A Canadian record company backing a controversial punk rock band called DayGlo Abortions was cleared of obscenity charges in a landmark decision Thursday.
Fringe Product Inc. of Toronto and its distribution arm, Record Peddler, were found innocent of possession of obscene material and possession for the purpose of distributing.
After more than nine hours of deliberation, the jury returned a not-guilty verdict in the charges that involved two of the band’s albums, titled “Feed Us a Fetus, America” and “Here Today, Guano Tomorrow,” which have sold about 20,000 copies.
Charges were brought by police in suburban Ottawa two years ago after an officer found his daughter listening to one of the DayGlo records at home.
It is the first time a record manufacturer had been prosecuted under obscenity provisions written into Canada’s Criminal Code in 1959, and the case was closely watched by the country’s recording industry.
The defense asked the jury in the trial that began Monday to consider whether the lyrics offended moral standards in Canadian society.