Hellfire at 28 Oct 2008: 23:56
The issue of cub images has once again come to the attention of fchan's moderators and administration, and there still seems to be much confusion on the issue. It is simple fact that no further discussion will change our stance on this particular issue. You are welcome to come to IRC and discuss it, however, READ THIS MESSAGE IN ITS ENTIRETY before doing so. Hopefully, it will answer your questions beforehand. Also, please be forewarned this message contains a lot of information and the lazy can skip right to the final paragraph if the above disclaimers were not enough.
Now, let me begin by saying I am not an administrator here, nor am I a moderator. I am typically just the guy who helps out behind the scenes, mostly with technical issues, and I am certainly not a lawyer. I have, however, been privy to the information discussed with real lawyers, and will repeat some of that information here.
As the law stands today, under 18 USC Section 1466A, cub and loli images are illegal.
http://uscode.house.gov/download/pls/18C71.txt (Retrieved 28 October, 2008)
18 USC Sec. 1466A
(a) In General. - Any person who, in a circumstance described in subsection (d), knowingly produces, distributes, receives, or possesses with intent to distribute, a visual depiction of any kind, including a drawing, cartoon, sculpture, or painting, that -
(1)(A) depicts a minor engaging in sexually explicit conduct;
(B) is obscene; or
(2)(A) depicts an image that is, or appears to be, of a minor engaging in graphic bestiality, sadistic or masochistic abuse, or sexual intercourse, including genital-genital, oral-genital, anal-genital, or oral-anal, whether between persons of the same or opposite sex; and
(B) lacks serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value;
or attempts or conspires to do so, shall be subject to the penalties provided in section 2252A(b)(1), including the penalties provided for cases involving a prior conviction.
Additionally, 18 USC Section 1466A(c) states that it is NOT required that the minor depicted actually exists. Fictional characters _are_ covered under this law.
It has also been discussed that a US Supreme Court decision in Ashcroft v. Free Speech Coalition declared this law unconstitutional, and this is _not_ correct. I will not post the text of the decision here, but more information can be accessed at the following website: http://supct.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/00-795.ZS.html For those that do not want to read, this ruling affected 18 USC 2256(8)(B) and 18 USC 2256(8)(D). Specifically, it found that these laws extended to images not obscene under the Miller standard (Miller v. California, http://supct.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/historics/USSC_CR_0413_0015_ZS.html) and was inconsistent with a previous ruling made in New York v. Ferber (http://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/historics/USSC_CR_0458_0747_ZS.html). While the cub image discussion is not relating to 18 USC 2256 specifically, it is debatable whether cub images pass any of the requirements made by those rulings, specifically the Miller standard. Also, it would be good to keep in mind that the law in question here is 18 USC 1466A!
It should also be noted that there is still an ongoing case in Iowa that does relate directly to 18 USC Section 1466A. In Iowa v. Handley, a man is currently facing charges under 18 USC Section 1466A due to alleged possession of obscene manga. In a ruling by an Iowa District Judge, subsections 1466(a)(2) and 1466(b)(2) of 18 USC 1466A were declared unconstitutional, which are the clauses defining obscenity as it relates to the law. However, in this case, the Miller standard applies. This has not changed our predicament at all, most notably as the greater portion of the law is still in effect and also because of the fact that our servers reside in Illinois, not Iowa.
A final note here, as if the law were not enough, fchan is a free service. While we do our best to provide you with a service that fits your wants and desires, there is a limit. We may not be perfect in all cases, but we make a good faith effort to respect the law. Also, this service is already expensive and time consuming to operate. While I do not mean any offense, to put it bluntly, we simply do not care enough about your particular fetish to risk serious financial loss and possible jail time. It is not worth that much to us, and we would prefer, rather, to be able to continue operating this service in the future. Now, if you've read this far, thanks for your time and understanding on this issue.