More bad news from the legal front – the long-running Extreme Associates obscenity case is drawing to a close, with EA owners Robert and Janet Zicari (aka Rob Black and Lizzy Borden) copping guilty pleas. Story here, here, and here. Reason magazine provides further background here.
Black and Borden face up to five years in prison for the "crime" of producing extreme porn that included violent imagery. (Though at least they're not facing a potential 50 years each, as they were under their original counts.) And unlike the earlier Max Hardcore conviction, this is entirely about the content of their videos – to the best of my knowledge, in this case there are no rumors of non-consensual incidents on the production end which some people offered up as a round-about justification for Hardcore's obscenity prosecution.
Whether or not this round of obscenity prosecutions is just a bad hangover from the Bush years remains to be seen. As the Reason article points out, Mary Beth Buchanan, the right-wing moral crusader who's leading the EA prosecution, is asking to keep her job under the current administration. And the dual choices of Eric Holder and David Ogden for the number 1 and number 2 spots in the Justice Department show no clear indication of what federal obscenity policy will look like for the next 4-8 years, though hopefully the fact that the nation is facing much bigger issues will reaveal moral crusades like this for the waste of resources that they are.
In other news, Iceland is poised to become the first country in the world to impose a blanket ban on the entire sex industry. Pornography is already completely illegal there (at least in theory), and the new Left government there is about to put in place Swedish-style laws against buying sex, and goes one further by also banning strip clubs. Thus, in one country at least, achieving the anti-sex industry trifecta that prohibitionists have been shooting for. All, as usual, justified by rhetoric claiming that all sex work drives human trafficking. Further background here. It is interesting to note that in the story I just linked to, Iceland is considered a desirable enough place to work that strippers were coming to Iceland of their own volition from places like the Netherlands and Puerto Rico. However, the fine upstanding social democrats now in charge of the country have decided that this is all exploitation without bothering to ask anybody who actually works in that industry whether they are being exploited.