Wednesday, December 10, 2008


From Simpsons cartoon rip-off is child porn: judge:

A NSW Supreme Court judge has ruled an internet cartoon in which lookalike child characters from The Simpsons engage in sexual acts is child pornography.

In a landmark finding, Justice Michael Adams today upheld a decision convicting a man of possessing child pornography after the cartoons, depicting characters modelled on Bart, Lisa and Maggie engaging in sex acts, were found on his computer.

The main issue of the case was whether a fictional cartoon character could "depict" a "person" under law.

"If the persons were real, such depictions could never be permitted,"Justice Adams said in his judgement. "Their creation would constitute crimes at the very highest end of the criminal calendar."
But Justice Adams agreed with the magistrate, finding that while The Simpsons characters had hands with four fingers and their faces were "markedly and deliberately different to those of any possible human being", the mere fact that they were not realistic representations of human beings did not mean that they could not be considered people.
From the word 'person' included fictional or imaginary characters ... by Neil Gaiman:
And I suspect the Judge might have just inadvertantly granted human rights to cartoon characters.

I think it's nonsensical in every way that it could possibly be nonsensical. The Simpsons characters aren't real people. They definitely aren't real children. (Given that they first appeared in the late eighties, they're also all over eighteen now...)
The ability to distinguish between fiction and reality is, I think, an important indicator of sanity, perhaps the most important. And it looks like the Australian legal system has failed on that score.

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