Category: Headline

For the scrolling headline

More Artists Join the CBLDF/TFAW Third Annual Auction Event!

CBLDF and TFAW are gearing up for our Third Annual Autograph Card / CBLDF Auction Event at Comic-Con International, and we’re already saving our pennies to bid on some exceptional pieces!

We’ve added more folks to the lineup and the art has started rolling in. Here’s the latest lineup, and don’t miss the gallery that follows!

Artists, we are still looking for donations! Please support Free Speech by donating an original piece of art! If you can help, please contact CBLDF at info@cbldf.org!

Crazy 8 Press Launches with CBLDF Benefit at Shore Leave 33

This weekend, the founders of Crazy 8 PressPeter David, Michael Jan Friedman, Robert Greenberger, Glenn Hauman, Aaron Rosenberg, and Howard Weinstein — take their superhero act on the road to attend Shore Leave 33 and support the CBLDF in the process!

Shore Leave 33, a fan-run science fiction convention, takes place July 8-10, 2011, at the Marriott’s Hunt Valley Inn in Baltimore, Maryland. David, Friedman, Greenberger, Hauman, Rosenberg, and Weinstein are all on hand to celebrate the launch of Crazy 8 Press throughout the weekend. Their celebration includes the writing of an original story on the convention floor, the sale of which will benefit CBLDF’s First Amendment work! more

Please support the CBLDF’s defense of Free Speech by making a donation or becoming a member today!

CBLDF Looks to Canada Customs Case

Last week, CBLDF announced that we are forming a coalition to defend a new case involving an American citizen facing charges in Canada that could result in a minimum sentence of one year in prison and registering as a sex offender.

In 2010, an American citizen, computer programmer, and comic book enthusiast in his mid-20s was flying from his home in the United States to Canada to visit a friend. Upon arrival at Canadian Customs, a customs officer conducted a search of the American and his personal belongings, including his laptop, iPad, and iPhone. The customs officer discovered manga on the laptop and deemed it child pornography. Consequently, the American has been charged with both the possession of child pornography as well as its importation into Canada. As a result, if convicted at trial, the American faces a minimum of one year in prison.

Since the announcement, more information about the case emerged in the ensuing media coverage. more

CBLDF needs your help! Please make a monetary contribution here. Find out more on the case here. If you or someone you know is traveling internationally, please read our Advisory on traveling with comics before getting on the plane.

CBLDF General Counsel Robert Corn-Revere Weighs in on Brown v. EMA Decision

Supreme Court Invalidates California Law Restricting Violent Video Games

(This article also available in MS Word and PDF.)

By a vote of 7-2, the Supreme Court held that a California law restricting the sale or rental of “violent” video games violates the First Amendment. Justice Scalia wrote the majority opinion for the Court, reasoning that the state legislature could not create new categories of speech that are unprotected by the Constitution, and that the California law failed to survive strict First Amendment scrutiny. The Supreme Court decision applies broadly to all media and not just to video games.

The Court drew upon the history of comic book censorship in reaching its conclusion. Citing the amicus brief filed by the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, it noted the crusade against comics led by Dr. Frederic Wertham and observed that it was inconsistent with our constitutional traditions. The Court traced the history of censorship that targeted various media directed toward the young and held that restricting depictions of violence could not be justified under established principles of First Amendment law.

CBLDF Cheers Free Speech Victory in Brown v. EMA!

The Comic Book Legal Defense Fund applauds today’s Supreme Court decision to affirm the First Amendment rights of creators, readers and retailers by denying states the ability to create new restrictions on violent content in Brown v. EMA. In a 7-2 decision, the high court struck down a California law that would have banned the sale and rental of violent video games to minors and would have made violence a new category of unprotected speech.

The CBLDF was active in opposing the law and filed its own amicus brief, arguing that the California law was unconstitutional by citing a history of moral panics, most notably the anti-comics fervor that nearly dismantled the comics industry in the 1950s. The arguments presented in CBLDF’s brief were part of the discussion in oral arguments and cited in the Court’s majority decision.
More

Please support the CBLDF’s defense of free speech issues like this by making a donation today!

CBLDF Forms Coalition to Defend American Comics Reader Facing Criminal Charges In Canada

The Comic Book Legal Defense Fund today announces that it is forming a coalition to support the legal defense of an American citizen who is facing criminal charges in Canada that could result in a mandatory minimum sentence of one year in prison for comics brought into the country on his laptop. This incident is the most serious in a trend the CBLDF has been tracking involving the search and seizure of the print and electronic comic books carried by travelers crossing borders.

CBLDF Executive Director Charles Brownstein says, “Although the CBLDF can’t protect comic fans everywhere in every situation, we want to join this effort to protect an American comic fan being prosecuted literally as he stood on the border of our country for behavior the First Amendment protects here, and its analogues in Canadian law should protect there.”

The CBLDF has agreed to assist in the case by contributing funds towards the defense, which has been estimated to cost $150,000 CDN. The CBLDF will also provide access to experts and assistance on legal strategy. The CBLDF’s efforts are joined by the recently re-formed Comic Legends Legal Defense Fund, a Canadian organization that will contribute to the fundraising effort. Please contribute to this endeavor by making a tax deductible contribution here.

The facts of the case involve an American citizen, computer programmer, and comic book enthusiast in his mid-twenties who was flying from his home in the United States to Canada to visit a friend. Upon arrival at Canadian Customs a customs officer conducted a search of the American and his personal belongings, including his laptop, iPad, and iPhone. The customs officer discovered manga on the laptop and considered it to be child pornography. The client’s name is being withheld on the request of counsel for reasons relating to legal strategy.

The images at issue are all comics in the manga style. No photographic evidence of criminal behavior is at issue. Nevertheless, a warrant was issued and the laptop was turned over to police. Consequently, the American has been charged with both the possession of child pornography as well as its importation into Canada. As a result, if convicted at trial, the American faces a minimum of one year in prison. This case could have far reaching implications for comic books and manga in North America.

The CBLDF’s Board of Directors voted unanimously to aid the case by raising funds to contribute to the defense and to help the defense with strategy and expert resources.

Brownstein says, “This is an important case that impacts the rights of everyone who reads, publishes, and makes comics and manga in North America. It underscores the dangers facing everyone traveling with comics, and it can establish important precedents regarding travelers rights. It also relates to the increasingly urgent issue of authorities prosecuting art as child pornography. While this case won’t set a US precedent, it can inform whatever precedent is eventually set. This case is also important with respect to artistic merit in the Canadian courts, and a good decision could bring Canadian law closer to US law in that respect. With the help of our supporters, we hope to raise the funds to wage a fight that yields good decisions and to create tools to help prevent these sorts of cases from continuing to spread.”

Find out more on the case here. To help support the case, you can make a monetary contribution here.

About CBLDF
The Comic Book Legal Defense Fund was founded in 1986 as a 501 (c) 3 nonprofit organization dedicated to the preservation of First Amendment rights for members of the comics community. They have defended dozens of Free Expression cases in courts across the United States, and led important education initiatives promoting comics literacy and free expression. For additional information, donations, and other inquiries call 800-99-CBLDF or visit them online at www.cbldf.org.

About CLLDF
The Comic Legends Legal Defense Fund was founded in 1987 to raise money for the defense of a Calgary, Alberta comic shop whose owners were charged with selling obscene materials. The CLLDF has since been maintained on an ad hoc basis to provide financial relief for Canadian comics retailers, publishers, professionals, or readers whose right to free speech has been infringed by civil authorities. Largely dormant since the early 1990s, the CLLDF is reforming to provide support for this case, and reorganizing to ensure that help will be readily available for future cases involving Canadian citizens or authorities. To help the CLLDF in this mission, please go to www.clldf.ca.

CBLDF Heads to the ALA Annual Conference with Exclusive Babymouse Print

The Comic Book Legal Defense Fund is excited to announce its plans for the 2011 American Library Association Annual Conference, taking place this weekend in New Orleans, Louisiana! You’ll find CBLDF at booth 1749 in the Graphic Novel Pavilion throughout the weekend!

As part of our ongoing educational programming and outreach into the Library community, the CBLDF has planned a number of exciting programs throughout the weekend.

On Friday night, during the Exhibits Opening Reception from 5:30 – 7:30 p.m., we will be kicking off the conference weekend in the Graphic Novel Pavilion with an incredible Live Art event, co-sponsored by First Second Books and hosted by First Second Editorial Director and Cartoonist Marc Seigel. Artists will include Dave Roman (Astronaut Elementary), Raina Telgemeier (The Babysitters Club), Jim Ottaviani (Feynman), Ben Hatke (Zita the Spacegirl), and Eric Wight (Frankie Pickle). These talented and popular cartoonists will be drawing onstage, and the artwork created will be available for bidding in a silent auction throughout the event, with all proceeds supporting the CBLDF.

Over the course of the weekend, we will be accepting donations at our booth in exchange for several exciting premiums, including a brand new Babymouse print by creators Jennifer and Matthew Holm. On Saturday afternoon, starting at 1:00 p.m., Jennifer L. Holm will be signing these one-of-a-kind prints at our booth, and they will be offered as an incentive to join the CBLDF at our $25 membership level. We will also have a number of other signed prints, signed books, and t-shirts, all available as donation incentives, and benefiting our ongoing First Amendment legal work.

Another exciting CBLDF program will be ongoing testimonial interviews throughout the conference. We invite all participants who have encountered challenges to Free Speech to tell their story and have it documented in our video archives. We also invite participants to discuss their involvement with Graphic Novels and Comics, as this singular art form has risen in popularity over the past several years.

These testimonials will be used as part of an educational video series, and the participation of librarians is key to making this project informative and genuine. With actual testimonials from working librarians, who are fighting for free expression in towns and cities across the country, we can create a resource that will show the good work being done in our nation’s libraries, and present a living document of First Amendment advocacy for years to come.

The CBLDF is incredibly proud to be involved with this year’s American Library Association Annual Conference. Librarians have always been on the front lines in the fight for Free Speech, and we look forward to continuing that important fight together!

Find CBLDF at at booth 1749 in the Graphic Novel Pavilion during the ALA Annual Conference, taking place this weekend at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans, Louisiana!

CBLDF, Booksellers, Artists, ACLU Seek to Bar Utah Law Restricting Speech on Internet

Yesterday, a coalition including CBLDF, booksellers, media companies, artists, and the ACLU of Utah asked the federal district court in Salt Lake City to permanently bar enforcement of a Utah statute that restricts constitutionally-protected speech on the Internet. Although passed in 2005, the statute has not been in effect because Utah consented to a temporary injunction barring its enforcement.

Utah’s law seeks to regulate all Internet speech that some might consider “harmful to minors,” including works of visual art, photography, graphic novels, and information about sexual health and the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender youth.

The CBLDF and TFAW Announce Third Annual SDCC Autograph Card / CBLDF Auction Event

For the past two years, Things From Another World (TFAW) and the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund (CBLDF) have teamed up with comics professionals, such as Jim Lee, Charlie Adlard, Philip Tan and more, to help raise more than $60,000 for the annual CBLDF auction at San Diego Comic-Con. Now, TFAW and CBLDF are proud to announce their Third Annual SDCC Autograph Card/CBLDF Auction event!

As in years past, TFAW is asking artists to create original sketches to donate to the CBLDF auction at San Diego Comic-Con. However, this year, Marvel and DC Comics have generously agreed to allow artists to use their proprietary characters in these CBLDF sketches!