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October 23rd, 2007

2257 Update

2257 Legislation

From XBiz:
6th Circuit Court of Appeals Rules 2257 Unconstitutional
“The 6th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled today that the federal record-keeping statute 18 U.S.C. 2257 is unconstitutional, holding that the law is overbroad and facially invalid.

Attorney Lawrence Walters told XBIZ that the court’s opinion, while a very significant victory, is not the final word on the question of 2257’s constitutionality and cautioned that adult webmasters should not view it as the end of their 2257 concerns.

“Generally, you have to be very careful with reacting too rashly to any opinion,” Walters said. “This is a panel ruling, and it is not final. The government could ask for an en banc rehearing by the full circuit, and they can appeal the decision.”

Walters also noted that the decision only applies to the portion of the U.S. that is covered by the 6th Circuit – namely, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio and Tennessee.”

To the average porn consumer 2257 may not mean much. But for people in the adult industry this is major news.

From Fleshbot:
Breaking: 2257 Is “Unconstitutional”
“As we’ve explained, 2257 was a piece of law that was added to the Adam Walsh Child Obscenity Act of 1988. Ostensibly “for the children”, it put a good number of law abiding porn businesses out of business, did nothing to protect any children, and made it seem as though anything could be “sexually explicit conduct”. Let’s just hope that if push comes to shove after this and it’s taken up on review, our *cough* open-minded Supreme Court jutsices care more about the First Amendment than using strongarm tactics to intimidate law-abiding porn makers—and that someone reminds them that last time we checked, it’s still legal to make porn here in the good old US of A.”

Constitutionally Correct:
6th Circuit: Record Keeping Requirements for Producers of Sexually Explicit Images Held Unconstitutional
“The court held the law “facially invalid,” because it requires all producers and not just commercial producers of pornography to keep records. It found that, on it’s face, the law applies to even married couples photographing themselves in sexual poses. Thus, the court said, it would require those couples to keep records of the actors and actresses and affix a statement on the photos indicating where the records may be found. Also, the court said the couples must make the records available to law enforcement “during normal business hours.” This interpretation of the law seems quite a stretch from that intended by Congress which targeted the commercial producers of adult pornography who used girls under the age of 18 in hardcore films.”

From Slashdot:
Court Strikes Down Age Verification For Adult Sites
“How Appealing reports that a court has struck down age verification requirements for porn sites, as a First Amendment violation. Here is the ruling (PDF). While the average reader here has never been to such a site, porn has been a driving force in the economics and technology of the Net. The age verification requirements of U.S.C. Title 18, Section 2257 were yet another attempt to regulate to death what the government can’t outright prohibit. The requirements intruded on the privacy and safety of performers and created headaches for sites like flickr and photobucket that host images. It is has long been thought that the requirements wouldn’t hold up in court, but this is the first actual ruling.”

Posted by Vixen as News, Activism at 11:50 PM CDT

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