Important First Amendment Case

Lile Elam ((no email))
Wed, 25 Mar 1998 14:05:23 -0800 (PST)

Hi fellow artists,

I just received a note from Ann Beeson of the ACLU and she
informed me that the state of New Mexico has just passed a law
that is almost identical to the New York law we successfully
challenged and defeated last year. This NW law is also very
similar to Federal CDA that was overturned.

The NM law, which will become effective July 1, 1998, makes it
a crime to use the Internet to engage in any communication that
"depicts actual or simulated nudity, sexual intercourse or any
other sexual conduct." This language is even broader than the
"indecency" and "harmful to minors" laws struck down in the CDA
case and in _ALA v. Pataki_ (NY CDA Case), because there is no
requirement that the communication be "offensive" or "lack serious
value." So *any* nudity -- including Michelangelo's David or a
description of sexual conduct in a medical text -- is criminal
if communicated on the Internet and accessible in New Mexico.

Here on Art on the Net (, we do have artists that work
with the nude figure and we have written works that depict sexual
related topics (ie. in the poets section). So our site would be
constricted by this new CDA law in New Mexico which in turn, could
constrict the freedom of speech that artists enjoy here on

The ACLU is planning on filing the challenge to the New Mexico law in
federal court in Albuquerque next month. Because our site once again
has a considerable content that is at risk under the law, Ann feels
that we would be an especially valuable plaintiff for the case
(just as we were in the NY CDA case which we won).

I would like to have our site, Art on the Net ( join this
challenge as this law threatens the existance of our site. I hope
that you will all join with me in saying "yes" to Ann's request at
being a plaintiff to this challenge. If anyone feels otherwise,
please let me know.

And please let me know if anyone has any questions.

Freedom is not "free". We have to continue to fight for it and
protect it to keep it.



Founder of Art on the Net (