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AAE bans Softpaw from Further Confusion 2008 over legal fears

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Softpaw #2, the previous edition of Softpaw Magazine, was banned from Eurofurence over similar concerns.

Further Confusion's governing organization Anthropomorphic Arts and Education (AAE) has banned the sale of erotic cub fanzine Softpaw Magazine at this year's event, making it the second major convention to ban the work.[1]

The decision was based on a rule banning "[depictions of] minor[s] engaging in sexually explicit conduct", which AAE added due to the prosecution of Dwight Whorley for receiving lolicon over the Internet.[2] Softpaw and its supporters maintain that, as furries are not humans but anthropomorphic animals, laws covering the sexual relation of humans do not apply.[3][4][5]

Some assumed AAE's decision was made partly on moral grounds, while others thought they were making a definitive statement about the legality of Softpaw and similar works.[5] The board later posted a statement denying both of these, emphasizing that the risk and consequences of legal action - regardless of its success - were the sole reason for their ban.[6]

Eurofurence banned Softpaw last year, citing similar legal "grey areas", as well as art show rules, the convention's relationship with their hotel, and prior drama involving depictions of young-looking furs in sexual situations.[7]

In Canada - where Softpaw is printed - furries are considered animals, due to a 1989 case involving Omaha The Cat Dancer.[8]

Softpaw was sold without incident at Anthrocon 2007, reportedly raising over US$4,000 in revenue.[9] Editors say they have spent around US$16,000 in the production and purchase of art for Softpaw #3, intended to debut at FC 2008.[3]

Jery Softpaw indicated the fanzine will keep its table in the dealers room, along with their traditional pizza party, but that Softpaw will not be sold in deference to the ruling.

Quotes

" ...they have mis-interpreted a US law that bans depictions of human children, not furries. It will affect all artists who draw “cute” or “young” looking art. The AAE/FC have not provided a description of what they consider a “furry minor” under their new rule, so no one knows what art is really banned.[3] -- Jery Softpaw "
" Softpaw is one of dozens of furry magazines with adult content sold at furry conventions. Each contains material that is likely to be disturbing to an outsider. Fortunately, nobody's forcing them to register for a convention they're not interested in, or purchase a magazine that squicks them.[1] -- GreenReaper "
" What the Board is NOT doing is passing any moral judgment on the material in question, nor stating that the content in question is illegal, only that it is a reasonable possibility that action could be taken.[6] --Anthropomorphic Arts and Education "

Sources

  1. 1.0 1.1 FC '08 Nixes Softpaw - Mitch, Crush Yiff Destroy (January 10, 2008)
  2. Dealers Rules for FC 2008
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Softpaw Publishing at FC 2008!.. and the FC anti-cub rule. - Jery Softpaw, Fur Affinity journal (January 10, 2007) - now deleted
  4. Furries != minors, but . . . - GreenReaper's LiveJournal (January 12, 2008)
  5. 5.0 5.1 The New Rule about Cub art - Further Confusion forums (January 13, 2008)
  6. 6.0 6.1 AAE Statement on New Dealerss' Room Rule[sic] - Flint Otterhall for the board of Anthropomorphic Arts and Education (January 17, 2008)
  7. Softpaw Magasine Dealer.[sic] - Eurofurence forums (August 23, 2007)
  8. History of Omaha the Catdancer - Reed Waller, Kate Worley
  9. Anthrocon 2007 report by Jery - Jery Softpaw, Softpaw Magazine forums (July 12, 2007)

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About the author

GreenReaper (Laurence Parry)read storiescontact (login required)

a software developer and Norn from London, UK, interested in wikis and computers

Small fuzzy creature who likes cheese & carrots. Founder of WikiFur, lead admin of Inkbunny, and Editor-in-Chief of Flayrah.