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What “Stuff” was on Judge Kozinski’s Personal Website?

Judge Alex Kozinski: The Skunk hit the fanAn aggrieved attorney encouraged the LA Times to discover pornographic material on the website of a respected Appeals Court Judge who is presiding over a federal case of a filmmaker accused of distributing “criminally obscene” videos depicting bestiality and defecation. While the Times described the pornographic content found on the personal website of Alex Kozinski, chief judge of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, as including a photo of naked women on all fours painted to look like cows, a video of a half-dressed man cavorting with a sexually aroused farm animal, images of masturbation and public and contortionist sex, a slide show striptease featuring a transsexual, a series of photos of women’s crotches as seen through snug fitting clothing or underwear, and content with themes of defecation and urination, the Times did not reveal the specific URL of the material or display the described images so that readers could form their own opinion about their characterization. has been able to partially recreate the content which was described by Judge Kozinski, known for his often outlandish sense of humor, as “funny… odd and interesting… part of life”. The hundred plus files constitute the type of “viral videos” and images that are commonly circulated among men of a certain humor by email. Very few appear to contain any nudity and those that do present it in the context of humor (though the type of humor that may arouse the enmity of some feminists and moral fundamentalists). The files are no longer available to be downloaded from what is now claimed to have been the Kozinski family computer, so we have provided several images that were reportedly captured from the server by the Times’ tipster in December, 2007 and others which internet archival services indicate resided on the server in the recent past. In addition, links are provided to google search results which contain files whose names, and therefore content, are similar to those that existed on the server:

Files Described but not Shown by LA Times

kozinski bush kozinski cow girl women kozinski priest kozinski image

kozinski mastrubation kozinski defecation man or woman quiz

Described by the LA Times as a video “of a half-dressed man cavorting with a sexually aroused farm animal” and by the San Francisco Chronicle as a “bestiality” video. Described by Judge Kozinski’s wife, attorney Marcy Tiffany, as a video “of a man trying to relieve himself in a field when he is attacked by a donkey he fights off with one hand while trying to hold up his pants with the other”.

CamelToe2.wmv: Believed to be the file CamelToe2.wmv captured in directory archive described by the LA Times as containing “photos of womens crotches in snug-fitting clothing”.

Videos not mentioned by LA Times: bad_date.wmv, funny-cats-2.wmv, Whywomenhatesports_2.wmv, SmartestKidinClass.wmv, and harrasment_1.wmv.

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File Directory (links to similar “viral” files)

sfo.mp4 bambi.flv
moscow.DOC consent.htm
lehrer.rtf cameltoe.htm
Fridays.wmv jump.avi
japanese.wmv lights.wmv
optical.pps yaser.wmv
Memo.roma.pdf SNL-DeNiro.wmv
Monthly_Man.wmv georgewwhathe.wmv
PoolLifeGuard.wmv GreatestMovieLine.wmv
DUI-TEST-SCOTTISH.wmv harmonic.motion.eml
whymomscan_tdoyoga.wmv Apr_6_RushLimbaugh.wmv
hard.days.night.yiddish.wmv jaylobj.wmv
slingshot.wmv ATT-History.wmv
MonkeyJoke.wmv upside.down.wmv
BBCCopsUndies.wmv DoninoPoolFinal.wmv
100movies.wmv TheMansong.pps
siguemiteta.swf flying_grandma.wmv
isitmanisitwoman.pps 3rdWorldBombSquad.wmv
honda.commercial.html testicle.interview.wmv
deaf.ultimate.karakoke.wmv TurkishGillette.wmv
ATM_THEFTS.pps XmasKangaroo.wmv BanningJo.wmv
w_zales_ad1.wmv profreading.wmv
ringmybell3555.wmv Disappointment.wmv
Whatdoyousee_1.pps GarageDoorOpener.wmv
COMPUTERENHANCEMENTS.doc videodelmese_Yoga.wmv
BritishAmbassadorLetter.doc Flowchartofgettingsome.pps
SNL-SuspectedbertDeNiro.wmv St.Marteen1.pps
harrasment_1.wmv piss_diver.wmv
funny-cats-2.wmv menciaMountain.wmv
BestWomanDriver.wmv TheformulaofSex.pps
CaughtOnFilm_21.wmv ArrestedTexasStyle.wmv
MorningAfter-BeerCommercial.wmv deafkaraoke.wmv
Howtoputonabra.wmv passcontrol.wmv
divorce.doc1.pdf edwards.pretty.wmv
MedicalAlert11.doc singingrabbi.wmv
ParkingExpert1.wmv john.mccain.sings.wmv
MercedesCommercial.wmv headache-cure-56.wmv
BadDayAtTheRodeo_1.WMV chinesemassproduction.wmv
so_where_did_you_guys_last_have_sex.wmv Where_the_sun_don_t_shine.wmv
cellphone.karma.wmv news%20report%20from%20Iraq.wmv
wife%20joke%20breaking_news.pdf printe.wmv
WhyIQuitCourtReporting.wmv SmartestKidinClass.wmv
Ford_Police_Chase_1.wmv terraboots.wmv
Need%20glasses.wmv Whywomenhatesports_2.wmv
borrowthecar.wmv cellphones_1.wmv
bad_date.wmv SneakyDog.wmv
WineOpener.wmv ItalianChewingGum.wmv
TellYourFriend_1.wmv brahmabeer.wmv captain_.wmv
smartguy.wmv toyota%20ac.wmv
Howtoputonabra.wmv Momsaysok.wmv
beer.voodoo.wmv glasses.wmv
VideoPhone.wmv hamashiyach-duracell.wmv
beercaps.WMV Alwaysletherspeakfirst1.wmv molson_score.wmv
spartacus1_hi.wmv beer.wmv
MercedesE-class.wmv Accolo-Rethink-Recruiting.wmv
learn.english.wmv Keta-Keta.wmv video.message.wmv
Mercedes-beauty-brains.wmv strip-poker.wmv Travesurasporcelular.wmv
OPTICIAN.wmv bunker.wmv
SprintCrime.wmv leather.wmv
TheNewGuy1.wmv wedding_ring.wmv
cameltoe.htm CamelToe2.wmv

Soure: Yahoo! Site Explorer

The judge, of course, is being attacked for actively curating and storing this material on a computer that, it is reasonable to assume, was accidentally exposed to public access. California Senator Dianne Feinstein, whose constituents include the world’s most prolific producers of R and X rated films but who probably couldn’t recognize the humorous similarities between an even-toed ungulate and a particular part of female anatomy, along with many casual readers of the LA Times story, have reflexively determined that the distinguished jurist’s behavior was “inappropriate”. Others insert that his behavior violates copyright laws. We differ.

Not only is the context of the file storage acceptable “fair use”, but if the trial is about the definition of “criminally obscene”, we don’t believe the judge should be recused from the trial any more than a judge should be who isn’t aware of the popularity of such material. For example, should a judge who subscribes to the LA Times be necessarily recused from a trial involving a claim against a newspaper? Afterall, a judge who is a warm-blooded male with a sense of humor, and perhaps prone to an occasional purient indulgence like the rest of us makes him more likely to maintain impartiality over a matter involving judgments about “community standards” of decency. Judge Kozinski is no less able to be objective on the application of community standards to an indecency determination for taking amusement in such images than is a judge who is unaware that such media routinely circulates in the community’s email boxes and web browsers.

On the other hand, the one problem we do have with the Kozinski as relates to this affair is his view that the simple act of making copyright files available for downloading constitutes copyright infringement. He should now realize how easy it is for files to be placed in directories that unintentionally have the effect of making them “available for download”– as is often the case with users of P2P software like LimeWire– and that such availability alone should no more amount to infringement than his (or his son’s) file management discipline should amount to distributing pornography.

UPDATE: As far as the province of the LA Times and it’s tipster for having discovered these images to begin with, we see do not view their having done so as an invasion of privacy for reasons outlined in a response to Stanford Law professor Lawrence Lessig’s assertion that these acts did constitute a trespass of sorts. As such, feels it proper– in fact necessary– to publish these images in order to better inform the public debate about the result controversy.

UPDATE: Justice was cowed. Judge Kozinski recused himself from the obscenity case. How similar were the videos on his website and the images involved in the government’s case against artist Ira Isaac? Judge for yourself. Compare the images posted on the Kozinski website to those from the videos the government claims are criminally obscene.

See what other bloggers have to say about the affair.

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9 Comments so far

  1. Cyrus Sanai on June 12, 2008 8:27 am

    I’m the guy who found the site. The image you show at the top of the article was not one of the ones on Judge Kozinski’s site when I copied its contents. Of the list of videos mentioned, there appear to be about 20 matches of file titles; but there was a lot of material on his site that you do not list. So good guesswork, for someone who did not have access to his directory.

    Cyrus Sanai

  2. Respected Judge Posts Sex Images Online - California Labor and Employment Law on June 12, 2008 2:53 pm

    […] some enterprising soul managed to save and catalogue some of the embarrassing images and videos. Celebrity Justice has them up at their website. Warning: only those who are 18 years old or older should view the […]

  3. Obscenity trial on hold after judge’s website was found to contain… obscenity! | John-Wright.Net on June 12, 2008 8:39 pm

    […] judge at the centre of this story, see the California Lawyer profile entitled Just Being Kozinski. Click here to see some of the photos on the site (NSFW) and click here for an update from the San Francisco […]

  4. Patrick on June 13, 2008 1:24 am

    This stuff isn’t porn. He has collected a bunch of comedy files that are adult in nature. This stuff is just backgound noise compared to what he is about to see in his court room.

  5. Even Judges Cause Themselves Problems Online « The Harry Thomas Hackney, P.A. Florida Law Blawg on June 13, 2008 4:31 am

    […] of conflict of interest.  Actual examples of the materials on the Judge’s website are available here. (Warning: Contains some NSFW […]

  6. steve on June 13, 2008 2:08 pm

    You’ve hit the nail on the head. The 9th circuit can’t have it both ways. Either “making available” is infringement, and Kozinski is liable for statutory damages of $150,000 per copyrighted file- or it isn’t, and he isn’t, and neither are any of the poor bastards getting sued by the record industry.

  7. Justice Cowed: How “obscene” were the videos Kozinski’s recused himself from the case over? : Celebrity Justice on June 13, 2008 9:53 pm

    […] necessary was this recusal?  Our opinion, as previously described, is that the judges awareness of run-of-the-mill “viral humor” made him more likely to […]

  8. Seth Finkelstein on June 13, 2008 11:44 pm

    Readers might be interested in my blog post:

    How “” worked

    I’ve found an old HTML letter from Kozinski which indicates he knew people could retrieve files from the site, even from the “/stuff” directory. I speculate that he thought they needed specific filenames.

  9. USLaw on July 2, 2009 5:21 pm

    A panel of Third Circuit judges reviewing this matter “admonished” Judge Kozinski for failing to secure his web server and held:

    [Kozinski] explained and admitted his error; apologized for it, recognizing its impact on the judiciary; and committed to changing his conduct to avoid any recurrence of the error. The offending material has been removed and will be destroyed. The Judge’s 35 acknowledgment of responsibility combined with the corrective actions he has already completed or has committed to pursue and his apology, along with our admonishment, made public in this opinion, properly “remed[y] the problems raised by the complaint.” Rule 11(d)(2). Accordingly, this proceeding is properly concluded. We find that “all of the purposes of the judicial misconduct provisions are fully served” by this result.

    Full opinion.

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