Is the Shit About to Hit the Fan…..
Well, it looks like it already has, it’s just a question of how far it’s going to splatter. Sorry, I know that’s not a pretty analogy, but what’s happening right now with the U.S. Government regarding the Adult Industry is pretty damn nasty!
On Tuesday Attorney General Alberto Gonzales announced he has signed a final rule updating the labeling and record-keeping law, 18 USC 2257. What changes have been made is yet to be announced, but before leaving office John Ashcroft came up with an original proposal of changes and boy were some of them far-fetched!
Basically, for those who don’t know 18 USC 2257 is the law that all adult producers in the U.S. must adhere to when filming or photographing adults engaged in sexual activity. In simple terms it requires verification of age through proper identification of all participants. These records and copies of ID are required to be kept by a ‘Custodian of Records’ who shall be made available during specific hours just in case the Feds want to check them out. The name of the ‘Custodian of Records’ and the physical address of where these records are maintained must be provided on ALL adult websites hosted in the U.S. If for example, I maintain a website where I buy content from other producers to exhibit on my site, I must list the actual producers ‘Custodian of Records’ and information on my site. No big deal right, this law has been in effect for almost 10 years in the adult industry and based on reports from AVN there have only been 4 cases of falsified information (fake I.D.’s of underage actors/actresses) ever reported and that goes as far back as the Tracy Lords incident. The intent of this law is to protect minors from being exploited, and anyone involved in the adult industry would agree thats a good thing. Of course, producers of child porn aren’t following these rules, but then again they’re not trying to pretend the children they exploit are adults either.
Now, here’s the concern over the proposed changes and what’s upsetting most people in the adult industry. The law could possibly be changed to also include secondary producers being required to maintain these records. What exactly does that mean…well, if I’m a content buyer I would under this change be required to keep the same records on file as the person who produced the original content. So when I buy a photo set from a photographer I get all the models personal and confidential information all to myself! Doesn’t sound very safe to be a model anymore, does it?
Personally, I shoot a lot of pornography, and I keep a lot of records. I’ve got the personal information and copies of ID’s from some of your favorite girls in the industry. They know me and worked with me personally, and realize when we work together they have to provide this information before any production takes place. Their records are kept locked and secured and exactly like I’m required by the law which I follow to the ‘T’ but under these proposed new changes even if I put together a thumbnail gallery to promote this content on another website I will have to provide the owner of the gallery site with the model’s personal information which he will also be required to keep on file.
That’s really just one of the problems with the original proposed changes, but possibly the scariest for people working in the industry. No producer wants to be giving out the personal information of anyone in the industry, talk about a stalker’s wet dream! This is a serious safety issue and if the new changes include this proposal it proves the current administration doesn’t care if they put someone’s personal well being in jeopardy as long as it helps them with their desire of doing away with adult entertainment while using the false cover of “protecting children”. How the fuck is this protecting child, and why does a law that seems to be working need to be changed. Ultimately, the only answer I can come up with is it’s just another way of trying to scare consenting adults from getting involved in the adult industry.
Luckily we have the Free Speech Coalition fighting for us! They have announced plans to challenge the Justice Departments’ new rules once they have been released. I’ve not gone into details on all the changes, for example under this new law it’s possible a producer could go to jail for 5 years if these records aren’t properly maintained…regardless if everyone in your production is obviously over the age of 18. The actual proposal of how the records must be maintained is a nightmare, but I’m focusing on just one of the changes to show you just how ridiculous the DOJ is being and how they could care less about the safety of a hard-working, tax-paying citizen as long as he/she chooses to be in the LEGAL profession of adult entertainment.
Ultimately this affects you as a person who enjoys watching porn. If the law goes into effect as it was originally written, free TGP’s in the U.S. will probably go away for good. Basically, a webmaster located in the U.S. won’t even be able to place a banner on his/her site showing the sexual activity of consenting adults unless they have the records and documentation proving that the individuals in the banner are of legal age. Sorry Alberto, but this is taking things a little bit too far and I’m sure as long as the FSC can pay for the fight many of the changes will be proven as unconstitutional much less burdensome, and absolutely worthless! I’ll keep you posted on what happens!