Join Charles Brownstein for a Discussion of Free Expression and the PROTECT Act This Wednesday

This Wednesday, you can join CBLDF Executive Director Charles Brownstein for “Is Manga a Crime? Non-photographic images, Child Pornography and Freedom of Expression,” a program that discusses the impact of the PROTECT Act and the transportation of drawn images across international borders. The program is the Digital Media & Fine Arts Committees of the New York State Bar Association Entertainment, Arts, & Sports Law Section, and attorneys who attend can gain 1.5 MCLE credits in professional practice (pending approval).

The program description:

In Ashcroft v. Free Speech Coalition, 535 U.S. 234 (2002), the US Supreme Court deemed certain parts of the Child Pornography Prevention Act of 1996 (CPPA) unconstitutional as it prohibited lawful speech (images that do not involve minors, including drawings).  Following this decision, the PROTECT Act of 2003 was passed.

Individuals in the United States have been charged and sentenced under the PROTECT Act because of their possession of non-photographic images deemed to be child pornography.  In US v. Handley, 564 F. Supp. 2d 996 (S.D. Iowa 2008), Judge Gritzner deemed certain sections of the PROTECT Act unconstitutional (18 U.S.C.S. § 1466A(a)(2) and (b)(2)) but allowed the sections that required the application of the Miller test for obscenity (18 U.S.C.S. 2252A), Miller v. California, 413 U.S. 15 (1973).  Handley entered into a guilty plea bargain so a jury never got to determine whether or not the manga in his collection was obscene.

The current law raises concerns for creators, publishers, and collectors of various forms of entertainment (including, but not limited to, comics/manga, video games, and fine art), and this panel will explore the legal issues facing these groups in light of the cases and laws mentioned above.  The panel will also address international concerns with transporting these images across borders, specifically the Canadian border.

The program takes place at Sotheby’s Institute of Art (570 Lexington Avenue, 6th Floor, New York) on May 23, 6:00 – 7:30 p.m. and it open to the public. You can get more program details and registration information here.