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Manga comics and child porn?

(14 Posts)
Empusa Fri 24-Jun-11 14:34:41

I'm not entirely sure my thoughts on this yet, so I thought I'd see what others thought.

Article

The facts of the case involve an American citizen, computer programmer, and comic book enthusiast in his mid-twenties who was flying from his home in the United States to Canada to visit a friend. Upon arrival at Canadian Customs a customs officer conducted a search of the American and his personal belongings, including his laptop, iPad, and iPhone. The customs officer discovered manga on the laptop and considered it to be child pornography.

The images at issue are all comics in the manga style. No photographic evidence of criminal behavior is at issue. Nevertheless, a warrant was issued and the laptop was turned over to police. Consequently, the American has been charged with both the possession of child pornography as well as its importation into Canada. As a result, if convicted at trial, the American faces a minimum of one year in prison. This case could have far reaching implications for comic books and manga in North America.

Typical manga style is very childlike looking characters, large eyes etc like this

There are (as far as I am aware) types of manga which are sexual, but for the most part I don't believe they are.

I have to confess not knowing a great deal about manga, but what I do know makes this seem like a real overreaction.

AMumInScotland Fri 24-Jun-11 15:02:03

I guess it depends - there is a type of manga called Hentai (IIRC) which is sexually explicit. Obviously it is all drawn pictures rather than photographs, so no-one is directly harmed by making the stories. But they can feature very under-age-looking people in explicit situations.

If that's what he had on his laptop, and if Canada has a law against it, then it was his responsibility to make sure he didn't break the law when he took it across the border.

It may sound harsh, but different countries have different laws, and US citizens aren't always very good at understanding that foreigners do things differently!

EldritchCleavage Fri 24-Jun-11 15:13:13

I have read that there is a category of manga which is, effectively, child porn. (Pre-pubescent or pubescent children depicted engaged in sexually explicit conduct).

If that is what he had, then more fool him. The fact that something is drawn or painted rather than photographed does not mean (in most common law countries) that it is exempt from laws on child porn.
Ultimately though, it's impossible to say whether the charges are merited when we haven't seen the stuff he had in his possession.

Empusa Fri 24-Jun-11 17:33:44

It would be interesting to know if it was Manga he was carrying or Hentai.

Ryoko Fri 24-Jun-11 23:01:15

It doesn't really matter which it is, it's still not real, no one was harmed in the making of it and as Japan proves media doesn't turn you into anything, it don't turn you into a rapist, killer or anything, altho it can give an indication of your natural inclinations, which should be seen as a good thing, a possible warning sign to be vigilant.

All them school girl outfits and gay love books etc, Japan is still one of the safest countries in the world, imagine the outcry from the Daily Fail types about it corrupting our youths if our media was swapped with Japan for a year.

xStarGirl Sat 25-Jun-11 09:38:06

Being a manga fan myself I can shed some light on things.

Manga is separated out into lots of different categories, even the sexual stuff, so it's actually really easy to avoid anything you don't want to see. Most manga have at most the odd innuendo, with no obvious sexual content. Also, in most manga aimed at teenagers, the characters tend to look quite young despite in most cases being 16+, so I can see where a book that is technically harmless/legal can be seen the wrong way.

Not knowing what manga he had on his computer means it's hard to judge - though it being digital rather than hardcopy suggests it was a doujinshi, or fan-made manga which are often more racy than the pro stuff. And there is some really dodgy, sickening stuff out there, especially on the internet. I don't even want to mention some of the things I've seen put in doujins, as I don't want to offend anyone.

If he DID have anything saved that I would consider "bad", then he's a sicko, but he doesn't really deserve jail, as everything in a manga is made up. It would be like arresting members of fanfiction.net for writing dodgy smut about Harry Potter characters, it makes no sense.

meditrina Sat 25-Jun-11 09:46:26

If it is covered by Canadian law, then it is right that he be arrested and prosecuted.

onagar Sat 25-Jun-11 11:07:34

Well obviously it's covered by Canadian law because otherwise it wouldn't be in the news, but that doesn't mean it is sensible.

Look at what xStarGirl has said for a start and remember that none of the characters are underage because they are only pretend people and I believe in many cases they are pretend animal-people though I'm not a manga fan so that might be another kind. Would it be CP if it was an underage giraffe or frog?

Note that they are charging him with "importation into Canada" which is nonsense in this instance. I mean you don't smuggle digital images across a border in a laptop folder ffs as people there could simply download them. So whatever else comes out they are already twisting a law to make it fit.

Goblinchild Sat 25-Jun-11 11:09:12

So he's being prosecuted for rude drawings of pretend people?
How very quaint.

Empusa Sat 25-Jun-11 12:26:38

"Note that they are charging him with "importation into Canada" which is nonsense in this instance. I mean you don't smuggle digital images across a border in a laptop folder ffs as people there could simply download them. So whatever else comes out they are already twisting a law to make it fit."

Yeah, that makes very little sense.

What Neil Gaiman said.

RobF Sun 26-Jun-11 19:24:28

I remember some of the Manga films (animé) that came out in the 90s were really dodgy, probably warped my mind watching them at the time, I hadn't seen any porn or anything at that time. Girls getting raped by tentacled creatures and the like. I remember there being some controversy because stores like Woolies etc were just stocking them with other cartoons and parents were buying them for their kids to watch.

Ryoko Mon 27-Jun-11 14:15:53

Just because it was on his PC doesn't mean it was fan fic stuff, theres plenty scanned and uploaded to teh internet.

RobF thats not controversy thats stupidity same as people buying kids 18 rated games, altho it doesn't help when HMV put Urotsukidoji on a display stand with all the Ghibli stuff.

Ryoko Mon 27-Jun-11 14:16:25

Just because it was on his PC doesn't mean it was fan fic stuff, theres plenty scanned and uploaded to teh internet.

RobF thats not controversy thats stupidity same as people buying kids 18 rated games, altho it doesn't help when HMV put Urotsukidoji on a display stand with all the Ghibli stuff.

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