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Regulation of Computer-generated virtual Child Pornography under American and French Jurisprudence: One Country’s Protected “Speech” is another’s Harmful Smut.
Unformatted Document Text:  However, in 1998, the French parliament passed news laws updating previous laws and bringing the Internet for the first time, under the ambit of child protection laws. Under French jurisprudence, all sex crimes, including child pornography and computer-generated virtual child pornography are regulated by Law No. 98- 468 of 17 June 1998 Relative to the Prevention and Suppression of Sexual Infractions as well as the Protection of Minors. 20 The first section of the law is aimed at stopping Internet predators who seek children for their sexual gratification. The relevant portions of the French Penal Code state in part: The act of promoting, aiding, facilitating or attempting to assist in the corruption of a minor is punishable by five years imprisonment and a fine of 500,000 francs (about $75, 000). 21 The penalty is enhanced if the minor is less than 15 years old and if that minor came into contact with the predator through the Internet. 22 The law also criminalizes pornography featuring minors. Interestingly, the expression “corruption of a minor” is not defined. Under Law No. 98-468, it is illegal to record or transmit pornographic images or representations of minors. It is also illegal to transmit such images by any means whatsoever. Importing, exporting, causing someone to import or export such images is also punishable by three years imprisonment and a fine of 300.000 Francs (about $45, 000). These penalties are enhanced if the child porn image is transmitted over the Internet. 23 20 This law is codified as Articles 227-22, 227-23, 227-24 and 321-1 of the French Penal Code, articles 13 &16, Journal Officiel of 18 June 1998. 21 Article 227-22, French Penal Code (articles 13 & 16, Journal Officiel of 18 June 1998. 22 Id. 23 Article 227-23, French Penal Code (articles 13 & 16, Journal Officiel of 18 June 1998.

Authors: Eko, Lyombe.
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background image
However, in 1998, the French parliament passed news laws updating previous
laws and bringing the Internet for the first time, under the ambit of child protection
laws. Under French jurisprudence, all sex crimes, including child pornography
and computer-generated virtual child pornography are regulated by Law No. 98-
468 of 17 June 1998 Relative to the Prevention and Suppression of Sexual
Infractions as well as the Protection of Minors.
20
The first section of the law is
aimed at stopping Internet predators who seek children for their sexual
gratification. The relevant portions of the French Penal Code state in part:
The act of promoting, aiding, facilitating or attempting to assist in the
corruption of a minor is punishable by five years imprisonment and a fine
of 500,000 francs (about $75, 000).
21
The penalty is enhanced if the minor is less than 15 years old and if that minor
came into contact with the predator through the Internet.
22
The law also
criminalizes pornography featuring minors. Interestingly, the expression
“corruption of a minor” is not defined. Under Law No. 98-468, it is illegal to
record or transmit pornographic images or representations of minors. It is also
illegal to transmit such images by any means whatsoever. Importing, exporting,
causing someone to import or export such images is also punishable by three
years imprisonment and a fine of 300.000 Francs (about $45, 000). These
penalties are enhanced if the child porn image is transmitted over the Internet.
23
20
This law is codified as Articles 227-22, 227-23, 227-24 and 321-1 of the French Penal Code, articles 13
&16, Journal Officiel of 18 June 1998.
21
Article 227-22, French Penal Code (articles 13 & 16, Journal Officiel of 18 June 1998.
22
Id.
23
Article 227-23, French Penal Code (articles 13 & 16, Journal Officiel of 18 June 1998.


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