Applying Nuisance Law to Internet Obscenity
Journal of Law and Policy for the Information Society, Vol. 6, No. 2, p. 317, Summer 2010
33 Pages Posted: 13 Oct 2009 Last revised: 27 Sep 2010
Date Written: October 13, 2009
The current use of criminal law to prosecute Internet obscenity is ineffective and at the same time unfair. While prosecution of obscenity over the internet is extremely rare, when a prosecution does occur the punishment is extremely harsh. This paper advocates the use of nuisance law injunctions as a better alternative to responding to Internet obscenity. Nuisance law provides the advantage of allowing for wider enforcement of obscenity law on the Internet, while at the same time reducing the penalty for violating the subjective Miller test for obscenity. This paper also explores recent applications of nuisance law to the Internet and the standards for the ancient tort of moral nuisance.
Keywords: freedom of speech, First Amendment, pornography, nuisance, obscenity, internet, online, injunctions, moral nuisance
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