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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:  on the day the pornographic image was recorded. 64 The penalty for fixing, recording or transmitting pornography featuring a minor is enhanced if the Internet or a similar network is used. Generally speaking then, under this provision of the law, virtual or computer-generated child pornography is banned in France. This can be contrasted with the decision of the Supreme Court of the United States in Ashcroft v. Free Speech Coalition. 65 In Ashcroft, the Court held that the Child Pornography Prevention Act of 1996 (CPPA), which criminalized any computer or computer-generated images or pictures that is or “appears to be of a minor engaging in sexually explicit conduct,” was constitutionally invalid because it was overbroad in that it covered computer generated “children” as well as youthful-looking adults. Reno and Ashcroft thus represent a parting of ways between French and American law against child pornography. The question then arises whether if a French citizen is wanted in France for producing virtual or computer-generated child pornography in the United States and transmitting it to France, where it is illegal to do so, he can seek refuge under the First Amendment. The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Ashcroft certainly complicates international attempts to eradicate child pornography. Conclusion Child pornography production and dissemination is a global problem that requires cooperation and a concerted effort on the part of virtually all countries of the world. There is no doubt that the U.S Supreme Court decision in Ashcroft v. 64 Article 227-23, French Penal Code, articles 13 & 16, Journal Officiel No. 139 of 18 June 1998 page 9255. 65 535 U.S.___(2002).

Authors: Eko, Lyombe.
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background image
on the day the pornographic image was recorded.
64
The penalty for fixing,
recording or transmitting pornography featuring a minor is enhanced if the
Internet or a similar network is used. Generally speaking then, under this
provision of the law, virtual or computer-generated child pornography is banned
in France. This can be contrasted with the decision of the Supreme Court of the
United States in Ashcroft v. Free Speech Coalition.
65
In Ashcroft, the Court held
that the Child Pornography Prevention Act of 1996 (CPPA), which criminalized
any computer or computer-generated images or pictures that is or “appears to be
of a minor engaging in sexually explicit conduct,” was constitutionally invalid
because it was overbroad in that it covered computer generated “children” as
well as youthful-looking adults. Reno and Ashcroft thus represent a parting of
ways between French and American law against child pornography. The
question then arises whether if a French citizen is wanted in France for producing
virtual or computer-generated child pornography in the United States and
transmitting it to France, where it is illegal to do so, he can seek refuge under the
First Amendment. The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Ashcroft certainly
complicates international attempts to eradicate child pornography.
Conclusion
Child pornography production and dissemination is a global problem that
requires cooperation and a concerted effort on the part of virtually all countries of
the world. There is no doubt that the U.S Supreme Court decision in Ashcroft v.
64
Article 227-23, French Penal Code, articles 13 & 16, Journal Officiel No. 139 of 18 June 1998 page
9255.
65
535 U.S.___(2002).


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