FEPP Archives - Issues - Art
Court Brief In "COPA" Case
(September 2001) - Four sexuality scholars' organizations,
along with the National Coalition Against Censorship, filed a brief with
the Supreme Court explaining that there is no body of scientific evidence
establishing that minors are harmed by reading or viewing sexual material.
Hence, the "Child Online Protection Act," which criminalizes
"harmful to minors" expression online, is not justified by any
compelling governmental interest. In May 2002, the Supreme Court ruled
that using the vague notion of "community standards" as part
of the definition of what is "harmful to minors" is not in itself
unconstitutional, and sent the case back to the lower courts for further
consideration. (See Supreme
In Front of the Children: "Indecency," Censorship, and The Innocence
(2001, 2nd edition 2007) - From Huckleberry Finn to Harry Potter, Internet
filters to the v-chip, censorship is often based on the assumption that
children and adolescents must be protected from "indecent" information
- whether in art, in literature, or on a Web site. In Not In Front
of the Children, FEPP Director Marjorie Heins explores the fascinating
history of indecency laws and other censorship aimed at youth. Not
in Front of the Children won the 2002 American Library Association's
Eli M. Oboler Award for the best published work in the area of intellectual
Commentary: Our Children's Hearts, Minds, and Libidos:
What's at Stake in the COPA Case
(April 18, 2002) - Salon.com and the Kama Sutra screen
saver were just a few of the sites threatened with censorship as the Supreme
Court prepared to rule in Ashcroft vs. ACLU.
Bites the Dust
(May 31, 2002) - A federal court ruled that requiring
Internet filters in public libraries violates the First Amendment. See Ignoring the Irrationality
of Internet Filters for commentary on the Supreme Court's reversal
of this decision.
of the Court Brief by 33 Media Scholars in St. Louis Video Games Censorship
(September 25, 2002) - 33 media scholars, historians, psychologists,
and games researchers filed a brief with the U.S. Court of Appeals for
the Eighth Circuit, opposing a law that bars minors from video games containing
"graphic violence." The scholars' brief explains that, contrary
to popular belief, most efforts to prove adverse effects from media violence
have yielded null results, and that "experts on childhood and adolescence
have long recognized the importance of violent fantasy play in overcoming
anxieties, processing anger, and providing outlets for aggression."
Next Frontier: "Intellectual Property" and Intellectual Freedom
(October 2002) - FEPP Director Marjorie Heins's Julie M.
Boucher Memorial Lecture to the Colorado Association of Libraries, outlining
threats to art and culture posed by current copyright law.
on Trial: The Story of 3 Landmark
(Winter 2002) - The trial that freed James Joyce's Ulysses;
the case that broke the Catholic Church stranglehold over American movies;
and the McCarthy Era case that ended teachers' loyalty oaths.
Miracle: Film Censorship and
the Entanglement of Church and State
(October 2003) - How the Catholic Church pressured New
York State into banning a short Italian film in 1951, leading to a major
Supreme Court case and reflecting church-state problems that plague American
politics to this day.
Expression in Arts Funding: A Public Policy Report
(2003) - A survey of free-expression policies among state
and local arts agencies, including ways of anticipating and dealing with
attacks on controversial art. Includes background on the arts funding
wars of the 1990s, and candid interviews with agency officials.
Progress of Science & Useful Arts": Why
Copyright Today Threatens Intellectual Freedom
Music swapping -- encryption -- the frozen public domain
-- where should we draw the line between rewarding creativity through
the copyright system and societys competing interest in the free
flow of ideas? FEPP's policy report, "The Progress of Science
and Useful Arts": Why Copyright Today Threatens Intellectual Freedom covers "fair use," copyright term extension, the Digital Millenium
Copyright Act, and much more - without legalese.
of the Court Brief in Supreme Court Internet Filtering Case by Organizations
Concerned About the Digital Divide
(February 10, 2003) - FEPP filed a brief on behalf of Partnership
For Progress on the Digital Divide, Harlem Live, and other organizations
arguing that the "Children's Internet Protection Act," which
forces libraries to install Internet filters on all computers, worsens
the digital divide and thus relegates many Americans to second-class information
Strange Case of Sarah Jones
(January 24, 2003; updated February 20, 2003) - Where does
the federal government get the power to ban a feminist rap poem?