Monday, July 2, 2018

Word of the Month for July 2018: Obscene

Play with matches; get burnedOnce upon a time someone told me that everyone has a book inside of them.  Well, you might have a book in you, but getting someone else to read it is a whole nuther problem.

Such was the case with an enterprising young lady.  Seems Lady had caught the vision and started writing a book about farm animals.  The first few editions were stories about raising and caring for farm animals.  Apparently, there were a whole lot of books on the raising and caring for farm animals and so her book wasn't selling very well.

Not getting the reviews (or sales) she had hoped for, she started writing about the darker side of owning farm animals.  Specifically, she wanted to write an exposè, of sorts, on certain humans have had with farm animals.

Yeah, that's one way to describe it.  Not something I'd want to read but, apparently, there's a market for that sort of stuff.

The next edition got better reviews (and sales) from her audience and she continued to write more about the farm animal/human relationship and then.....then when she started including pictures in her book(s), sales really took off and she started looking to protect her intellectual property.

This brings us to our word of the month: OBSCENE. According to Black's Law Dictionary, OBSCENE is:
Extremely offensive under contemporary community standards of morality and decency; grossly repugnant to the generally accepted notions of what is appropriate. Under the Supreme Court's three-part test, material is legally obscene - and therefore not protected under the First Amendment - if, taken as a whole, the material (1) appeals to the prurient interests in sex, as determined by the average person applying contemporary community standards; (2) portrays sexual conduct, as specifically defined by the applicable state law, in a patently offensive way; and 3) lacks serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value.  Miller v. California, 413 U.S. 15, 93 S.Ct. 2607 (1973).
So, Lady comes into my law library and announces that, in keeping with the theme of her book(s), she wants to include pictures of sexually abused farm animals.  

Is that even a thing?  

Immediately my spider senses flare up and I say are you sure you want to do that?  I mean I've met not a few people over the years who have filtered through the penal "justice" system who announced that they had, in their possession, a variety of images of a pornographic nature and things didn't end well for them.

Nope, Lady is adamant about her work and declared that the pictures would add a sense of "authenticity" to her books.  So, I suggest she takes a look at
and Lady goes about protecting her book(s) from other writers.  Not like she had to because topic and all  and off and running she went.

What she couldn't protect herself from was the "justice" system and she soon got all the authenticity she could stand. when an enterprising Assistant District Attorney caught wind of her book(s) and Lady found herself in a new world of hurt. 

Years after publishing her book(s), I heard she is still fighting to get free of the "justice" system's clutches because she can't (or won't) account for where she got the pictures in her book(s) and why she (seemed to) have a never ending supply of them?  

I guess it's true that if you play with fire, you really will get burned.  Apparently her cries of "serious literary and artistic value" fell on deaf ears and the judge tossed her to the wolves.  

I warned her, didn't I.  Well, I tried to and so goes another "artist" into the "justice" system.  

If ever you have a great idea that you are sure will get you the notoriety you deserve, be sure it's the kind of notoriety you can handle (and know that your local county law library will be open and waiting to help you pick up the pieces of your life when you can't).

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