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U.S. District Judge Rya Zobel has issued a preliminary injunction blocking enforcement of Massachusetts Chapter 74 of the Acts of 2010, which went into effect earlier this year. The law, signed by Governor Deval Patrick in in April (and went into affect in June), targets anyone who runs a website or listserv that contains nudity or sexually explicit material that could be construed as “harmful to minors” and subjects them to possible fines of up to $10,000, up to five years in prison, or both.
The Massachusetts booksellers, trade associations including the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, and the American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts filed suit in July to block the law. They cited that his law would “imposes severe restrictions on constitutionally protected speech on the Internet.”
The judge issued the injunction because the law does not require that the “indecent material” was purposefully sent to a person the sender knew to be a minor.
Carol Rose, executive director of the ACLU of Massachusetts, had this to say:
This case is a reminder that we need to remain ever-vigilant in the defense of basic civil liberties against lawmakers who try to capitalize on cases involving children to expand government power in ways that could be used to silence booksellers, artists, healthcare providers, and the rest of us.
Plaintiffs in the case include the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, the American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression, the ACLU, Harvard Book Store, the Photographic Resource Center, Porter Square Books, and marriage and family therapist Martry Klein.
Recently convicted (on one count) former Governor of Illinois, Rod Blagojevich is heading to Wizard World this weekend in Chicago. Before his recent court appearances the disgraced former Governor was a contestant on Celebrity Apprentice.
Blagojevich will appear at a photo session at 10:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. and then sign autographs from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m.
“I’m looking forward to meeting loyal supporters and other fans on Saturday,” said Blagojevich, whose many recent television appearances included a stint on “Celebrity Apprentice.”
“Wizard World Chicago Comic Con is all about pop culture, and Rod Blagojevich is as relevant to today’s news as it gets,” said Gareb Shamus, CEO of Wizard Entertainment. “We think the court of public opinion will show him to be a popular figure at the show.”
That’s me and the Governor in 2002. I worked in Illinois on a coordinated campaign that involved his Governor race. I met him on a quite a few occasions….
Kotaku has the excellent photo below from their former comment ombudsman Shiraz Malik at San Diego Comic-Con 2010.
It’s a mixed bag this week of political commentary on Twitter from folks involved with the comic book industry.
Brian Denham an artist on such series as Buffy commented on the Texas Governor race and the interesting last name match up. You can follow him at http://twitter.com/briandenham.
Ed Brubaker commented on the irritation of the time old irritating tradition of political robocalls. You can follow Brubaker at http://twitter.com/brubaker.
Savage Dragon creator Erik Larsen continued his posts directed at President Obama, urging him to include a public option in the health care bill. You can follow him at http://twitter.com/erikjlarsen.
GeekWeek founder Jeff Katz shows off he enjoys the sunday morning shows. You can follow Jeff at http://www.twitter.com/katzmoney.
Comics Alliance has unearthed this nugget of political comic book history. We’ve seen the political good comics have done and how they in the civil rights movement. But here’s an example of comics being used to, um, do the opposite. George Wallace, the former Alabama governor best known for the line “segregation today, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever,” used the comic format to push himself and his political agenda.
As Comics Alliance puts it:
The comic — which naturally fails to include a single black person — paints Wallace as a populist, willing to stand up for the (white) people of Alabama again the big bad know-it-all government that kept telling them how to run their state, e.g. treat all of their citizens as actual people.
Having worked in politics, I see utter crap strewn about all day, but this one just leaves me speechless. Head to Comics Alliance for scans of the pages and some more on the story. Words just can’t do this one justice.