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NM: Court ruling shows child porn laws’ ambiguity

In a decision likely to fuel ongoing debate over the state’s child pornography laws, the New Mexico Court of Appeals this week reversed nine of a Los Lunas man’s 10 convictions for distributing sexual images of minors over an online file-sharing network, ruling that he should not have been charged with a separate offense for each image. Full Article

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  1. ab

    Glad the ambiguity was shown by a court ruling. Though it is sad that the actions of another person (a police officer) in this case resulted in the man being charged with distribution. I fail to see how merely providing access to something would equal the distribution of that thing. Distribution should require authorization on the part of the person in possession of the information. Unfortunately it is not possible to prevent any file within a file sharing peer to peer network from automatically being transferred back out. Sure it is possible to restrict the outgoing data rate, but making that transfer rate 0% is impossible while any file is still seen by the peer to peer network.

    Now if someone chose to upload a file or send a file directly through other means that should absolutely count as distribution.

    What I find really sad is because the officer was acting on the job he got away with receiving and possessing the same materials. Which kind of discredits the notion that each new viewing harms the victim again.

  2. American Detained in America

    If I have a hammer in a yard sale and a guy buys the hammer and uses it to bash his wife’s brains in, am I guilty of murder for allowing this guy access to the hammer?

    Before you wonder what that has to do with anything, think about it. It’s almost the same logic used in this and many other distribution cases. Yes, he was guilty of possession, but as far as distribution, he merely had it on his computer. Distribution should be an intentional crime, where the distribution and spread of the child pornography is intentional and specific, not simply because he has it and file sharing software had it available to others.

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