Downloading Porn Is the Same as Making Porn, Says Court

An appeals court in Michigan has ruled that downloading pornography (in this case child pornography) is the same as making pornography. Meaning that if you download it you are subject to the same laws and penalties as if you had made the pornography yourself, camera in hand.

In the case leading to this rather disturbing conclusion (not that I in any way condone any aspect of child pornography, but there really is a vast difference between downloading and creating it), the defendant had indeed downloaded some child pornography but, his lawyers argued, that means he should be charged with possession of the material, not with creating it! Makes sense to me.

However, that’s not how the Michigan appeals court sees it, ruling this week that the defendant can indeed be charged with making the pornography.

This is an important distinction because the crime of creating child pornography is a felony which can carry a 20-year prison sentence in Michigan, while the crime of possession of child pornography carries a considerably lighter sentence.

According to the Michigan prosecutor, “It’s groundbreaking law in the area of computers and pornography. This decision will provide a tool to prosecutors across the state, particularly in curbing and prosecuting child pornography.”

And across the country, if other states decide to follow suit.

Now, you’ll recall someone in our United States has already been convicted of possession of child pornography because the pictures appeared in their “temporary Internet files” folder – nowhere else on their computer – leading to the quite credible (but unsuccesseful) defense that they never even knew that the files had been downloaded to their computer. In fact, at least one account suggests that they were planted there by the defendant’s ex-wife, during a messy divorce.

Put these two disturbing precedents together, and the next time you’re surfing the Internet and accidentally end up at some porn site, you too may find yourself being charged with creating pornography you didn’t even know existed. Don’t think it can happen? Do I need to connect the dots for you?

[Source: Post Chronicle]

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9 Replies to “Downloading Porn Is the Same as Making Porn, Says Court”

  1. You might be interested to know that the Michigan Supreme Court over ruled the lower court and said that possession is NOT manufacturing pornography.

  2. I think its rediculous. Our government has run amuck. They arent for the people anymore. Theyre for themselves and what they can get out being a public servant.
    From GW setting all his friends up with American cash (the 400 richest families split a 1.3 trillion dollar rise in there wealth from 2001 – 2007). To as another poster says, the judges making laws instead of ruling on cases.
    Im sorry but this isnt the America I went to war for. I personally think we should do away with any politician thats over 55. Theyre the ones that got us into this crap.
    As far as this is concerned. I dont feel its anyone elses damn business what I do in my own home.
    Even further, I dont see its anyone elses business if I want to send what it is I do in my home over the internet.
    Its unfortunate we have so many idiotic, nosey, invasive people in a “free” country. They say freedom isnt free. Well I say freedom isnt real.
    Call me a terrorist, but Im am against this goverment from now on. The concept is awsome, but theres too much greed and idiocies at the top to even consider this America anymore.

  3. my boyfriend is being sentenced for something of this sort. he did NOT purposely download this smut. but it was on his computer. we even think his ex did it to set him up out of jealousy. she is the one that “turned him in”. the laws need to be changed NOW.

  4. Wow, we are making things illegal, just to lock people up in jail cells or make more money to pay the state. MY question is why dont the american people just lock themselves up in chains and shackles now and just get it all over with. This form of hidden slavery is the only thing we are being sold on everyday.

  5. Thank you!!! Thank you for warning everyone about where the “sex offender hysteria” is going in this country. Anyone who thinks that all “sex offenders” are “predators,” out there stalking their next victim in an extended series of rapes, has not been paying attention. Anyone, anyone at all, has a non-zero chance of becoming a “sex offender.” You just highlighted an important way but not the only one. Some of the others are no less scary.

  6. If I download a picture of a terrorist, does that make me a terrorist?

  7. Sounds like another case of judges making laws instead of deciding on guilt or innocents of breaking existing laws. This really needs to stop.

  8. I wonder how long it will be before a malware application exploits this? Get malware. Malware downloads child porn to PC. Malware pretends to be a concerned human and sends an email to fbi.gov or similar (via a zombie) that it saw porn on that user’s pc (picking up the windows login name perhaps). It’d either flood the target with mails, proving this law is useless, or spawn a flurry of arrests.

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