Georgia State Rep. Aims to Criminalize Indecent Photoshopping
(NEW YORK) — After becoming the subject of a photoshopped image that has gone viral on the Internet, Georgia State Rep. Earnest Smith is co-sponsoring a bill that would outlaw unauthorized photoshopping.
Georgia Assembly House Bill 39 would make altering photos with the intent to defame or “make fun of” a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $1,000, imprisonment for up to one year, or both.
The bill, which specifically mentions nudity, obscene depiction, and sexual conduct, is similar to a 2012 bill sponsored by fellow Georgia State Rep. Pam Dickinson. The 2012 bill failed in the General Assembly.
In an interview with Fox News, Smith said “No one has a right to make fun of anyone. It’s not a First Amendment right.”
Peter Swire, a law professor at Ohio State University, believes the chances of Georgia successfully outlawing lewd photoshops are quite low.
“There is a lot of First Amendment protection for pictures and speech,” Swire told ABC News. “Politicians have been the subject of cartoons for as long as we have had cartoons; calling it photoshopped doesn’t change that.”
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