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Re: Townsend

----- Original Message -----
From: "Aaron [Bishop] Read" <aread@speakeasy.net>
To: "Dan Billings" <billings@suscom-maine.net>; <mlaurence@mindspring.com>;
"Dave Faneuf" <tklaundry@juno.com>; <boston-radio-interest@bostonradio.org>
Sent: Tuesday, January 14, 2003 6:26 PM
Subject: Re: Townsend

> To keep it on broadcasting, though....."free speech" rules under the First
> Amendment do not mean you can broadcast obscene material over the air,
> either.  We take that for granted...albeit with some wariness about
> what is considered "obscene" - a rapidly moving target these days.

The FCC also regulates indecent speech which would be protected outside of
the broadcast context.

> I do however think the judge massively overstepped his bounds by denying
> the guy even a chance at a First Amendment defense.  If he can prove that
> he was actually researching a story that was commissioned by a media
> to research and report on...I think that's a pretty strong argument for
> NOT being a child porno freak.

I don't have the statute in front of me but as I remember it, the law
prohibits intentionally or knowingly possessing child pornography.  This
means someone that could prove that they downloaded something by accident or
downloaded an illegal image that was sent to them maliciously would have a
valid legal defense to the charge.  The reporter admits to intentionally
downloading the images.  His reasons for doing so are not relevant.  That is
why the judge didn't allow him to argue a First Amendment defense.  Even if
he could prove he was actually researching a story that wouldn't excuse his
conduct.  Though it might be relevant on sentencing.

-- Dan Billings, Bowdoinham, Maine