Years after his death, John Wayne sells beer in television commercials. Eons after their extinction, lifelike dinosaurs continue to terrorize actors and thrill moviegoers. The highest- grossing film of all time4 employs "virtual" passengers aboard the Titanic, worrying some members of the Screen Actors Guild. All of these feats have been accomplished using sophisticated computer graphics software that blurs the distinction between imagination and reality. This manipulative digital power has raised concerns about such things as "digital kidnapping," the unauthorized misuse of digital images. For example, such digital misuse could include, as intellectual property professor Joseph Beard notes, "a star showing up in a porn flick that they hadn't intended to make." In this digital age, however, such photographic manipulation is no longer reserved for the major Hollywood studios. Practically any home-computer user can create photorealistic images that are virtually indistinguishable from actual photographs. The potential for misuse of this technology is obvious.
Wade T. Anderson,
Criminalizing "Virtual" Child Pornography Under the Child Pornography Prevention Act: Is it Really What it "Appears to Be?",
U. Rich. L. Rev.
Available at: http://scholarship.richmond.edu/lawreview/vol35/iss2/6