Currently, in the USA it is clearly illegal to produce porn that resembles a real child, even if no child was exploited to produce it -- despite the fact that purely fictional (e.g., drawn) erotica featuring underage characters is still only of dubious legality. There are justifiable reasons for this.
For those who do not want this type of search query to be in their history, have a link:
If my reading is correct, images that are fictional, and appear fictional to a reasonable person - inferred by me through a number of law courses and not directly stated in the link, are not illegal. Drawings should be fine. CGI, maybe, depending on how easily it is distinguished as being fictional.
>Currently, such depictions are in a legal grey area due to parts of the PROTECT Act being ruled unconstitutional on a federal level; however, laws regulating lolicon and shotacon differs between states; several states have laws that explicitly prohibit cartoon pornography and similar depictions (such as video games in the state of New Jersey), while others usually have only vague laws on such content; in some states, such as California, such depictions specifically do not fall under state child pornography laws, while the state of Utah explicitly bans it.
My inexpert opinion would be that those laws would be ruled unconstitutional, but my opinion is absolutely not an expert opinion. While I have taken numerous legal courses and have a decent familiarity with law, I am not a lawyer.
I will also add that not only am I not a lawyer, I'm not your lawyer and the above isn't legal advice. Consult a qualified legal representative, in the appropriate jurisdiction, if you need to.
That said, some areas have some pretty tough obscenity laws that are still on the books. When challenged as a free speech issue, they tend to fall - even though the law may still remain on the books and people still get prosecuted.
Florida has at least one such law and they have lost in front of the SCOTUS but still use the law. More recently, it was used to charge the folks who make the overtly degrading porn. They actor does stuff like write on then with lipstick, spit on them, etc... They used the law to charge them, though people have previously appealed that law to the higher courts and won their appeal.
I'm not actually sure how they get away with that?
I don't understand the problem. Let's assume that no real images are used as input to the artificial child image creation process. So what if it looks like your child? That is mere coincidence, and doesn't seem to me to be reason why it should be illegal to possess or produce.
>There are justifiable reasons for this.
Can you please elaborate on what these are, or where I can read about what they are? So far, the reasons I have been given and those that I have seen used for example in England when laws were being created (the CAJA 2009 law) have been poor reasons and unjustifiable restriction of freedom of expression in my view.