From the H-game Kon Neko.

I didn't really take notice of the ruling on cartoon depictions of questionable acts involving underage characters, mainly because we had just encountered another one a few months prior, and that's still going on.

In any case, I really only noticed it after Neil Gaiman pointed out that the ruling, at least as described in the article, would give fictional characters the same rights as Real Life human beings, a situation shared by the average corporation. (Yes, I know about the differences between the concept of a Legal/Juristic Person and a Human Being. Still doesn't make it any less amusing.)

No longer can we maim, murder, and otherwise mutilate our fictional creations, which is one reason why I'm not too concerned over this, since the bizarre precedent is likely to get overturned in (relatively) short order. In the meantime, the possibilities are endless. Apart from the obvious link back to a familiar issue, of course.

5 Responses to “Cruelty To Fictives”
  1. Baughn says:


    Just.. bizarre.

  2. Owen S says:

    Ideas are bulletproof. As characters are but a by-product of ideas, the same should apply to them too, if you ask me.

  3. 0rion says:

    So if I (purely hypothetically) were to happen to own pictures of certain Nice Boats, does that mean I am now a filthy criminal?

  4. KunojiLym says:

    Shakespeare was a serial killer by this measure.

  5. Lupus says:

    I went and read the actual case, and it's not at all as you or Neil Gaiman makes it out to be. As expected, the media didn't go into enough detail, no one bothered to actually read the judgment (not that I expect normal people to), and everyone became misled.

    In Paragraph 37, the judge said this: "Accepting that the word [person] gains its meaning from its context, that context is the protection of children from sexual exploitation and abuse." This is the important point that everyone missed out on. The word person is only interpreted in this way in the context of "protection of children from sexual exploitation and abuse". In other contexts, such as "maim[ing], murder[ing], and otherwise mutilat[ing] our fictional creations", the meaning of the word person as defined in Australian law may well not include fictional persons.

    The definition used by the court is intentionally broad in the context of child pornography because the abuse and grooming of children is very, very, VERY, VERY serious business, and the court deemed it appropriate to use such a wide definition. Again, in other contexts, such as the ones that Adams J used as an example early on (in Paragraph 5) in his judgment, that of violence in comic books and video games, the definition is unlikely to reach so far.