Re: Important First Amendment Case

Phil Rubinoff (
Fri, 27 Mar 1998 17:47:19 -0500

On 25-Mar-98, Lile Elam wrote:

>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 (

Phil Rubinoff