Posts Tagged ‘CBLDF’

CBLDF: The Fight To Defend Manga

Wednesday, July 25th, 2012

On Saturday, July 14 at San Diego Comic-Con, Charles Brownstein, Executive Director of the CBLDF gave a presentation entitled, ” CBLDF: The Fight to Defend Manga,” which featured Ryan Matheson, who spoke about what happened when he tried to enter Canada with manga on his laptop.

Courtesy of Jamie Coville, here’s a link to the audio of the panel (49:20, 45.1mb) and here’s a link to all the other panels he recorded this year.

The total legal costs of Ryan’s case exceeded $75,000. After taking the case last summer, the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund contributed $30,000 to the defense, and the Comic Legends Legal Defense Fund contributed $11,000. We are currently seeking funds to help pay off the $34,000 debt Ryan incurred as a result of his case. To make a contribution, please click the “donate” button on the right.

GONE TO AMERIKAY Launch Party Benefits CBLDF

Thursday, March 29th, 2012

Gone to Amerikay, the new Vertigo original graphic novel by Derek McCulloch and Colleen Doran, will have a book launch party, benefiting the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund. McCulloch and Doran will both be at Harbor Lights Restaurant in New York City on March 30 from 6 to 8 pm, celebrating the release of their new book and demonstrating their support of the CBLDF’s mission. All are welcome to join the celebration; admission will be free, though donations to the CBLDF are suggested. There will be complimentary hors d’oeurves, and special guests from the comics community will be on hand to inaugurate Gone to Amerikay. Copies of the book will be on sale, courtesy of Midtown Comics.

McCulloch, who sits on the board of The Comic Legends Legal Defense Fund, the Canadian counterpart to the CBLDF, said “I’m very proud of our work on Gone to Amerikay and all the more proud to be launching it with a benefit for the CBLDF. The CBLDF and the CLLDF recently worked together to defend a reader in a legal battle with Canada Customs, and I’m hoping that this benefit will help defray the costs of that defense.”

Hailed by J. Michael Straczynski as “THE book of 2012,” Gone to Amerikay is a century-spanning original graphic novel about the America that Ireland dreamed. It tells the story of three generations of Irish emigrants to the United States: Ciara O’Dwyer is a young woman raising a daughter alone in the Five Points slums of 1870; Johnny McCormack is a struggling actor drawn to the nascent folk music movement in Greenwich Village 1960; and Lewis Healy is a successful Irishman who’s come to present-day Manhattan on his wife’s anniversary-present promise to reveal the connection between him and them. The mystery originates with Ciara’s runaway husband, who disappeared after promising to join her in America, and carries into mid-century when Johnny, devastated by an unexpected romance and a lost shot at musical fame, gets a supernatural visitor.

Gone to Amerikay will be in stores on March 28.

Harbor Light restaurant is located at South Street Seaport Pier 17 3rd Floor, New York 10038.
Phone: (212) 227-2800

About CBLDF
The Comic Book Legal Defense Fund was founded in 1986 as a 501 (c) 3 nonprofit organization dedicated to the preservation of First Amendment rights for members of the comics community. They have defended dozens of Free Expression cases in courts across the United States, and led important education initiatives promoting comics literacy and free expression. For additional information, donations, and other inquiries call 800-99-CBLDF or visit them online at www.cbldf.org.

Reposted from the CBLDF.

CBLDF Forms Coalition to Defend American Comics Reader Facing Criminal Charges In Canada

Friday, June 24th, 2011

The Comic Book Legal Defense Fund today announces that it is forming a coalition to support the legal defense of an American citizen who is facing criminal charges in Canada that could result in a mandatory minimum sentence of one year in prison for comics brought into the country on his laptop. This incident is the most serious in a trend the CBLDF has been tracking involving the search and seizure of the print and electronic comic books carried by travelers crossing borders.

CBLDF Executive Director Charles Brownstein says, “Although the CBLDF can’t protect comic fans everywhere in every situation, we want to join this effort to protect an American comic fan being prosecuted literally as he stood on the border of our country for behavior the First Amendment protects here, and its analogues in Canadian law should protect there.”

The CBLDF has agreed to assist in the case by contributing funds towards the defense, which has been estimated to cost $150,000 CDN. The CBLDF will also provide access to experts and assistance on legal strategy. The CBLDF’s efforts are joined by the recently re-formed Comic Legends Legal Defense Fund, a Canadian organization that will contribute to the fundraising effort. Please contribute to this endeavor by making a tax deductible contribution at www.cbldf.org.

The facts of the case involve an American citizen, computer programmer, and comic book enthusiast in his mid-twenties who was flying from his home in the United States to Canada to visit a friend. Upon arrival at Canadian Customs a customs officer conducted a search of the American and his personal belongings, including his laptop, iPad, and iPhone. The customs officer discovered manga on the laptop and considered it to be child pornography. The client’s name is being withheld on the request of counsel for reasons relating to legal strategy.

The images at issue are all comics in the manga style. No photographic evidence of criminal behavior is at issue. Nevertheless, a warrant was issued and the laptop was turned over to police. Consequently, the American has been charged with both the possession of child pornography as well as its importation into Canada. As a result, if convicted at trial, the American faces a minimum of one year in prison. This case could have far reaching implications for comic books and manga in North America.

The CBLDF’s Board of Directors voted unanimously to aid the case by raising funds to contribute to the defense and to help the defense with strategy and expert resources.

Brownstein says, “This is an important case that impacts the rights of everyone who reads, publishes, and makes comics and manga in North America. It underscores the dangers facing everyone traveling with comics, and it can establish important precedents regarding travelers rights. It also relates to the increasingly urgent issue of authorities prosecuting art as child pornography. While this case won’t set a US precedent, it can inform whatever precedent is eventually set. This case is also important with respect to artistic merit in the Canadian courts, and a good decision could bring Canadian law closer to US law in that respect. With the help of our supporters, we hope to raise the funds to wage a fight that yields good decisions and to create tools to help prevent these sorts of cases from continuing to spread.”

For more on this case and to make a monetary contribution, please visit www.cbldf.org
About CBLDF
The Comic Book Legal Defense Fund was founded in 1986 as a 501 (c) 3 nonprofit organization dedicated to the preservation of First Amendment rights for members of the comics community. They have defended dozens of Free Expression cases in courts across the United States, and led important education initiatives promoting comics literacy and free expression. For additional information, donations, and other inquiries call 800-99-CBLDF or visit them online at www.cbldf.org.

About CLLDF
The Comic Legends Legal Defense Fund was founded in 1987 to raise money for the defense of a Calgary, Alberta comic shop whose owners were charged with selling obscene materials. The CLLDF has since been maintained on an ad hoc basis to provide financial relief for Canadian comics retailers, publishers, professionals, or readers whose right to free speech has been infringed by civil authorities. Largely dormant since the early 1990s, the CLLDF is reforming to provide support for this case, and reorganizing to ensure that help will be readily available for future cases involving Canadian citizens or authorities. To help the CLLDF in this mission, please go to clldf.ca

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