Friday, July 1, 2011

because there's a story that ought to be heard

There's a new JIRA issue to watch, this one involving inventory searches. Why is this important? Because as it stands--in 2.x generation viewers--we type in something to search for--like "wings" or "tattered" and the word will auto-complete, and pop to the first thing with that name on the list. Whereupon we can either retype the word, if it autocompleted wrong, or go down the list of things with that name.

In 1.x generation viewers, this is what still happens. But not in 2.x ones. In 2.x ones, they've dropped that feature entirely. Now, we have to type out the complete word, it doesn't start searching until the word is finished, and it doesn't pop open everything--we have to poke and search a few times to get it to pop open *each* instance of that word.

That's annoying, but more than that, that drains time and energy that could be better spent creating things, organizing concerts, shopping, paying the Lindens money...It's not a HUGE annoyance, in terms of Second Life annoyances--Zindra, for example, would far overshadow it--but it's up there.

There's a JIRA post given at the end of CrystalShard Foo's post on it; click that link, read through the official description, and then watch it, please? She says Lindens are paying attention to that post, so the more watchers, the likelier it will be fixed in the somewhat near future.

Picasa is now offering virtually unlimited picture storage. Photobucket, not to be discounted, is now offering what they call unlimited storage. Throwing aside the question of which service is better, why are they doing this? I mean, yay for me, I don't have to worry about that metaphoric line, now, that I may be crossing twenty more uploads down the road, but--what's motivating both services to allow this?

Couple things from the Gutters online comic: this for the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, and this for Firefly fans.

The Firefly tie-in is funny, but obvious. The Ryan Lee comic may take a bit of explanation, though I've linked it before. Essentially--and this is exactly why the CBLDF is fighting this--a man went from the States to Canada. Canada has a lethal border-search mechanism in place that makes the TSA seem somnolent on the job. They searched everything, including the hard drive on his laptop.

And they found manga. With what they deemed 'pornographic' images of underage participants, which--drawn or not--figures in as an automatic charge of possessing child pornography.

(from the Canada album)

These are some of the characters of Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha.

(from the Canada album)

And this is the title page of the second volume of the graphic novel Lost Girls.

Are these pornographic images? Well, I'd be hard pressed to see little girls in swimsuits and think they're meant to arouse and excite adults. But I will grant that fan-made comics frequently go beyond the bounds of decency. And Lost Girls, start to finish, is blatantly erotic, by design.

Okay, that's fine, let's say they were made to be pornography. Are they child pornography? And that's the sticking point.

To Canada, it's easy--if it features a sexualized child, photographically or artistically, it is child pornography. Period. And I'm sure there's some clarity of thought that goes along with being so dogmatic, but for me, the issue isn't that simple. For me, it has to pass several tests:

1. Is the image of a nude or sexualized child?

2. If yes, is the image photographic, or video?

And while there are other questions to ask, for me, that's also a good place to stop, because if the answer to question two is no, then it is, by default, not child pornography. Because arresting people for owning art is not a good road to travel. From there, it's not even a short jump to arresting people for owning whatever is termed violent, or anti-social, or dangerous, or whatever. Canada may be happy starting down that road; I'm not.

But by definition, that is the tack that the CBLDF is taking--they are not 'defending pedophilia', they are not 'fighting for child porn'. They are fighting, pure and simple, for ideas to remain free. They are fighting, pure and simple, for the divorce of image from reality. A drawing of a man getting shot in the head should never be a substitution for video of a man getting shot in the head. Conversely, an image of a child--whether the image can be deemed pornographic or not--should never be a substitution for a real, live child.

Children can be injured. Art can't. There IS a difference, people.


Serenity Semple said...

People will always overreact. e.e; Though Lost Girls was pretty extreme, I remember selling it at the comic store and we got..hnn 3 copies? That is an expensive book normal retail value of over $100. And those things sold out within the first couple hours of them hitting the shelf. If memory serves in that series they were young ladies, not children like...I wanna says 20s+ or so? I don't even remember but jeez people. I wish people would be more accepting of just art. If the painting of Venus was a bit younger, would it still be considered porn? Who knows; and not to come off as completely rude - but I bet people have fapped to it anyway.

Emilly Orr said...

They were depicted as young girls, not children, but even so--if they look underage, and engage in sexual activity, or are even presented sexually--it's child porn to Canada.