obscene

Definitions (3)
Popular Terms
1. General: Extremely coarse or offensive to the normal or current standards of decency; meant to encourage depravity or to incite to lust. Depiction of mere nudity is generally not considered an obscenity.
2. UK law: A material is obscene if it tends to deprave and corrupt those who are likely to read, hear, or see it, and whose minds are susceptible to the immoral influences. This test is not limited to pornographic matter but includes encouragement of violence and use of illegal drugs. A material is determined non-obscene if, in the opinion of a jury or experts, it has art, science, literature, or learning value.
3. US law: A court must apply a three-part test for determination of obscenity: whether (1) an average person, applying "contemporary community standards", would find that the material, taken as a whole, appeals to the prurient interest in sex, (2) the material depicts or describes sexual conduct (specifically defined by the applicable state law) in a patently offensive way, and (3) the material lacks serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value.
This test must be applied in its entirety; if the material fails any part of the test, it is determined not obscene. In 1957, the US Supreme Court declared that obscene material does not come under the aegis of First Amendment (which guarantees freedom of expression) because it was "outside the protection intended for speech and press at the time during which the First Amendment was written."


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