Invisible Love by Rie Honjou - June edition is censored

Talk about Juné Manga titles.

Re: Invisible Love by Rie Honjou - June edition is censored

Postby mo2468 » Tue Jan 12, 2010 10:25 pm

Ugh, I lost the big long reply I just typed up before I could copy it, so I'm going to quickly rehash one point and deal with the rest later.

I've been unclear again (my fault entirely). What I mean is that when I respond to a forum post, it is the opinions and arguments in the post that I address in my reply, and not the person who made them. It is irrelevant to me who made what post, and I often find it tedious to reply individually to people's points, particularly when they are not personal opinions held solely by that individual and generally constitute the opinion of a larger group. Likewise, anyone else is perfectly welcome to respond to any of my points made in regard to anyone else's points in a previous reply. I really don't care. As long as the argument is about the argument and not about the person making it, it doesn't matter who is making it. What this means is that I will often address several people's points in one amalgamated entry, ignoring who made what point and when, and not particularly addressing any of the people who made them. Anyone is free to respond to any of these points. They aren't directed at anyone in particular. I personally don't feel that addressing someone in particular is necessary, especially on an open forum where everyone is invited to participate. Personal addresses (this applies to both specifically using someone's name and merely alluding to someone) should be made when the issue discussed is specifically personal, and at no other time. We can avoid a lot of animosity, particularly in heated debate, this way.
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Re: Invisible Love by Rie Honjou - June edition is censored

Postby mo2468 » Sat Jan 23, 2010 10:23 pm

I got busy and coming back to this topic now is a little awkward, but let me give it a shot...

The title Seven Seas dropped, from what I understand, did not have any graphic sex (or, unless I'm mistaken, any sex) in it at all. It apparently had some suggestiveness, and apparently that suggestiveness was enough for Borders to say "hell no" to it, but seriously, BL in general has a heck of a lot more graphic content in it with questionably aged characters, and it amazes me that they haven't yet said no to any of them (that we know about, anyway). It might also just be (and this is speculation) that Seven Seas going out of its way to ask about the specific title is what did it in and that BL publishers haven't done so and therefore have simply flown in under the radar so far. We don't really know for sure, and as the title in question's license was dropped, we probably won't ever know just how "offensive" the content in it was.

Skipping past things we're discussing in private...

Again, Digital Manga has stated clearly that they license titles to 801 Media as a treat for their hardcore fans, because those titles are more niche and they don't expect to get the mainstream sales numbers that they get for the titles they pick for their June line. "Alternative distribution channels" means "niche distribution channels" and that is exactly what Digital Manga is not going for with their June line. If it's not in the bookstores, it is not going to sell as well. If you can only get it from certain sellers online (which is basically what the alternative is) the numbers are going to be down. I can only assume the folks here at DMP have some sort of numbers to back up their interest in keeping books in bookstores (Ie, that there is enough of a boost to sales to make their decisions worthwhile). If you want to argue that Invisible Love should have been licensed under 801 and not June so it wouldn't have gotten censored, that's a matter they probably considered when they chose the imprint to publish it under. They were probably hoping for the numbers on this title to be bigger, so they chose the more mainstream imprint.

On the "pornography" issue, we're just going to have to agree to disagree. When I define BL, any of it which contains graphic sex, to me, is pornographic. It is designed to titillate. Viewfinder, for example, is a wonderful series, but it is a thinnly slapped together premise for that fantastically amusing BDSM scene in chapter one. The fact that Yamane somehow managed to take such a thin premise and turn it into one of the most beloved BL series in recent memory is a testament to her skill as a storyteller, but I'm not going to sit back and believe that that means the series isn't pornography. There is plenty of sex in those books simply for the sake of having sex in those books. And regardless of what the social stigma attached to the word "pornography" is, I'm not willing to pretend that something designed to titillate is not pornographic, by separating it from the "porn industry" by claiming the romance or storytelling skill makes it completely different. It doesn't make it separate from porn to me, it makes it a different kind of porn. But I can see you don't agree with that, so I'm not going to try to change your mind about it.
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Re: Invisible Love by Rie Honjou - June edition is censored

Postby sun22 » Sun Jan 24, 2010 4:44 pm

Not sure what type of message one can get from your post, Mo2468, esp. at a quick reading.
You're saying 1) BL is pornography 2) BL publishers often publish explicit manga containing characters of questionable age.

There's a legal definition of pornography, and comic advocates typically work hard to make sure comics / manga is NOT treated as pornography (i.e., in a few court cases in this country's experiences). So far, they were successful. Pornography involving anyone underage is a felony / very illegal (of course, so far, in THIS country, it was understood to be a real person, but in a few other countries, this division is not so clear and may include any type of character).

Now, you seem to have your own (different from a legal) definition of "pornography" (which sounds to me - from your description - it means to you anything sex related, even as simple as a word "sex" and a pair of naked legs or hands (that's what June's censorship transformed "Invisible Love" into)) - as long as someone finds it titillating in any way. (Correct me if I misread you definition.) That's fine, but I personally think that bringing up these issues and invoking words as "underage" and "pornography" in one post, and in this particular way / order, may give a wrong message to non-fans and hurt this publisher. Just IMO.

Ancient statues such as "Three Graces" - which shows three naked figures in a potentially erotic situation - is shown in Louvre Museum in France, and is not considered a pornography by anyone, as far as I know. It's just one example of quite a few ancient Greek/Rome statues (some are male/female, some are of same gender yet with an erotic subtext), in similar situations, and as far as I know nobody calls them "porn". It's because people unambiguously view them as "art" (and "art" only). That's the key word here. And of course, more modern art such as manga drawings are likely to have a variety of opinions on how much it's "pornographic" or not, as some enjoy it purely aesthetically (there are some straight men (I.e., Amazon reviewers) reading yaoi - and from what they say, it does not titillate them at all, and they read for romance and art only), while others derive a varying degree of titillation from reading them (in addition to story, art, aesthetic pleasure etc).

A bit off-topic: I also think that the whole etymology of the word "pornography" makes it not such an innocuous word. The word came from ancient Greek. "Porn" (from "porne") means a "prostitute" and "graph" - a common suffix that denotes "a written / depicted record". I'm sure there are examples of words that came from other languages and got completely new meanings, but why should I support a widespread use of the word, which literally means such an unrelated thing in the language it came from - depiction/description of prostitution? (and plainly speaking, prostitution is an illegal thing in the US). Using neutral words, words with no negative association in either the origin language or English- - such as "erotic art" or "depiction of nudity" (as nudity doesn't imply erotica) - is much more appealing to me. ("Eros" is an ancient god of Love, and his name is itself derived from an ancient Greek word "eran", which means "to love" or "to desire"). No wonder "pornography" has some negative implied context in our society, given what the word itself originally meant.

P.S. I do not own Seven Seas of course, and it seems to me (from your post) you probably do not own it either. It seems like we're relying on different information sources, as the title I've heard / read Internet posts about certainly contains explicit situations and potentially underage character. So, to me, it made a perfect sense that Borders would say "no", and I do not associate it with DMP business / published work in any way. As neither of us owns the title, and we chose to believe different/contradicting sources, I don't think the discussion of this particular issue will lead anywhere.

Re: why 801 Media did not pick "Invisible Love" two years ago. IMO, "Invisible Love" in its original form is more explicit than another title by this manga-ka, "Love Skit", which 801 Media decided to publish last year. My impression that DMP makes this type of decisions based on how much it will cost them (June is less costly to publish) vs their opinion on how currently popular the manga-ka is / how well the manga will sell. Expecting the mainstream distribution for a hardcore yaoi title in a "butchered" form was one bad management decision, IMO. Apparently DMP understood it well enough as they changed their mind re: a similar work by the same manga-ka, "Love Skit". I seriously doubt "Invisible Love" was any type of financial success for DMP, while "Love Skit" - at least on Amazon - is selling fairly well.
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Re: Invisible Love by Rie Honjou - June edition is censored

Postby mo2468 » Sun Jan 24, 2010 8:33 pm

Please don't twist my words around. I did not say "all BL is porn." I know I was very clear that I meant "some BL is porn." The parts that have sex in them for the sake of titillating their audiences. I do not believe, and correct me if I am wrong, that I said any different.

The majority of BL manga never gets more graphic than that of a rated R movie. This is not pornography, no. But enough of it does (rated R movies don't feature full-frontal male nudity in the context of sexual situations), and enough of that is designed to titillate. I didn't say "causes any amount of titillation." I said "designed" to titillate. Things whose purpose is to sexually excite (and yes, a lot of yaoi is designed for that purpose, even if an equal amount isn't) are, indeed, pornography. It is the very definition of pornography. The (very hot) sex scenes in Viewfinder are designed to titillate. They are pornographic. The series started in a book of oneshots. The first volume of VF wasn't a "series," it was an anthology. The story was a thinnly cobbled together premise for the purpose of titillating readers with a BDSM scene. Only later did Yamane get to draw the story out (after it became so popular and was okayed for a continuation) and it became anything more. We need to not be afraid to admit that BL can be designed for the same purpose as porn aimed at men. Women should be allowed to get sexually excited in the same way and it needs to not be seen as such a big deal. It doesn't have to have a "deeper" purpose, it just needs to not be "obscene."

The legal definition of pornography is that it is not illegal (you already agreed with me on this point earlier in this topic). It only becomes illegal if it is "obscene." A picture of a naked child is not a crime. Mothers who take photos of their babies on bearskin rugs need not flee to the hills lest they be arrested for child pornography. The owners of works of art from the Greek era need not fear prosecution either because obviously those works of art have artistic merit. In fact, and as we both already knew, in order for something to be illegal and "obscene" in the US it has to stand up against the Miller Test, whether or not it includes depictions of (real or fictional) children.

The clause of the PROTECT Act that applies to manga in any way (taken from Wikipedia; bolding by me):

-Prohibits drawings, sculptures, and pictures of such drawings and sculptures depicting minors in actions or situations that meet the Miller test of being obscene, OR are engaged in sex acts that are deemed to meet the same obscene condition. The law does not explicitly state that images of fictional beings who appear to be under 18 engaged in sexual acts that are not deemed to be obscene are rendered illegal in and of their own condition (illustration of sex of fictional minors).

Basically, any manga depicting "children" (by the legal definition of "under 18") in any of the same acts deemed "obscene" for adults, also has to stand up against the Miller Test in exactly the same way. The Miller Test is a "community standard." It is based on the summary "opinion" of the community at large. It's unfortunate, but the small niche community of BL fans' opinion of what is pornography or obscene doesn't constitute a majority opinion of society at large. What we say here in this small community isn't really going to have any real effect on the opinion of the society at large. I really don't think trying to express my opinion of the definitions of words here is going to cause any harm to the industry at large.

In conclusion, since neither of us actually knows the sales numbers or the relative cost to publish a book for one imprint or another, let's not make any assumptions. If DMP wants to give us the sales numbers of these titles to clarify any arguments, that'd be great, but supposing they are doing well with the sales of a book based solely on Amazon sales rankings is flimsy evidence at best.
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Re: Invisible Love by Rie Honjou - June edition is censored

Postby sun22 » Mon Jan 25, 2010 8:25 am

Why are you brining up Viewfinder on June's forum, and in particular the thread about a different title, and a censored June title? The title Invisible Love - to which this thread is dedicated - has no remaining full frontal male nudity after DMP's censorship, so apparently it won't pass your own test on being pornographic. So, why to discuss unrelated non-June (and even non-DMP) titles here, and whether you believe they're pornographic or not? I first thought we're discussing June's titles, esp. Invisible Love and whether it's porn or not (by comparing it to media with similar content in terms of nudity and erotic sub-text), but it really goes off at this point.

Re: how Invisible Love sold vs. Love Skit - you dismiss Amazon sales numbers as "not evidence", but you didn't provide any at all, for any of your points re: why you think DMP's decision to publish (and censor A LOT) Invisible Love under June's label is normal/fully justifiable (that's how your opinion on this issue sounded to me, correct if I misinterpret you on this). I use all the data available on this to support my opinion: DMP made a bad management decision by allowing Invisible Love being published under June. I hope they learned, and in fact, 801 Media recently publishing a very similar (yet less explicit, in its original form) work "Love Skit" - instead of June - confirms my opinion too.

There are certainly recent R-rated movies with full male nudity, such as Flannel Pajamas (in a clearly erotic/sexual context, 2006), Eastern Promises (not really erotic, but with one attractive male actor; 2007), Bruno (and yes, some of Bruno's situations can be called homoerotic and sexual, even though they meant to make some people laugh), Forgetting Sarah Marshall etc etc etc, and it's been established recently by MPAA (esp. with the release of Bruno) that male full frontal nudity, even in erotic context, is not a reason to label the movie NC-17, as it's been the case in the past / 10 or so years ago. I myself had this misconception (i.e., that R-rated movies - except for Bruno - do not have full male frontal), but one of the IMDB movie buffs (a male, who claims that male full frontal is more prevalent than female frontal in R-rated movies in the recent couple of years (NOT my opinion, btw) - sent me the whole long list of R-rated US movies with full male frontal (and some of those movies I watched / "verified").

Also, some of Greek statues show frontal nudity (male or female) in a clearly erotic context, inc. "Three Graces" I mentioned above. It's still unclear to me whether you think those are pornographic or not. I absolutely agree with you that those are art, and not "obscene" to any "average / community" in a developed Western country out there. However, as we both already established pornography is not necessarily "obscene" (and I never thought we even disagree on that), I'm curious how you describe those Greek statues - naked, in erotic situations? Using your definition of porn ("full nudity + sexual situation + someone has to find it sexually appealing/exciting" - that's how I understood you so far) - it seems to me you'd find them "pornographic". In other words, I'm curious if you think the ancient art section of the largest French museum of art (Louvre) features "pornography". (This is related to Invisible Love/June's titles insofar as I'm curious if you think that title is "pornographic" or not).

Child pornography as defined by law is illegal and a serious crime, regardless of any Miller tests etc or whether it's "obscene" by anyone's standard:
"though child pornography is widely considered to be obscene... it is defined differently from obscenity.... Child pornography is not protected by the First Amendment [while regular pornography, if not obscene, is]. In 1982 the Supreme Court held in New York v. Ferber that child pornography, even if not obscene, is not protected speech. The court gave a number of justifications why child pornography should not be protected...Child pornography laws in the United States specify that child pornography is illegal under federal law and in all states." [Wiki article]
Many countries (inc. Canada and Australia, but not US) treat any image of a minor / the one who looks like a minor (i.e., simulated or artificially/computer-generated, with no actual images or a real person involved) with any type of pornographic subtext as a child pornography, and correspondingly people were sued and sentenced for viewing it in those countries.
You labeling clearly non-pornographic media (by legal definition of pornography) as "porn" and mentioning underage characters in the same post is confusing and this is a topic not to be discussed so lightly, IMO. I know that's not what you meant, etc. However, I don't think I want to discuss it anymore, as this is NOT related to any manga discussion, at least in this country and as of now. (However, if more people adopt your fairly loose definition of pornography, some day it may become).
If I personally believed as much as you do in "pornographic" nature of yaoi I'd stop reading any yaoi in this country (or most other), just to be a on a safe side, due to unverifiable (by design/definition) age of ANY manga (fictional) characters.

Re: "We need to not be afraid to admit that BL can be designed for the same purpose as porn aimed at men. Women should be allowed to get sexually excited in the same way and it needs to not be seen as such a big deal." [Quote from Mo2468 post].
There's enough of porn available which is aimed at women, mostly by female directors. And nobody is afraid to admit it exists (or thinks it's such a big deal), at least, not me, for sure. If interested, watch a few shorts in Destricted (though many argue that film collection is art, and not pornography, but it's closer to what most people understand as porn by a mile, as compared to any yaoi manga, inc VF). Or search under "feminist porn" on Google, a lot of hits will give you titles. (Let's not discuss why men labeled it "feminist porn", I personally find it appalling). (Currently, there's also a better label / search term, "porn for her", but sometimes it's misused). It features a lot of naked men (of verified adult age), often good-looking, masturbating or pleasuring an adult woman, with focus on male nudity. That's the whole "plot" of those types of movies. If you want m/m porn, gay porn provides a great diversity in terms of looks, fetishes, etc. I really don't understand why you think women are deprived of porn even in the absence of yaoi (assuming some of BL/yaoi is "porn" as you do) . Actual pro-female porn has been difficult to find 10-15 years ago, but times changed, and now it's by far not as scarce as you believe. It's still more rare than pro-male porn, but not as rare as it used to be, and easy enough to find (if one wants to find it). Being quite familiar with how mainstream and pro-female porn looks (because I do not have any qualms at enjoying some of it, and never believed it to be "obscene", as long as it's legal), I do not think any yaoi manga is comparable or meant to be. Women, of course, should be free to get sexually excited, and should have availability of various options for that. Some are porn, some are not. Some women get excited by watching a pair of hands or whatever other non-reproductive part of male anatomy, but it doesn't make the art depicting those "porn".
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Re: Invisible Love by Rie Honjou - June edition is censored

Postby mo2468 » Wed Feb 10, 2010 10:50 pm

To step back for a moment and address something from earlier in this thread, I wanted to come back to the Seven Seas title which's licensed was dropped. After doing a little research on this, I stumbled upon this ANN article where both the creator of the manga and the founder of Seven Seas discussed the "cancellation." The mangaka mentioned the apparent differences between US and Japanese culture that may have accounted for Seven Seas' decision, but none of her ponderings included anything that could be considered "sexually explicit." The founder of Seven Seas laid out exactly what pages of the manga were the turning point, and as I originally claimed, they were not "sexually explicit" at all. The line for him was a panel where the adult male character is "literally and physically aroused." Not "you see his penis," but simply that he got aroused by the activities of the underaged girl lead in the story. The title didn't have graphic sex in it. It probably never would have been licensed in the first place if it had.

The reason I brought up Viewfinder volume 1 was to clarify my argument about the definition of pornography, again. I took a well-known series, that has well-know graphic sex scenes intentionally as an absolutely clear example of what I am talking about. This statement never had anything to do with Invisible Love or whether or not it is porn. It had everything to do with my argument about what constitutes pornography. If it is such an off-topic issue that it's creating a problem I would ask you to stop misrepresenting what I am saying and accept my definition of pornography for what it is. At the very beginning of this discussion I stated in no unclear words that "we just have to agree to disagree" about pornography. We've both heard each other's arguments. Everyone else has heard our arguments. I don't see this going anywhere productive. We're just going to keep going back and forth about this over and over again in an endless cycle, so let's cut it out already.

As for my comments about Amazon's sales rankings and why I asked for us both to avoid speculating about sales numbers that neither of us has, I will explain what I meant in explicit detail in regards to Invisible Love and Love Skit, and why any information gleaned just from Amazon doesn't tell us anything of value:

First, Invisible Love is an anthology, and anthologies beyond the first couple of years of BL publication in the US have been notoriously unpopular (which is why we are seeing fewer and fewer of them get licensed). In fact, the only anthologies that are well-received are ones from already established and/or popular authors. Invisible Love is clearly an anthology, while Love Skit has an extra story in it, but is mostly a full-length manga.

Secondly, Amazon sales rankings are based on how well any particular book is selling at the moment. Love Skit came out only this past December (according to Amazon, though I believe it was available earlier than that elsewhere), while Invisible Love came out over two years ago. But, ignoring that fact for a moment, Invisible Love, as I've just checked, is still in the top ten selling Yaoi Anthologies on Amazon. Love Skit has no equivalent category rank, so we only know it is in the #60s in overall BL sales (and again, this is "right now").

And thirdly, and most importantly to my original point, Amazon is one seller. It doesn't matter how well BL sells on Amazon, because they aren't the only game in town. What sells well on Amazon isn't necessarily an indicator of what is selling in Borders, small comic shops, or on Akadot (especially considering Love Skit isn't sold in Borders at all as an 801 Media title). We can't use it as an accurate gauge of which has sold more copies, or even why one title would sell more than another. Your argument that Love Skit is selling better, even if that were true (a fact you have not actually proven), does not translate into "it is selling better because it is uncensored." You are making leaps in logic and that very concern was the reason I asked for both of us not to travel down the road of sales speculations.

However to the question of what we would need to know to make any speculative arguments about "why" one book outsold the other, we would need to be privy to the following:

1. How many total copies of Love Skit were printed, and how many have been sold over-all.
2. How many total copies of Invisible Love were printed, and how many have been sold over-all.
3. How many BL manga were published by June and 801 Media respectively in 2007, when Invisible Love was printed.
4. How many BL manga were published by June and 801 Media respectively in 2009, when Love Skit was printed.
5. How many total BL manga (from all publishers) were published in 2007 when Invisible Love was printed.
6. How many total BL manga (from all publishers) were published in 2009 when Love Skit was printed.

Why would these numbers matter? Well, clearly 1 and 2 matter because they would tell us what the physical numbers of moved product are for each book, but this isn't a fair indicator, because Invisible Love has been on the market for a longer period of time and has almost definitely sold more copies in two years than Love Skit has in two months. The total number printed is a good indicator of how many copies DMP expected to sell of each book, which is why it would be important to know. If they printed more copies of Love Skit, it might prove the idea that they expected the uncensored book to do better, however, I suspect they printed more copies of Invisible Love, because they were going to sell it mass-market (ie, June imprint) because it was an edited product (and because they were under a slightly different business model at the time, as will be explained below). Mass-market means more visibility and it tends to equal better over-all sales, but that, again, is speculation.

The rest of the numbers are important for one very good reason: the market has shrunk significantly since 2007. We lost entire BL publishers and most publishers scaled way back over the last couple of years because of the economy. When you take into account the lag time involved in choosing to scale back operations, what we are seeing now is a different business model from what we would have seen two years ago. What does this mean? It means the same thing that the small, yet growing, market of the mid-2000s, when BL was first being licensed in English, meant to the titles being published at the time. If there are more titles offered, each title has less visibility than the last. For example, when someone has a choice between two books, there is a 50% chance they will pick either one (or possibly both), but when someone has a choice between ten books, there is only a 10% chance that any one of those books will be picked. If more books were published in 2007 than 2009 (and this is my hypothesis based on the shrinking market) there were more books to choose from and any particular title published in 2007 was less likely to be bought than one published in 2009, when there were fewer options. There is evidence to suggest that the BL market got over-saturated in and around 2007, with less disposable income and too many less interesting and poorer quality titles licensed and released, people bought fewer of them. Now that the market is smaller, but the fanbase is of equal or larger size (even if the disposable income of each fan hasn't grown), it wouldn't be too much of a leap in logic to think that each book published, even of the same quality or popularity of books published only a couple of years ago, would sell better.

But none of these hypotheses can be proven or even argued without the sales numbers to back them up, which again, is why in my last post I stated we shouldn't be making any such speculations without actual verifiable evidence.

As for listing examples of a few Rated R movies that depicted full-frontal male nudity, I don't really see what the point was, or what it means for the entirety of the argument I was making in that paragraph of my last post. It seems to me to have been a lot of work that doesn't really prove much of anything, or even disprove the context of the phrase that launched this particular undertaking. But, let me clarify why I made that statement at all, anyway, and please excuse the language I am about to use. Basically, it's true. You don't typically see guys' schlongs in Rated R movies. You see plently of boobs, but no cocks. Once in a while you'll see one (Boogie Nights was one, but that was prosthetic), but who cares? It was a generalization. "You don't see penises in Rated R movie sex scenes." That's all it was. I don't feel like I should have needed to defend one mostly irrelevant statement in the middle of an argument that I would much rather have discussed instead, but there it is.

To clarify the whole "Greek statue" thing once and for all, I will reiterate my definition of pornography using the American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition (bolding by me):

1. Sexually explicit pictures, writing, or other material whose primary purpose is to cause sexual arousal.

2. The presentation or production of this material.

3. Lurid or sensational material: "Recent novels about the Holocaust have kept Hitler well offstage [so as] to avoid the ... pornography of the era" (Morris Dickstein).

Basically, are these statues designed to titillate? If yes, then yes, I would call them pornography. However, I don't really understand why the question was brought up again, what it means or why it matters. I don't intend to defend my position on this again, as I don't see how I could possibly be any clearer.

Before I get into this next part, I have to wonder how I could have possibly been any clearer about the articles of the PROTECT Act of 2003 that actually concern manga than I was in my last post (the actual law; the relevant information to this discussion is on page 32). I laid out the exact laws concerning the "legality" of pornography, and most specifically "child pornography" and how that exact term ("child pornography") is not the part of the law that deals with manga depictions (what we are actually talking about and what applies to this discussion), and what part of the law actually does. A 1982 court document, that even preceded a 1996 law on child pornography (that was later deemed unconstitutional) is not particularly evidence in this case, because the PROTECT Act of 2003 supercedes any and all federal laws and precendents set before it. It lays out (I quoted and even bolded it) the exact circumstances by which "fictional depictions of minors engaged in sexual activity" are illegal: ie, that it is only illegal if it is obscene, the same as any other issue of obscenity brought to the legal arena. This is exactly related to the Miller Test. The Miller Test, flawed as it is, is the legal means by which obscenity is determined in US law (regardless of whether the accused material depicts only adults, or includes any minors). The only difference between obscenity depicting adults and obscenity depicting minors is the sentencing guidelines. Handley is facing serious jailtime, not because he had "child pornography" but because the sentencing laws for receiving through the mail "fictional representations of what appear to be minors engaged in obscene acts" are the same as if he had actual child pornography. Whether this is fair or not I'm not going to say, but it is what it is.

And when the law talks about "child pornography" it is talking about the abuse of actual, real children. Each word separately does not mean the same thing as both words together. It is not talking about made up children in a comic book. I know this distinction might be confusing because many of the same words are used in the articles concerning "child pornography" (ie, depictions of actual children), "virtual child pornography" (ie, digitally created depictions that are indistinguishable from real children) and "fictional depictions of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct that is deemed obscene." All involve "children" in some capacity or another (whether real or fake) and all involve "pornography" in some capacity or another. However, the distinction to be made is that "child pornography" abuses actual children, while fictional children don't exist at all and therefore can't be abused, which is why the PROTECT Act doesn't use the term "child pornography" when it describes fictional depictions of sex acts involving minors. But to clarify once more what I'm talking about, I will (again) take a quote from Wikipedia (bolding again by me):

The PROTECT Act includes prohibitions against illustrations depicting child pornography, including computer-generated illustrations, also known as virtual child pornography. Provisions against virtual child pornography in the Child Pornography Prevention Act of 1996 had been ruled unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2002. However, the provisions of the Protect Act are distinct, since they establish the requirement of showing obscenity as defined by the Miller Test, which was not an element of the 1996 law.

The one other thing to note about the Handley case was that the judge in the case threw out the charges against any titles in his actual collection as protected by free-speech, because it was deemed that simple "possession" of such depictions of fictional minors could not be infringed upon. He was ultimately only charged for the materials he received through interstate commerse (ie, the US Postal Service).

In conclusion, and to address the very detailed examples of commercially available pornography for women, I really don't see or understand its relevance. It doesn't change the meaning or definition of what can be considered pornography in fiction. If it was meant simply to offer up examples to anyone interested in the topic, it does a good job, but as a relevant argument to the discussion at hand, I would have to say I simply don't get it. If we're talking about the law, unfortunately for all of us, it is not up to us what is "legally" considered "pornography" at all. It will be up to the jury at our trial on obscenity charges, as the community standard of what is considered "meant to sexually arouse" and I'll put money on the likelihood that the "average" non-BL-fan American has a much more conservative definition of what can be considered "meant to sexually arouse" than any one of us here, including myself.
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Re: Invisible Love by Rie Honjou - June edition is censored

Postby Hiyoshimaru » Thu Feb 11, 2010 6:28 am

"Manga should not be labeled "porn", and I hope DMP does not think itself as being in "porn business". There's a social stigma attached to the wording "pornographic materials", and while being perfectly legal, they do imply the lack of any other purpose rather than titillation, at least as far as this word is used in common/popular language and many social situations."

Yaoi is a type of shojo manga, and porn truly is NOT the issue here. Mo is not enlightened and that BL manga is not intended as pornography (ignore what ANN says, its not true), I tried to tell her this before, but NOOOO she wouldn't listen.
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Re: Invisible Love by Rie Honjou - June edition is censored

Postby sun22 » Thu Feb 11, 2010 7:33 am

First of all, this thread is titled "Invisible Love", and all the discussions on the porn here got us really off-topic. For one, I was accused by Mo of "taking over" Kizuna thread, as I mentioned some non-Kizuna issues there, and I feel that, Mo, you're taking over this thread for discussing something that is way off the topic at this point (esp. considering an overwhelming length of your most recent post). I think we should discuss it elsewhere, or otherwise I just won't participate in this.

If Invisible Love and other titles were selling as well as you probably think, June would censor even more. They censored less last year as compared to 2007-2008 titles, so I think that means something in terms what's been working for them vs what's not. However, only DMP would know what's selling for them vs what is not, and it's for them to decide. For one, I have no intention of buying anything I suspect is censored, and I'm considering returning a number of books I know were, so that will influence their selling numbers, and that part I know for sure.

Re: porn and such - your opinion on it is your own, and certain people do get "titillated" much easier than others, so that's for them to decide I guess. I have no intention arguing with you on this any further, and you're free to consider porn anything you want etc. At this point, I don't think that porn discussion belongs to June Titles threads, though. Re: child porn and such - Australia and Canada have unclear laws on this, and according to them, comics can be a form of child porn, there were even legal cases on that. How can anyone know US won't get such laws in the future? Esp. when some people are so certain that manga can be a porn.

From your explanation on Seven Seas, it included a story about a potential pedophile who's lusting after a clearly underage girl. Given this explanation, I think Borders rejected the story on moral grounds, and I cannot blame them. Again, not sure how Seven Seas is related to Invisible Love and maybe it should be also discussed elsewhere.
Last edited by sun22 on Thu Feb 11, 2010 9:55 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Invisible Love by Rie Honjou - June edition is censored

Postby mo2468 » Thu Feb 11, 2010 8:19 am

If you didn't want this topic to go off on a "pornography" tangent, you should have left well enough alone from the beginning. This all started because I made the off-hand comment in my initial reply to this thread, "It's porn and it gets the job done with or without the 'bodily fluids,'" to which you challenged and I responded. You can't challenge the value of people's statements and expect that they are not allowed to "go off topic" to defend themselves. If you don't want off-topic subject matter to be discussed in this thread, don't bring it up in the first place. Don't challenge people's uses of certain words and they won't go out of their way to try clarifying themselves (over and over again).

I am done with this discussion. I obviously wasted my time painstakingly collecting information and clearly laying out my arguments, all of which I would argue are at the very least tangentially related to the topic of this thread, only to have them completely ignored in favor of attacking the on-topic nature of my reply. It's infuriating and rather than allowing myself to become further angered I am walking away.

Feel free to have the "last word" on the subject.
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Re: Invisible Love by Rie Honjou - June edition is censored

Postby sun22 » Thu Feb 11, 2010 9:03 am

Mo - If you criticize others of not being "on-topic", then it's likely to happen to you. I agree, let's all be on-topic, and keep "off-hand comments" of that nature to the minimum, as they provoke unneeded and off-topic discussions. I don't want my account here banned for some reasoning aka "heated discussion and not on-topic". I also agree with you on not bringing too much negativity to this publisher's forum, which unfortunately you managed to do as well by explaining your arguments about June's publications being a pornography to you, again and again.
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