Is Possessing RapeLay a Federal Crime in the United States?

June 19, 2009 -

Much has been written about RapeLay since the controversial Hentai game was discovered for sale on Amazon a few months back.

But while the debate thus far has largely centered around whether Japan, where RapeLay and most similar titles originate, should allow games featuring sexual violence to be published, a recent court ruling suggests that U.S. citizens who possess RapeLay and games of its ilk may be guilty of a federal offense.

Wired's Threat Level blog reports that on Monday the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals refused to consider the appeal of Dwight Whorley, a Virginia man who was convicted in U.S. District Court of possessing actual kiddie porn. But, under what is known as the 2003 Protect Act, prosecutors also charged Whorley with possessing manga which depicted minors having explicit sex. From the relevant section of the Protect Act:

Any person who... knowingly possesses a visual depiction of any kind, including a drawing, cartoon, sculpture, or painting, that—

 

(1) (A) depicts a minor engaging in sexually explicit conduct; and

(B) is obscene; or

(2) (A) depicts an image that is, or appears to be, of a minor engaging in graphic bestiality, sadistic or masochistic abuse, or sexual intercourse, including genital-genital, oral-genital, anal-genital, or oral-anal, whether between persons of the same or opposite sex; and

(B) lacks serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value... shall be subject to the penalties provided...

(c) Nonrequired Element of Offense.— It is not a required element of any offense under this section that the minor depicted actually exist.

Threat Level also cites a similar conviction against Christopher Handley, a comic book collector who imported sexually explicit manga containing illustrations of child sex abuse and bestiality. Unlike Whorley, Handley possessed no actual child pornography.

So how does this connect to the RapeLay situation? A [NSFW] review of the game posted on Something Awful describes graphic, forced sex with a mother and her two minor daughters, the youngest of whom appears to be about ten years old. Save for the fact that it's interactive, RapeLay is not much different from the type of hardcore manga which earned federal time for Whorley and Handley.

We should note that a single judge on the 4th Circuit dissented from the opinion upholding Whorley's conviction and urged that the case be sent to the U.S. Supreme Court. But for now, at least, owning a copy of RapeLay seems like a risky legal proposition, indeed.


Comments

Re: Is Possessing RapeLay a Federal Crime in the United ...

I´m not saying that it´s wrong. I´m saying is more hard to defend because people (and politicians) is more biased about sex and porn, even more than violence. Just remember that South Park episode.

The person who decide to defend porn as a right in front of media and politics have to be very brave and smart. At least that the way I see it.

The cynical side of videogames (spanish only): http://thelostlevel.blogspot.com/ My DeviantArt Page (aka DeviantCensorship): http://www.darkknightstrikes.deviantart.com/

Re: Is Possessing RapeLay a Federal Crime in the United ...

Thats becuse people are intolerant you have to make them relise how silly they are otherwise you will have no rights by the end of the day.

 


I am a criminal because I purchase media,I am a criminal because I use media, I am a criminal because I chose to own media..We shall remain criminals until Corporate stay's outside our bedrooms..


http://zippydsmlee.wordpress.com


Copyright infringement is nothing more than civil disobedience to a bad set of laws. Let's renegotiate them.

---

http://zippydsm.deviantart.com/

Re: Is Possessing RapeLay a Federal Crime in the United ...

I would say defend them, because I honestly wouldn't trust anyone to stop there. I'd expect them to begi ntheir best to chip away little by little unti lthey find ways to remove what offends them.

Re: Is Possessing RapeLay a Federal Crime in the United ...

I think that will be very difficult for any group to protect games despicting virtual child porn, or even plain porn with despicting adults. For the majority, porn is a sin/crime and should be banned in every way possible.

I can jump over to try to defende violent videogames, but I think I couldn´t defend hentai games without being outcasted as a pervert.

 

The cynical side of videogames (spanish only): http://thelostlevel.blogspot.com/ My DeviantArt Page (aka DeviantCensorship): http://www.darkknightstrikes.deviantart.com/

Re: Is Possessing RapeLay a Federal Crime in the United ...

*nods* never said it would be easy.  In fact it would likly be quite hard.  But in the long run, I think it would be better for gamers.

Re: Is Possessing RapeLay a Federal Crime in the United ...

You'll be outcasted as a perv either way, myself porn/hentai is equatable to violence, thought and the small freedoms that we are suppose to have.

Take one away the rest will follow, so you have to draw a line in the sand and take a side either you are for reasonable limits that stop short of fascism or you are for fascism.

 


I am a criminal because I purchase media,I am a criminal because I use media, I am a criminal because I chose to own media..We shall remain criminals until Corporate stay's outside our bedrooms..


http://zippydsmlee.wordpress.com


Copyright infringement is nothing more than civil disobedience to a bad set of laws. Let's renegotiate them.

---

http://zippydsm.deviantart.com/

Re: Is Possessing RapeLay a Federal Crime in the United ...

Not to mention that many still view video games as for children and only for children, thus, if you defend pornographic video games, at all, no matter the reason, you somehow advocate giving porn to minors.

Re: Is Possessing RapeLay a Federal Crime in the United ...

Stupid morality police.

---You are likely to be eaten by a Grue.

---You are likely to be eaten by a Grue.

Re: Is Possessing RapeLay a Federal Crime in the United ...

It's worth pointing out that the guy convicted in this case also possessed actual child pornography. This guy would not go free even if those aspects of the case dealing with virtual pornography were overturned.

Re: Is Possessing RapeLay a Federal Crime in the United ...

This is true but the article also mentions another case where the person was convicted, and in that case the person didn't possess actual child pornography.

In case you don't feel like scrolling back up to click the link in the article: http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2009/05/manga-porn/
---
I'm not under the affluence of incohol as some thinkle peep I am. I'm not half as thunk as you might drink. I fool so feelish I don't know who is me, and the drunker I stand here, the longer I get.


---
I'm not under the affluence of incohol as some thinkle peep I am. I'm not half as thunk as you might drink. I fool so feelish I don't know who is me, and the drunker I stand here, the longer I get.

Re: Is Possessing RapeLay a Federal Crime in the United ...

I don't see how that's worth pointing out, he should not have been charged anything for possessing mere drawings or computer generated images.

----------------------------------------------------

Debates are like merry go rounds. Two people take their positions then they go through the same points over and over and over again. Then when it's over they have the same positions they started in.

---------------------------------------------------- Debates are like merry go rounds. Two people take their positions then they go through the same points over and over and over again. Then when it's over they have the same positions they started in.

Re: Is Possessing RapeLay a Federal Crime in the United ...

True, which also makes the need for using these laws even more baffling.

What has been done here is setting a legal precident.  Once one person has been convicted, prosecuters can point to that case and say 'see, a judge agreed that this is illegal' and thus it is illegal unless overturned by a higher court.

The took a case with a real pedophile and, since such cases are always pretty politically charged, tacked on the iffy laws in order to strenghten them.

There is already a second case working it's way through the system where they guy ended up pleading guilty to possessing lolicon manga and NOTHING ELSE.

All it takes is one test case to turn these laws from theory into practice. And once practiced, the barrier to using them more drops significantly.

Re: Is Possessing RapeLay a Federal Crime in the United ...

Iffy laws are what make polticains, polticains. Without them they would get no where.....

 


I am a criminal because I purchase media,I am a criminal because I use media, I am a criminal because I chose to own media..We shall remain criminals until Corporate stay's outside our bedrooms..


http://zippydsmlee.wordpress.com


Copyright infringement is nothing more than civil disobedience to a bad set of laws. Let's renegotiate them.

---

http://zippydsm.deviantart.com/

Re: Is Possessing RapeLay a Federal Crime in the United ...

The law is outdated(even if recent) and was put in place as a feel good measure that sucks reason out of the equation.

If fake child porn or fake anything really can be illegal then  thinking might as well be because its far more dangerous.  


I am a criminal because I purchase media,I am a criminal because I use media, I am a criminal because I chose to own media..We shall remain criminals until Corporate stay's outside our bedrooms..


http://zippydsmlee.wordpress.com


Copyright infringement is nothing more than civil disobedience to a bad set of laws. Let's renegotiate them.

---

http://zippydsm.deviantart.com/

Re: Is Possessing RapeLay a Federal Crime in the United ...

I think if they are going to start to protect virtual children (drawings and CGI animations), things are gonna be very messy and confusing at best.

Who will decide what´s obscene? Anything can be it under the sight of the wrong people.

Next step is gonna be to ban every game-manga-comic-animation despicting children in a violent plot. Good bye Naruto, Dragon Ball, Saint Seiya, etc.

The cynical side of videogames (spanish only): http://thelostlevel.blogspot.com/ My DeviantArt Page (aka DeviantCensorship): http://www.darkknightstrikes.deviantart.com/

Re: Is Possessing RapeLay a Federal Crime in the United ...

The fact that the goverment is trying to protect something that simply doesn't exist is an abomination to the legal system.

Re: Is Possessing RapeLay a Federal Crime in the United ...

Agreed. We seem dangerously close to writing a bill of rights for fictional people.

Re: Is Possessing RapeLay a Federal Crime in the United ...

Murder is illegal, obscene and disgusting. All television shows, video games, books, and movies may no longer contain life-threatening action. Existing shows, video games, books and movies may replace such scenes, including any references to characters that died during the show, with scenes of magical sugar plum fairies dancing with cute fuzzy bunnies in the Gumdrop Forest.
---
I'm not under the affluence of incohol as some thinkle peep I am. I'm not half as thunk as you might drink. I fool so feelish I don't know who is me, and the drunker I stand here, the longer I get.


---
I'm not under the affluence of incohol as some thinkle peep I am. I'm not half as thunk as you might drink. I fool so feelish I don't know who is me, and the drunker I stand here, the longer I get.

Re: Is Possessing RapeLay a Federal Crime in the United ...

Cue the thought police!!

 


I am a criminal because I purchase media,I am a criminal because I use media, I am a criminal because I chose to own media..We shall remain criminals until Corporate stay's outside our bedrooms..


http://zippydsmlee.wordpress.com


Copyright infringement is nothing more than civil disobedience to a bad set of laws. Let's renegotiate them.

---

http://zippydsm.deviantart.com/

Re: Is Possessing RapeLay a Federal Crime in the United ...

So is there anywhere we can send complaints to possibly get this reversed or something.

Really how far away is this from banning art depicting graphic fictional violence?

----------------------------------------------------

Debates are like merry go rounds. Two people take their positions then they go through the same points over and over and over again. Then when it's over they have the same positions they started in.

---------------------------------------------------- Debates are like merry go rounds. Two people take their positions then they go through the same points over and over and over again. Then when it's over they have the same positions they started in.

Re: Is Possessing RapeLay a Federal Crime in the United ...

I agree along the same lines as AE.

There are two issues here:

The use of actual beings, even as models, for the creation of the product being considered.

The total fabrication through imagination without the use of any actual models to create the product being considered.

Using actual individuals means the potential to violate the Rights of the individual model, depending on the legal considerations of consent and how it applies to actual individuals.

When no actual individual is used in the creation of the product, no individual's Rights are violated.

And the arguments raised that owning, let alone exposing one's self, to material that used no actual models in its creation will make the person exposed want to actually mimic the contents of that material is no more factual than saying that someone exposed to violent fictional video games will make them want or even desire to commit real violent acts.  Indeed, it's no more realistic than saying that someone who plays a non-violent video game like Harvest Moon will make them want to do non-violent acts such as plant carrots.

Everyone is not expected to like every genre of media, from the type of media down to individual content of a specific product.  We're not clones.  So the argument that "it's horrid and obscene!" is irrelevant to whether someone else should have the Right to have an interest in it.

Nightwng2000

NW2K Software

http://www.facebook.com/nightwing2000

Nightwng2000 is now admin to the group "Parents For Education, Not Legislation" on MySpace as http://groups.myspace.com/pfenl

Nightwng2000 NW2K Software http://www.facebook.com/nightwing2000 Nightwng2000 is now admin to the group "Parents For Education, Not Legislation" on MySpace as http://groups.myspace.com/pfenl

Re: Is Possessing RapeLay a Federal Crime in the United ...

Did you know that in some jurisdictions it is illegal to manufacture, distribute, or possess pornograhpy which depicts minors in sexual acts even thought the depicted minors are not in fact minors but, rather, are adult actors merely posing as minors? Despite the fact that there's not a child in sight, it's still considered "child pornography."

Re: Is Possessing RapeLay a Federal Crime in the United ...

One of my favorite episodes of Law & Order SVU is from the 8th season called "Clock"

http://www.tv.com/Law+%26+Order%3A+Special+Victims+Unit/Clock/episode/870986/recap.html

It's an episode of many issues, but one is that a young woman with Turner's Syndrome which makes her look a lot younger than which she actually is.  While the boyfriend in the show has some serious issues, you have to wonder how many people would actually like to pass legislation preventing such women who have Turner's Syndrome from having relationships because they "look" younger, and therefore, the boyfriends LOOK like they are pedophiles, even if they really aren't.  And who knows what is going on in the boyfriend's minds.  And should it matter to anyone but the of-age young woman?  And I wonder if even owning pictures of such couples could be considered illegal, even if both in the picture are adults and consenting.

Nightwng2000

NW2K Software

http://www.facebook.com/nightwing2000

Nightwng2000 is now admin to the group "Parents For Education, Not Legislation" on MySpace as http://groups.myspace.com/pfenl

Nightwng2000 NW2K Software http://www.facebook.com/nightwing2000 Nightwng2000 is now admin to the group "Parents For Education, Not Legislation" on MySpace as http://groups.myspace.com/pfenl

Re: Is Possessing RapeLay a Federal Crime in the United ...

Jurisdictions?

What you describe is, if someone wanted to prosecute it, a federal crime in the US.  The law applies to anything that might be mistaken for a child or designed to pander to such interests.

Re: Is Possessing RapeLay a Federal Crime in the United ...

I was referring to state jurisdictions. It's unclear and, indeed, unlikely that the federal law would emcompass adult actors posing as minors. The federal law says nothing about "designed to pander." It says "depicts an image that is, or appears to be" of a minor.

Re: Is Possessing RapeLay a Federal Crime in the United ...

It is called the 'Pandering Provision", 18 U.S.C. § 2252A(a)(3)

"

advertises, promotes, presents, distributes, or solicits through the mails, or in interstate or foreign commerce by any means, including by computer, any material or purported material in a manner that reflects the belief, or that is intended to cause another to believe, that the material or purported material is, or contains (i) an obscene visual depiction of a minor engaging in sexually explicit conduct; or (ii) a visual depiction of an actual minor engaging in sexually explicit conduct.

"

Which has been upheld by the Supreme Court.

So all you have to do is convince a jury (and juries in pedophillia cases are notoriously easy to persuade) that the author intended people to believe the adult actor was a minor.

Re: Is Possessing RapeLay a Federal Crime in the United ...

I don't read from the above any mention of a design to pander to an interest in child pornography. Not even between the lines. That the potential viewer has a keen interest or absolutely no interest in consuming child pornography is wholly irrelevant either way. What's relevant is the intent of the producer -- not the consumer.  

Moreover, all legitimately distributed pornography containing actors must, under federal law, bear a visible disclaimer that the actors contained therein are all of adult age and that the producer has obtained proof of age from all actors therein and copies thereof are available for inspection with the production company's records custodian. It's kinda hard to satisfy this requirement and be said to have an intent to dupe viewers into believing that the actors are under-aged.  

Re: Is Possessing RapeLay a Federal Crime in the United ...

So wait the 40 year old with the cesarean scar who was playing as a cheerleader in High School is considered child Pornography?

Re: Is Possessing RapeLay a Federal Crime in the United ...

Unfortunately, yes. The law doesn't require that it be a believable depiction.

Re: Is Possessing RapeLay a Federal Crime in the United ...

I think that's also part of the PROTECT Act


Re: Is Possessing RapeLay a Federal Crime in the United ...

We are screwed. Damn puritans...

The cynical side of videogames (spanish only): http://thelostlevel.blogspot.com/ My DeviantArt Page (aka DeviantCensorship): http://www.darkknightstrikes.deviantart.com/

Re: Is Possessing RapeLay a Federal Crime in the United ...

puritans, amking others give up more and more freedosm so they themselves can feel better since, ever

Re: Is Possessing RapeLay a Federal Crime in the United ...

It has not been proven that owning these types of drawings will make someone more likely to commit pedophilic acts, nor has it been proven that it will lead our culture to debauchery.

So the only argument they really have left is that it's disgusting and degrading.

That alone should NEVER be enough reason to censor anything.

These are drawings we're talking about here. If I were to take pen to paper and draw a kiddie being screwed I'd suddenly be breaking the law and yet if I were to draw the kiddie being squashed by an anvil I'd be perfectly fine.

As George Carlin put it, "it's all bullshit and it's bad for you".

----------------------------------------------------

Debates are like merry go rounds. Two people take their positions then they go through the same points over and over and over again. Then when it's over they have the same positions they started in.

---------------------------------------------------- Debates are like merry go rounds. Two people take their positions then they go through the same points over and over and over again. Then when it's over they have the same positions they started in.

Re: Is Possessing RapeLay a Federal Crime in the United ...

"It has not been proven that owning these types of drawings will make someone more likely to commit pedophilic acts, nor has it been proven that it will lead our culture to debauchery."

The part I find sad and stupid about laws like this is that there's a strong case to be made that the OPPOSITE is true. Let's take a hypothetical person who finds that he's attracted to really young girls. Really attracted. Like, driven insane by it.

Now give him harmless outlets where he can satisfy his urges to some degree without hurting anyone. Loli manga and ero games, and so forth.

Now, let's rip those outlets out of his hands.

Which situation seems more likely to lead that person to resort to child abuse?
---
I'm not under the affluence of incohol as some thinkle peep I am. I'm not half as thunk as you might drink. I fool so feelish I don't know who is me, and the drunker I stand here, the longer I get.


---
I'm not under the affluence of incohol as some thinkle peep I am. I'm not half as thunk as you might drink. I fool so feelish I don't know who is me, and the drunker I stand here, the longer I get.

Re: Is Possessing RapeLay a Federal Crime in the United ...

Yeah, but passing laws against stuff related to pedophilia is politically very safe (and wins you votes) while pointing out how horrible such laws are is political suicide. 

And of course the people in support of these bills never think that such laws could ever be used against something they care about.

Re: Is Possessing RapeLay a Federal Crime in the United ...

Thoughtcrime.

A federal offence.

Re: Is Possessing RapeLay a Federal Crime in the United ...

Scares me how much you're right on that. :( Big Brother is just watching out for you!

Re: Is Possessing RapeLay a Federal Crime in the United ...

Oh no... this could be insanely bad for Berserk fans.

Re: Is Possessing RapeLay a Federal Crime in the United ...

Berzerk as in "STOP-THE-HUMANOID"?  What the fuzuck...?

Re: Is Possessing RapeLay a Federal Crime in the United ...

Re: Is Possessing RapeLay a Federal Crime in the United ...

Ah, thanks.  I keep thinking this is GamePolitics.

Re: Is Possessing RapeLay a Federal Crime in the United ...

I own stuff that explicitily depicts underage sex.  Kite for example.  And I will fight for the right to own such material.  Being illegal to own a drawing is absurd.  What's next?  A federal crime to have dreams with specific content?  Thoughts?  Jokes?

Of course, I don't find drawings obscene so to me, that portion of the Protect Act would never be applicable.

 

Andrew Eisen

Re: Is Possessing RapeLay a Federal Crime in the United ...

Nevertheless, just to be on the safe side, you may want to stash your copy of Bunny Porn in a hard to reach location. It could well be construed under federal law as a depiction of beastiality. Better safe than sorry. 

Re: Is Possessing RapeLay a Federal Crime in the United ...

Nah, that stuff is all bunny on bunny (on bunny on bunny on bunny...) so it's all good.

 

Andrew Eisen

Re: Is Possessing RapeLay a Federal Crime in the United ...

Are any of the bunnies underage? Do you first multiply the age by seven like with dogs?

 

Re: Is Possessing RapeLay a Federal Crime in the United ...

Maybe I'll buy it for, uh, the sake of studying it.


Steam ID: canadakiller

Re: Is Possessing RapeLay a Federal Crime in the United ...

You can't. Not anymore, anyway. They've stopped selling it. Rough translation: "Hey guys about that "Rapelay" shit. We've accepted the EOCS's decision and given the trouble this situation is giving Japan's proud rape game industry, we've decided to no longer offer it for sale or provide information on it. Sorry if this has deprived you of fapping material."

Re: Is Possessing RapeLay a Federal Crime in the United ...

"Rapelay is filth." WE GET IT ALREADY. Please stop beating this dead horse.

--------------------------------------------------

I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

-------------------------------------------------- I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

Re: Is Possessing RapeLay a Federal Crime in the United ...

I think it fair to say that GP has a hard-on for this particular game. *rimshot*

Re: Is Possessing RapeLay a Federal Crime in the United ...

It almost sounds like he's trying to broaden his campaign to include manga now.

--------------------------------------------------

I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

-------------------------------------------------- I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.
 
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Technogeek"It also doesn't mean you're obligated to stop harassment from all gamers that are doing so." I'd say you're certainly obligated to call them out when you see it happening.09/20/2014 - 5:17pm
SleakerNow if you disagree with anything in my last 2 posts then we obviously have a difference in world view, and wont come to any sort of agreement. I'm fine with that, maybe some people aren't?09/20/2014 - 5:09pm
SleakerIt also doesn't mean that just because a news outlet says that Gamers are the problem and you self-identify as a Gamer, you're immediately the problem. It also doesn't mean you're obligated to stop harassment from all gamers that are doing so.09/20/2014 - 4:59pm
SleakerJust to re-iterate: People getting harassed is wrong. Just because someone is harassed by so called 'gamers' doesn't mean that all gamers are bad. nor does it mean that you need to pass laws or judgement on all gamers.09/20/2014 - 4:56pm
SleakerAnd furthermore just because someone doesn't 'crusade against the evil' that doesn't make them the problem. You can have discussion with those around you. There's a thing called sphere of influence.09/20/2014 - 4:54pm
Sleaker@Conster - one person getting harassed is a 'problem' only so far as the harassee's are doing it. Just because a select few people choose to act like this doesn't make it widespread. Nor does it immediately make everyone responsible to put an end to it.09/20/2014 - 4:54pm
james_fudgeno worries09/20/2014 - 4:15pm
TechnogeekI misread james' comment as "we can't have a debate without threatening" there at first. Actually wound up posting a shout about death threats and "kill yourself" not technically being the same thing before I realized.09/20/2014 - 3:59pm
james_fudgeDon't hit me *cowers behind Andrew*09/20/2014 - 3:20pm
ConsterYou take that back right now, james, or else. *shakes fist menacingly*09/20/2014 - 3:00pm
james_fudgeOur community is awesome. We can have a debate without threatening to kill each other.09/20/2014 - 2:50pm
Andrew EisenNo one's crossed a line but I just want to remind you all to keep discussions civil.09/20/2014 - 1:54pm
Craig R.tldr: I'm a gamer, and imo those who support GamerGate should feel free to take a flying leap off a cliff.09/20/2014 - 1:27pm
Craig R.Not only that, I'm pretty sure that if actual studies were done, you'd still deny them, Sleaker. After all, it's not what you'd want to hear to support your rose-colored view of GamerGate.09/20/2014 - 1:18pm
Craig R.There IS an issue. Nor do we need a study to show that if you deny it then you're part of the problem.09/20/2014 - 1:17pm
Sleakersimply oust people that do harass others.09/20/2014 - 11:34am
Sleaker@Conster - I can say the same thing if you think there's been more than a handful. Until there's an actual study on rates no one can claim to know how widespread the incidence of harassment is. Thus the best we can do is 'there might be an issue' and...09/20/2014 - 11:33am
ConsterSleaker: if you think there's only been "a handful of" incidents, you have your head stuck *somewhere* - I'm assuming it's sand.09/20/2014 - 5:38am
prh99Most of it's agitprop clickbait anyway.09/20/2014 - 5:27am
prh99A good reason to stop reading reguardless of view pointhttp://www.theguardian.com/media/2013/apr/12/news-is-bad-rolf-dobelli.09/20/2014 - 5:22am
 

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