Those pesky lawmakers were at it again, trying to save the chilluns from the nasty ol' obscenities. Anime News Network reported on Oregon Revised Statue 167.054 and Oregon Revised Statue 167.057, which were set to criminalize the giving of obscene materials to minors and further criminalize the "luring" of minors with sexually explicit material, respectively.
But thanks to plantiffs including publisher Dark Horse, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has struck down both laws from being implemented. According to the court, the language of the laws was overly broad and could criminalize materials containing adult content that still had redeeming value. Fellow plantiff Powell's Books, a Portland-based bookstore chain, showed off many examples of such materials, including Kentaro Miura's Berserk. As the court put it, the manga contains an explicit sex scene between Charlotte and Lord Griffin, but would not fall under the banner of "hardcore pornography."
Dark Horse was naturally pleased about the decision, as it is the North American publisher of Berserk. It celebrated the decision in a joint statement released with the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund and Powell's Books, saying "It is also a victory for booksellers who do not want to ask 13-year-olds for identification or risk going to jail for selling a Judy Blume book." I guess I forgot how explicit those books could be!
And so the day is saved from lawmakers once again, thanks to the tireless efforts of people with a vested interest in not getting thrown in jail. It's good to know some of these battles are still being won in the wake of the Christopher Handley sentencing.
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