Appeals Court Says Internet Content Should Be Held To Standards Of Strictest Jurisdiction
from the pandora's-box-just-opened... dept
In this case, a guy who produced porn content in California was tried in Tampa, Florida, because investigators downloaded his content there:
The Atlanta-based court rejected arguments by Little's attorneys that applying a local community standard to the Internet violates the First Amendment because doing so means material can be judged according to the standards of the strictest communities.Of course, the court did say that punishment had to be limited to just looking at how many people in that smaller community accessed the content -- which could limit the punishment given by the court, but it still seems problematic. Other courts, including one in California, have found differently on similar questions, so it seems likely that, at some point, this issue will finally go back to the Supreme Court. Unfortunately, it seems likely that the Supreme Court will focus on what counts as "community standards" rather than whether or not laws against obscenity even make legal sense under the First Amendment.
In other words, the materials might be legal where they were produced and almost everywhere else. But if they violate the standards of one community, they are illegal in that community and the producers may be convicted of a crime.