Fan Fiction Author Charged With Obscenity In The UK

from the seems-a-bit-extreme dept

Apparently, it's not just the US that has decided to jump back into the murky waters of charging people with obscenity charges for stuff they put online. Over in the UK, a guy is facing an obscenity charge for a bit of fiction that he wrote. There are communities of folks online who often write fiction involving "famous" characters, whether from TV or movies or, in some cases, from real life. The whole concept, frankly, strikes me as a little bit odd, but for those who want to do it, I don't see why they shouldn't be allowed to do so. In this case, the guy wrote some apparently graphic fiction about a band in the UK and is now being charged with publishing obscene materials. If he loses, I would imagine that there are large groups of folks who post this sort of (yes, ridiculously distasteful) stuff online, who could be facing similar charges. I have enough difficulty understanding obscenity laws that go after people in online communities where the content is, in no way, pushed on others -- but it seems even more bizarre to include obscenity charges for fictional writing.
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Filed Under: community standards, fan fiction, obscenity, uk


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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 23 Oct 2008 @ 8:11am

    It's not slander or character ...

    It's not slander or character defamation, because in fiction there is no "claim of fact".

    Consider historical fiction. People write stories about real people who were actually alive, in a fictional context. Nobody seems to get upset or confused by this. The authors are not subject to criminal charges even if the fiction is quite unlikely bear any resemblance to the actual historical events and people depicted.

    I don't see any compelling reason to look at fan fiction about living people in a different light.

    Laws against obscenity are anachronistic. If you find something objectionable, don't consume it.

    Classification is all well and good, but when your society is criminalising people who write distateful stories, maybe it's time to wake up and smell the coffee. What's next? Locking up people who make ugly sculptures? Pornographic films? Comments you don't agree with?

    How 'bout NO.


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