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News for the ‘Sex and the Law’ Category

Baby Steps: In Brooke S.B. v. Elizabeth C.C. New York Highest Court Expands The Meaning of “Parenthood”; (but insists on a maximum of two)

Being a parent used to be easy.  Not the job, of course — I doubt that’s ever been easy — I mean being a legal parent of a child, with all the responsibilities and rights that go along with that, including the right to ask a court for custody or visitation in case of divorce. …

Still Locked Out: In Blumenthal v. Brewer, Illinois Supreme Court Refuses Property Division for an Unmarried Couple

Laws about marriage and family have been shaped by the practical needs of society, and by religious beliefs. The project of the American legal enterprise, informed by the mandated separation of church and state, and constitutional protections of privacy and autonomy,   to uncover legitimate concerns in regulating family and strip away moralistic, religious, or…

Close Up the Internet and Repeal the First Amendment – Election Season is Here

You know elections are upon us when politicians start talking about wanting to “close up” the Internet, or censor Twitter and Facebook.  Throw in a couple terrorist attacks and you have the perfect storm for loss of cherished First Amendment rights. Donald Trump’s suggestion that America should consider “closing up the Internet in some way…

The War on Porn Rebranded as the War on Sex Trafficking

On October 8, 2014, ThinkProgress.com declared the end to the War on Porn. The censors had lost and erotic media would live on.  One sign that the war had been lost was the fact that annual contributions to the well-known anti-erotica group, Morality in Media, had dwindled from over $1 million dollars in 2001 to just…

Private Censorship – Fighting Suppression of Speech by Non-Governmental Actors

Government censorship in the Internet age has been a consistent focal point for free speech advocates.  Recent examples of censorship by the American government can be egregious, including the curtailment of First Amendment rights through mass surveillance, overregulation of disfavored speech, criminal prosecution, and outright bans on books, movies, and websites.  However, the First Amendment…

Sex, Lies, & Sex Tapes

Sex, drugs & rock ‘n roll. That used to be the unofficial motto of Hollywood. And it worked. For years, the so-called scandals of celebrities in public were enough to keep tabloid headlines fresh, interesting and attractive to readers. Now though, it’s 2014: we’ve seen it all and it is no longer enough to simply…

Viewing Rights – The Constitutional Right to View Erotic Material

What are your constitutional rights when it comes to viewing pornographic, violent or controversial material in your own home? This is a question we frequently address as First Amendment attorneys, and on which there is still some confusion in the minds of consumers.  Is there a right to view or possess pornography?  What about obscenity? …

Censored by Google: What’s Next?

Google, a name most associated with the popular, gargantuan search engine, has been making its way into the headlines for a different and much more egregious reason: censorship across its platform of products.  The company recently made waves for prohibiting adult material on its advertising network, AdWords.  Now, it seems, Google has expanded its censorial…

DMCA Evolution: Forum Solicits Input on Possible Changes to Notice and Takedown Procedures

The Digital Millennium Copyright Act’s (DMCA) “notice and takedown” procedure and the attendant “safe harbor” protections afforded to service providers often spark controversy and debate. Originally designed as a way to balance the interests of copyright holders and online service providers, the DMCA’s 14 year history has demonstrated that well-intended laws can quickly become outdated…

Byte-Sexual: Recognizing the Evolving Relationships with Our Electronic Devices

Does the virtual assistant on your smartphone just “get you”? For many smart phone users, interacting with a natural speech-recognizing, intelligent, digital assistant – ever-present on their devices – has become a way of life. It was impossible to imagine just a few years ago that we would become a society dependent on our bots,…