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Massachusetts’ Sexting Law Redux … Ixfayed?

April 15, 2011

I had some fun with Massachusetts’ “harmful to minors” law over a year ago, when its highest court said that a law banning the dissemination of “any matter harmful to minors’’ didn’t apply to text messages.  I thought the “any matter” encompassed, well, any matter and was thus not constricted by the non-exclusive list (ahh, not constricted by definition then) of physical manifestations of minor-harming materials.  The court invited legislative intervention, and was obliged by a law that then went over-the-top in breadth.  Then there was a lawsuit and injunction and a re-write (sounds like trying to get a movie made).   And the fix?  An intent requirement.   Now there’s a thought – a crime that requires intent.  And bingo, a law that made the plaintiff happy.  Via ars technica >  Massachusetts finally fixes “harmful to minors” Internet law.

The part I find interesting is that the “any matter” matter I thought covered the text messages a year ago, unlike the Court, was apparently the same “any matter” that end up being the MacGuffin for overbreadth when text messaging (et al.) was added to the non-exclusive list of minor-harming transmission media.  That is, the point ignored was the ultimate catalyst? Is that too much?

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