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A guy on probation for a child pornography conviction has been convicted again, this time under an Ohio law which bans the possession of obscene "material" involving children. The material in this case was a private journal of fiction -- stories about molesting and torturing children that the slimeball wrote and kept in his home.
As someone with the Ohio ACLU chapter says, "His thoughts may be disturbing and repugnant, but he has got a right to have them and write them down for his own use." A guilty plea was entered, so there will be no constitutional challenge unless a petition to change the plea is successfully made.
Read the Associated Press story.
I question the adequacy of the reporter\'s characterizations of the National Law Center for Children and Families as an organization that "helps prosecutors in child porn cases" and of the Family Research Council as one that "fights child pornography."
Something I learned from this story, that I don\'t recall from all the others was According to press accounts, the EEOC is encouraging the library to settle the case by paying the librarians a total of $900,000.
The author sympathizes with the librarians, but says under the First Amendment, the librarians ought not be able to use the federal government, and the threat of massive legal liability, to force the library into making this decision.
\"This is just the latest great leap forward for harassment law. Harassment law already forces employers to suppress sexually suggestive displays (not by any means limited to pornography), sexual jokes, politically offensive statements, and religious proselytizing.\"
Mary Minow writes \"One of our eagle-eyed bibliographers found This Today on the NY Times site:
\"Search The New York Times on the Web Books
* Books Archive: For the past four years, it has been our pleasure to provide a full-text search of the New York Times Books archive of reviews, news and author interviews dating back to 1980.
To comply with a recent United States Supreme Court decision, we are limiting that search to the period from January 1, 1996 to the present. In the period prior to 1996, The Times typically did not have written agreements with freelance book reviewers to permit republishing reviews in
electronic form. -- Read More
This sounds almost like a custody battle of sorts, but it\'s over some documents. They\'ll either go to one library, or the other, or they\'ll \"visit\" both. [more...] from The Pittsburgh Tribune Review. Even more here from The Pittsburgh Post Gazzette.
Someone writes \"The Supreme Court ruled today that database vendors such as LEXIS need the consent of freelance journalists to reproduce their articles and photographs.
The court ruled 7-2 that compilation in an electronic database is different from other kinds of archival or library storage of material that once appeared in print. So now companies need writers permission before stories go online. The case is New York Times v. Tasini, 00-201
From the editorial page of The Wall Street Journal...
\"America\'s public library systems may find themselves caught in a sort of legal hell, where they face First Amendment lawsuits if they move to restrict Internet access and civil-rights lawsuits if they don\'t. It could also mean a curious double standard, under which restrictions on Internet usage and access to protect children from X-rated material are legally forbidden while the same restrictions would be required to protect librarians themselves from a hostile work environment.\" [more...]
Mary Minow writes \"Rep. Felix Grucci introduced a bill May 15 to amend section 254 of the Communications Act of 1934 to require schools and libraries receiving universal service assistance to block access to Internet services that enable users to access the World Wide Web and transfer electronic mail in an anonymous manner. This Act is cited as the `Who Is E-Mailing Our Kids Act\'.
A library would need to certify that it`(i) is enforcing a policy regarding anonymous Internet connection that includes the operation of a technology protection measure with respect to any of its computers with Internet access that prevents use of such computers to access an online privacy service that enables a user--
`(I) to send electronic mail anonymously; or
`(II) to access the World Wide Web anonymously; and
`(ii) is enforcing the operation of such technology protection measure during any use of such computers.\';
http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query Look up H.R. 1846 \"
Free Software Leaders Stand Together is an interesting rebuttle to some dumb things Microsoft said.