An appeal judge in Australia has ruled that an animation depicting well-known cartoon characters engaging in sexual acts is child pornography.

The internet cartoon featured characters from the Simpsons TV series. The central issue in the case was whether a cartoon character could depict a real person.

Judge Michael Adams decided that it could, and found a man from Sydney guilty of possessing child pornography on his computer

Justice Michael Adams said the purpose of anti-child pornography legislation was to stop sexual exploitation and child abuse where images of “real” children were depicted…

He ruled that the animated cartoon could “fuel demand for material that does involve the abuse of children,” and therefore upheld the conviction for child pornography.

Absurd.




  1. The Don says:

    I am undecided wether to agree with the judge or not. Child porn is viewed in the UK as porn with a person who looks to be under 18 years old, regardless of the actual age of the person. This has been tried in court.
    A case was upheld of a man who had a picture of a young boy in swimming trunks being classed as pornographic because the man admitted getting sexual gratification from it.
    There was also a case upheld regarding child hentai (explicit animated pictures / film of children) where the defendant was found guilty.
    These have all happened in the UK already.

  2. bobyrne says:

    Why does everything think this absurd?

    It is very easy to understand, and IMO very easy to support. The judge is interpreting the law (as judges are required to do) to mean that paedophilia is illegal.

    Most commenters here seem to be interpreting the law as meaning abusing children is illegal, and that is a fine interpretation. This judge is going a little further to say that the crime is not abusing children, but facilitating or encouraging the desire to abuse children.

    Who here is going to argue that the desire to abuse children is something that should be facilitated or encouraged? Anyone? Will anyone argue that supporting or encouraging paedophilia is a good thing?

    … I’m going to assume there are very few takers for that one, and on that assumption I ask: If you agree that supporting or encouraging paedophilia is a bad thing for our society, then why do you complain when a judge punishes someone for doing exactly that?

  3. Mr. Fusion says:

    #23, bobu,

    The judge is interpreting the law (as judges are required to do) to mean that paedophilia is illegal.

    Nope. That was already established and nothing to do with the case. The case concers the fact of whether the material possessed is pornographic.

    This judge is going a little further to say that the crime is not abusing children, but facilitating or encouraging the desire to abuse children.

    Nope. The Judge is ruling on a point of fact, whether or not a cartoon is pornographic.

    Who here is going to argue that the desire to abuse children is something that should be facilitated or encouraged?

    Good question. Abuse of any kind is wrong. So wrong in fact that we call it abuse. It happens to people of all ages and for all reasons. If you need more comment then be prepared to define “abuse children”.

    Will anyone argue that supporting or encouraging paedophilia is a good thing?

    Again, you will need a better definition. What is child rape in one location is marrying material somewhere else. Here in the US, an 18 yr old can be labeled as a pedophile for consensual sex with a 17 yr old.

    If you agree that supporting or encouraging paedophilia is a bad thing for our society, then why do you complain when a judge punishes someone for doing exactly that?

    Wrong tact there buddy. You made an assumption that was incorrect and ran with it. The charge was possession of pornographic material. That material being cartoon characters on his computer. According to the brief report, the Judge said the material could
    “fuel demand for material that does involve the abuse of children,” .
    Unfortunately, it isn’t reported as how he came to that conclusion or upon what he based his decision on. But …
    Justice Michael Adams concluding a fictional cartoon character is a “person” within the meaning of Commonwealth and NSW laws.
    speaks a lot about either Australian law or the Judges interpretation of those laws.

  4. ECA says:

    I find that the MOSt dirty minds I notice, are on those that THINK they are the MOST PURE..

  5. AdmFubar says:

    sooooooooo if we superinpose the judge into this image, that would make him a particpant in child porn… hhhmmmm

  6. Buzz says:

    …when the real issue was inappropriate copyright infringement of Groening’s characters…

  7. bobbo says:

    These are the same laws reported in this blog that get grandma’s arrested for birthday pics of kiddies being given a bath in the kitchen sink.

    And if you think those pictures are cute and legal then is there any reason at all why those pictures should be traded among perverts on the internet.

    The connection here is that such internet trading will encourage more grandmothers to take kiddie pictures.

    Up skirt photo’s from 300 feet away? Kiddie in sink photo’s? Barts weiner is a french fry?===I can argue the porno and abuse line, I can’t in reality hook it to actual abuse of kiddies. Not that I care one way or the other.

  8. bobyrne says:

    #24 Mr. Fusion

    First, I am not bobu. Please read more carefully.

    Second, I think your argument about ‘what is child rape in one location is marrying material in another’ is straw man, irrelevant to the argument at hand. This is not about 17-year-old people, but about an image representing an undisputed child in a sexual manner.

    The argument about images of one’s grandchildren undressed is also a straw man (or should be). The judge has discretion to decide what is pornographic, and that decision has to take into account the context. A picture on a grandmother’s mantle is in a very different contect to the same picture beside many others on the hard disk of a man with no relation to the child. The same picture can be pron in one context and entirely innocent in the other.

    Basically, we are looking at two different questions here. I’m looking at a very broad question of what society considers good for itself, while you are looking at a very narrow question of the words in this judgement.

    I don’t think you are wrong to do that, but I think I’m right to say ‘good job’ to the judge. In his judgement the defendant was a paedophile (or supporting paedophilia) and this is not something that we want to allow, therefore he is punished.

  9. Glenn E. says:

    This is probably more of a case of bootleg vs. legit product. Even if it weren’t of a recognizable cartoon character, it would probably be declared illegal, for not being a copyrighted product of some major studio or publisher. If Playboy or Penthouse were behind it, it would probably be treated different. But because some Joe average cranked it out, there’s no army of corporate lawyers to defend it.

    Though I’ve never seen any actual animated porn myself, it wouldn’t surprise me that it exists. I’ve accidentally come across enough still frame depictions of Disney, Hanna Barbara, and FOX cartoon characters, doing whatever turned their artists on. I’m not a fan of them, but I recognize the freedom of expression, in the context of adult sites content. It’s not like it’s going out over Youtube, in a non-adult classified way. And if it’s not being charged for, it’s not violating FOX’s copyright on its characters. But of course the governments have been tainted by so much corporate power, that they now see any form of copyrighted material as a violation. And yet, realizing it’s not too likely to be won in court, they chose to relabel it a child pornography case. Because they know it’s a better hot button topic with the public, than a copyright dispute. You can bet FOX Tv was behind this case.

  10. amodedoma says:

    A fantasy is a fantasy, reality is reality even children understand the difference. As people understand this difference it’s obvious to most that exploring a dark fantasy is not the same as exploring a dark reality. One is motivated by curiosity the other is violence. Violent people always find justifications to their crimes, but the key issue is they’re violent, cartoons are not the cause, genetics is.
    Erotic / perverted cartoons are nothing new. Japan has a whole industry mounted on what they call Ecchi or Hentai. In these cartoons they explore anything and everything – rape, bestiality, incest, monsters, paedophilia, bondage, SM, etc etc

  11. Mister Mustard says:

    What’s with the link??

    Not Found

    The requested URL /blog/Australia, cartoon, child porn, Simpsons, Sydney was not found on this server.
    Apache/2.2.10 (Fedora) Server at http://www.dvorak.org Port 80

  12. Mr. Fusion says:

    #29, bobu,

    I think your argument about ‘what is child rape in one location is marrying material in another’ is straw man, irrelevant to the argument at hand.

    It becomes a straw man argument only to those who refuse to contemplate the entire crux. If you only want others to consider YOUR points then you are the idiot. This was never about “child abuse”. It was about possession of pornographic material.

    This is not about 17-year-old people, but about an image representing an undisputed child in a sexual manner.

    It is about a cartoon character. The Simpsons have been broadcast since the late 1980s. If Bart was ten then he would be 30 today. Yes, he is a child, but so am I even though I have children of my own. Even my 88 yr old father is a child, does that mean he can’t star in any porn?

    The judge has discretion to decide what is pornographic, and that decision has to take into account the context.

    You are only a wee little bit correct on that. A Judge does not have discretion. He must follow the Constitutional and statute law and prior case law. He may consider the context upon sentencing. Context has nothing to do with whether something is a crime.

    The same picture can be pron in one context and entirely innocent in the other.

    What you suggest then, which is what Judges look at, is INTENT. If the use of the picture is merely prurient interests then yes, it may be classified as pornographic. Don’t forget though, as much as one man’s treasure is another’s garbage, the same applies to one man’s ART is another’s porn. I am not about to have every catalog banned because some pervert in Queensland jerked off while looking at one.

    Basically, we are looking at two different questions here. I’m looking at a very broad question of what society considers good for itself, while you are looking at a very narrow question of the words in this judgement.

    Nope. You want us to agree with your narrow logic path so we will ultimately end up agreeing with you. You didn’t allow any room for deviation by phrasing your questions to suggest anyone who disagreed is a pervert. The passages I quoted are snippets from the on-line report I found. If I had the entire transcript I would most likely have quoted far more in depth.

    I think I’m right to say ‘good job’ to the judge. In his judgement the defendant was a paedophile (or supporting paedophilia) and this is not something that we want to allow, therefore he is punished.

    Maybe you can show us where the Judge said the man was a pedophile? Could you do that please? Because that was not the question before the Judge so it is not something he is allowed to rule on. So that is why YOU are WRONG to say that.

    I’ll repeat it a little differently. The issue was whether or not a fictional cartoon character is a “person” as explained in Australian and New South Wales law. This Judge said yes. That is completely contrary to a rational person’s thought.

    McEwan arguing that fictional cartoon characters could not be considered people as they “plainly and deliberately” departed from the human form.

    The Judge said the cartoon characters had “human genitalia”. How can a recognized cartoon have “human genitalia”? Well, the Judge needed to come to that conclusion in order to explain why the cartoons were pornographic. He didn’t say they “resembled” human genitalia, but WERE human. Because of this finding, he next went on to suggest that his ruling was:
    calculated to deter production of other material, including cartoons, which “can fuel demand for material that does involve the abuse of children”.

    Here is something for you to ponder. In the Simpson’s Movie, apparently Bart drew a penis. Should the producers and distributors have been charged in Australia for child pornography?

  13. Mr. Fusion says:

    Mustard,

    I posted a link in #24 and another in #29. Both are Australian news outlets. If I post two or more links in one post I get hit with the spam filter.

    Apparently the Australian feedback is very pro-judgement.

  14. Pissed says:

    I think these self righteous people need to reconcile a few things. First off, wasn’t there a recent movie staring Dakota Fanning that had a rape scene? Wasn’t there a movie where a prepubescent Brooke Shields was nude? By your logic, everyone who ever viewed those films is a pedophile who should be in jail.

    Second, teenagers have sex. *Gasp* It’s true. So if two teens make a film of themselves having sex and post it to the web should they be sent to jail forever as child rape artists?

    Third, playing violent video games or watching violent movies does not make one commit violent acts. Hence, watching any type of porn does not make one predisposed to act out what was depicted on screen.

    Lastly, puh-leaze, get off it… go after real rape artists and stop these ridiculous victimless obscenity cases whose only grounds are the sexual fears of religious zealots.

  15. emma bailey says:

    i dont think thats right if kids like it and find it funny then thats fine so my kids like it

  16. janelantaconies says:

    hey who want o have an sex me plzzzzz sex me i want it lol :)

  17. todd uren says:

    i think this is pretty offensive to show on the computer and show be taken down