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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:  Comparison of American and French jurisprudence on child pornography As a result of their differential religious, socio-political and cultural histories, the United States and France have different, sometimes contrasting political and mass media values in matters of freedom of speech and of the press, invasion of privacy, hate speech, the depiction of human sexual activities, and the very nature of the Internet. 49 The question is whether in the light of such major jurisprudential differences, both countries would have differential postures towards the regulation of child pornography in general and on the Internet in particular. An analysis of the laws of both countries shows that until very recently, their approach to the problem of child pornography has been surprisingly similar. Additionally both countries profoundly modified their child pornography laws in the 1990s. What seems to be difference between the two countries in terms of their regulation of child pornography is the rationale for the regulation and the motivation for changing the law. In the United States, litigation is a powerful tool of political, social and judicial advocacy. 50 Laws have effectively been used as instruments of social and political reform. So have legal challenges directed at their constitutional validity. 51 The current emerging laws of the Internet are the results of legal challenges by vested interests and activists. The two provisions of the Communications 49 See Yahoo!, Inc., v. La Ligue Contre l’Anti-Sémitisme, Case No. C-00-21275 JF, Docket No. 17 (2001); See also Lyombe Eko, The Law of Privacy in the United States and France: One President’s Impeachable Offense Is Another’s Invasion of Privacy, 22 Communications and the Law 1 (2000). 50 See NAACP v. Button, 371 U.S. 415 (1963). 51 See GREGG IVERS, AMERICAN CONSTITUTIONAL LAW: POWER AND POLITICS (VOL. II) 13 (2002).

Authors: Eko, Lyombe.
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Comparison of American and French jurisprudence on child pornography
As a result of their differential religious, socio-political and cultural histories,
the United States and France have different, sometimes contrasting political and
mass media values in matters of freedom of speech and of the press, invasion of
privacy, hate speech, the depiction of human sexual activities, and the very
nature of the Internet.
49
The question is whether in the light of such major
jurisprudential differences, both countries would have differential postures
towards the regulation of child pornography in general and on the Internet in
particular. An analysis of the laws of both countries shows that until very
recently, their approach to the problem of child pornography has been
surprisingly similar. Additionally both countries profoundly modified their child
pornography laws in the 1990s. What seems to be difference between the two
countries in terms of their regulation of child pornography is the rationale for the
regulation and the motivation for changing the law.
In the United States, litigation is a powerful tool of political, social and judicial
advocacy.
50
Laws have effectively been used as instruments of social and
political reform. So have legal challenges directed at their constitutional validity.
51
The current emerging laws of the Internet are the results of legal challenges by
vested interests and activists. The two provisions of the Communications
49
See Yahoo!, Inc., v. La Ligue Contre l’Anti-Sémitisme, Case No. C-00-21275 JF, Docket No. 17 (2001);
See also Lyombe Eko, The Law of Privacy in the United States and France: One President’s Impeachable
Offense Is Another’s Invasion of Privacy, 22 Communications and the Law 1 (2000).
50
See NAACP v. Button, 371 U.S. 415 (1963).
51
See GREGG IVERS, AMERICAN CONSTITUTIONAL LAW: POWER AND POLITICS (VOL. II) 13
(2002).


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