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07-22-2012, 06:12 AM   #1
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(NSFW) What exactly are the laws regarding shooting teens nude? (NSFW)

Never really thought about this topic until 2 months ago when I picked up a small collection of photo books to expand my library. One of the books was Mary Ellen Mark's 'American Odyssey'. The photo in question below is from page 41.




The other one was 'The last Day of Summer' by Jock Sturges.

Amazon.com: jock sturges photos

I wrote to Mary Ellen with a few questions about this topic. I did not come off as accusatory. Was just matter of fact question from one tog to another about flak she may have received from the prudish US of A.

Well, I never received a reply. Guess Mary Ellen is too busy selling her $3,000 prints and $15,000 a pop Polaroids to bother answering. But to be fair to Mary Ellen, you can't write her direct. Any email has to go through one of her multitude of agents, reps, etc. and they may have trashed my mail.

When I asked my wife who has a doctorate in social work, she could not answer except to say..."your going to get arrested" when I showed her that photo.

I asked my daughter in law who is getting a masters in social work. She could only say she thought the laws were different from state to state, but she did not know. That may hold some truth, but I don't know. The laws from one state used to make it legal to marry a thirteen year old. Yet cross the lines into the border state and you were a criminal sex offender unless she was sixteen.

Now, my wife specialized in sexually abused children cases. One would think she would know. But it seems to be a taboo and blind subject when one tries to investigate exactly what the laws are.

So, being of the nature that I like to get my questions answered, I will open up this topic at the forum.

What exactly are the laws regarding shooting teens nude?


Last edited by slackercruster; 07-28-2012 at 06:38 AM.
07-22-2012, 06:32 AM   #2
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While there may be some federal legislation that is pertinent, I'd be quicker to check what state law holds in your state. Of course, that still leaves open the question of whether you could sell a photo (legal, say, in your state) in a state in which the photo were not legal.
07-22-2012, 06:37 AM   #3
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Things were different in the '70s and even the '80s. Today there are federal laws. And of course there is that fuzzy line between sexually explicit "obscenity" and art.

I know it when I see it - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Europeans consider David Hamilton to be a genius. Most Americans consider him a child pornographer.

Another example is the work of Sally Mann.

The bottom line is that it is up to the opinion of the local prosecutor and the judge. In the case of Jock Sturges it never got past the Grand Jury.

Judge Kozinski admonished for explicit items on Web site - CNN.com

Last edited by boriscleto; 07-22-2012 at 06:53 AM.
07-22-2012, 09:33 AM   #4
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Under united states federal law. It is a felony to be in possession of child pornography.

There is also a very fine line in the united states between child pornography and what could be defined as art.

And here is where it gets interesting. One only has to be charged (and NOT found guilty) or items such as this to have their name registered with police; and they'll also have to register under the Megan's law site. There's also much more.

07-22-2012, 01:41 PM   #5
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As an IT manager I know that there are jurisdictions in the United States where IT personnel are mandated reporters for child pornography. In these areas any child porn found on an employee's computer must be reported to the police immediately without notifying the person possessing it. This means that members of this forum accessing this thread from work in these areas now have this picture on their local cache and could be subject to arrest. I came upon this thread from the home page under "Recent Forum Discussions" where the end of the thread title was cut off and it only said "What exactly are the laws regarding...". Nothing about teen nudity or NSFW was shown. It could be stumbled upon rather innocently without knowing the exact nature of the conversation.

I think the picture should be removed from this thread. It doesn't matter if it's art or pornography, innocent people could get in serious trouble just by opening this thread. The discussion can continue without the picture. Just my $0.02.
07-22-2012, 02:15 PM   #6
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I don't think people should assume that photos of naked children automatically constitute pornography, although I recognise that there are many people who do, for religious or other reasons. I certainly wouldn't put your image from Mary Ellen Marks's book in that category, but it could be used to stir up trouble. Even in less prudish societies, some fanatical anti-pornography or religious campaigners stir up trouble to promote their cause or beliefs, at the least pretext.

Having said that, laws vary, and so do the interpretations of the law, and every case brought will bring a fresh judgment, as we've seen here in Australia in the last couple of years.
07-22-2012, 03:55 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by RobA_Oz Quote
I don't think people should assume that photos of naked children automatically constitute pornography, although I recognise that there are many people who do, for religious or other reasons. I certainly wouldn't put your image from Mary Ellen Marks's book in that category, but it could be used to stir up trouble. Even in less prudish societies, some fanatical anti-pornography or religious campaigners stir up trouble to promote their cause or beliefs, at the least pretext.

Having said that, laws vary, and so do the interpretations of the law, and every case brought will bring a fresh judgment, as we've seen here in Australia in the last couple of years.



Kiddy porn...that is the conventional wisdom or should I say conventional ignorance of many people that see such pix.
Does not matter that the books in question are sold on Amazon, published by Aperture and anyone can check them out of the local library. But, that is how our crazy society has developed.

40 years ago I was shooting kids in the park. Was harassed to no end by volunteer old folks patrol trying to discourage me from shooting kids. A few years ago I was testing a underwater cam in the public pool. Doing video with it. A lifeguard chewed me out for shooting kids underwater. There were not many people in the pool. I shot kids, adults, the wall...anything I could to test it. That is how our society is paranoid about anyone shooting kids.

On another forum a lady asked about shooting kids at the park. Someone suggested the right angle mirror spy attachment. If I was shooting kids with that...you know what people would think if they caught me with the right angle mirror. I told her no spy equipment like that with kids. Just be upfront.

My wife the PhD in social work called the picture in question in this thread 'kiddy porn' too. So ignorance can even be bestowed upon the doctoral graduates of USC that have worked in this field for many decades. Yet they cannot quote any law to guide one on what is allowed and what is illegal?
07-22-2012, 04:07 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by post_eos Quote
As an IT manager I know that there are jurisdictions in the United States where IT personnel are mandated reporters for child pornography. In these areas any child porn found on an employee's computer must be reported to the police immediately without notifying the person possessing it. This means that members of this forum accessing this thread from work in these areas now have this picture on their local cache and could be subject to arrest. I came upon this thread from the home page under "Recent Forum Discussions" where the end of the thread title was cut off and it only said "What exactly are the laws regarding...". Nothing about teen nudity or NSFW was shown. It could be stumbled upon rather innocently without knowing the exact nature of the conversation.

I think the picture should be removed from this thread. It doesn't matter if it's art or pornography, innocent people could get in serious trouble just by opening this thread. The discussion can continue without the picture. Just my $0.02.

OK, I put NSFW front and back of the title...no excuses for the stumbling blind losing their jobs now.

07-22-2012, 04:34 PM   #9
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In a nutshell, pornography is defined as subject matter that solely appeals to "prurient interests".

Pornography and Obscenity are legally defined and differentiated by the "Miller Test" in US courts.

18 USC 2256 and 2257 further define the terms and detail record keeping requirements for pornographic material.
07-23-2012, 11:29 AM   #10
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Nothing I am going to say here in any way condones or approves of child pornography.


People think that laws are clear cut and easy to follow. Do X and you have violated the law. Don't do X and you are safe. Most laws don't work that way and at a minimum require at least a small amount of interpretation. The laws on child pornography in the US are draconian to say the least and open to wide interpretation. Mothers have been prosecuted for taking photos of there children in the bath. Teenage girls have been prosecuted for taking photos of themselves in bra and panty’s. If you are even investigated your life will be forever changed for the worse. If you have children you could lose them just by being investigated. If you are charged and no more you could forever be registered. If you are brought to trial whether you win or not your life will be forever ruined. If you lose and there is a good chance of that as the definition is so loose, you will be forever ostracized. It will limited were you can live, work even whom you can marry. Sex crimes have become the scarlet “a” of our time with child pornography the capital “A”. The minimum penlites for murder are less harsh.


As pointed out by others the photo at the top of the tread on your computer is all it would take to have the prosecuting attorney charge you. It is all in the hands of the Prosecutor. As long as he/she follows the minimum law there are immune from prosecution themselves and can't be sued for any reason. It doesn’t matter the jurisdiction or the local laws just what is the Prosecutors opinion/agenda.


May they never look at you with an agenda because you will not come out with as much as you started with.


DAZ
07-24-2012, 02:01 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by DAZ Quote
Nothing I am going to say here in any way condones or approves of child pornography.


People think that laws are clear cut and easy to follow. Do X and you have violated the law. Don't do X and you are safe. Most laws don't work that way and at a minimum require at least a small amount of interpretation. The laws on child pornography in the US are draconian to say the least and open to wide interpretation. Mothers have been prosecuted for taking photos of there children in the bath. Teenage girls have been prosecuted for taking photos of themselves in bra and panty’s. If you are even investigated your life will be forever changed for the worse. If you have children you could lose them just by being investigated. If you are charged and no more you could forever be registered. If you are brought to trial whether you win or not your life will be forever ruined. If you lose and there is a good chance of that as the definition is so loose, you will be forever ostracized. It will limited were you can live, work even whom you can marry. Sex crimes have become the scarlet “a” of our time with child pornography the capital “A”. The minimum penlites for murder are less harsh.


As pointed out by others the photo at the top of the tread on your computer is all it would take to have the prosecuting attorney charge you. It is all in the hands of the Prosecutor. As long as he/she follows the minimum law there are immune from prosecution themselves and can't be sued for any reason. It doesn’t matter the jurisdiction or the local laws just what is the Prosecutors opinion/agenda.


May they never look at you with an agenda because you will not come out with as much as you started with.


DAZ
Sounds very scary Daz. No rhyme or reason...just destroy lives by a whim.

OK, so where are the 'minimum' laws / guidelines you mentioned and what exactly do they say?

If I were to be prosecuted for having a book by Mary Ellen Mark that the law would deem as child porn because a teen has her boobs out. Wouldn't Mary Ellen Mark be more liable than an innocent buyer that did not know what was even in the book?

Or is all this just an excuse for the law to take down whomever the adgenda targets? As the laws are so vauge and unknown they could almost find something in all our homes they could get us on. (I'm pretty sure we all took pix of our kids in the bath when they were toddlers.)

Last edited by slackercruster; 07-24-2012 at 02:06 PM.
07-24-2012, 02:16 PM   #12
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If they want to get you, they will get you.

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07-24-2012, 02:46 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by vonBaloney Quote
Which is why those poor, deluded people who always claim that "if you have nothing to hide, then you have nothing to fear" are completely wrong.

Just by talking about such things, I think that all of us in this thread could be considered 'guilty' of something depending on where we live.

It's rather a screwed up world at the moment.
07-24-2012, 03:56 PM   #14
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SOL Research: Look Who’s a Sex Offender Now!

...an interesting site.
07-24-2012, 04:09 PM   #15
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I am not saying you are going to be targeted today. I am saying if you are looking for clean bright line to not cross there isn’t one. Prosecutors selectively prosecute the law. They have to as there is so much to do that they can't take ever possible case. I am also not saying that Prosecutors are bad people as they are not for the very large percentage of them. I am saying that if they think they need to make a case they can, at least to the part of pressing charges and getting into court. Yes, not having a bright line on such a thing with the words “child” and “sex” in it is scary. Any time you have these 2 words people don't look past those 2 words.


The minimum for prosecutor is suppose to be do is do they think they can get a conviction. As this is up to the option of the prosecutor (only they can say what is in there mind) this is a low bar. The other is can they show a judge that a law may have been broken (pornography it mostly in the eye of the beholder so off to the jury) this is even lower. If you have children in the home better safe then sorry so down goes the bar. It really comes down to the prosecutor and any agenda they may have. For the most part prosecutors are not going after people like Mary Ellen Mark. They have been losing cases when there is a lot of money to defend people like her. But if they go after me or you they can throw in a child porn charge just to get you to plead to something else that you would fight becomes you can't take the risk of losing to a child porn charge. There agenda here is get the case cleared fast and cheep.


For a time prosecutors were using the Janet Reno method of making cases. This led to things like the non existent Yakima child sex ring. This has died down. Then it was the photos that parents take of there children. This has died down with most photos being digital. Now the big thing is “Sexting”. This has gotten so out of hand that some legislator are trying rain in the laws for at least teenagers.


You can do searches to find all kinds of cases. Just the people you have talked to that can't give you a bright line (and should be able too) shows you the problem. Most think that if you were to buy a book and find “child porn” you could just return it or trash it. Most think the maker has all the liability. This is not the case with “child porn”. Buying it is illegal. Owning it is illegal. Showing it is illegal. There are cases of people with open routers getting raided because there neighbor was down loading it on there open connection.


I am totally against the abuse of children but there needs to be some sanity here and I don't see it.


DAZ
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