New Tin Drum Ruling

Kino International Corporation (kinoint@infohouse.com)
Tue, 22 Dec 1998 11:41:25 -0800 (PST)

First for those of you who need a quick backround: In June 1997 a
conservative political group took the video copy of THE TIN DRUM to the
district attorny claiming it violated the states law on CHILD PORNOGRAPHY.
A local judge agreed and police proceeded to a number of local video stores
to sieze the tape. Since the tape was out at several of the stores the
police forced store clerks to tell them who had the tape checked out and
the police went to the houses of people who had the tape and told them they
would be arrested if they did not hand them over. The police and the DA
were sued by the video stores and one customer for violating the first &
fourth amemdments and the video privacy protection law (AKA the Bork Law)

Got that. Ok last month after a year of the police & DA trying to stall the
case a federal judge ruled that THE TIN DRUM did not contain child
pornography.
On Friday ( Dec 16) the same judge ruled that the police DID VIOLATE both
the first amendment and the Video privacy law by seizing the tapes. He
further ruled that the DA was also liable because he knew what they had
done and did nothing to stop it. He also set up furthing hearings on the
4th amemdment violations.

Despite a near total disinterest from major media on this, it is a MAJOR
ruling. It sets a federal precedent on "child pornography" and the first
amendment and is the first major ruling on the video privacy law

The case IS NOT OVER. The ACLU is still sueing for damages on behalf of
one individual who had the tape siezed from his home

Jessica Rosner
Kino