Obscenity

Farewell, Edward de Grazia

By |2016-01-14T12:16:22-04:00April 29th, 2013|Blog|

Edward de Grazia, a lawyer, professor, playwright and staunch defender of free speech died on April 11 at the age of 86. de Grazia represented famed banned writers Arthur Miller, William S. Burroughs, and Normal Mailer among others and served as counsel on important cases which ultimately led the Supreme Court to loosen restrictions on obscenity. The obscene, Mr. de Grazia [...]

It’s About Time We Have “The Video Game Talk”

By |2019-03-15T17:05:15-04:00July 8th, 2011|Blog|

Last Monday the Supreme Court ruled 7-2 to strike down a California law that banned the selling of violent video games to minors. The Supreme Court ruled that video games are allowed the same protection under the first amendment as books, plays, and movies. The ruling also distinguished the California statute from the Ginsburg vs. New York decision, in which [...]

NCAC Censored!

By |2016-01-15T10:36:57-04:00December 8th, 2010|Blog|

Censorship incidents on the web are more and more common, but it's still rare when they happen to an anti-censorship organization like the NCAC. Network Solutions, a company providing web services, has threatened to remove TheFileroom.org, an interactive archive of worldwide censorship cases administered by the National Coalition Against Censorship, unless a photograph of two naked children by Nan Goldin, [...]

Landmark Obscenity Trial: HOWL film and discussion, Friday 9/24

By |2019-03-15T15:26:54-04:00September 23rd, 2010|Blog|

Beat-icon Allen Ginsberg is getting a resurgence of attention, 13 years after his death at the age of 70. A movie based on the story behind Ginsberg's signature poem, HOWL, opens this Friday, September 24. It stars James Franco as the young poet embroiled in a 1957 obscenity trial over the poem, which ended in a landmark win for free [...]

Stagliano Case: A Hollow Victory?

By |2019-03-15T17:03:30-04:00July 22nd, 2010|Blog|

John Stagliano had his case thrown out by Judge Richard Leon early this week.  Rather than having been found not guilty based on the First Amendment, it was thrown out because the prosecution bungled their case, and the judge determined that not enough evidence was given to prove that Stagliano was involved with Evil Angel Productions. The counsel for the [...]

Overbroad Internet Obscenity Law Comes Into Effect in Massachusetts

By |2016-01-15T10:34:13-04:00July 16th, 2010|Blog|

Massachusetts has become the latest state to try to try to protect minors from sexual content online at the expense of First Amendment rights. Like many states, Massachusetts has long had laws on the books making it a crime to provide minors with material deemed “harmful to minors.” But the law did not extend to electronic communications. Concerns about minors [...]

LGBTQ-themed Book Removed from NJ High School Library

By |2019-03-15T15:24:24-04:00May 7th, 2010|Blog|

The Rancocas Valley School Board in Mt. Holly, New Jersey, chose to remove one of the three challenged books at its meeting on May 4. Revolutionary Voices: A Multicultural Queer Youth Anthology and two other books were challenged because they appear on a list of books on GLBTQ themes created by the Gay Lesbian Straight Education Network (GLSEN). The objectors [...]

Breast-feeding photos censored on Facebook

By |2019-03-07T22:31:48-04:00December 30th, 2008|Blog|

Mothers International Lactation Campaign (MILC) protested in front of Facebook headquarters after photos of mothers breastfeeding their children were removed from Facebook. Facebook said the images violated the terms of agreement (see also: Lori Drew). Heather Farley, a protest organizer, responded that Utah state law, for example,  doesn't consider breastfeeding obscene and that Facebook should change its policy to allow [...]

Barney Rosset

By |2019-03-12T18:29:27-04:00December 9th, 2008|Blog|

Following Barney Rosset's National Book Award in November (and NCAC's honoring Rosset as a Free Speech Defender), Newsweek has published a long piece on Rosset, his work and his role in bringing new literature and thought to the American conversation. An excerpt: Before Rosset challenged federal and state obscenity laws, censorship (and self-censorship) was an accepted feature of publishing. His [...]