1The Honorable Nanette K. Laughrey, United States District Judge for the
Western District of Missouri.
United States Court of Appeals
FOR THE EIGHTH CIRCUIT
United States of America,
* Appeal from the United States
* District Court for the
* Western District of Missouri.
Walter E. Sewell, also known as
Submitted: November 13, 2007
Filed: January 17, 2008
Before WOLLMAN, JOHN R. GIBSON, and BENTON, Circuit Judges.
WOLLMAN, Circuit Judge.
Walter E. Sewell was charged, inter alia, with publishing or causing to be
published a notice that offered to distribute child pornography in violation of 18
U.S.C. § 2251(d)(1)(A). Sewell filed a motion to dismiss for failure to state an
offense. The district court1 denied the motion, and Sewell appeals. We affirm.
2This count was charged by information after Sewell waived his right to be
proceeded against by indictment.
Sewell admits that he acquired and distributed child pornography using a peer-
to-peer file-sharing program called Kazaa. Kazaa is a computer program that connects
a computer to other computers on which the Kazaa program is also running. Kazaa’s
purpose is to allow users to download each other’s shared files. The Kazaa program
allows the user to designate which folders—and therefore which files—on his
computer are shared with other Kazaa users. Each shared file has several descriptive
fields that are viewable by other Kazaa users. These fields generally describe the
file’s contents and can be edited by a file’s possessor. Kazaa makes each user’s
shared files discoverable to other users by allowing any user to perform a keyword
search of the descriptive fields of all shared files. Files with descriptive fields
containing the search term are listed for the searcher, who can then see all the
descriptive fields for each file on the list. Based on these descriptions, the searcher
decides which of the available