Swedish manga translator fined for lolicon photos


It seems that the ridiculous debate about the rights of fictional characters continues, disregarding common sense. Now, a Swedish manga translator (unnamed) has been fined by the district court of Uppsala Sweden for possessing 51 images considered child pornography by current law standards. The translator claimed he possessed the images to keep up on the latest developments from Japan. Naturally, he was surprised at the ruling, and even the judge stated he would like a second opinion from the appelate court, since such a decision would establish legal precedent. Nonetheless, Judge Nils Palbrant declared:

There's a clear conflict between freedom of speech on the one hand and general regulations regarding children's rights on the other...It was however our view that the protective aspect weighed more heavily when taking into account the intentions of the legislator. The aim of the law, as described in the preliminary work that led to its creation, is not just to protect individual children but children in general.

The defense's lawyer was also surprised with the ruling, stating that "it goes against all common sense." Local tabloids like Expressen also weighed in, declaring, "...there is actually no victim here. The children in the Uppland man's manga comics were not molested since they were characters in a comic." Which is true. As much as some otaku would like to believe they're real, 2D girls don't exist. The only victim here seems to be the translator.

It seems the only reason authorities even charged him with this offense was because his former partner, hoping to gain custody of their infant daught, falsely claimed that the translator sexually abused his daughter. Local police searched his belongings after the second accusation and, finding no evidence, charged him with possession of child pornography after looking through his manga collection.

Now the unnamed translator faces a fine of 25,000 SEK ($3,000) given on June 30th. It's relatively light, compared to a sentence handed down to Christopher Handley earlier this year. Still, punishments like these are overreaching their intent to protect children and instead trying to create a situation where fictional characters are given protection, which is just silly. We've started to see the chilling effect it is having in the US, so I can only hope lawmakers will come to their senses and focus on protecting us from actual problems.

[via AnimeNews]

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Bob Muir
Bob MuirContributor   gamer profile

Bob has been hanging around ModernMethod for years and and somehow writes almost everywhere, including Destructoid and Flixist. He was once lit on fire, but it's not as cool as you'd think. more + disclosures



Filed under... #Industy affairs #legal mumbo jumbo #lolicon #manga #top stories



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