Howard Bashman — of How Appealing fame — wrote an essay entitled, “Text This: Words Alone Can Violate Federal Obscenity Laws,” which appears on law.com. Prompting his article is a recent decision from the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals where, as Bashman reports, the court “affirmed a federal criminal conviction based on a jury’s finding that various offensive voicemail messages consisted of words that constituted spoken obscenities. The 11th Circuit’s opinion reproduces the offending language in exacting detail, proving that what is criminally obscene when spoken as a voicemail message may not be criminally obscene when expressed in the context of an appellate court’s discussion of the sufficiency of the evidence.” Well said.
This opinion is bound to make waves. Stay tuned.