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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Posts
    1

    Default Child Model Sites (webeweb)

    Ok, firstly I hope this is in the correct section - if not then please feel free to move it!

    I read with interest the thread on if child model sites should be legal and it raised a few questions that I didn't have time to ask in the original thread before it was locked. There seem to be a lot of knowledgeable people on here so hopefully I'll get a sensible reply!

    Firstly, were these sites ever legal? (I'm referring to the sites run by Webeweb, as discussed in the original debate) If they were being allowed to run for years, even investigated by a senator but left to run then is the answer yes? This leads on to my second question - if the two men are found guilty and the sites are shut down for good, what happens to all the customers? Will they be charged as well? I'm not too sure about retrospective guilt etc so could someone clarify for me?

    Finally, if the sites are shut down do you think it will pave the way for any other child model sites to be closed down too, or will it just let them know what they shouldn't be doing if they want to remain open (ie. learn from webewebs 'mistakes').

    In the interests of debate I will leave my personal opinions out of this for now.

    Thanks in advance

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    28,650

    Default Re: Child Model Sites (webeweb)

    Quote Quoting squinky
    View Post
    Firstly, were these sites ever legal? (I'm referring to the sites run by Webeweb, as discussed in the original debate) If they were being allowed to run for years, even investigated by a senator but left to run then is the answer yes?
    Not necessarily. Where the legality is borderline, it may take a while before a prosecutor decides to try a 'test case' to see if it can be successfully prosecuted, or to see how the appellate courts rule on a similar case pending before the courts. But without knowing the basis of the charges, it's also possible that a new law was passed.
    Quote Quoting squinky
    This leads on to my second question - if the two men are found guilty and the sites are shut down for good, what happens to all the customers? Will they be charged as well?
    That's a big "maybe". You would have to ask the prosecutor, and I doubt the prosecutor is talking.
    Quote Quoting squinky
    Finally, if the sites are shut down do you think it will pave the way for any other child model sites to be closed down too, or will it just let them know what they shouldn't be doing if they want to remain open (ie. learn from webewebs 'mistakes').
    It is conceivable that the case might let other sites know what they can and cannot do if they wish to avoid prosecution. But it's also possible that once they remove the material they can be prosecuted for publishing, their customers will lose interest in the rest.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    15

    Default Re: Child Model Sites (webeweb)

    Sorry to bring this back up, but it's an interesting issue in that this is a huge gray area in the law.

    Since there isn't really a clearly defined definition of what actually constitutes child porn, what's to stop prosecutors from going after someone who merely has a site or publication featuring pictures of kids that are simply done in bad taste, but are not sexual in nature? It's because of this that I think that law enforcement, lawyers and perhaps Congress should be working on a more clear definition of child porn. It would go farther in actually protecting the kids that are actually being harmed, as well as helping prosecutors identify the actual criminals versus the people who just put up a bunch of pictures that merely make some people uncomfortable.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Posts
    1

    Default Re: Child Model Sites (webeweb)

    I know this topic is old, but I thought it still relevant since the case was finally settled in court last month, almost 4 years after it began:

    http://www.prnewswire.com/news-relea...-91869124.html

    It looks like the Webe Web "corporation" will be paying a $1,000,000 fine, and the president has pleaded guilty only to money laundering (not child pornography).

    I'm wondering, though, why the government even bothered to waste so much time and money to prosecute this case. It seems more like a PR move than actually trying to protect anyone.

    From what I've read on various websites, the government's case rested on the accusation that about 100 of the photos that Webe Web published (out of hundreds of thousands total) could possibly be considered child porn (even though there was no nudity, just skimpy outfits and "lascivious" poses). What sort of a precedent does that set? Can the government now shut down and charge any modeling agency with child pornography because a few of their photos may possibly be seen as "lascivious?"

    Of course I realize that Webe Web wasn't technically a legitimate modeling agency, since they charged membership fees to their websites. Speaking of which, I know this has been asked before, but what will happen to all of Webe Web's members? Apparently the 16 websites that Webe Web ran had tens of thousands of members over the years. Would the government now waste even more time and money tracking down those thousands of members, being that it's now almost 4 years after the sites were shut down, and only a small fraction of the photos on the sites are now considered pornographic?

    Thanks in advance for your input.

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