Virtual Child Pornography

Discusses the need for new laws surrounding the issue of virtual child pornography.

Virtual child pornography refers to child pornography that does not portray an actual living child. Specifically, this refers to child pornography that is created by computer images. Virtual child pornography is currently considered to be legal, based on the ruling of U.S. District Court judge, Donald W. Molloy, who ruled that illicit images that do not involve actual children in their production or depiction, even when they appear to be child pornography, are protected by the First Amendment. This paper argues that virtual child pornography should be considered illegal, focusing on the protection of children. It discusses the Child Pornography Prevention Act (1996) within the justice system and proposes a solution to the problem.
“An individual drawing or producing computer-images without viewing children in sexually explicit ways is very different than an individual who forces children to act in sexually explicit ways for the purpose of creating pornographic materials. The major problem with the CPPA appears to be that it places these two crimes together. This creates several problems. Firstly, it confuses the issue and does not allow the two impacts of pornographic materials to be considered, namely the effect on the real children involved in production of the materials, and the effect of the material on the pornographic industry. Secondly, it places two crimes with different levels of seriousness as one. This then results in the fear created, with individuals understandably concerned about being labelled child pornographers, when the material has been created for artistic purposes.”