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Author Topic: Discussion: Supreme Court: Dogfights v free speech  (Read 5578 times)
LyricFox
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« Topic Start: April 20, 2009, 03:06:02 pm »

So what do you think? Is it a good idea to limit this sort of speech? Is it even a free speech issue?

Supreme Court: Dogfights v free speech

The Supreme Court agreed today to take up an unusual free-speech case to decide whether the government can make it a crime to sell or own videos portraying dog fighting or other acts of animal cruelty.

All 50 states have laws against animal cruelty, and a decade ago, Congress made it illegal to sell or possess photos or videos of animals being maimed, mutilated, tortured, wounded or killed. The aim was to combat an underground trade in videos that showed dogs fighting or mauling other animals.

The law included exceptions for depictions with serious religious, scientific or artistic value.

http://www.swamppolitics.com/news/politics/blog/2009/04/supreme_court_dogfights_v_free.html
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« Reply #1: April 20, 2009, 03:11:07 pm »

So what do you think? Is it a good idea to limit this sort of speech? Is it even a free speech issue?

Supreme Court: Dogfights v free speech

*snip*

The law included exceptions for depictions with serious religious, scientific or artistic value.

Would this include some of the videos that PETA uses in their propaganda?

As for this discussion, I haven't really thought of it.  I guess if there are laws against possession of child pornography then dogfighting videos wouldn't be too far of a stretch.
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« Reply #2: April 20, 2009, 03:26:23 pm »

Would this include some of the videos that PETA uses in their propaganda?

I don't know. I would suspect so, which is one of the problems I think Randall has with this whole thing.

I tend to be pretty knee jerk about this. Too much emotion for me to really look at it dispassionately.
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« Reply #3: April 20, 2009, 04:00:33 pm »

I don't know. I would suspect so, which is one of the problems I think Randall has with this whole thing.

I tend to be pretty knee jerk about this. Too much emotion for me to really look at it dispassionately.

I would think the law would include exceptions for the sort of use that PETA, or any of the humane societies, put these videos to. THe goal is to get rid of the animal cruelty.  Seriously, the Animal Police shows on Animal Planet would have the same exception.

I realise that many people don't like PETA, but the regular humane societies would use the videos in much the same way and I'm sure they would have an exception.  OF course it may come down to the way porn is recognized, "I can't define it, but I know it when I see it.".
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« Reply #4: April 20, 2009, 04:44:28 pm »

I tend to be pretty knee jerk about this. Too much emotion for me to really look at it dispassionately.

Me too.
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« Reply #5: April 20, 2009, 05:09:17 pm »



Maybe they could allow people to apply for the right to own this material.  You can have videos of dog fighting if you're prepared to knife fight with a crack-head in a pit.
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« Reply #6: April 20, 2009, 05:54:34 pm »



Ignoring the particular context of dog fighting, I would say the issue is 'Should it be illegal to provide a market for, or to seek to acquire, products that cannot be legally produced?'. Still a difficult question, but a little less emotive maybe. Phrased this way, I would say that it is not a free speech issue. Speech about the issue is allowed within recognised contexts. It seems to me that what is illegal is encouraging a crime via the provision of an incentive to commit the crime.

The converse argument might be that the criminal act took place regardless of the market and that provision to the market was entirely incidental. While this is likely to be true in at least some cases, I don't think that it is a viable position for legislatures or the executive that enforces the laws to make that assumption. It would make the enforcement of the legislation pretty untenable.
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« Reply #7: April 20, 2009, 07:08:39 pm »

So what do you think? Is it a good idea to limit this sort of speech? Is it even a free speech issue?


This is a no brainer based upon precedent.  Child porn is illegal, thus dog fight videos can be illegal.

Downside though will be fake dog fight videos being made and sold publically since the court has ruled that child porn has to include a real life minor.
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« Reply #8: April 20, 2009, 08:29:54 pm »

This is a no brainer based upon precedent.  Child porn is illegal, thus dog fight videos can be illegal.

Downside though will be fake dog fight videos being made and sold publically since the court has ruled that child porn has to include a real life minor.


On the other hand, the fake dog fight will theoretically not include the truly objectionable parts of dog fighting.  PETA still won't like it since dogs will have to be used, but at the same time, if they are just dog actors, rather than actually getting hurt or killed, the objection is gone.


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« Reply #9: April 20, 2009, 08:54:11 pm »

As for this discussion, I haven't really thought of it.  I guess if there are laws against possession of child pornography then dogfighting videos wouldn't be too far of a stretch.

It is an interesting question.My answer will probablly be taken wrong but here it is.  In my opinion laws that go beyond the actual illegal act ie, dog fighting, or the other cited above illegally photographing child sexual abuse is pushing the area that can be regulated.  No, I oppose both of the types of action.  But is the possesion of the photographs, or videos or other reproductions an intrution into personal zones.

I know that the next example, is exagerating but for the purpose of playing the devils advicate--

Could you not stretch the laws of murder to include pictures of recently murderd-mutilate persons to be illegal?

These kind of questions have to be looked at very carefully and without any personal bias.
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« Reply #10: April 21, 2009, 02:54:10 pm »

It is an interesting question.My answer will probablly be taken wrong but here it is.  In my opinion laws that go beyond the actual illegal act ie, dog fighting, or the other cited above illegally photographing child sexual abuse is pushing the area that can be regulated.  No, I oppose both of the types of action.  But is the possesion of the photographs, or videos or other reproductions an intrution into personal zones.

I know that the next example, is exagerating but for the purpose of playing the devils advicate--

Could you not stretch the laws of murder to include pictures of recently murderd-mutilate persons to be illegal?

These kind of questions have to be looked at very carefully and without any personal bias.

I think that the idea is to shut down the making if no one is buying.  but I'm not a politician, so I could be wrong.
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« Reply #11: April 21, 2009, 03:53:02 pm »

I would think the law would include exceptions for the sort of use that PETA, or any of the humane societies, put these videos to. THe goal is to get rid of the animal cruelty.  Seriously, the Animal Police shows on Animal Planet would have the same exception.

I realise that many people don't like PETA, but the regular humane societies would use the videos in much the same way and I'm sure they would have an exception.  OF course it may come down to the way porn is recognized, "I can't define it, but I know it when I see it.".

The comparison to porn reminds me of an anti-porn propaganda flick that uses pieces of porn as part of its material without obtaining the legally required consents from the actors.  (Which are not only required for producing first-generation porn, but for derivative works.)

I am not entirely comfortable with 'exceptions'.
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« Reply #12: April 21, 2009, 07:02:10 pm »

The comparison to porn reminds me of an anti-porn propaganda flick that uses pieces of porn as part of its material without obtaining the legally required consents from the actors.  (Which are not only required for producing first-generation porn, but for derivative works.)

I am not entirely comfortable with 'exceptions'.
so you are not ok with exceptions for serious artistic, scientific, or religious uses?
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« Reply #13: April 21, 2009, 09:35:58 pm »

This is a no brainer based upon precedent.  Child porn is illegal, thus dog fight videos can be illegal.

Exactly what I was thinking.

Downside though will be fake dog fight videos being made and sold publically since the court has ruled that child porn has to include a real life minor.

No harm, no foul. The fake videos will be acceptable to most people; they'll look like the dog fights we see in movies:  two trained dogs that are actually playing, with lots of looped-in growling and snarling in the soundtrack and red-dyed corn syrup splashed around the set.  Works for me.

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« Reply #14: April 21, 2009, 10:19:45 pm »

so you are not ok with exceptions for serious artistic, scientific, or religious uses?

If there are good reasons for something to be illegal, then what 'serious artistic, scientific, or religious uses' are sufficient to override those good reasons?

If there are not good reasons for something to be illegal, then why should 'serious artistic, scientific, or religious uses' be necessary?
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