Feeds

Aussie convicted over Simpsons sex pics

'My butt does not deserve a website'

Top three mobile application threats

An Australian man has lost his appeal against child pornography charges for possessing images of the Simpsons characters having sex.

The Supreme Court of New South Wales upheld a lower court's decision which found him guilty of possessing child pornography.

Alan John McEwan was convicted in February of possessing child pornography and using his computer to access child pornography because he had a series of cartoons based on the TV series The Simpsons including images of the children having sex.

Judge Adams noted that in some ways the figures do not imitate humans - they only have four digits on each hand and: "the faces have eyes, a nose and mouth markedly and deliberately different to those of any possible human being". The judgement said that the television series implied ages of about ten for Bart and eight for Lisa.

Adams said: "The question before me is whether a fictional cartoon character is a 'person' within the meaning of the statutory offences or, to be more precise, is a depiction or representation of such a 'person'."

The judge made clear there was a fundamental difference between depicting an acutal person and an imaginary person - he used the example of video games showing "terrible violence" which if it involved real people "would constitute crimes at the very highest level of the criminal calendar".

But by accepting that a person may be real or imaginary, and may be depicted by drawing then "a cartoon character might well constitute the depiction of such a person". McEwan was therefore guilty.

The judgment said there was no evidence that the material was or might be used for any criminal purpose.

McEwan was fined $3,000 and signed up to a two year good behaviour bond - punishment which the Supreme Court upheld.

Each side must pay its own costs. The full judgment is here.

Rude versions of Simpsons cartoons were a leading meme of the internet in the late 90s, second only to Star Trek jokes. Insurance firm Royal & Sun Alliance staff got into trouble for forwarding smutty Simpsons emails back in 2001. ®

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

More from The Register

next story
Lavabit loses contempt of court appeal over protecting Snowden, customers
Judges rule complaints about government power are too little, too late
Don't let no-hire pact suit witnesses call Steve Jobs a bullyboy, plead Apple and Google
'Irrelevant' character evidence should be excluded – lawyers
Record labels sue Pandora over vintage song royalties
Companies want payout on recordings made before 1972
EFF: Feds plan to put 52 MILLION FACES into recognition database
System would identify faces as part of biometrics collection
Edward Snowden on his Putin TV appearance: 'Why all the criticism?'
Denies Q&A cameo was meant to slam US, big-up Russia
Ex-Tony Blair adviser is new top boss at UK spy-hive GCHQ
Robert Hannigan to replace Sir Iain Lobban in the autumn
Judge halts spread of zombie Nortel patents to Texas in Google trial
Epic Rockstar patent war to be waged in California
US Supreme Court supremo rakes Aereo lawman in oral arguments
Antenna-array content streamers: 'Ruling against us could dissipate the cloud'
German space centre endures cyber attack
Chinese code retrieved but NSA hack not ruled out
prev story

Whitepapers

Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.