Child Pornography Prevention Act

Case Type:



The 1996 Child Pornography Prevention Act extended the existing federal criminal laws against child pornography to the new computer media. As part of the overhaul, the definition of "child pornography" was extended to include "morphed" or computer generated images, and material advertised as child pornography. According to the law,
`child pornography' means any visual depiction, including any photograph, film, video, picture, drawing, or computer or computer-generated image or picture, whether made or produced by electronic, mechanical, or other means, of sexually explicit conduct, where--
`(A) the production of such visual depiction involves the use of a minor engaging in sexually explicit conduct;
`(B) such visual depiction is, or appears to be, of a minor engaging in sexually explicit conduct; or
`(C) such visual depiction is advertised, promoted, presented, described, or distributed in such a manner that conveys the impression that the material is or contains a visual depiction of a minor engaging in sexually explicit conduct.'.
The Free Speech Coalition, a consortium of adult entertainment businesses, has sued, arguing that the law is unconstitutional. In August, 1997, a federal appellate court struck down the statute. The Supreme Court has agreed to hear the case.


The U.S. Supreme Court; you, the general public.


From the legislature: In the courts:

In the news:

In the world: related controversies. Are these works child pornography? One final related question: Am I a purveyor of child pornography?


Currently pending before the Ninth Circuit.


Harm to society
Harm to individuals


Used as a paper topic in Comm Studies C30.

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Copyright © 1998 Jean Goodwin. All rights reserved.
Last updated 6 February 2001
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