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Canada Crime Your Rights Online

Gore Site Operator Arrested For Posting Video of Murder 289

Posted by Soulskill
from the not-al-gore dept.
theshowmecanuck writes "According to the Montreal Gazette, 'The owner and operator of a well-known 'real gore' website is charged with corrupting morals for posting a video allegedly depicting the murder of student Jun Lin by Luka Magnotta. Magnotta, 30, is currently in custody charged with first-degree murder in the death of the 33-year-old Chinese international student, who was killed in Montreal in May 2012. The victim's severed limbs were then mailed to political parties and elementary schools, and his torso found inside a discarded suitcase.' A news interview with the detective in charge of the case, airing on CTV as I type this, says he believes the web site hosts a lot of racist content and unimaginable violence. You should note that Canada has less free speech than in America (we have 'hate crime laws'), but there will likely be some arguments in this vein. The charge against the operator is quite rare and no-one so far remembers it ever being used before."
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Gore Site Operator Arrested For Posting Video of Murder

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  • Summay is incorrect (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 17, 2013 @06:16PM (#44312619)

    It was used against a special fx pro, for an over realistic gore site, but it failed : http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2012/12/23/remy-couture_n_2355922.html

  • by bstarrfield (761726) on Wednesday July 17, 2013 @06:28PM (#44312713)

    There are some things simply beyond the pale in any decent society. Entertaining people through showing a grisly, cruel murder can do nothing but harm the family, friends, and love ones of the victim. It has absolutely no political, educational, moral effect, nor any deterrent to any crime. It has no value whatsoever to shock and delight those deranged enough to view a heinous act.

    The Framers had clear reasons for promoting freedom of speech, primarily to serve the political health of the nation by fostering free debate. And yes, they came from a society that still had public executions, some of which were (in England at least) just as brutal as this crime as more. But they did not create freedom of speech to promote sheer depravity. Laws exist in the context of their society, even what we consider natural law, and there are some things that a society has every damn right to ban - child pornography, and yes, showing a murder for fun.

    What must be going through the minds of this poor woman's parents? Is that pain worth a shock to an increasingly cynical population? This was beyond the pale, and does corrupt public morals by desensitizing people to murder. The owner of the site deserves these charges.

    • by mirix (1649853) on Wednesday July 17, 2013 @06:34PM (#44312769)

      The victim was a guy, for what it's worth.

    • by MrEricSir (398214) on Wednesday July 17, 2013 @06:39PM (#44312805) Homepage

      The idea that people shouldn't be entertained by violence is the same argument that's been used to ban video games, movies, etc. Think about ALL of the implications what you're saying here -- are you sure this is really the road you want to go down?

      • by Valdrax (32670) on Wednesday July 17, 2013 @06:59PM (#44312961)

        I think there's a difference between created fiction and voyeurism of real human suffering.

        Yeah, I gotta put snuff in the same box as child porn. Repulsive when created by the pen and paper and worthy of social ostracism; utterly indefensible when involving real acts occurring to real people and worthy of prison time.

      • by idji (984038) on Wednesday July 17, 2013 @07:46PM (#44313301)
        There is a difference between being entertained by acted violence, and being entertained by the murder of a human. Allowing things like child pornography and "real gore" would be creating and supplying a market, hence creating demand of "product", which leads to victimization of humans - and that is abhorrent. We ban the ivory trade to make no market for killing elephants and we ban child pornography to provide no incentive for victimizing children. You can rightly claim that there is no known correlation between video game violence and murdering people, but there IS a direct correlation between child pornography and child abuse (the first CANNOT exist without the other). The correlation is not necessary there between "real gore" and "murder", and " prostitution" and "human trafficking", but is highly likely there as the first can create the second.
        • Not so fast (Score:5, Interesting)

          by davidwr (791652) on Wednesday July 17, 2013 @08:16PM (#44313493) Homepage Journal

          there IS a direct correlation between child pornography and child abuse (the first CANNOT exist without the other)

          Generally true but not always.

          The newly-married under-18 teenagers filming their honeymoon "in detail" are creating child pornography if they do it in America.

          Ditto the 13 year old guy playing with himself in front of a mirror with a camera, purely for his own amusement.

          Granted, these examples should never justify "making child porn legal" but they do justify creating the "it was my own body, I have a right to record it" absolute defense and an "it was my boy/girlfriend and he/she said yes" mitigation-defense for people close in age that would turn the charge into a non-sex-crime misdemeanor.

        • by shutdown -p now (807394) on Wednesday July 17, 2013 @09:24PM (#44313917) Journal

          but there IS a direct correlation between child pornography and child abuse (the first CANNOT exist without the other).

          Note that you yourself are not making the claim that the relationship also works in reverse - because it, well, doesn't. So you can remove CP, but child abuse will remain.

          And then of course there's the whole issue of consensual filmed sex identified as CP, and of rendered / drawn videos etc. More recently, in Russia, the local lawmakers have ruled that all hentai is CP - how about that?

      • Being entertained by violence is not the same thing as disseminating *real* violence for entertainment, which in turn makes a market for actually hurting people.

      • by ADRA (37398) on Wednesday July 17, 2013 @09:32PM (#44313967)

        Maybe if the video game dev's promised to kill a kitten in a poor country people -would- be just as outraged. Sorry, public opinion is against you. Its part of the sad double edged sword of group morality.

        • by SethJohnson (112166) on Thursday July 18, 2013 @01:06AM (#44314951) Homepage Journal
          Coincidentally Luka Magnotta had previously been accused of killing kittens on video and posting it to this type of site [nationalpost.com], if not the same site.

          Not responding to the parent post, but I think there is a valid argument that the operator of the site hosting Luka's videos is guilty of collaborating with the killer. He didn't plan the murder, but he is acting as an instrument of Magnotta by delivering the infamy that was Magnotta's goal.

          The mature and humane response would have been to say, "Hey Luka. You killed a guy to become infamous. I'm not going to assist you in this goal by publishing this video of the crime you committed to become infamous. I'm going to hand it over to the cops." Instead, this website operator responded by helping Luka to achieve infamy.
      • by broken_chaos (1188549) on Wednesday July 17, 2013 @09:39PM (#44314005)
        Being able to draw a line between being entertained by real death and being entertained by fake death doesn't really require any difficult consideration. After all, the idea that people shouldn't be entertained by violence is also one of the contributing factors to things like, say, animal cruelty laws -- there pretty much has to be a line drawn somewhere, and drawing it between "real violence" and "not real violence" makes as much sense, if not more, to me than drawing it between "watching real violence" and "committing real violence".
    • by ackthpt (218170) on Wednesday July 17, 2013 @06:44PM (#44312841) Homepage Journal

      [snip]

      The Framers had clear reasons for promoting freedom of speech...

      [snip]

      Canada. Not USA. Canada.

    • by c0lo (1497653) on Wednesday July 17, 2013 @06:45PM (#44312857)

      It has no value whatsoever to shock and delight those deranged enough to view a heinous act.
      ...
      But they did not create freedom of speech to promote sheer depravity.
      ...
      showing a murder for fun.

      You seem to imply a certain intent. Can you prove it?

      • by Motard (1553251) on Wednesday July 17, 2013 @07:19PM (#44313089)

        The burden of proof required on your typical internet message board, much less Slashdot, is pretty low. But we can look at the tape in this case....

        From the TFA...

        Marek told the Ottawa Citizen he believed “people need to know what really is going on in their neighbourhoods,” saying: “They could easily walk upon a gruesome accident scene themselves and whom will they blame for being exposed to it then?”

        Yes, of course, this is a public service. If I were to take a walk and came across a dismembered body, I'd immediately ask why I wasn't informed of this sort of thing - and why I wasn't properly prepared for being exposed to this type of stuff. Goddammit, why didn't somebody post this shit to the internet so I'd be prepared for this sort of thing!

        Or, he could be a sick fuck in it for the lulz.

        I dunno.

        • by c0lo (1497653) on Wednesday July 17, 2013 @08:03PM (#44313411)

          The burden of proof required on your typical internet message board, much less Slashdot, is pretty low.

          You seem to assume a lot. It is up to the readers (including myself) to establish their own threshold for the level of proof.

          Or, he could be a sick fuck in it for the lulz.

          I dunno.

          Even assuming the above is correct:
          * did this sick fuck commit murders to fuel his site?
          * does anyone have the right to condemn a person on the "potential misuse of the information"?
          * even accepting morals into equation (who's morals?)... anyway: should a person be condemned because the society is "too weak in the moral sense"? I mean, what's the conceptual difference between this and prosecuting Galileo because he kept on publicly saying the Earth is moving and endangering the "good faith" of the society of his time?

          • by Motard (1553251) on Wednesday July 17, 2013 @08:27PM (#44313567)

            You're equating Galileo with this sick fuck. That's funny.

            • by c0lo (1497653) on Wednesday July 17, 2013 @08:36PM (#44313621)

              You're equating Galileo with this sick fuck. That's funny.

              Just in case you did actually miss it and you are not trolling: I'm equating the prosecution of Galileo with the prosecution of this man for reasons of "challenging their society morals".
              I'm pretty sure the Inquisition at that time adopted the view of Galileo being a sick fuck that worth punishing for the potential damage his public views might have caused to the society.

              • by ADRA (37398) on Wednesday July 17, 2013 @09:42PM (#44314021)

                Most morals were established for the betterment of society, and some were established to re-enforce hierarical systems of controling a populace. Those rule may actually of supported society in times where feudal anarchies would've swept over a population, but one would argue that mass education has made such risks in modern cultures rather less worrisome.

                Now if you want to argue that society should embrace the notion of recording people as they die, I think you're barking up the wrong tree. Why not: Every leagalized execution filmed and put online for public records. Every autopsy. Every roadside accident record. All of these could arguably have some marginally positive social effects, but are the trade-offs enough to warrant the change? Probably not. People have always been and will always be afraid of death, and any overt step toward that bleak realization is going to be a social loser no matter what the social benefits.

                • by c0lo (1497653) on Wednesday July 17, 2013 @10:24PM (#44314251)

                  People have always been and will always be afraid of death, and any overt step toward that bleak realization is going to be a social loser no matter what the social benefits.

                  * groan *
                  (would this be a reason the Egyptians still have cojones to fight for what they believe in - even against other Egyptians - while "the free and brave Americans" don't move a muscle at the news NSA knows their every shit? I wonder which of the two would be better for their respective society on medium/longer term?)

    • by WaffleMonster (969671) on Wednesday July 17, 2013 @06:54PM (#44312923)

      What must be going through the minds of this poor woman's parents? Is that pain worth a shock to an increasingly cynical population? This was beyond the pale, and does corrupt public morals by desensitizing people to murder. The owner of the site deserves these charges.

      See the problem here is others get to use the very same words to justify banning of a great number of tasteless things such as horror flicks, gratuitious violence in every movie worth seeing and public service announcements consisting of little kids taking great joy in dismembering a certain purple dinosaur.

      It always comes down to your personally shocked by obscene behavior of others therefore you feeling justified in taking that logical leap therefore such behavior ought to be illegal.

      I personally would feel better if rotton.com and every fucked up chick who digs that shit where fed to sharks... except the price of freedom is such that I must tolerate all manner of distasteful assholes in this country. When you take tolerance away the cure is worse than the disease. There are plenty of countries which enforce decency and respect thru state sanctioned violence you could move to if you felt so compelled.

      • by sirwired (27582) on Wednesday July 17, 2013 @07:38PM (#44313231)

        We know, when watching a horror film, that real people did not die to make the movie. Showing the death of a real person as "entertainment" is a different matter entirely.

        Does it cross the line? I don't know. It would make an interesting test case; if it was porn instead, it would seem to be over the line established in the Miller test.

      • Your argument holds true for a special effects fest movie or video.

        This was neither.

        It was video of the aftermath of an actual, honest to God someone died MURDER.

      • by quantaman (517394) on Wednesday July 17, 2013 @08:14PM (#44313475)

        What must be going through the minds of this poor woman's parents? Is that pain worth a shock to an increasingly cynical population? This was beyond the pale, and does corrupt public morals by desensitizing people to murder. The owner of the site deserves these charges.

        See the problem here is others get to use the very same words to justify banning of a great number of tasteless things such as horror flicks, gratuitious violence in every movie worth seeing and public service announcements consisting of little kids taking great joy in dismembering a certain purple dinosaur.

        It always comes down to your personally shocked by obscene behavior of others therefore you feeling justified in taking that logical leap therefore such behavior ought to be illegal.

        I personally would feel better if rotton.com and every fucked up chick who digs that shit where fed to sharks... except the price of freedom is such that I must tolerate all manner of distasteful assholes in this country. When you take tolerance away the cure is worse than the disease. There are plenty of countries which enforce decency and respect thru state sanctioned violence you could move to if you felt so compelled.

        This is a video of a real murder and dismemberment done in the most gruesome way possible. There's no artistic, political, or cultural value in this video, it's just horribly shocking.

        It basically comes down to this. If you believe in absolutely unfettered free speech than this video is allowed.

        If you believe in any decency restrictions at all, then this video is probably out.

        I don't agree with these charges or decency restrictions on speech, though I'd order it pulled on the grounds it shows an actual person's body being dismembered, but I think this video is so far beyond anything else that you can ban it and leave the rest of the disturbing stuff untouched.

    • by elucido (870205) on Wednesday July 17, 2013 @06:55PM (#44312929)

      There are some things simply beyond the pale in any decent society. Entertaining people through showing a grisly, cruel murder can do nothing but harm the family, friends, and love ones of the victim. It has absolutely no political, educational, moral effect, nor any deterrent to any crime. It has no value whatsoever to shock and delight those deranged enough to view a heinous act.

      The Framers had clear reasons for promoting freedom of speech, primarily to serve the political health of the nation by fostering free debate. And yes, they came from a society that still had public executions, some of which were (in England at least) just as brutal as this crime as more. But they did not create freedom of speech to promote sheer depravity. Laws exist in the context of their society, even what we consider natural law, and there are some things that a society has every damn right to ban - child pornography, and yes, showing a murder for fun.

      What must be going through the minds of this poor woman's parents? Is that pain worth a shock to an increasingly cynical population? This was beyond the pale, and does corrupt public morals by desensitizing people to murder. The owner of the site deserves these charges.

      Fuck censorshp. A lot of stuff on the Internet can torment people for years. It's not like anything else gets deleted from the Internet.
      This is about one group of people how another group of people can be allowed to think. If you don't like Gore then don't go to the site.

    • by Qzukk (229616) on Wednesday July 17, 2013 @07:06PM (#44313013) Journal

      But they did not create freedom of speech to promote sheer depravity.

      And yet if you give governments the power to ban things because they are "depraved" suddenly everyone despised by the people in power are all depraved. Funny you mentioned banning child porn, it seems that every time some government comes up with a new child porn blocklist, people find examples of exactly this misplaced label of "depravity", so you can't claim this doesn't happen.

      The founders gave the government limited powers for a reason. The governments of their time took every mile they could from every inch they could force their subjects to give, and the governments of our time are no different.

    • This happened in Canada. But your point is valid when discussing this from a U.S. point of view. But to contrast the two countries we can look at key phrases in both countries' constitutions. In the U.S.A. you have, "Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness." In Canada, the analogous phrase is: "Peace, Order and Good Government." Not quite the same. This can help explain some of the differences between the two countries. And FWIW, the latter phrasing is used by a number of Commonwealth countries. In Canada it is written into the constitution. And like I said, Canada's laws allow less freedom of speech than in the U.S.; which I stridently disagree with. But all said, and in spite of that, I do agree with you. :)
    • by MacDork (560499) on Wednesday July 17, 2013 @10:20PM (#44314227) Journal

      There are some things simply beyond the pale in any decent society. Entertaining people through showing a grisly, cruel murder can do nothing but harm the family, friends, and love ones of the victim. It has absolutely no political, educational, moral effect, nor any deterrent to any crime.

      You're right. If my dad was brutally murdered on video, I would not want everyone in the world gawking at it for a cheap thrill. So has Canada asked youtube to take down all those grisly 9/11 videos [youtube.com] yet? Oh, yeah, forgot... Hipocracy. "We must never forget!" Sick bastards watching people fall to their deaths, over and over again.

  • by jfdavis668 (1414919) on Wednesday July 17, 2013 @06:35PM (#44312771)
    When I read the headline, the first thing I thought of was Al Gore.
  • by Nutria (679911) on Wednesday July 17, 2013 @06:36PM (#44312775)

    that it took more than a year to develop?

    • by SolemnLord (775377) on Wednesday July 17, 2013 @07:13PM (#44313051)

      that it took more than a year to develop?

      A whole lot of things:
      1. As the summary mentioned, the various parts of Jun Li were mailed to political parties and schools, which means that at least some time would have to be taken ensuring everything "matched"
      2. At the same time, if I recall, there was another dismembered body (or just regular body) being found in the Montreal area, so the police had to determine whether or not that was tied to the other crime
      3. Magnotta fled the country and was eventually caught in Germany (which is an interesting story [theglobeandmail.com] in and of itself).
      4. Pre-trial hearing 5. Magnotta's been under psychiatric care while the courts decide whether or not he's fit for trial

      That's some of the big reasons, off the top of my head.

  • Singularly (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Mikkeles (698461) on Wednesday July 17, 2013 @06:38PM (#44312797)

    The only people here with corrupt morals are the police and the politicians who passed this law.

  • Not appropriate?!? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ackthpt (218170) on Wednesday July 17, 2013 @06:40PM (#44312815) Homepage Journal

    I once lived near Canada and admired the view that anything related to an upcoming trial be kept out of the news. Where it's treated like entertainment or tantalizing marketing in the United States, it's good to see Canada believes the public should not be forming opinions based upon partial evidence or hearsay.

    Looks to my untrained eye like the site operator was violating this ban, beyond simply poor taste.

    • by quantaman (517394) on Wednesday July 17, 2013 @08:05PM (#44313425)

      I don't think the publication ban is relevant here. In practice publication bans only affect the media and don't bother blogs that much, plus the video detailed Magnotta even being identified as the killer.

      The site was a really twisted gore website that Magnotta frequented (I recall hearing that he'd freaked out even website members and they'd contacted the police on previous occasions). After Magnotta killed Lin he sent the video to the website of him doing really bad things to the body (I don't think Lin was killed on camera). The operator posted the video and then he (or other site members) contacted the police about the video.

  • by Comrade Ogilvy (1719488) on Wednesday July 17, 2013 @07:31PM (#44313179)
    Here is a case where property rights gives us a reasonable answer. The victim never gave consent to be filmed during his murder, the film was made under duress. Those choosing to propagate the film can be presumed to recognize that. Yet they chose to attempt to profit by selling manifestly stolen property. Throw them in jail.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 17, 2013 @08:58PM (#44313779)

      This might sound crass, posting anon.

      I watched the phone-line guy video where he was beheaded by terrorists during the Iraq war. I didn't enjoy what I saw, but doing so seemed important to help understand the pit of depravity that humans can succumb to.

      As a young teenager (far to young, but I had free reign at the video rental place via a signed paper saying I could rent all but the porno - which I found in my dads sock drawer...), I watched the Faces of Death series of videos. The money brain scene is fixed in my mind, as is the execution by firing squad. One can learn a lot about being decent and civil from scenes of gross violence.

      I believe that grotesque images of violence and even death should be seen, in order to help us understand how precious life is. It is easy to take a life, and to leave the path of despair it causes.

      What about war footage, showing soldiers killed and maimed on the battlefield (WW2, Korea). What of the numerous videos of US helicopters fire bombing villages during Vietnam? The death isn't obvious in the fireballs. Seeing death up front is much more powerful. The images of Hiroshima children are chilling, but very important:
      https://www.google.com/search?q=hiroshima+child&client=firefox-a&hs=jay&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&channel=np&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=5DvnUfvlIsSbqwHB8YDICg&ved=0CC0QsAQ&biw=1920&bih=968 [google.com]

      Savage acts require savage justice. But making savage acts available for viewing, not so much in my opinion. Reality, as horrific as is can be, is just reality. Choose not to watch if you wish, but understand, that for some, it is a learning experience about evil.

      My eyes and person have witnessed events worse than death from the pain and torture of a terrible disease. Death would have been, and eventually was, welcomed. It should have come sooner, and would have, if not for the modern medical system and it's "miracles".

    • The mere fact that the victim is in the film does not imply that the victim owns the film. The property right argument works the other way: whoever owns the film has the right to share it with others.

      There are laws regarding the use of someone's image without a model release, but they aren't based on (or even consistent with) property rights.

  • by sirwired (27582) on Wednesday July 17, 2013 @07:31PM (#44313193)

    If this were to occur in the US, would a prosecution under obscenity laws be legal?

    The bar is high, but compared with other things subject to the law, (i.e. the "Miller" test applied to pornography) this would seem to cross it.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 17, 2013 @09:09PM (#44313835)

    You should note that Canada has less free speech than in America (we have 'hate crime laws'),

    From the Charter of Rights and Freedoms:

    2. Everyone has the following fundamental freedoms:
    (a) freedom of conscience and religion;
    (b) freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression, including freedom of the press and other media of communication;
    (c) freedom of peaceful assembly; and
    (d) freedom of association.

    We have the exact same free speech rights as the US.

    • by saihung (19097) on Wednesday July 17, 2013 @09:15PM (#44313859)

      Not to mention that he doesn't understand the concept of "hate crimes," which are not about speech but motivation.

    • by dryeo (100693) on Thursday July 18, 2013 @01:19AM (#44314987)

      You should note that Canada has less free speech than in America (we have 'hate crime laws'),

      From the Charter of Rights and Freedoms:

      2. Everyone has the following fundamental freedoms:
      (a) freedom of conscience and religion;
      (b) freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression, including freedom of the press and other media of communication;
      (c) freedom of peaceful assembly; and
      (d) freedom of association.

      We have the exact same free speech rights as the US.

      Section 1 places some limits on our rights,

      1. The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms guarantees the rights and freedoms set out in it subject only to such reasonable limits prescribed by law as can be demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society.

      Note that in practice America does the same with their Bill of Rights, which is why child porn is illegal down there.

  • by Cito (1725214) on Wednesday July 17, 2013 @09:29PM (#44313953) Homepage

    The video is still hosted at the alternative sites and the larger more popular sites

    http://theync.com/ [theync.com]
    http://www.documentingreality.com/forum/ [documentingreality.com]
    http://www.ogrishforum.com/ [ogrishforum.com]

    and others,

    they all still have the video up as well as fresh meat daily :P

  • by Beeftopia (1846720) on Wednesday July 17, 2013 @09:46PM (#44314043)

    Grisly, grotesque, dripping reality. It's the thing that science strives to accurately describe.

    Reality is a multi-faceted thing, like a diamond.

    Reality ranges from whimsical and happy, to joyous, to mournful, to horrific to grisly. The Internet just allows you to see what you previously could not. If you don't want to look at the whole of it, don't. But don't force it to be hidden from the rest of us. That would be deceptive.

    There are some very unpleasant truths out there.

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