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Court voids law aimed at animal cruelty videos

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posted on Apr, 21 2010 @ 10:59 AM
What if my wife is filming me landing a fish? Some people consider fishing to be animal cruelty. Should she go to jail for filming a legal event? The law was too vague to be enforcable.

posted on Apr, 21 2010 @ 11:11 AM
reply to post by JIMC5499

Your wife filming you fishing is a fair sight different than you filming her stepping on small animals to sell the videos for other people's sexual gratification, don't you think? Fishing is also legal, whilst dog fighting and torturing small animals by stepping on them is not.

posted on Apr, 21 2010 @ 11:28 AM
reply to post by Jenna

From what I heard and read the court ruled on the law being too broad...Buzzsaw not scalpel...and while I find animal cruelty sickening, horrific and sadistic...I have to grudgingly agree with them.

This law needs to be written more it stood PETA could have been prosecuted, FOOD Inc could have been banned, hunting?, Bull fighting/ etc. etc. Buzz saw.

I am no lawyer but if I was to pretend to be one I would include something along the lines of...

Any media produced with the intent of explicitly promoting, endorsing or celebrating the suffering or intentional torture of or cruel acts against animals....and then I would argue that certain documentaries, hunting videos etc. are not manufactured with the express purpose of celebrating suffering or cruelty, but rather the past-time of hunting...ditto Documentaries and PETA videos etc...not celebrating the acts, but opposed to them etc.

Maybe it would fly..maybe not...But we have to be conscience of censorship and casting too wide a net.

I think the law reached too much. I blame the folks who crafted it back in 1999. The Obama Administration who were looking to see the law upheld insisted that they would enforce the law only in acts of "extreme cruelty"...but then what about the next administration? The authors of the law got ambitious and over-reached.

Write a new law with a scalpel...get it done fast.

Just my 2 cents.

FYI - I met a guy in college about 20 years ago who had a video of him and his friends getting drunk and placing a kitten into a paper bag, dousing it with gasoline and lighting it on fire...laughing the whole time..he showed it at a party I was at thinking it was funny. These people are out there in the world.

I ended up beating him sensless along with one of his friends who jumped in before I was finally wrestled off of him. I often wonder if he went on to become a serial killer. That video is one of the things I wish I did not have in my memory, I try to make good use of it as a cautionary reminder that psychopaths do live among us.

That said...this law was over-reaching and it is a shame. They need to fix it fast...these videos are just porn for psychopaths.

posted on Apr, 21 2010 @ 11:31 AM
reply to post by Jenna

I agree with you. The problem is that under that law there was no difference. It was left up to a prosecutor to determine if charges were to be filed and a judge on whether there should be a trial. All that was needed was a animal rights activist DA and Judge to determine that fishing was cruel to the fish and there you go. I don't believe in animal cruelty but my definition of cruelty and someone from PETA's definition wouldn't be the same. That difference is why this law is a bad idea.

posted on Apr, 21 2010 @ 11:33 AM

Originally posted by Jenna

I'm a bit confused here... Cruelty to animals is against the law, you can go to jail for it. But filming cruelty to animals, now that's just fine. You can film animals being harmed all day long and it's freedom of speech. Really??

What kind of twisted logic takes you from cruelty to animals is bad to filming cruelty to animals is ok? What's the difference? The filmer is just as responsible as the one harming the animals if you ask me. I find it rather disgusting that the Supreme Court would say that kind of sick behavior is protected by free speech.
(visit the link for the full news article)

Are you familiar with the story? He wasn't FILMING the animals. He was using archived footage that he received elsewhere to make a documentary about how bad dog fighting was. About how mistreated these animals were. But because he put these images in his film to get that message acrossed he was arrested.

Now THAT is ridiculous.

[edit on 21-4-2010 by dariousg]

posted on Apr, 21 2010 @ 11:45 AM
reply to post by dariousg

The way I understand it the law was in response to 'crush videos', especially since that's what it says in the article.

The law was enacted in 1999 to limit Internet sales of so-called crush videos, which appeal to a certain sexual fetish by showing women crushing to death small animals with their bare feet or high-heeled shoes.

This guy got caught in the net when he probably shouldn't have been, but these videos aren't being made as documentaries and that is what has me confused as to why the Supreme Court would overturn the entire law instead of just this guys conviction.

posted on Apr, 21 2010 @ 11:49 AM
reply to post by maybereal11

That's a bit more understandable then. There are legitimate reasons for filming animal cruelty that shouldn't get caught up in the same law that prevents filming it solely for entertainment.

posted on Apr, 21 2010 @ 01:46 PM
Another one of those rulings I love to hate. But I also understand, Constitutionally, where they are coming from.

The government can't make a law making it illegal to show or share animal killing videos. That's a violation of the first amendment, clearly.

The webmaster could make a rule that videos of this nature are not allowed to be posted. I think YouTube will ban videos like this if they are posted and get enough complaints.

Like the Westboro Baptist Church, I think these videos have a constitutional right to not have laws imposed on their showing, but that doesn't make them any less disgusting. I think the best way to fight them is with local rules or simply quit feeding the trolls.

posted on Apr, 22 2010 @ 08:26 AM
One of our major problems is that the intent of a law has no bearing on how it is enforced, it is how it is interpreted. With our trend towards "legislation from the bench", any new law has to be looked at to see how it MAY be interpreted by a Prosecutor or Judge with extreme views.

posted on May, 6 2010 @ 03:55 AM
I agree with the Op on the issue but i do not agree that using videos to make a documentary are necessary. The logic in that is that in order to bring the plight of animal cruelty to light you have to use animal cruelty in order to make people understand it, is backwards. I dont need to see a child being molested to watch a documentary about the problem of child porn or child abuse in this world. Nor do i need to see the brazilian priest video of him having sex with a kid in order to know that he is guilty. To be honest i dont know how the police do it. Same with murder videos. If someone is going to do a documentary or any other film regarding how horrible murder is, i dont need to see one in order to convince me. How can you unsee something. Some things i just dont ever want to see.

I will put it like this. I agree that if your witnessing a crime and do nothing ,especially if all you do is film it, then you are aiding and abetting the crime. Now i know this is kind of a sticky issue when it comes to reporters and such because we all know with the world we live in today, many people film things and do not stop filming to help or stop the crime. I honestly dont know what to do or say about that.

I do know this though. As a employee in the medical field and having worked in nursing homes in the past, it is a crime to witness abuse and not report it. If someone saw me standing around watching another employee abusing a resident in a nursing home or now a patient in the hospital and i was reported as being a witness and i didnt come forward, i can be jailed.
Maybe it doesnt seem fair but it is the law and i agree with it.

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