Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Fair Use, 2257, and Double Standards: A response and challenge to NoPornNorthampton

Adam Cohen of NoPornNorthampton dropped by to comment here recently. As much as I vehemently disagree with NPNH and their allies, on many levels and on many issues, I do welcome his willingness to come by and debate. I will note that this blog is always open to those critical of our position. Likewise, I challenge Adam Cohen and others in the anti-porn blogosphere to show the courage of their convictions and do the same, something they are often not open to doing.

To start out with, Adam Cohen has posted a response to Renegade Evolution's long-standing contention that the anti-porn slideshow used by Stop Porn Culture and similar material on anti-porn websites (including NPNH), which show explicit pornographic images in order to critique them, are in violation of Federal "2257" documentation laws. Cohen counters that the legislation contains a clear exemption for "noncommercial or educational distribution" of such material, basically allowing a "fair use" exemption to 2257.

(At this point, I also want to point to an excellent post on this subject by Elizabeth at Sex in the Public Square. Elizabeth also respectfully takes issue with some of Ren's contentions about fair use and 2257.)

I think a lot of this debate flounders on confusion as to what the legal status of 2257 is at this point, having been amended and greatly expanded last year, only to be struck down in the Sixth Circuit Court. So what is actually covered by 2257 at the moment is unclear.

The original version of 2257 did not have broad application to "secondary producers", however, the amended version did. The "educational" exemption that NPNH cites may very well be in effect per the original version, however, "secondary producer" provisions in the amended legislation call this into question.

Adam Cohen accuses us of trying to censor anti-porn speech. That's not the intention of any of the writers at this site (or any other sex-positive activist site that I can think of). While I can't speak for everybody here, I'm actually very against the amendments to 2257, BUT, if this is to be the law, then the law MUST apply equally to all – no special dispensation for being on the "side of the angels". One of the major objections to the "secondary producer" provisions of the 2257 amendments is the potentially harmful effect that it will have on the sex-related blogosphere, who under the provisions of these amendments, might be considered "secondary producers" of internet porn and charged accordingly if not in possession of a full compliment of 2257-related documents. But the anti-porn folks, apparently, are supposed to get a free pass to show this material without such restrictions. This is nothing less than viewpoint discrimination, plain and simple, and if the 2257 laws are enforced this way, it only compounds the already-problematic free speech implications of such legislation.

To use a specific example, one of the sites we have on our blogroll, SugarBank,* is a prime example of the kind of site that would probably be targeted as a "secondary producer" under the amended legislation. Yep, its a pro-porn site with an abundance of porn imagery found within. However, its quite clear from reading the site that the images are used as a basis for discussion and critical commentary on various pieces of pornography and about the porn industry. Certainly not the kind of discussion and critique that NPNH and the like would agree with, but that goes without saying. Should the government get the expanded 2257 regulations it wants, what do you think the likelihood that a site like SugarBank will be granted the kinds of exemption and latitude that NoPornNorthampton and Stop Porn Culture seek for themselves? Should such an enforcement pattern come to pass, I'd go so far as to say that this would provide a strong legal basis for challenging the constitutionality of these 2257 provisions, on the grounds that they legislate unconstitutional viewpoint discrimination.

And this doesn't even begin to cover laws about not taking reasonable precautions to shield minors from material that's not age-appropriate. This is something John Stagliano is facing jail time for, yet this is also something that Stop Porn Culture and NPNH don't even begin to make such an effort to do when they show explicit images. Again, if you support such laws and the reasoning behind them, then why do you hold yourself above them? A case of "do as I say, not as I do", perhaps? Nor does this even begin to cover the ethical implications of using images of porn performers as poster children for a kind of anti-porn politics that, odds are, the performers in the images would not even remotely support if asked.

So, Adam, since you apparently have an interest in all this, and since you've posted explicit images on the NPNH site yourself on a few occasions, care to join me in opposing the expansion of 2257 to secondary producers, or at least support a broad exemption for ALL fair use and critical commentary of porn? Even sources that are highly favorable to the images in question? If not, I call hypocrisy on that!


* As an aside, let me once again give my highest recommendation to SugarBank and its proprietor, Sam Sugar – it you haven't checked out this site, you definitely should!

20 comments:

  1. Indeed, we're not trying to censor anyone, but hey, the law is the law...and anyone can consider something educational. Hell, a lot of folk consider my blog educational, and yes, my "pornographic' images are not only 2257 compliant, but I have the permission of the person in them to use them! Imagine that!

    And I am curious to know if, re: minors, NPNH things Dines, Jensen, et all should be right there with John Stagliano...

    I bet not.

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  2. yeah, sorry, this latest screed from NPNH...I had to gut it on my own blog as well...pfft.

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  3. An important point, Ren. No matter how fine the gang at NPNH try to parse the language of 2257, the SPC slide show violates the clear intent of the original enabling legislation, which was to require everyone in the chain of custody of sexually explicit materials to be able to prove that no minors were included in those materials.

    For all their yawping about kiddie porn and their intimations that professional pornographers in some way support or enable it, or make pictures in which the age of the performers is ambiguous, they're the ones presenting stolen images with callous indifference to the possibility that their own accusations might apply to some of the images they disseminate.

    While I don't believe that there are any minors depicted in the 88 non-compliant images in the presentation, I'm not familiar with all the material used, how it was obtained and from what sources and therefore can't say for sure. As the images are pirated and the show's creators can't possibly have access to any records related to those images, they can't say for sure either. Evidently, in the service of some greater cause, they're willing to risk the possibility of distributing porn made with minors to audiences that might include minors.

    Would their claim of immunity based on "educational" intent spare them any criminal penalties if it could be proved that there were in fact minors in those pictures? I doubt it.

    When I have more time, I'll come back here with some of the provisions of 2257 our visitor from NPNH conveniently redacted in making the spurious case for exemption from these regulations. SPC and Co. are secondary producers whether they care to admit it or not, Much as I oppose the obviously prohibitionist specifics of 2257 as currently interpreted by the DOJ, no one with a shred of decency can oppose the central objective of making certain that only consenting adults appear in sexually explicit pictures.

    Watching this agitprop monstrosity, seeing my friends' likenesses and creations used against them in the most blatantly dishonest and clumsily obvious ways, I can't help but wonder what kind of good ends could possibly be served by such vicious means. And if some of those means involved the off chance of displaying actual kiddie porn to actual minors, would the authors of this misbegotten product even care?

    Clearly, they've already demonstrated that they don't care enough to make certain they're not doing so by complying with the laws meant to prevent it. They accuse us of being cynical. I accuse them of depraved indifference to the infliction of harm on those whose interests they claim to protect.

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  4. Political speech deserves more protection than commercial speech. In this spirit, I believe the recordkeeping provisions of 2257 should not apply to not-for-profit educational and political uses of sexually explicit material. This applies to both pro- and anti-porn uses of this material. With that said, the use of underage performers should remain illegal in all cases.

    The commercial element of porn industry is a critical part of the harm. The prospect of money induces performers to accept unreasonable risks. I believe porn is prostitution, and it should be illegal on that basis. You could still make and distribute porn for free, but not pay someone to have sex so you can profit from it.

    Similar to Sweden's new anti-prostitution laws, I would not make it illegal to receive money for sex, only to pay for sex. This puts the legal jeopardy on the pimps and producers, and not on the performers.

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  5. Oh, now I finally get your position, Adam.

    It should be perfectly OK for groups like Stop Porn Culture to use such sexually explicit images featuring consenting adults for their "educational" value in supporting your particular anti-porn view, based on "fair use" and "educational" concerns.....but if a "pro-porn" group decided to use the same images as a means to support their more "sex-positive" view, and just so happened to sell those images for a profit, that would be considered actionable under 2257??

    OK....so when is Robert Jensen and Gail Dines and the Wheelock College group going to be prosecuted for selling their DVDs of their slideshows of their antiporn confrence??

    And as for the supposedly "commercial" aspect of porn that supposedly causes the most harm: Gee, so does that mean that if the porn was available for free and at no cost, would that make it acceptable to you?? Yeah, I thought so.

    And for the last time, Adam: PORN ISN'T PROSTITUTION. In prostitution, the person paying has actual sex with the person receiving. In porn, the person paying to view the porn actually DOESN'T have direct sex with the performers; they only get off on the performers who are paid to have sex with each other. Both should be totally legal; but there is a difference between the two.

    Oh...and denying the performers of porn or sex workers of their revenue by jailing and shaming their main source of revenue for crimes they never committed certainly counts in my view as putting serious "jepoardy" on their right to exist....whether "legal" or otherwise.

    Finally, you do know that commercial speech can be as political as non-commercial speech, and that commercial speech has the same constitutional rights and protections (slander, libel, and false advertising aside) as non-commercial speech, do you?? But then again, I don't see you complaining about corporate speech or right-wing talk shows funded exclusively by corporations which pollute the airspace every day?? Oh, I forgot...Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity are as antiporn as you are, if from a slightly different direction, so that makes their speech perfectly fine...right???

    The more you speak, Adam, the more you dig yourself a deeper hole.


    Anthony

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  6. NPNH-

    "Political speech deserves more protection than commercial speech."

    who says? why? free speech is free speech. Folk like you do not get to decide what's more important...and do you think pornographers never make political statements via their work? Guess again: http://www.defendourporn.org/?p=17

    Now, you people can sit around and run your mouths until the end of time and guess what? It won't change the fact that images are being used in total violation of the spirit of 2257, they are being used with ZERO thought or consideration towards how the people in them might feel about them being used, without those peoples permission, without the permission of the people who own those images, with no sort of consent or permission or considertion whatsoever. It's wrong, and there is no question about that. Fighting supposed lack of consent and exploitation with lack of consent and explotation makes no sense. And the fact that people who are actually involved in pornography (Ernest, me) can sit here and repeatedly, again and again, tell you and everyone else how hurtful and enraging this is and you and others simply seem not to care speaks volumes: It's not about the people in porn, not it all, its not about what they actually want or feel...it's all about the cause...and fuck them in the name of it. That SUCKS NPNH, it just sucks. How people can claim to care about the women in porn while pulling this shit? It's a huge fucking insult, and it's total bullshit.

    And Sweden? You know, the actual sex workers in Sweden? You know, once again the real people doing the sex work? They hate it. (http://renegadeevolution.blogspot.com/2008/03/oh-my-god.html) But hey, who cares what they think right? In the name of the cause and all...

    If you people would just be fucking honest and say "We hate the sex industry, we want it gone, and that is more important than the opinions and reality of the people currently working in it", well, i could respect that. It's honest at least, but this patronizing, bullshit, we're concerned with and saving the women attitude? It's total bullshit and obviously untrue.

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  7. oh, and SPC does turn a profit off this, attending these events is not Free.

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  8. There is nothing in The Constitution that distinguishes between commercial and non-commercial speech or that creates some second class of protection for one kind of speech over another. Subsequent Supreme Court decisions have upheld the right to commercial speech as equal to the right of any other kind repeatedly.

    The "Swedish Solution" is just another scheme to persecute sex workers under the guise of protecting them. As to your desire to extend the dubious benefits of this to workers in pornography, no thanks.

    Pornography is not prostitution. This was decided in the Freeman case, which you might want to read some time, and has not been challenged in any court elsewhere. It is considered settled case law.

    And even if it were, the prohibition of prostitution by any means always ends up doing harm to sex workers and I would oppose it in porn just as in any other branch of sex work. However, that is an academic discussion. No matter how many times you call a tail a leg, a jackass still has only four legs.

    And none of your "argument" answers the fundamental question I posed elsewhere. Having stolen the material, often from obscure sources they do not identify, can the creators of the SPC slide show prove that no minors appear in any of the images used? With no access to the 2257 records of any of the material they pirated, such proof is impossible. No imaginary loophole in 2257 allows for the possible display of or to minors of sexually explicit material, and SPC is unable to prove that they have not done this. That requirement is the essence of 2257 and the SPC presentation blatantly violates it. Why does this common sense legal requirement not apply to you all?

    Answer that question instead of firing off more generalities about political speech vs. commercial speech.

    And I've yet to see you address Ren's point regarding SPC's ugly and hostile exploitation of the performers who appear non-consensually in this dog and pony show. One of them is my life partner and she unequivocally objects to the use of her likeness in this program. It depicts her in a false light and if she cared enough, she would have a solid claim in civil court for the false and defamatory context in which her image is presented. As the producer of record of the images in question, I would have a similar claim.

    And finally, there is not bright, clear line distinguishing SPC's use of this material from its dissemination for commercial purposes. Money is solicited on SPC's site under a fraudulent application of non-profit tax exemption. Money is charged to institutions that book SPC speakers to accompany the program. Money is charged at the door to see it. Money is made off lectures and publications by its creators who use it as part of paid presentations.

    All of which makes SPC secondary producers and distributors of pornographic material.

    Admit it. You want to make more laws to prohibit what we do while flouting the existing laws that prohibit what you do.

    Despite your claims to the contrary, you favor censorship and care nothing at all about the harm you do by violating the law in your advocacy for it.

    At best, your are hypocritical liars. At worst, you are criminals who can, should and yet might be brought before the bar of justice to answer for your flagrant violation federal statutes in acting as distributors of non-2257-compliant materials.

    If you think you're sophistries regarding commercial versus political speech will persuade a federal court judge to the contrary, you may will be in for exactly what you deserve - an "educational" view of how the criminal justice system treats pornographers, who you claim enjoy some special protection and favor from The Patriarchy.

    Good luck on that and get yourself a good lawyer. If you and the SPC crowd continue to thumb your noses at the law, you may very well need one.

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  9. ernest- That comment was just so full of awesome I can't even truly articulate it. I shall toast to it in Chicago.

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  10. I went to read Adam Cohen's response and I have to say that I stopped reading when a paragraph started with "according to Wikipedia". Yep, that is some really high quality legal research there!

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  11. "Political speech deserves more protection than commercial speech. "

    Oh, sounds like somebody has seen "The Corporation and thinks they've got a trump-all argument. OK, you really want to go down that road legally? So where does "Fahrenheit 9/11" fall out? That film grossed 220 million dollars and is distributed by Lion's Gate Entertainment, a publicly-traded company. It is, in one sense, a commercial product that a number of people and corporations have turned a profit on. It is also an exemplar of political speech. If we had laws like you propose, and material deemed "commercial speech" fell outside of broad First Amendment protections, what's to stop the government from simply regulating the content of a film like F9/11 as a "product"? I'm not being facetious here, either, because I think if you were to take a close look at the bulk of politically-oriented books, newspaper content, movies, and other media, you'd find that a large percentage of it is part of a for-profit product with defendable copyright.

    The case is similar with artistic expression (something else generally considered "high value" speech) – I can think of very few artists and writers who don't sell their work as a product in order to make a living. (And that includes the so-called "fine artists" just as much as "commercial artists".) The film industry is an absolutely huge business, and I don't think anybody is going to say that film isn't an art form. At their best, films – made by producers to turn a profit – are among the greatest artistic expressions of our culture. Most films don't reach that level, but are protected as artistic expression nevertheless. Don't think porn has defendable artistic merit? Well, I can think of several film festivals and conferences full of people who would disagree vehemently with that argument.

    Your attempt to draw a clear wall of separation between political and commercial speech, and ban porn on that basis, is an utter red herring – it isn't the law of the land, and anybody who's spent more than a couple minutes thinking about the free-speech implications of such a legal scheme soundly rejects it too.

    (I also refer you further to Eugene Volokh's effective takedown of this idea.)

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  12. Thanks Ren, I'll be lifting a glass to you as well for your unwavering stance on this matter. It is not a small thing and not a thing that can be let to slip by. I think you and I understand the reasons why not particularly well, as we're most directly affected by the injustice of what is going on here.

    IACB makes some excellent points about the impossibility of sorting out commercial speech from political speech. Everything from televised presidential debates to Bob Jensen's books could be classified as commercial speech and therefore subject to diminished constitutional protection under the doctrine espoused by the gang at NPNH.

    In the same way they consider any transaction involving sex and money to be prostitution, someone else could insist that any honorarium, royalty or contribution made to anyone affiliated with their own cause could be considered compensation and therefore an instance of "less protected" commercial speech.

    In fact, the finding in Miller v. California that made it legal for everyone from Henry Miller to Gail Dines to use the word "fuck" in print was rendered specifically in relation to a novel, Tropic of Cancer, published by Grove Press for commercial purposes. Should Miller v. California be overturned, the SPC slide show would be just as illegal as Tropic of Cancer, regardless of its political claims.

    But we know this discussion isn't about legal abstractions. It's about real human beings. You know, the kind for whom the NPNH crowd says it cares so deeply. In this instance, it's about the women in the pictures in the SPC show. Those are the real women who are violated every time that program is shown, viewed or downloaded. In their fanatical zeal to destroy the sex industry, which Dines unequivocally pronounced to be her goal before a network TV audience, SPC is more than willing to go on violating those women over and over and over again until somebody stops them.

    So it looks like that's what's going to have to be done in order to put an end to this criminal behavior. Somebody is going to have to put all the theories used to justify this vile behavior to the test in a court of law.

    That day is coming much sooner than those responsible expect. If they care to avoid such a confrontation, they must delete the non-2257-compliant images from their presentation with deliberate haste. Otherwise, I look forward to seeing them at the bench.

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  13. Once again, I raise the question of what is the legal status of 2257 right now? To the best of my knowledge, as of now they can still claim a fair-use exemption to 2257, as I'm not sure the much more broad "secondary producer" provisions are actually legally in effect right now, hence, I'm not sure that SPC can be considered legally non-compliant at the moment.

    The question as to whether they're potentially exposing this material to minor is worth pursuing – to the best of my knowledge, this is the law and should apply to them too. What ever the legal standard is for due diligence in this area, they should need to be pushed into conforming with it. Their rhetoric about how their anti-porn speech is being censored is going to fall on deaf ears so long as they are supporters of the very laws we ask that they adhere to.

    I do think that, on a critical basis, they need to be called out on the way they use images of the performers they use. Their claim that they show this material as way to show what is being done to the women in pornography is an absolute insult to those very women. In fact, in so far as the performers in these images can actually be located, I think it would be a good to circulate an open letter and see if those performers will put their name to it – I think this would go a long way toward taking some of the wind out of SPC's sails.

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  14. IACB,

    Excellent idea about circulating that petition. I don't know if it will take the wind out of anyone's sails, as porn performers don't enjoy much public credibility and the SPC crowd has already demonstrated its eagerness and enthusiasm for dismissing their opinions. Nevertheless, Those opinions deserve to be heard and I can and will do something about that personally. It may take some time, but I can think of at least four women who will sign that petition in a heartbeat.

    As to the current status of 2257, it is in force but not being enforced as reinvented by the Bush administration as a result of the FSC's temporary injunction. The definitions, including the definition of a secondary producer, are legally intact and every producer in this business is struggling to comply with them under the guidance of their respective attorneys.

    As is to be expected of such badly written "administrative law," the interpretation of those obligations very widely from company to company, but no one who wishes to remain at large and in business knowingly ignores them in the way that SPC does. Records inspections are not being actively conducted at this point pending the outcome of further hearings re the possibility of the injunction being made permanent or provisions of the act "amended" by the current regime being rewritten in a manner that can be reasonably enforced without unduly burdening either producers or the judicial system.

    However, and this is the key point, the fundamental principles of the original 18 U.S.C. - 2257, which predate the Bush era, remain unchallenged and unchanged. Producers and anyone in the chain of custody of sexually explicit materials intended for public distribution are required to maintain detailed records of all performers' legal identities, ages and agreements of consent under the supervision of a designated keeper of records, whose actual name and physical address must be clearly visible on the packaging and in a statement of compliance included in the content of the material itself. No one has sought to avoid or overturn these principles, nor is their any intention on the part of any of the litigants in the FSC's case to do so.

    There is a fundamental constitutional question over the enabling legislation's indifference to the presumption of innocence. In no other lawful industry are business owners required to prove they are not committing felonies in the day to day operation of their companies. If prosecutors have reason to believe that a specific company is, in fact, using minors in the manufacture of sexually explicit materials, the burden of criminal proof ought correctly to devolve upon the prosecutors in making a case against the specific individuals involved.

    But I don't know anybody in the porn industry who really cares to test the basic premise that keeping legally unimpeachable evidence of their adherence to the law on hand is a reasonable requirement, given the nature of the products in question.

    At the time the temporary injunction was issued, counsel for the FSC warned producers that the essential structure of 2257 was still intact and that they should do their utmost to be in good-faith compliance with the intent of that structure.

    I can tell you with absolute confidence that great trouble and expense have been invested in the creation of compliant archives by companies all the way along the pipeline from the set to the consumer.

    When I make a video for a company, I keep a full set of records. The company keeps a full set of records. The printer who makes the packaging keeps a full set of records. The duplicators keep full sets of records. Even the publications that reproduce any images from the video for review purposes - just the sort of thing that SPC might claim is exempt from 2257 regulation - keep full sets of records. All copies of the video will show the necessary disclaimer and records information on the packaging and the first thing you'll see if you play the video is a screen repeating that boilerplate.

    So even though no lawful pornographer has yet been prosecuted under the contested 2257 regulations, all are operating under the assumption that at some point they might be and that, in any event, it's much better to be safe than sorry.

    None of us - I repeat - none of us who engage in the making of legal pornography are in any way involved in the creation of pornographic materials involving minors. Those who do that are criminals in no way, directly or indirectly, associated with our industry.

    However, long before the original language of 2257 was drafted, producers realized that they and the public shared an interest in making certain that their products could be demonstrated to have been made legally with consenting adults. Therefore, by both precedent and practice, a body of common law and common procedure effectively bound producers to basic conformity in the maintenance of correct and complete documentation of performers' identities, ages and rights agreements.

    The exemption that NPNH and SPC claim was meant to apply to small quantities of legitimate research materials exchanged privately among duly vetted professionals. Any public exhibition of sexually explicit materials, regardless of motive or manner of compensation received, would not be covered under that exemption and would put the exhibitors squarely in the chain of custody. No lawful pornographer would play fast and loose with the common sense applicability of such a narrow loophole as these righteous crusaders are doing from their Web site as I write these words. They shouldn't be doing this and they shouldn't be allowed to with impunity.

    Right now, knowing that the exact specifications of 2257 remain ambiguous pending final adjudication, we choose to err on the side of caution. Clearly, our opponents do not.

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  15. Well, again, I'm not really sure that the expanded 2257 rules are in effect right now, or are at least not being enforced. Check out Fleshbot, for example – there's not a single 2257 statement on that site. If the expanded definition of "secondary producer" is in effect, that puts them in violation. If less expansive standards are in effect, they're probably OK.

    As for the Stop Porn Culture, I only think they should be made to conform to the same standards as Fleshbot and Sugarbank, who are likewise commentators on porn rather than producers of it. Nothing more and nothing less. Right now, I don't think there is a valid 2257 case to be made against them, but there may be in the future.

    And certainly, if 2257 regulations start being enforced against non-producers like Fleshbot, aggressive reporting of SPC and the like to the authorities who are in charge of enforcing such laws is called for, and such reporting needs to be documented. If no action is taken against SPC but action is taken against pro-porn sites, that adds up to a pattern of viewpoint discrimination that can be pursued in court, quite possibly to modify or strike down existing laws.

    And certainly, as much publicity as possible needs to made for the fact that the views of Stop Porn Culture are not the views of the women who's images they exploit, and are in fact, quite contrary to theirs. For people who are on the fence about this, this can call into question just who's interest SPC is serving.

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  16. I believe I already clarified this point, but I'll have another go at it.

    The current iteration of 2257 (the expanded rules as you call them) is not being enforced through the use of criminal sanctions owing to the temporary injunction obtained by the FSC.

    However, 2257 itself is very much "in force" in terms of its fundamental provisions re the keeping of records and the disclosure of where and by whom such records are kept in a very specifically worded and prominently displayed disclaimer directly attached to any sexually explicit images disseminated for public viewing.

    The FBI has conducted a number of inspections of production company records over the past year and notified producers of instances of what the agents took to be non-compliance. In doing so, they have made it clear that if the injunction were to be lifted, arrests would be made for such non-compliance and prosecutions initiated.

    In fact, as you can see if you go to the link below, prosecutions continue for violations of 2257 dating from prior to the Bush DOJ restructuring of the statute and the injunction abating prosecutions based on that restructuring.

    http://www.adultfyi.com/read.php?ID=29093

    In short, 2257 is still the law of the land and the core of it remains intact and will remain intact regardless of the outcome of the FSC's litigation. The basic record-keeping requirements are not in dispute. That is why the FSC has strongly advised everyone in the chain of custody of 2257-defined materials to adhere to the requirements as closely as possible.

    Fleshbot, which I read regularly and very much enjoy, may feel safe displaying sexually explicit images without the proper legal disclosures and warnings, but in my opinion, which is admittedly that of a layman, they do so at their own risk. And I have no doubt that at some future point, when the original language of 2257 is restored and the injunction vacated, Fleshbot, Sugarbank and others not currently in compliance will be compelled to abide by the law as written. They're smart people and I'm sure they'll choose to do this voluntarily rather than under official supervision.

    While I do agree with you that for as long as the injunction remains in place, the SPC show may not be indictable under the current 2257 language, its content is not 2257 exempt as its creators claim and they are offering it to the public in violation of federal law. That others may be doing something similar in a less hostile fashion in no way exonerates them.

    And unlike Fleshbot or Sugarbank, SPC could not even theoretically gain access to the required records because they stole the material for the purpose of defaming its owners who would in no way cooperate with SPC in providing those records. Clearly, SPC doesn't give a shit about federal law any more than they give a shit about the performers whose likenesses they use in a cruel and derogatory manner.

    I do not suggest that SPC should be held to a higher standard than anyone else who displays sexually explicit materials. Rather, I do not accept their assertion that the law does not apply to them, or their callous disregard for the law's intent, which is to ensure accountability for the lawful age and freely given consent of those whose images are displayed.

    I have never considered this requirement unreasonable or burdensome on its face, though I recognize that some do for reasons that are perfectly ethical, but whatever my opinion may be, the language of 18 U.S.C. 2257 as enacted is perfectly clear in its purpose. I don't believe anyone should be given a get out of jail free card on this statute based on his or her motivations in violating it.

    Of course, you and I find complete agreement on the need for those performers whose images SPC has hijacked to speak out against the abusive treatment to which they are being continuously subjected by SPC and for others who support those performers to join them in calling attention to the despicable hypocrisy of an organization that denigrates women in the name of protecting them.

    I have reason believe we will be hearing directly from some of those performers quite soon. So will SPC. What SPC's organizers will have to say in response to the women they've sought to publicly humiliate will be enlightening indeed I have no doubt.

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  17. Hello everybody, and especially Ernest and the others that I remember from Nina's Forum. I miss the daily reading of post even though I had to little time to answer or comment on all the interesting subjects(I haven't forgotten Drar either...).

    To the point, It bother me that every time I read about Sweden these day in these kind of blogs or forums all i get is "The new progressive anti-porn laws" or variations on it, more specific twists towards anti prostitution law from anti-porn guys and political radicals. When the truth is that the laws are generally scoffed at by all other countries in the EU with some exceptions. The true story about the "new-law" in Sweden is a very sorry story and should not be used as a example about anything good what so ever. I wont go into the details about this but the forming of the law and the politician who handled it and the circumstances that made the law and the aftermath, political scandal etc that followed, but it is well worth digging in to if you got time but it is not something that puts Sweden in a good light.

    Guess what I really wanted to say is that the only thing the law actually managed to do is wreck ordinary peoples lives and carriers. It has made the Swedish prostitutes go underground and being harassed by the police. What the law has NOT managed to do is reduce prostitution. Another key thing that is very usual to read is the misinterpretation that the law has helped to fight trafficking, it has NOT, because it was not meant to, we have another law for that the anti trafficking law(that I like...). The population is split about the law, the sex workers don't want it and actually warn other states about it (http://www.sans.nu/engelska/lies.htm) which should weigh in pretty heavy considering that the actually work on the field, or as they say them selves "We know and they believe".

    Pleas dig deeper in to the tragic nature of the "Swedish anti prostitution law" before you refer to it in the future, there has been documentaries on Swedish national TV about this junk law and the media scandal that lead up to it.

    The main point being, the statement ”This puts the legal jeopardy on the pimps and producers, and not on the performers” is and should not be an alternative, there should not be ”a legal jeopardy” at all period. The State is not my mother or my father, the state dosen't have a say in who I or anybody else have sex with as long as it is consensual and of legal age.(Kind of stick with my wife anyway so personally its not a problem...).

    Ohh! one more thing, the law has not changed anything in Sweden with regards to porn or production of porn... but there has been attempts.

    A little off-topic maybe but...

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  18. Hey, thanks for the interesting news about Sweden. So few people outside of Sweden actually read the Swedish language, that unless somebody writes about the situation there in English, very few actually know what's going on.

    Hence, most of the news about the "Swedish Model" come from officials like Gunilla Ekberg, who naturally report that its a resounding success.

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  19. Well I can give some info about the incident but not the whole story since that would take forever...

    The minister in charge of the department that handled this issue was sacked from office in the end... but they couldn't say that out clear so she went for a "Time Out" which is a new term in Swedish politics for a high ranking politician having to leave office i.e getting sacked.

    The rely funny part is that then they didn't know where to put here, so they gave her a job abroad... Ambassador in Brasil, If that sounded bad guess what the Brasilian goverment acctualy contacted Swedish officials shortly after asking if she couldn't be replace with someone else... tragedy!

    Guess what, we still have the stupid law though, no one dared to remove it...

    Ass for Gunilla Ekberg, I don't rely know If she ever has left her office and seen the real world... mybe she haven't even turned on the light in her office, I don't know but what she describes is not the facts(well they are if you ignore the half that doesn't fit in with your opinion).

    Tahiti seems a nice place maybe I should move there...

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