Court Deals Blow to U.S. Anti-Porn Campaign

Lancaster also found that federal anti-obscenity laws were drafted too broadly. Kaufman argued that the government's stated interest was to prevent minors and unwitting adults from being exposed to obscene materials. But Lancaster concluded that applied to the Extreme Associates case, "the federal obscenity statutes violate the constitutional guarantees of personal liberty and privacy of consenting adults who wish to view defendants' films in private."

Children and unwitting adults are adequately protected from the materials, Lancaster ruled. To receive them, one would have to access the defendants' Web site and join the members-only section, which requires a name, address and credit card.

"[O]nly those individuals who want to see defendants' films, indeed, want to see them badly enough that they are willing to pay to see them, are able to do so," Lancaster said.

There are adequate protections for children out there currently, he said, with software available for parents and schools to keep children off such Web sites, and the Federal Communications Commission judging that requiring payment by credit cards effectively restricts minors' access to porn phone lines, since such cards are not generally issued to minors.

Justice Department officials said they were reviewing the ruling and had no further comment beyond Buchanan's written statement.

ABC News' Jason A. Ryan and Rebecca Bershadker Kennedy contributed to this report.

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