Hastings Communications and Entertainment Law Journal


Libraries have been presented with the perplexing problem of whether or not they should be required, or whether they are even allowed, to filter users' access (specifically children's access) to obscene and/or pornographic materials on the Internet. Such access could cause the public to accuse libraries of providing and tolerating obscenity. This note explores the potential chaos that open access to obscene and pornographic material on the internet may bring to the definition of community standards and the hoops that modem e-pornographers must jump through. The author discusses the basics of First Amendment law, analyzes the flaws in these doctrines as they apply to the Internet, and examines how the community can protect itself from e-pornographers and alternatively how online pornographers can protect themselves when the reality is that any person with a modem can access their materials.