There is expression, consisting of words or pictures, that some find offensive but that does not constitute obscenity and is protected by the First Amendment. Nudity portrayed in films or stills cannot be presumed obscene; nor can offensive language ordinarily be punished simply because it offends someone. In other words, sexually explicit expression does not receive the same degree of protection afforded purely political speech.
Two months ago the Home Dish Satellite Corporation was a flourishing New York City company, beaming hard-core sex films to 30, subscribers around the country and soft-core ones to 1. But among the homes receiving the transmissions were about 50 in Montgomery County, Ala. Now the company finds itself driven out of business.
The question is hard, partly because the answer keeps changing. Forty-three years ago Tuesday, the landmark U. Supreme Court case Miller v.
You are now logged in. Forgot your password? American First Amendment law still recognizes an "obscenity" exception, which is basically limited to hard-core pornography, and is rarely applied: The government may ban the distribution and display of material that 1 appeals to a "prurient," meaning shameful or morbid, interest in sex, 2 depicts sexual or excretory behavior in a way that's seen as patently offensive under community standards, and 3 lacks serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value. This is generally understood as limited to hard-core porn, and is rarely though not never enforced even as to that.
United States obscenity law deals with the regulation or suppression of what is considered obscenity. In the United States, discussion of obscenity revolves around what constitutes pornography and of censorshipbut also raises issues of freedom of speech and of the pressotherwise protected by the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States. Issues of obscenity arise at federal and state levels.
An obscenity is any utterance or act that strongly offends the prevalent morality of the time. The word can be used to indicate a strong moral repugnance, in expressions such as "obscene profits " or "the obscenity of war". As a legal term, it usually refers to graphic depictions of people engaged in sexual and excretory activity.
Wed 09 11 Books, paintings, and films have at various times been hauled before the courts for portraying obscenity, and courts have had to rule on how far the right to freedom of speech and expression extends. During the trial, the accused produced as witness Mr Mulk Raj Anand, a writer and art critic, who presented a detailed analysis of the novel and opined that the novel was a classic work of considerable literary merit and not obscene.
Pornography refers to material dealing with sex designed to arouse its readers or viewers. There are two types of pornography that receive no First Amendment protection — obscenity and child pornography. The First Amendment generally protects pornography that does not fall into one of these two categories — at least for adult viewers.
Obscenity refers to a narrow category of pornography that violates contemporary community standards and has no serious literary, artistic, political or scientific value. For adults at least, most pornography receives constitutional protection. Miller v.
A long-standing court test using community standards to determine whether adult content is criminally obscene has been a potential problem area for the U. But a debate that's been largely abstract for years has recently changed as the U. Department of Justice successfully prosecuted two Web site operators for obscenity. Last Friday, Paul F.