My Case Histories:
Consultant, Little Sisters Book and Art Emporium v. Commissioner of Customs and Revenue and Minister of National Revenue - S.C.B.C. Action No. L020443, Canada, 2003-2004
I've been meaning to make a little database of this case law history, so I can find it when I get asked about them from time to time.
The photo is by Joel Levine, of our underground high school newspaper, The Red Tide, rolling off the web press. The Red Tide was frequently seized and confiscated by high school admins, who also expelled or suspended our writers. That's why we sued them, and that began my first experience as a plaintiff.
The Little Sisters experience began because Canadian customs was seizing and destroying small press gay, lesbian, and feminist work that US publishers and authors shipped to Canadian bookstores. My books were among many titles seized, as well as the magazine I edited, On Our Backs. It was so draconian that OOBers used to smuggle our zine across the border in a car, as "tourists." CAN customs, ironically, used statutes cultivated by feminists Dworkin/MacKinnon legal policy to ban our work. Little Sisters is a radical gay and very activist bookstore in Vancouver with a history of pressing for justice in sexual speech--- many authors and publishers got involved in their legal struggle... Ask a gay or sex author from 80s or 90s about this case, and they'll have a war story!
The COPA suit, brought by ACLU in coalition with about every public-interest bookseller and publisher around, was a response to the early Internet hysteria that the Web was run by child-molesters. The government was considering scrapping the First Amendment for new technology, but happily, we prevailed. My web site was used as an exhibit of material that passed the Miller Test that would be illegal if COPA became the law of the land.