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Contemporary Community Standards Essay


Debatably the most critical in a chain of Court trials defining the meaning of obscenity and settling the disputes as to how and when a community could control pornography, Miller v. California case remained the High Court’s ultimate decision regarding most kinds of obscene materials into the contemporary world.

While the trial focused on describing obscene materials in Miller v. California, the definition of obscenity has been changed and enhanced in the succeeding court suits. Since the basic description was formulated in the early 1970s, it has never been overhauled and acts as the reference point for most of United States court prosecutions concerned with obscenity cases.

The issue has been to identify an ultimate description of obscene material that protects the authority of state organs in regulating the worst types of obscenity for community wellbeing, and yet does not prevent speech of real significance to the community (Cohen 42).

Currently, in the period of easy technology-based communication, fresh dimensions to this concern appear. While the courts have held that obscene materials are described based on “contemporary-community Standard,” it is unclear whose society standards apply when dealing with electronic communication (Cohen 42).

Is it within the law or important to hold publishers on global sites to the most limiting society standards in the country? Or is it important for all communities served by the websites to lessen their levels to that of the most tolerant location? Do the various legislations need any specific regional description at all?

Basically, it is legally acceptable in applying the conventional test for obscenity – the Miller standards – to a country with an extremely large territory, absolute freedom to move from one local jurisdiction to another, and technology that enables mass communication across nearly all local, state, and national boundaries, comprising their relationships with “contemporary society standard,” exclusive of all obligations for a more specific description (Cohen 38).

The “contemporary society standard” components of the test were not predestined for imposing geographically differing Initial Alteration rights for a publisher, and the fact that these standards at times lead to the geographic disparity is more incidental than it is an incident of legal practice.

The community standard parts of the Miller test exist for acknowledging the function of a jury to draw findings of reality regarding a matter of inaccurate ruling. Application of unclear society standards is no longer legally challenging in electronic obscenity cases compared to any other form of pornography prosecution.

It is related to utilizing “realistic individual” test to an individual’s business activities over the media: whereas it is likely that judges in various regions of the nation could at times utilize that vocabulary differently, it is not structured to be a regionally differing standard, and needs no particular regional interpretation (Greenberg and Page Struggle 72).

Other major aspects of the obscenity test are developed with a view of protecting personal rights and of ensuring that obscenity legislation does not freeze precious speech in any region. The simple reality that a few regions condone some obscene materials that they could legally ban does not grant a publisher in these regions a legal right.

The capability of state in regulating obscenity efficiently relies on the judge’s responsibility to judge definite aspects of obscenity via exposure, research, and common sense instead of chiefly via sociological specialists (Greenberg and Page Struggle 89).

In conclusion, any person who claims that the application of indefinite of domestic society standard in judging electronic obscenity is legally challenging is initiating a hit on Miller and the line that it has already created between unprotected and protected speech.

Works Cited

Cohen, Daniel. “Unhappy Anniversary – Thirty Years since Miller v. California: The Legacy of the Supreme Court’s Misjudgment on Obscenity.” St. Thomas Law Review 15.1 (2003): 37-56. Print.

Greenberg, Edward, and B. Page. Struggle for Democracy. 10th ed. 2010. Buckingham, United Kingdom: Pearson. Print.

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IvyPanda. 2020. "Contemporary Community Standards." March 14, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/contemporary-community-standards/.

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IvyPanda. (2020) 'Contemporary Community Standards'. 14 March.

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