If you were thinking about watching your favorite animated mythical creatures getting amorous, you might want to think again.
Three years ago, New Zealand resident Ronald Clark downloaded some pornographic Japanese cartoons. That action set wheels into motion that would cause him to spend three months in jail for possession of objectionable material.
Clark's lawyer, Roger Bowden, described the sexual imagery as depicting "pixies and trolls," ones "you knew at a glance weren't human."
The point of contention is over the perceived age of the mythical characters, who were said to look extremely young. Alan Bell, director of ECPAT (an anti-child-pornography group) said the issue at hand was that the imagery could cause the viewer "to migrate from there to the real thing."
Although Clark does have previous convictions for indecently assaulting a teenage boys, Clark claims he only watched the videos as "a bit of a laugh" and not for sexual arousal.
The case has reignited the ongoing debate on the potential dangers of digitally created pornography. Philosophy lecturer Grant Tavinor says, "The worry is that viewing or distributing such images could support the sexual exploitation of children even if the production of the images did not actually involve the exploitation of any children."
But is there any truth to that? Certainly the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund would be first in line to point out the dangers of equating looking at drawings with actual child endangerment. And anyone who enjoys sci-fi knows the pitfalls of policing the thoughts of others.
Regardless, Ronald Clark has served his sentence, which will create precedents for further cases in the future.