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‘Morphed’ Child Pornography Not Protected Speech, 5th Cir. Says

Feb. 13, 2020, 8:56 PM

“Morphed” child pornography that superimposes children’s faces on the bodies of adults isn’t protected speech under the First Amendment, the Fifth Circuit ruled Thursday.

Morphed child pornography depicts an “identifiable child” and thus can cause reputational and emotional harm similar to that caused by actual child pornography, the court said. It’s therefore not protected by the First Amendment, even though it doesn’t depict an underlying instance of criminal abuse, the court said.

With this decision, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit joined the majority position of a circuit split. The Second and Sixth circuits have held that...

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