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Issues - Violence in the Media

Requiem for California's Violent Video Games Law
(June 28, 2011) - Justice Scalia's majority opinion does not allow politicians to create new exceptions to the First Amendment, but four of his brethren beg to differ.

Of Liberals and Conservatives: the Supreme Court Considers Violent Video Games Case
(Nov. 4, 2010) - Justice Breyer would allow censorship based on "common sense," while Justice Scalia wonders what "deviant" means in a California law restricting minors' access to violent games.

Justices Strike Down Animal Cruelty Censorship Law
(April 10, 2010) - In a rare display of near-unanimity, the Supreme Court struck down a federal law that attempted to create a broad new exception to the First Amendment for depictions of “animal cruelty.”

Justices Are Skeptical of a Law Criminalizing Pictures of Cruelty to Animals
(October 7, 2009) - What about cockfights? Bullfights? Hunting? Stuffing geese to make foie gras? The examples are not far-fetched in the case of U.S. v. Stevens.

Why Nine Court Defeats Haven't Stopped States From Trying to Restrict Violent Video Games
(August 15, 2007) - The answer probably lies in the long history of media-violence politics.

The Disconnect Between Fact and Rhetoric
(August 2, 2006) - A recent conference, "Beyond Censorship," touts ratings and filters, and buys into myths about proven harm from sexual or violent content.

Movie Censors Are Also Copyright Infringers
(July 11, 2006) - A federal court has ruled against the fair use arguments of CleanFlicks and fellow sanitizers.

Sanitizing Movies
(April 19, 2005) - The "Family Movie Act" (which was passed into law shortly after this testimony was given) singles out filmmakers for lesser copyright protection in order to encourage the movie-censoring industry.

Congress Weighs In On Movie Filters
(May 21, 2004) - Threats to change copyright law if directors and studios don't allow censorware to blur, cut, and bleep.

What's Wrong With Censoring Youth?
(April 19, 2004) - Law professor Kevin Saunders' new book proposes radical restrictions on minors' First Amendment rights.

Fact Sheet on Media Violence
(January 2004) - Answers frequently-asked questions about social science research into the effects of media violence. The bottom line is that despite the claims of some psychologists and politicians, the actual research results have been weak and ambiguous.

Media Literacy: An Alternative to Censorship
(2002; second edition, 2003) - FEPP's survey of media literacy education and why it is preferable to TV ratings, Internet filters, "indecency" laws, and other efforts to censor the ideas and information available to the young.

Not In Front of the Children: "Indecency," Censorship, and The Innocence Of Youth
(2001, 2nd edition 2007) - From Huckleberry Finn to Harry Potter, Internet filters to the v-chip, censorship is often based on the assumption that children and adolescents must be protected from "indecent" speech. In Not In Front of the Children, FEPP Director Marjorie Heins explores the history of indecency laws and other censorship aimed at youth. Not in Front of the Children won the 2002 American Library Association's Eli M. Oboler Award for the best published work in the area of intellectual freedom.

For Materials on Violence in the Media in 2000-03, go to the Archives Page.

image: war of our fathers by richard marin


The Free Expression Policy Project began in 2000 to provide empirical research and policy development on tough censorship issues and seek free speech-friendly solutions to the concerns that drive censorship campaigns. In 2004-2007, it was part of the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law. The FEPP website is now hosted by the National Coalition Against Censorship. Past funders have included the Robert Sterling Clark Foundation, the Nathan Cummings Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, the Educational Foundation of America, the Open Society Institute, and the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts.

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