...this can't be good:
Case could redefine TV morality
Sunday, July 27, 2003
By Doug Guthrie
The Grand Rapids Press
Offensive or innocuous, the case of an amateur television producer -- who displayed a joke-telling penis on Grand Rapids public access cable TV -- could redefine television morality.
Now awaiting an appeal in Kent County Circuit Court, Tim Huffman's misdemeanor indecent-exposure conviction draws precedent-setting legal boundaries for performance art and declares your television screen to be a public place, according to legal experts.
Huffman's prosecution in Grand Rapids District Court in January apparently was the first in the nation won by claiming a televised image recorded earlier on videotape and shown as part of a comedy show was an indecent act, rather than an expression or performance protected by the first amendment.
And the woman who complained about being offended when she saw the show on GRTV while channel surfing in her living room was watching not just a television set, but a device that viewers have come to accept as a public forum.
The concepts used by the Kent County Prosecutor's office to convict Huffman can't take on the status of legal precedents unless they are affirmed by higher courts, but legal heavyweights have stepped in, and some say this fight might not end until it reaches the U.S. Supreme Court.
Read the whole article here.
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