Manga Translator Appeals Child Pornography Charges

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Manga Translator Appeals Child Pornography Charges

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According to the Swedish courts, cartoon characters are people too.

Manga translating Swede, Simon Lundström, was convicted of possessing child pornography back in 2010, despite the fact the "manga images" used to convict him featured no real children. Sweden's Court of Appeals upheld its conviction against him after an appeal back in January of 2011, but lowered the amount of images he was to be prosecuted for from 59 to 39. The punishment Lundström faces is relatively minor - a fine of around $780 following his appeal - but the conviction still marks him as a sex offender. He did lose his job translating for publisher, Bonnier Carlsen, after has was convicted. The court verdict also states that he can no longer offer his services as a "manga expert."

For those of you who love picking up random terms you will never use in casual conversation: "Lolicon," a portmanteau of the phrase "Lolita Complex," is used to refer to manga that depict characters with childlike characteristics, often in an erotic manner.

"These are not real people," said University of Gävle comics researcher, Johan Höjer, during the initial trial. "The prosecution has a tendency to view these drawings as camouflaged photos, but these are animated fantasies."

The prosecution, however, argued that the images could be used to entice children into performing sexual acts, and even went as far as to suggest the artists involved in the work could have used real children as models.

"And even a drawing could be of a real child," said prosecutor, Hedvig Trost. "A photo depicting a real child could have been used to make the drawing. It is hard from the outside to know whether there is an original photo or not."

The Swedish courts are still struggling with the question of whether or not lines on paper technically count as children - evidently they don't agree with Magritte's view on the matter - but Trost's argument is ridiculous. Director, John McTiernan, could have perfected Die Hard's gritty, yet realistic, action scenes by mercilessly gunning down hobos as research - yet the Swedish police force have yet to arrest Bruce Willis as an accessory to murder.

The Supreme Court will announce its verdict in "a few weeks." In the meantime, a criminal inspector working for Sweden's National Bureau of Investigation's child pornography unit has written a piece for the Svenska Dagbladet newspaper. In it, he argues that the images should not be considered pornography and added that he was "doubtful of how a conviction would benefit those children who are actually suffering from real abuse which is being documented."

Source: The Local

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Yeaaaaah. I'm of the opinion that 'pornography featuring fictional children cause people to become pedophiles/entice children into sexual acts' is about as accurate as 'Call of Duty is a war simulator that trains kids to shoot up their schools'.

Grey Carter:
Manga Translator Appeals Child Pornography Charges

According to the Swedish courts, cartoon characters are people too.

I'll believe cartoons are people when Texas executes one.

It's a sad day when someone can be marked for life as a "sex offender" for having drawings which hurt no-one. I personally find lolicon distasteful but why waste stretched resources when tragically few people who make porn where real living children are abused are ever tracked down and prosecuted?

I find the whole "Loli" thing more than a little creepy, but these arguments are just absurd.

"A photo depicting a real child could have been used to make the drawing. It is hard from the outside to know whether there is an original photo or not."

How wasn't the prosecution laughed out of the court-room? I mean seriously, what the hell is going on here!? Are people so afraid of being labelled a paedophile sympathiser that they can't even speak up against blatant insanity like this?

I met him and talked to him at a convention after he was convicted. He's a nice guy, and a great translator who actually cares about writing text that sounds good. He's not like the kind of bad translator who's all about fetishistically including as many suffixes, Japanese words and improperly used quotation marks as possible. One Piece just isn't the same without his translation. The new translator writes like an American trying to learn Swedish, no disrespect to Americans intended.

So if you burn a book, does it count as murder?

What if you steal one, would that be kidnapping on top of theft?

Sure, they "could" have used pictures of real children to draw these things. Just and Todd Mcfarlane could be on a first name bases with Spawn, and follow him around the slums of michigan with a Sketch book and a bag of pencils.

In the end, we "could" all be potential murderers, rapists, or cannibals. Does this mean we should lock up everyone who shows any sign of aggressive or sexual behavior, just to be safe?

The term "could" should only be available to the defense in a court of law, because if the prosecution or judges are free to throw it around, theres no real way to defend yourself, other then saying "could" back.

Oh, i also "could" have perfected a homemade jet-pack in my closet, and am typing this on my "James Bond" style wristwatch while flying over the pacific. You know, because i have diagrams to build these things from.

For those of you who love picking up random terms you will never use in casual conversation: "Loli," a portmanteau of the phrase "Lolita Complex," is used to refer to manga that depict characters with childlike characteristics, often in an erotic manner...

...The prosecution, however, argued that the images could be used to entice children into performing sexual acts, and even went as far as to suggest the artists involved in the work could have used real children as models.

So what I'm getting is that if kids see kids (or people who look like kids) posing in "erotic manner" it will entice kids to have sex. So.... kids seeing people who don't look like kids posing in "erotic manners" - then it's okay, right?

So what you're telling me is that these lolita characters will make children want to have sex (because Victoria's Secret is practically the Kamasutra).. I don't even. What?

SILLY COURTS ARE SILLY!

Irridium:
So if you burn a book, does it count as murder?

What if you steal one, would that be kidnapping on top of theft?

Ha, if you say you don't like a book it's slander. And if you throw it across the room, it's abuse.

this makes about as much sense as the video games and violence bullshit

Grey Carter:
In the meantime, a criminal inspector working for Sweden's National Bureau of Investigation's child pornography unit has written a piece for the Svenska Dagbladet newspaper. In it, he argues that the images should not be considered pornography and added that he was "doubtful of how a conviction would benefit those children who are actually suffering from real abuse which is being documented."

Well, at least there's someone being sensible over there. Loli's may not be considered tasteful, but to consider them to be Child Pornography is stupidity on a rarely observed scale. Though sadly something we will no doubt see more often, as knee jerk reactions seem to be the order of the day as courts get used to the new interconnected world the internet opened up.

Grey Carter:

In the meantime, a criminal inspector working for Sweden's National Bureau of Investigation's child pornography unit has written a piece for the Svenska Dagbladet newspaper. In it, he argues that the images should not be considered pornography and added that he was "doubtful of how a conviction would benefit those children who are actually suffering from real abuse which is being documented."

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The very person who honestly works hard to protect children from real predators has his head in the right place.

Seriously?! How is prosecuting fantasy going to make children any safer? It is like saying that arresting the people who designed the airport massacre at the beginning of Modern Warfare 2 will make air travel safer from terrorists.

DVS BSTrD:

Grey Carter:
Manga Translator Appeals Child Pornography Charges

According to the Swedish courts, cartoon characters are people too.

I'll believe cartoons are people when Texas executes one.

Challenge accepted.

Now we just need an acceptable precedent...
...
...
...
...I GOT IT! Someone call the police to arrest Spongebob for trying to market LSD to children!

OT: Seriously?! What the hell is wrong with these people. If it's a drawing of a fictional character then who the hell cares?

Sounds to me like someone in this is either a little too sensitive or is just an idiot.

IMO many styles of manga seem to depict characters anywhere in the age range of 10 to 30 as virtually identical regarding age related features. Unless the comic comes right out and says the character is a child how could you prove the image is even of a child character?

It's just another damn waste of time, really. What coward would even bother to go after this easy target to bolster their career?

A few questions:

Would anyone care to link to these images? Would doing so be considered a breach of posting rules? Would the Escapist receiving unwelcome attention from the FBI for allowing these images to be accessed via this site?

If theses are explicitly sexual images it's porn, and if those depicted are depicted as children then it's child porn.

The prosecution's arguments aren't exactly well thought out, but let's not hide behind technicalities. If it looks like a duck and it quacks like a duck it's a duck.

JoJo:
It's a sad day when someone can be marked for life as a "sex offender" for having drawings which hurt no-one. I personally find lolicon distasteful but why waste stretched resources when tragically few people who make porn where real living children are abused are ever tracked down and prosecuted?

Sadly, I think you just answered your own question. Someone has to be destroyed, and this guy drew the short straw. The alternative is some sniveling bureaucrats might look ineffective.

Grey Carter:

For those of you who love picking up random terms you will never use in casual conversation: "Loli," a portmanteau of the phrase "Lolita Complex," is used to refer to manga that depict characters with childlike characteristics, often in an erotic manner.

No, the portmanteau of Lolita Complex is "lolicon," (those whacky Japs and their m/n switcheroos!) not loli. Loli just means young or young-looking girl.

The More You Know!

So, this person has apparently lost his job and is unable to get it back... by happening to possess images related TO his job.

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*facedesk facedesk facedesk-*
If that's the case, then all media with killing or anything that isn't rainbows and sunshine is also evil and worthy of prosecution.
And all us gamers are murders and should be convicted.
And this guy was convicted for doing his job... and fired from said job because of that. Wow. Just fucking wow.

I fucking hate this world some times.

**Checks HDD**

Well Recylce bin, looks like we have a long night ahead of us...

In all seriousness im not sure how this got past the courts. Technicalities in law are very important and if he can prove a law is being used in a way it shouldn't simply becuase someone finds something distasteful they could be open to all kinds of legal pain. The law here is being streched to cover something it never anticipated. The fact this cost him his job as well as his status as a manga guru is pretty shameful especially considering he is now labeled as a 'sex offender' and possible risk to children.

The man is a manga translator. If anyone should have an excuse to have really questionable manga its him.

I...um...huh.

Aren't Swedes suppose to NOT act like neo-con religious wackjobs?

I am of the opinion that in 40 years, Gay marrige will be legal in NA and other western nations, as well as this crap not being illegal(my theory is logical people from my generation will be in office and no more baby boomers), I mean really? DRAWINGS?! Man I've watched anime and seen japanese people, yeah they look alike, as much as I look like a centaur.

Oh by the way, in Canada it is the same, you can also get charged for writing child porn. People are weird.
capcha: POOL BOY

LMAO

Holy crap! All those people playing Tera Online's Elin up there in Sweden better get that shit uninstalled right now!

They have your IP address for Christ's sake!!

..shh, what's that? ... Do you hear jackboots?

Lunncal:
I find the whole "Loli" thing more than a little creepy, but these arguments are just absurd.

"A photo depicting a real child could have been used to make the drawing. It is hard from the outside to know whether there is an original photo or not."

How wasn't the prosecution laughed out of the court-room? I mean seriously, what the hell is going on here!? Are people so afraid of being labelled a paedophile sympathiser that they can't even speak up against blatant insanity like this?

I know right? I mean hell, based off of that, about every damn crazy furry porn picture drawn out there COULD of been based off a real life model, even if said model would have to be a creature that exists purely in the realm of fantasy.

You also know your point is pretty weak when even the people working for your Anti Child Pornography unit is telling you the charges are bullshit.

Edit:
Also, going by the whole "Could" argument... why go after him? It's not like he could possibly know right? He isn't paying for Child Pornography willingly. There's no stamp on the back of the manga that reads "Child-Reference Free Drawings!".
Especially when they COULD go after the original artist and publishers! They're the ones drawing and dealing this "smut", so why not take it up with them huh? Oh right, not just because they live in an entirely different region, but also because you'd more than likely get laughed out for the charges.

Okay...I find Loli, super creepy, but even I know this doesn't fly...

Just because you find something distasteful... if no one has been harmed and you cannot PROVE anyone has been harmed then you have no case. That is it. End of, why does this case even ...have a leg to stand on.

Sixcess:

The prosecution's arguments aren't exactly well thought out, but let's not hide behind technicalities. If it looks like a duck and it quacks like a duck it's a duck.

This just then, Happy Tree Friends is facing legal trouble for their cruel treatment of animals. Oh wait. That would be really stupid. I'm not too thrilled at the prospect of hardcore lolicon, but lets not pretend that people who enjoy it are child predators.

Kopikatsu:
Yeaaaaah. I'm of the opinion that 'pornography featuring fictional children cause people to become pedophiles/entice children into sexual acts' is about as accurate as 'Call of Duty is a war simulator that trains kids to shoot up their schools'.

Holy crap. The very first comment is actually 100% sensible and non sensationalist.

I...

I better get out of here before I read further and am highly disappointed.

Sixcess:
A few questions:

Would anyone care to link to these images? Would doing so be considered a breach of posting rules? Would the Escapist receiving unwelcome attention from the FBI for allowing these images to be accessed via this site?

If theses are explicitly sexual images it's porn, and if those depicted are depicted as children then it's child porn.

The prosecution's arguments aren't exactly well thought out, but let's not hide behind technicalities. If it looks like a duck and it quacks like a duck it's a duck.

Or a picture of a fictional duck.

I might be wrong but I doubt the actual images have been released publicly so we can only speculate. However I think we could all agree they're probably pretty creepy if not downright vile.

The thing to remember though is that since this is criminal law and people's livelihoods and reputations are on the line, legal technicalities become extremely important. Making sure they don't get exploited one way or another even more so. True child pornography is tangible proof of the sexual abuse a real living child. These hand-drawn fantasies simply can't hold a candle to the depravity inherent in that thought. Any crude attempt on the prosecutor's part to somehow line the two up as being remotely in the same sphere of awfulness is more an insult to the real victims.

Does this suggest some latent proclivity for pedophilia on Mr Lundström's part? Who knows? I'd imagine based on the huge number of images completely unrelated to this style of Manga on his computer he would have a pretty good argument that this was just part of the milieu. Either way though it would be up to the prosecutors to prove that he actually entertained fantasies of this nature. Instead they're choosing the simpler and only slightly less dubious route of trying to prove the images themselves to be criminal. Excuse me but that's just wrong.

Call me when Minority Report becomes a reality though, I have my suicide pill and my favorite film ready to go.

that's rough.
how about when you tweak the law like that, you let people know rather than waiting until somebody steps on your legal land mine? huh? how about "yeah, we've decided that things that look like kids aren't allowed in sexual content, so knock it off, you have been warned." rather than "surprise! the law is changed! sexual criminalhood for you sir!"

ThunderCavalier:
So, this person has apparently lost his job and is unable to get it back... by happening to possess images related TO his job.

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Yes they were RELATED to his job because he is a manga translator. Seeing as how from the comments he translates One Piece I doubt the loli pictures he was in possession of were FOR his job.
Oh and who the fuck would bring the pictures with him TO THE AIRPORT. which is where he was apprehended for these anyway.

It's truly a depressing read. My tax money is being wasted on this absolute tripe, and there's nothing i can do to stop it.

Wait, wait, wait.
According to this, that man was guilty until proven otherwise, which goes totally against the law.

Grey Carter:
"And even a drawing could be of a real child," said prosecutor, Hedvig Trost. "A photo depicting a real child could have been used to make the drawing. It is hard from the outside to know whether there is an original photo or not."

They didn't have any proof that the drawing was based on a real child. It was on him to prove that it's not, instead of them proving that it is.

Why are resources being diverted from protecting real children to prosecuting someone who gets off on fictional children? I may disagree with his preferences, but he's not actually hurting anyone.

Would they rather he use real children?

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