legal definition established in Miller v. California, 1973; remains the current definition of obscenity:
1. An average person, applying contemporary local [not national] community standards, finds that the work, taken as a whole appeals to prurient interest.
2. The work depicts in a patently offensive way sexual conduct specifically defined by state law.
3. The work in question lacks serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value.
Material which may be sexually graphic and may be limited to adults only, but is not outside of First Amendment protection. (Adult material, sexually explicit material). FCC v. Pacifica provides a definition of indecency in broadcast media.
broad term used to describe sexually explicit materials that can apply both to indecent materials and also obscenity sometimes
Comstock Law (1873)
one of the first regulations of obscenity; said that obscene books, pamphlets, pictures, etc. were non-mailable. Its weakness - it didn't define obscenity.
borrowed from the British, first widely used definition of obscenity, first used by the courts in the late 1800s: A work is obscene if it has a tendency to deprave and corrupt those whose minds are open to such immoral influences and into whose hands it might fall -if a part of the work is obscene then the whole work is obscene.
re the Miller v. California definition of obscenity; many states use Rehnquist's words: representation or description of the ultimate sex act, normal or perverted, actual or simulated; representation or description of masturbation, excretory functions, and lewd exhibition of the genitals.
Child Pornography Prevention Act of 1996
prohibits any depiction of a minor or appearing to be a minor engaging in sexually explicit conduct
[Prosecutorial Remedies and Other Tools to End the Exploitation of Children Today Act] - replaces COPA, makes it illegal to send or receive an image that is indistinguishable from that of a minor in a sexual situation.
Communication Decency Act
included in the 1996 Telecommunications Act, directed at indecent materials on the internet, was found unconstitutional in Reno v. ACLU, 1997.
Child Online Protection Act
1998 - allows FTC to regulate internet sites that collect personal information from children under 13.
Children's Internet Protection Act
required public libraries to have internet filtering devices, no federal funding if they didn't install the software