"This new legislation could be used for the wrong reason and if used incorrectly thousands of people could become criminals overnight."

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Insert "who watches the watchmen?" reference here:

This week Parliament will discuss a new Bill which will make it a criminal offence to possess cartoons depicting certain forms of child abuse. If the Coroners and Justice Bill remains unaltered it will make it illegal to own any picture of children participating in sexual activities, or present whilst sexual activity took place.

The Ministry of Justice claims that the Bill is needed to clamp down on the growing quantity of hardcore paedophilic cartoon porn available on the internet, particularly from Japan. But critics of the legislation say the current definitions are so sweeping that it risks stifling mainstream artistic expression as well as turning thousands of law abiding comic book fans into potential sex offenders….

There are even fears that Watchmen, one of the industry's most critically acclaimed graphic novels, could risk being banned because one of the main superheroes sees his mother having sex when he is a young child.

Rest at The Independent. Reason on Watchmen here, here, and here. On Watchmen scribe Alan Moore's erotic comic Lost Girls here.

[Via Neil Gaiman, who notes, "I wish I could take UK government claims that obviously they know what the law says but it won't be used that way seriously."]

NEXT: Attn. D.C. Area Reasonoids: Happy Hour, Thursday, April 2, 6:30 p.m. at Local 16!

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  1. I refuse to believe that George Clinton is involved in this nonsense.

  2. Meanwhile, British children are watching the government screw the citizenry.

  3. I refuse to believe that George Clinton is involved in this nonsense.

    Fuck off, dipshit.

  4. I would have to think the British Government has better things to do with their time. The level of Government control in England is truly scary.

    http://www.notoriouslyconservative.com

  5. The Ministry of Justice claims that the Bill is needed to clamp down on the growing quantity of hardcore paedophilic cartoon porn available on the internet, particularly from Japan.
    I’m sorry. Isn’t that something we should be encouraging in these hard economic times? Why the hell would there be a need to “clamp down” on it?

  6. ‘There are even fears that Watchmen, one of the industry’s most critically acclaimed graphic novels, could risk being banned because one of the main superheroes sees his mother having sex when he is a young child.’

    For the same reason, a sufficiently-explicit comic version of Aldous Huxley’s *Brave New World* might be banned because one of the characters comes very close to seeing his mother have sex with a client.

    *Brave New World* isn’t going to get any breaks from the UK govt because it portrays a secularist regime crushing the freedom, the religion, and the traditional mores of the people through, inter alia, hedonism.

    From the review of Alan Moore’s *Lost Girls:*

    ‘The book’s heroines are the grownup versions of three icons of British and American children’s literature: Alice of Alice in Wonderland, Wendy of Peter Pan, and Dorothy of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. Their adventures with the Red Queen, Captain Hook, and the Tin Woodman are literalized as episodes of wild, incestuous, Sapphic, bestial, multifarious sex.’

    As Tom Lehrer said,

    I can tell you things about Peter Pan
    And the Wizard of Oz – there’s a dirty old man!

    A porno written by Alan Moore should be a twofer for *Reason,* yet it gets panned. That suggests to me that it’s really, really bad.

  7. Why would the cartoon be illegal and “Doubt” legal? In both cases, the movie presents a story about exposing a child to sex and is made with film techniques that ensure no actual children were exposed to sex in the filming.

  8. “Mister President, we cannot allow a thought crime gap!”

  9. It appears to be a fact that as the free availability of porn on the internet has increased, the incidence of rape has decreased. Now, it would be premature to draw a direct causal link, but would it not be worth looking at whether these “paedophilic cartoons” might be sort of a good thing as they allow the sicko perverts to release some of their child fucking desires without actually having to harm any child? Isn’t the problem with child porn that children are raped and horribly abused to produce it? I don’t think that has to happen to make a cartoon.
    It’s some sick shit any way you look at it, but it seems to me that the aim of the law ought to be to protect children and to stop pedophiles form acting on their desires, not to punnish people for their inner perversions.

  10. For the same reason, a sufficiently-explicit comic version of Aldous Huxley’s *Brave New World* might be banned because one of the characters comes very close to seeing his mother have sex with a client.

    IIRC, Brave New World has plenty of vignettes of everyone having sex with everyone else, including pre-teens.

  11. About a decade ago in the USA it was feared that recently adopted child porn prohib’ns would be misconstrued as extending to porn images that weren’t of actual children, until state & federal courts ruled that obscenity could not be so construed. It was understood that that was not the intention of such laws, because no harm to actual children was involved.

    Now you’re telling me that Australia already has a law explicitly criminalizing cartoon child porn possession, and that arguments have been advanced for the UK to adopt the same? It reads as if they’re saying “of course” this is an evil to be prohibited, while in the USA it was a matter of “of course” prohibitions on obscenity should not be construed to extend to that. Do any of them give any reason why “virtual” child pornography needs to be banned? Including even something that the unintended temporary by-product of the USAn laws did not take in, namely depictions of children as being at the scene of adult sexual activity?

    BTW, in the UK is it even illegal for actual children to be present when their parents or other household members or pets or farm animals engage in sex activity?

  12. Earlier this month an Australian man was convicted of possessing child pornography because he downloaded six images of characters from The Simpsons performing sex acts on each other as a joke.

    I’ll remember that next time some Australian gets all up about how Ozzie’s are so much more broad minded since they got the convicts while we got the Puritans.

  13. Here’s an answer for you, Robert. In the UK, Canada and many other countries, the government is seen as having plenary power. A remnant of the idea that government is limited in scope, using powers that have been specifically delegated to it by the citizenry, who are actually sovereign, still exists in the USA. Yes, it sometimes seems the principle is honored more in the breach, but it seems to have adhered longest in First Amendment controversies. It doesn’t always prevail, as SCOTUS upholding various restrictions on political speech (BCRA/McCain-Feingold, frex) shows, but at least we haven’t erased the right to maintain silence when arrested, as the Brits have done.

    Kevin

  14. No need to cross the pond for absurdity on the evil of child porn. There is a 14 year old NJ girl facing felony charges of distributing child porn – she posted nude pics or herself on FaceBook.

  15. No, kevrob, that’s not an answer to my question. Suppose you DO have plenary power. That doesn’t automatically mean you do things because they’re stupid. Saying someone has the ability to hit hirself on the head with a hammer is not an explanation of why that person is hitting hir head with a hammer.

  16. Canada also bans literature the describes children in sexual situations with words. I wonder if that means “Brave New World”, “Lysistrata”, and “Lolita” are banned there.

  17. So the word-children won’t have their feelings hurt?

  18. Robert, one of the great arguments for establishing constitutional barriers to a more powerful government is precisely to keep those in charge from doing fundamentally stupid things. As P. J. O’Rourke once wrote, Giving money and power to government is like giving whiskey and car keys to teenage boys.

    It was the Brit Thomas Macaulay who described the U.S. Constitution as …all sail and no anchor. If he were alive today, he’d have to apologize, because the Blairites have completed the conversion of the good ship Brittania into a freakin’ catamaran.

    Kevin

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