Censorship [cr-95/11/23]


Sender: "Haspel" <•••@••.•••>

We are four seniors at the Thomas Jefferson High School for Science
and Technology in Alexandria Virginia.  As part of our AP Journalism
class, we are creating a web site with information dealing with the
first amendment issue of censorship on the Internet.
We would appreciate your taking a few minutes to respond to a few
quick questions -- we are required to include direct quotations in
our project.  If you would prefer to be treated as a background
source not to be quoted directly, please indicate so in your
Thank you very much.

1) What are the main tactics of the proponents and opponents of
Internet censorship?
2) Why do you feel that the Internet should remain an unregulated
3) How do you propose to implement your beliefs into national policy
(cyber bill of rights)?
4) How do you respond to the conservative attacks that the Internet
provides minors access to illicit materials and thus should be
5)Are there particularly relevant national court cases or legislation relating
to this issue?  (another component of our assignment is to include
court cases and legislation)
6) Anything else you wish to add.

Thank you again for your time and effort.


Joel Haspel <•••@••.•••> <•••@••.•••>
Scott Michelman <•••@••.•••> <•••@••.•••>
Brian Dewhurst <•••@••.•••>
Laura Green <•••@••.•••>


Sender: •••@••.••• (T. Bruce Tober)
Subject: Graphic Arts - 1st Amend Protected?

Thought the following might be worthy of discussion. Forwarded from
fringeware list.
==========================Forwarded Message Follows===================
Sent from: •••@••.••• ()

As part of an appeal in a Federal lawsuit, we need expert opinions
in the form of amicus briefs on the subject of 'art as a medium of
speech'. Federal judge Miriam Cedarbaum has just ruled [94 Civ.
7216 (MGC) 10/24/95] that visual art (paintings, prints,
sculptures, photography etc.) without a "particularized political
message" or "words" is not protected by the First Amendment.

The Judge writes:
"...written matter is the heartland of the First Amendment...art is
farther from the core than the written word...plaintiffs art does
not carry either words or the particularized social and political
messages upon which the First Amendment places special value".

This case should not be confused with other previous or pending
cases involving pornography, NEA grants, etc. The painters,
photographers and print makers involved in this case are displaying
or selling original fine art of their own creation, on U.S. city
streets, in a wide variety of styles, mediums and subject matter.
They have been repeatedly arrested and have lost thousands of works
to the police, who confiscate and then sell the art at a forfeited
goods auction or destroy it. None of the artwork in question
happens to involve controversial subject matter. In New York City
(where the case was filed in October 1994) licenses for sidewalk
art display or sale are unobtainable (as defendent, the City of New
York, freely admits in its own testimony) while written or printed
matter (books, magazines, baseball cards etc.) may be sold without
any license based on 1st. Amendment protection.

What do you think? Is art a medium of 'speech' and communication
that should be as equally protected as written words? Are artists
expressing their, viewpoints, or opinions when they make a
painting? Is a VCR manual "protected expression" but a Van Gogh or
Edward Hopper painting not "protected expression"?

If the plaintiffs in this case fail to win, this ruling will become
a precedent that can be used to censor visual art in various media,
including the Internet and advertising, and prohibit artists from
displaying or selling their own art. It will place visual artists
in the position of second-class citizens, with a lesser right to
freely express their views in their preferred medium of expression.

For further information on the case, the plaintiffs, the judge's
ruling etc. contact: Robert Lederman 255 13 St. Brooklyn N.Y. 11215
(718) 369-2111 or E-Mail ARTISTpres.aol.com



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