Simulated child pornography

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Simulated child pornography is child pornography depicting what appear to be minors but which is produced without the direct involvement of children.



Types of simulated child pornography include: modified photographs of real children, non-minor teenagers made to look younger (age regression), fully computer-generated imagery, [1] and adults made to look like children. [2] Drawings or animations that depict sexual acts involving children but are not intended to look like photographs may also be considered by some to be simulated child pornography.

Virtual child pornography

In the United States, the PROTECT Act of 2003 made significant changes to the law regarding virtual child pornography. [3] [4] [5] Any realistic appearing computer generated depiction that is indistinguishable from a depiction of an actual minor in sexual situations or engaging in sexual acts is illegal under 18 U.S.C.   § 2252A. Drawings, cartoons, sculptures, and paintings of minors in sexual situations that do not pass the Miller test were made illegal under 18 U.S.C.   § 1466A. However, this provision of the statute was declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court of the United States in Ashcroft V. Free Speech Coalition, 535 U.S. 234 (2002). [6]

In the Australian state of Victoria, it is illegal to publish imagery that "describes or depicts a person who is, or appears to be, a minor engaging in sexual activity or depicted in an indecent sexual manner or context". [7] [8] The allowance of virtual child pornography in the U.S. has had international consequences. For example, French virtual child pornography producers have moved their files to servers in the United States because of its wider free speech protection" (Eko).[ citation needed ]

Cartoon images

The hentai subgenres known as lolicon and shotacon have been the subject of much controversy regarding impact on child sexual abuse. [9] [10] The reported link between the use of child pornography and child abuse has been used to justify the prohibition of sexual depictions of children, whether their production involves child abuse or not. [11]

Pornographic parody images of popular cartoon characters, known as Rule 34, have also been challenged around the world. Images depicting The Simpsons characters have been of particular concern in Australia and in the United States. [12] [13]

Second Life controversy

In 2007, the virtual world online computer game Second Life banned what its operator describes as "sexual 'ageplay', i.e., depictions of or engagement in sexualized conduct with avatars that resemble children". [14] [15] The ban prohibits the use of childlike avatars in any sexual contexts or areas, and prohibits the placement of sexualized graphics or other objects in any "children's areas" such as virtual children's playgrounds within the game environment. [15] Those Second Life residents who are caught ageplaying are given a warning stating that their actions are considered "broadly offensive" within the Second Life community and that "the depiction of sexual activity involving minors may violate real-world laws in some areas." (Duranske 2008).

Second Life is not the only community facing virtual child pornography allegations. In 2007, World of Warcraft banned the player organization "Abhorrent Taboo", because the organization allowed player characters to engage sexually with role-playing children and real children. (Duranske 2007).

See also

Related Research Articles

Child sex tourism (CST) is tourism for the purpose of engaging in the prostitution of children, which is commercially facilitated child sexual abuse. The definition of child in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child is "every human being below the age of 18 years". Child sex tourism results in both mental and physical consequences for the exploited children, which may include sexually transmitted infections, "drug addiction, pregnancy, malnutrition, social ostracism, and possibly death", according to the State Department of the United States. Child sex tourism, part of the multibillion-dollar global sex tourism industry, is a form of child prostitution within the wider issue of commercial sexual exploitation of children. Child sex tourism victimizes approximately 2 million children around the world. The children who perform as prostitutes in the child sex tourism trade often have been lured or abducted into sexual slavery.

<i>Second Life</i> 2003 video game

Second Life is an online virtual world, developed and owned by the San Francisco-based firm Linden Lab and launched on June 23, 2003. It saw rapid growth for some years and in 2013 it had approximately one million regular users; growth stabilized and by the end of 2017 active user count had declined to "between 800,000 and 900,000". In many ways, Second Life is similar to massively multiplayer online role-playing games; nevertheless, Linden Lab is emphatic that their creation is not a game: "There is no manufactured conflict, no set objective".

Rape pornography is a subgenre of pornography involving the description or depiction of rape. It can show simulated or real rape. It is not the same as the depiction of rape in non-pornographic media. Simulated scenes of rape and other forms of sexual violence have appeared in mainstream cinema, including rape and revenge films, almost since its advent.

PROTECT Act of 2003

The PROTECT Act of 2003 is a United States law with the stated intent of preventing child abuse as well as investigating and prosecuting violent crimes against children. "PROTECT" is a contrived acronym which stands for "Prosecutorial Remedies and Other Tools to end the Exploitation of Children Today".

Due to the international nature of the Internet, the legal status of Internet pornography carries with it special issues with regard to the law. There is no one set of laws that apply to the distribution, purchase, or possession of Internet pornography. This means that, for example, even if a pornographer is legally distributing pornography, the person receiving it may not be legally doing so due to local laws.

Ashcroft v. American Civil Liberties Union, 535 U.S. 564 (2002), was a United States Supreme Court case involving the American Civil Liberties Union and the United States government regarding the Child Online Protection Act (COPA). The unconstitutionality of the law was ultimately upheld by the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, while earlier injunctions against the law by that same court were at first dismissed by but later upheld by the Supreme Court. Ashcroft v. Free Speech Coalition (2002) dealt with a similar law, the Child Pornography Prevention Act of 1996 (CPPA).

New York v. Ferber, 458 U.S. 747 (1982), was a landmark decision of the US Supreme Court, unanimously ruling that the First Amendment right to free speech did not forbid states from banning the sale of material depicting children engaged in sexual activity, even if the material was not obscene.

The Child Pornography Prevention Act of 1996 (CPPA) was a United States federal law to restrict child pornography on the internet, including virtual child pornography.

Laws against child sexual abuse vary by country based on the local definition of who a child is and what constitutes child sexual abuse. Most countries in the world employ some form of age of consent, with sexual contact with an underage person being criminally penalized. As the age of consent to sexual behaviour varies from country to country, so too do definitions of child sexual abuse. An adult's sexual intercourse with a minor below the legal age of consent may sometimes be referred to as statutory rape, based on the principle that any apparent consent by a minor could not be considered legal consent.

United States v. Williams, 553 U.S. 285 (2008), was a decision by the Supreme Court of the United States that a federal statute prohibiting the "pandering" of child pornography did not violate the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, even if a person charged under the code did not in fact possess child pornography with which to trade.

Legal status of fictional pornography depicting minors

The legal status of fictional pornography depicting minors varies from country to country and concerns simulated pornography and child pornography.

An obscenity is any utterance or act that strongly offends the prevalent morality of the time. It is derived from the Latin obscēnus, obscaenus, "boding ill; disgusting; indecent", of uncertain etymology. The word can be used to indicate a strong moral repugnance, in expressions such as "obscene profits" or "the obscenity of war". As a legal term, it usually refers to graphic depictions of people engaged in sexual and excretory activity.

Child pornography laws in the United States specify that child pornography is illegal under federal law and in all states and is punishable by up to 20 years' imprisonment or fine of $5000. The Supreme Court of the United States has found child pornography to be "legally obscene", a term that refers to offensive or violent forms of pornography that have been declared to be outside the protections of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. Federal sentencing guidelines on child pornography differentiate between production, distribution, and purchasing/receiving, and also include variations in severity based on the age of the child involved in the materials, with significant increases in penalties when the offense involves a prepubescent child or a child under the age of 12. U.S. law distinguishes between pornographic images of an actual minor, realistic images that are not of an actual minor, and non-realistic images such as drawings. The latter two categories are legally protected unless found to be obscene, whereas the first does not require a finding of obscenity.

Child pornography laws in Japan outlaw child pornography. The production, sale, distribution, and commercialization of child pornography is illegal under Article 7 of the Act on Punishment of Activities Relating to Child Prostitution and Child Pornography, and the Protection of Children and is punishable by a maximum penalty of five years in prison and/or a fine of ¥5,000,000. Possession of child pornography with any intent of distribution and sale is also illegal.

Child pornography laws in Australia prohibit all sexual depictions of children under an age set by state and territory legislation. The relevant ages are under 16 in the Australian Capital Territory, New South Wales, Queensland and Western Australia, under 17 in South Australia, and under 18 in the other jurisdictions and under federal law. The laws covering child pornography are differently defined in the various Australian jurisdictions, as are the penalties. The laws also cover depictions of sexual acts involving people over the threshold age who are simulating or otherwise alluding to being underage, even if all those involved are of a legal age. People have been successfully prosecuted after describing acts of abuse via MMS.

Legality of child pornography

The legality of child pornography is explicitly addressed in 94 of the 187 Interpol member states as of 2008, according to research performed by the International Centre for Missing & Exploited Children (ICMEC) Koons Family Institute on International Law and Policy. Of those 94 countries, 58 criminalized possession of child pornography regardless of intent to distribute. This figure does not count legislation outlawing all pornography; figures that also include non-specific bans on all pornography would therefore be higher if available.

Child pornography is pornography that exploits children for sexual stimulation. It may be produced with the direct involvement or sexual assault of a child or it may be simulated child pornography. Abuse of the child occurs during the sexual acts or lascivious exhibitions of genitals or pubic areas which are recorded in the production of child pornography. Child pornography may use a variety of mediums, including writings, magazines, photos, sculpture, drawing, cartoon, painting, animation, sound recording, film, video, and video games. Child pornography may be created for profit or other reasons.

Child pornography laws in the Netherlands declare child pornography illegal, making it one of the 103 out of 193 UN member states where it is illegal.

Ashcroft v. Free Speech Coalition, 535 U.S. 234 (2002), is a U.S. Supreme Court case which struck down two overbroad provisions of the Child Pornography Prevention Act of 1996 because they abridged "the freedom to engage in a substantial amount of lawful speech". The case was brought against the Government by the Free Speech Coalition, a "California trade association for the adult-entertainment industry"; along with Bold Type, Inc., a "publisher of a book advocating the nudist lifestyle"; Jim Gingerich, who paints nudes; and Ron Raffaelli, a photographer who specialized in erotic images. By striking down these two provisions, the Court rejected an invitation to increase the amount of speech that would be categorically outside the protection of the First Amendment.

United States obscenity law deals with the regulation or suppression of what is considered obscenity. In the United States, discussion of obscenity typically relates to pornography, as well as issues of freedom of speech and of the press, otherwise protected by the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States. Issues of obscenity arise at federal and state levels. The States have a direct interest in public morality and have responsibility in relation to criminal law matters, including the punishment for the production and sale of obscene materials. State laws operate only within the jurisdiction of each state, and there are a wide differences in such laws. The federal government is involved in the issue indirectly, by making it an offense to distribute obscene materials through the post, to broadcast them, as well as in relation to importation of such materials.


  1. Virtueel filmpje geldt ook als porno, AD , March 11, 2008
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  3. "Fact Sheet PROTECT Act". Department of Justice. April 30, 2003.
  4. Full text of PROTECT Act
  5. " S. 151--108th Congress (2003): Prosecutorial Remedies and Other Tools to End the Exploitation of Children Today Act of 2003". (database of federal legislation). Retrieved 2008-09-01.
  6. RET. July 01, 2018.
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  11. Government of Canada (1984). Report of the Committee on Sexual Offenses against Children and Youth, Vols. 1-11, and summary. Government of Canada, Department of Supply and Service as "Badgely Report; Cat. No. J2-50/1984/E, Vols. 1-11, H74-13/1984-1E, Summary".
  12. Anderson, Nate (December 8, 2008). "Cowabunga! Simpsons porn on the PC equals child pornography". ars technica. CondéNet Inc. Retrieved 4 January 2009.
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  14. Benjamin Duranske (May 23, 2008). "New Supreme Court Opinion Discusses Virtual Child Pornography Law; Linden Lab's 2007 Ban Clarified".
  15. 1 2 Ken D Linden (November 13, 2007). "Clarification of Policy Disallowing "Ageplay"". Archived from the original on 13 December 2007.