicit Online Material
posted on 2007-12-09 10:16 EST
Separate, broadly written proposals could affect manga, anime

The United States House of Representatives passed a bill on Wednesday that would expand the online enforcement against "any image of any apparent child pornography." In Japan, a government research panel on the unification of telecommunications and broadcast laws called for legislation to regulate "harmful materials" on the Internet on Thursday. Both efforts could affect manga and anime that depict fictional, explicit content.

America's H.R. 3791 bill, which is known as the "Securing Adolescents From Exploitation-Online Act of 2007" or "SAFE Act of 2007," would toughen the penalties for Internet Service Providers who do not report "any facts or circumstances that appear to indicate" pornography or sexual exploitation of minors. The bill passed the House with a 409-2 vote, with only Paul Brown (R-GA) and presidential candidate Ron Paul (R-TX) voting against it. It would still need to pass the Senate and be signed by the President before becoming law.

The Ars Technica technology website points out clauses that explicitly say that the act does not require providers to "monitor" users and content or even "affirmatively seek facts or circumstances" related to pornography or sexual exploitation. However, if providers already do any monitoring for these issues or unrelated ones, they have a "duty to report" and record the incidents. (This is already true with lesser penalties under the current law.) Simon Jones, the head of the manga firm Icarus Publishing, writes that providers may decide to forego monitoring for any issues to avoid dealing with this bill if it becomes law. Other commentators say end users with open Wi-Fi connections or Internet kiosks might be held accountable as providers. A spokesperson for one of the bill's bipartisan sponsors, Rep. Nick Lampson (D-TX), initially told Ars Technica that these broad interpretations are incorrect, but could not confirm that with the representative's policy staffers for the site's report.

The commentators also say that the vague language in other clauses would force providers to make unqualified legal determinations of what constitutes an "image of any apparent child pornography." The broad language may also include depictions of fictional minors, which may put certain anime and manga under scrutiny.

In Japan, a research panel recommended on Thursday that a bill be submitted to the Diet (the Japanese legislative body) in 2010 to unify the laws on telecommunications and broadcasting. Among its many recommendations to the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications is the legal groundwork to allow the regulation of "harmful materials" on the Internet. The report asserted the need to protect minors from such materials, but noted the current laws do not allow the government to impose filtering. Another panel will convene between 2008 and 2009 to draft more specific proposals, after which the ministry plans to submit a bill to the Diet.

On October 25, the Japanese government's Cabinet Office issued the results of a poll in which people were asked in individual interviews about "harmful materials." 90.9% said such materials on the Internet should be regulated, or "should be regulated if I had to choose."

Source: Ars Technica, atmarkIT, ANN"

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As this could become law, you might want to start watching what you look at/search for in terms of content that could be considered lolicon, which is arguably a whole lot of the hentai related content out there. I don't know if it does pass how vigorously they will put it into practice, but just be careful if it is.

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PostPosted: December 9th, 2007, 8:09 pm 
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So what? I collect such stuff because it's there. If it's not there anymore I won't miss it.
Much like pretzels during an RPG session.

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PostPosted: December 9th, 2007, 8:23 pm 
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Bah. This is just downright moronic. So they're going to start prosecuting people now for possessing adult materials which may involve FAKE minors?

I guess that means that they'd better start removing Romeo and Juliet from all English curriculums. And ban all movies and plays of the story. Because, you know, Juliet is actually only 13 years old. :P (It's a little known fact, but Shakespeare actually wrote Juliet's age as just 13.)

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PostPosted: December 9th, 2007, 10:13 pm 
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42317 wrote:
So what? I collect such stuff because it's there. If it's not there anymore I won't miss it.
Much like pretzels during an RPG session.

So what? Well other than the fact that it won't affect you in Germany, it could pose a problem to those of us that will fall under the law. Its not that it is so much getting rid of the material, as it is putting more pressure on ISP's and such to report people that are found to be looking at/downloading such materials during the course of their monitoring. Given that a whole heck of a lot of hentai out there is depicting people under the age of 18, this could greatly affect your ability to look at/download/search for such items if it will end up getting you reported. It's not as if the material will simply be gone from the internet, it will just now have much more of a possibility of getting you in deep shit if they find you doing it, and a higher chance they will look for and report you.

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Last edited by Acmurphy on December 10th, 2007, 5:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: December 10th, 2007, 12:11 am 
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All I have to say is, it's a good thing Kodomo no Jikan isn't hentai, because if it were . . . oh boy . . . :lol:

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PostPosted: December 10th, 2007, 1:14 am 
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So, if this law goes into effect, will people who downloaded or looked at those materials (before the law went into effect) be prosecuted? Or will it be everyone after the law is passed...?

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PostPosted: December 10th, 2007, 2:04 am 
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I really don't know how it is going to work out in the end. If ISP's have been storing info about what you have been doing, they may be forced to report it if the law goes into effect, or maybe it will only cover new info they get. Hell, your ISP might not be monitoring what the people on it are doing on it, or storing the info anyway. However, I don't know what they are going to be looking for, or who exactly they will go after, since they really can't go after everyone. Maybe they will just pass the law to make it look like they are trying to do something, but won't really prosecute people over it. Drawings is much more of a grey area than real cp.

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PostPosted: December 10th, 2007, 3:50 am 
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I really don't see how they can consider "drawings" as child pornography since unlike real child pornography, a drawing does not actually hard anyone. The reason why child pornography is illegal is because it a form of child abuse and exploitation. However, none of that occurs in drawings or animations since no child is being abused or exploited.

Not to say that I don't ever find drawings or animation offense but offense is a far cry from obscenity.

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PostPosted: December 10th, 2007, 5:26 pm 
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Okay, okay, I realize my comment was a bit too indifferent.
Still, if such laws come into existence you'll be more careful about what you do. Such reglementation is usually frowned on in the States, I suppose, but most Europeans live with that everyday and easily, although in some or maybe many cases the ruling is outright ridiculous.

For example did you know that I, an adult citizen, am not allowed to borrow Hitler's "Mein Kampf" from a library? The book is kept in a vault, only available to those who have a kind of "academic permit", like historians or political theorists - as if reading this book would inevitably turn you into a Nazi or something.

Same thing with the Hentai genre in question. It's also ridiculous, since reading Lolicon Manga does not turn you into a child molester. But many people argue right that, that reading such stuff encouraged individuals to try what they saw in a graphic novel in real life.

Say, have any of you ever attacked a woman because you wanted to try out some techniques you saw in a porn movie? I guess not.

Why not abolish alcohol, since its abuse leads to broken families, scarred personalities and actual casualties in households and on the streets?
Why not abolish national states, because their propaganda instills a feeling of superiority in its people which may lead to warfare, like it has in the past and still does?

They can argue from a moral point of view. In most societies enjoying a person being abused is morally wrong, and morally it does not matter much whether the mistreated person is real or not. But prosecuting the end-users is the wrong idea.
In military terms: What's easier than fighting a carrier group with its air squadrons, battle cruisers and missile destroyers and what have you? Answer: Sink the fuel tankers instead.

If they're out to fight lolicon Manga, criminalize the production. Switch off the drawer and you leave his clientel in the dark. Do this on a broad scale and the market will run dry. It can't be destroyed, I guess, like any other questionable matter which is deeply rooted in the human mind, but it will only leave a fraction.

Now don't get me wrong. I'm not advocating anything, I'm just describing a contingency.

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PostPosted: December 10th, 2007, 8:08 pm 
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42317 wrote:
If they're out to fight lolicon Manga, criminalize the production. Switch off the drawer and you leave his clientel in the dark. Do this on a broad scale and the market will run dry. It can't be destroyed, I guess, like any other questionable matter which is deeply rooted in the human mind, but it will only leave a fraction.


All that will do is drive it underground, and in the era of the Internet, going underground doesn't really mean much. People who still want to find Lolicon manga/anime games will still do it.

The US tried to ban all alcohol once, back during the Prohibition during the 1950's (or was it the 60's?) Anyway, it failed dismally, since illegal bootlegging sprang up everywhere. The criminal gangs took over alcohol production, and they were hardly the most enthusiastic supporters of things like health and safety checks. Not to mention because it was illegal, they could charge whatever they damn well wanted for their booze.

No, trying to restrict something simply doesn't work. The more you tell people they can't have something, the more they will want it. To be honest, I think that the best way to deal with things like this is to legalise it, then place strict guidelines on what is and isn't acceptable, with offenders being charged in court.

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PostPosted: December 12th, 2007, 10:57 am 
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Zaxares wrote:
The US tried to ban all alcohol once, back during the Prohibition during the 1950's (or was it the 60's?)

Uh, actually... :wink:

Prohibition era (1920–33)
The period during which the manufacture, sale, and transportation of alcoholic drinks was prohibited in the USA. A culmination of the aspirations of the Temperance Movement, it began when the Eighteenth Amendment to the Constitution went into effect by the passing of the Volstead Act (1919).

Despite the securing of some 300,000 court convictions between 1920 and 1930, drinking continued. Speakeasies (illegal bars) and bootlegging (illegal distilling of alcohol) flourished. The success of such gangsters as Al CAPONE, who controlled the supply of illegal alcohol, led to corruption of police and city government.

After the Wickersham Commission in 1931 reported that the prohibition laws were unenforceable and encouraged public disrespect for law in general, the Eighteenth Amendment was repealed by the Twenty-First Amendment. A number of states and counties retained full or partial prohibition, but by 1966 no statewide prohibition laws existed.


From
A Dictionary of World History 2000, originally published by Oxford University Press 2000.


Yes, it can hardly be stopped I guess... uh, Lolicon Manga, I mean. But such Manga are not like a political body that becames less controllable by state organs when it goes underground (like extremist parties). I know this from several Lolicon video sites which exist for a few months, then get shut down and reopen under a new label. The distribution goes on, but: The number of newly produced, illegal videos depicting minors has decreased decisively. Before the law finally came into existence in Japan (illegalizing such movies) as late as 1997, 90 % of the existing world market what is considered child porn came from Japan. Afterwards it was about 4 % and sources moved to countries in eastern Europe, like Moldavia. (Sorry, can't find the sources right now.)
I'm sure by attacking the sources something for that cause can be done. It will be more effective than attacking the consumers imho.

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PostPosted: December 12th, 2007, 9:58 pm 
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They may get some success in clamping down on the flow, but I doubt they will ever fully eradicate it.

Just like slavery. Did you know that slavery is still alive and well in many parts of the world?

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PostPosted: December 15th, 2007, 5:38 pm 
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Zaxares wrote:
Did you know that slavery is still alive and well in many parts of the world?

Yeah, I heard the Arabs are big in the business.

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PostPosted: December 15th, 2007, 5:52 pm 
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The Middle East, Africa and parts of Asia are the big hot spots, where law enforcement is lax and the media spotlight doesn't fall too often. Even in countries like Japan, there's still the occasional discovery of people (usually women and children) who have been kidnapped, coerced or otherwise tricked into leaving their home country, whereupon the slavers confiscate their passports and hold it as ransom to force them into working for next to nothing.

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PostPosted: December 16th, 2007, 9:55 pm 
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I think ultimately it lies in how they plan to interpret and then enforce the law. I doubt for instance that a broadly interpreted version of these laws, broadened for instance to include lolicon anime or manga, can be enforced since it clearly violates freedom of speech clauses at least here in the States. Also, this is essentially censoring art, which is a very sensitive issue that will undoubtedly end up before the Supreme Court.

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