Man Arrested for Possession of… Manga?

mmanga Man Arrested for Possession of... Manga?

Did you know you could get arrested for traveling with manga on your computer?  That’s what one American found out when he checked his laptop in at the airport in Canada.  A Canadian customs officer found the images on the man’s computer and considered them child pornography.  The Comic Book Legal Defense Fund (CBLDF) announced Friday that it is standing by the twenty-something computer programmer saying that the images are just manga style comics and not pornography.

The man is being charged with possessing and importing child pornography.  The importation charge is more severe, which could garner him jail time of 1 to 10 years, while if just convicted of possession he could get 45 days to 5 years.  The CBLDF is providing the man’s legal counsel, the cost of  which is estimated at around 100 G’s, and a Canadian group called the Comic Legends Legal Defense Fund is also pitching in.

In 2006, the Canadian Child Exploitation and Coordination Center made statements which blurred the line between Anime and Hentai stating that:  “This material, which in Western nations is referred to as animé is a growing concern among Canadian law enforcement.”  In 2001, a case brought to the Canada Supreme Court ruled that: “[the law] should include visual works of the imagination as well as depictions of actual people… includes both actual and imaginary human beings,” with exception if there is a “legitimate purpose related to the administration of justice or to science, medicine, education or art; and does not pose an undue risk of harm to persons under the age of eighteen years.”

Apparently, Canada’s customs practices regarding importing materials across their borders has been gaining attention in the past few years because of their vague standards.  A Canadian Supreme Court justice admitted last year when asked about what constitutes “obscene” materials:  “I’ll know it when I see it.”  WTF??

So there you have it.  Different countries have different rules about anime and you’ll be targeted if you’re a male traveling alone and your passport just so happens to show that you’ve been to one or more countries that already have issues with child pornography like S.E. Asia, Germany and Spain.  And really, who knows what other traits they’ll be using to profile people? It’s best to check the laws before you leave the country.

[Sources:  TheGlobeAndMail, ANN]

pixel Man Arrested for Possession of... Manga?

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