Porn law­suit called cen­sor­ship cru­sade

The Denver Post - - NEWS - By Monte Wha­ley

Two par­ents who filed a law­suit claim­ing pornog­ra­phy was dis­trib­uted to their chil­dren by a na­tional scholas­tic net­work and the Colorado Li­brary Con­sor­tium are more in­ter­ested in cen­sor­ship than pro­tect­ing chil­dren, a li­brary ad­vo­cacy group said Fri­day.

The Colorado As­so­ci­a­tion of Li­braries blasted the law­suit filed on be­half of Pornog­ra­phy is Not Ed­u­ca­tion and Aurora par­ents Drew and Robin Pater­son as a bla­tant at­tempt to erase all elec­tronic ma­te­rial the group does not like from lo­cal and school li­braries.

“They are on a per­sonal cru­sade to im­pose one par­tic­u­lar world view upon the en­tire com­mu­nity, and the tar­gets of their cam­paign ex­tend well be­yond … Colorado,” Carol Smith, pres­i­dent of the Colorado As­so­ci­a­tion of Li­braries, said in a state­ment.

The law­suit, filed this week in Ara­pa­hoe Dis­trict Court, claims that EBSCO In­dus­tries Inc. and the li­brary con­sor­tium know­ingly pro­vided sex­u­ally ex­plicit and ob­scene ma­te­rial to school chil­dren. Specif­i­cally, the Pater­sons said the EBSCO data­bases, which their child was us­ing at the time for school­work, re­turned porno­graphic links for ed­u­ca­tional search terms.

In­no­cent clicks bring up bondage and other porno­graphic sites, the suit said. It asks a dis­trict judge to stop EBSCO from pro­vid­ing sex­u­ally ex­plicit con­tent to chil­dren and to stop “con­spir­ing to vi­o­late fed­eral and state laws.”

A spokesman for the law firm rep­re­sent­ing the Pater­sons said, “The real is­sue here is straight­for­ward: Pornog­ra­phy is avail­able on EBSCO data­bases and the li­brary con­sor­tium bro­kers to school chil­dren.”

EBSCO has de­nied the al­le­ga­tions, say­ing, “We are ap­palled by the tenor of the al­le­ga­tions re­lated to our in­tent and the in­ac­cu­ra­cies to state­ments clearly made in ab­sence of fac­tual in­for­ma­tion.” The Colorado Li­brary Con­sor­tium de­clined to com­ment. The Colorado As­so­ci­a­tion of Li­braries said the Pater­sons’ aim is blan­ket cen­sor­ship.

“Their true aim is to cen­sor all elec­tronic ma­te­ri­als from school and pub­lic li­braries, de­spite the fact that both fed­eral and Colorado state statutes ad­e­quately and ap­pro­pri­ately ad­dress the need to en­sure ageap­pro­pri­ate ac­cess to in­for­ma­tion in our pub­lic schools and li­braries,” Smith said.

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