Thursday, May 24, 2012

Porn Panic 2012: AHF Gets Their Sigs For Their LA County Condom Mandate Initiative; And LA City Council Punts City Mandate To Another Committee

Two developments today in The Great Condom Mandate War, and both of them not so good for the good guys.

First off: Michael Fattorosi has just tweeted at his @Pornlaw Twitter stream that AHF has now announced that they now has achieved enough signatures to have their condom mandate initiative sent to the voters of that county later this year.

And now, it has been confirmed by LAWeekly as well:


The AIDS Healthcare Foundation will turn in signatures tomorrow in its bid to put mandatory condom use for the area porn industry before L.A. county voters, AHF chief Michael Weinstein told the Weekly.

The group has more than 300,000 signatures, more than 30 boxes worth, that it will haul to the Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder's office in Norwalk Friday morning, said another AHF official.

That means ...

... that you will likely be voting on the matter in November, because the group only needs about 232,153 valid, registered voters to sign on: The Registrar-Recorder still needs to validate the signatures and approve the measure for ballot placement.
The other news actually happened yesterday, when the LA City Council basically decided what they were going to do to enforce their new condom mandate law after the Adult Working Group committee which was supposed to draft new rules of enforcement tapped out without any resolution.

Their solution: kick it to another committee, this one featuring their own!!

The story from the Free Speech Coalition website:
CANOGA PARK, Calif. – Free Speech Coalition (FSC) was notified today by the L.A. City Administrator’s Office that the L.A. City Council has referred development of enforcement strategy for the city condom ordinance to the Arts, Parks, Health & Aging Committee.

Until recently, the development of an implementation and enforcement strategy had been charged to the City Administrator-appointed Working Group on the City of Los Angeles Safer Sex in the Adult Film Industry Ordinance. At the last meeting of the working group on May 11, the group postponed submitting the results of a report that would have recommended protocols for enforcing condom use on adult productions.

A few days later, it was widely reported that the working group had requested a 90-day extension of presenting the results of the report.

It is unclear why the issue has been referred to the Arts, Parks, Health & Aging Committee. That committee is made up of three L.A. City Council members, including Councilmen Richard Alarcon (7th District), Tom LaBonge (4th District) and Ed P. Reyes (1st District).

I'd say that it's because the council doesn't trust anyone else to voluntary enforce the law, so they want to railroad the process through.

It does mean that there probably will be that 90-day delay in implementation until the new committee reaches a consensus.

That previously mentioned LA Weekly article also noted that Weinstein had said that contrary to other reports, he would not seek a Request For Proposal (RFP) for AHF to bid for becoming the enforcers of the law, rather allowing the committee to resolve the issue. That probably means the committee will browbeat the LA Vice department and FilmLA to do the dirty bidding of being the "condom police". Weinstein also said that he would be willing to accept a 90-day delay; which conflicts with the POV of his legal counsel, Mark McGrath, who wasn't too happy of the "stonewalling" at the meeting today.

The bottom line remains the same: the battle isn't over; it's only just begun. The lawsuits are about to hit the fan the way Hurricane Katrina hit the Ninth Ward levees. Buckle up, Clones.


Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Porn Panic 2012: Mark Kernes Of AVN Sheds New Light On How The LA "Condom Nazis" Now More Resemble "Keystone Kops" In Pushing Condom Mandate Law

Some new info has now been discovered on the now delayed process of the city of Los Angeles to enforce their new condom mandate law, which was supposed to be in full effect by now, but is now in limbo due to...well, I'll just let Mark Kernes from Adult Video News Online tell the story.

City Administrative Officer Asks For More Time on Condom Regs

After all, they've only had about four months to figure out that the new ordinance is completely unworkable

LOS ANGELES—In a letter issued Wednesday, LA City Administrative Officer (CAO) Miguel Santana has asked the City Council to give his "Working Group on the Safer Sex in the Adult Film Industry Ordinance" an extra 90 days—on top of the 120 days they've already had—to figure out how to implement and enforce the mandatory condom ordinance which AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) first tried (at great expense) to put on the June 5 city ballot, and then urged members of the City Council to enact preemptively as city law.

The CAO had been scheduled to deliver its final report to the Council on May 16, though at the Working Group meeting of May 11, it was announced that the report was not ready, and that another meeting was to be scheduled the following week. However, that meeting never took place.

As Santana's letter to Mayor Antonia Villaraigosa and the City Council notes, the Working Group has held three meetings, the first of which was not attended by anyone from the adult industry due to the failure of the City Administrative Officer's office to properly advertise it. The second meeting lasted just over half an hour, one third of which was devoted to comments from the attendees, and third meeting (which likewise was not given proper notification) took just 20 minutes, half of which were devoted to speakers from the audience.

Of course, it's likely that some of the CAO office's time outside the meetings was devoted to figuring out how to make the ordinance work, but however much that was, it apparently wasn't enough. Apparently, one of the main problems to be solved, aside from the "complexities of this issue," is figuring out who will perform the inspections—or as the letter puts it, "the need to further address the implementation matters"—that the ordinance requires of adult movie sets, and it was clear at the second Working Group meeting that neither the Los Angeles Police Department, Fire Department, Personnel Department, the LA County Department of Public Health, CalOSHA nor the permit-issuing agency FilmLA wanted the job, which led AHF's representative at the meeting, Mark Roy McGrath, to suggest that the CAO might want to issue an RFP (Request for Proposal) to the public in order to find some group both willing and capable of performing the task... which critics of the law have long suggested might be AIDS Healthcare itself.

In any case, with no resolution to that problem on the horizon, Santana recommended "That the Council, subject to the approval of the Mayor, authorize a 90 day extension for the Working Group to Report to Council on the City's ability to implement and enforce the Safer Sex in The Adult Film Industry Ordinance."

To read Santana's entire letter, click here.
 The most interesting point that Kernes makes is that not even the LAPD's Vice Department is so keen to enforcing this law...even though it was them whom launched the "raid" on Dan Leal's Immoral Productions the night before the third meeting, promptly citing him for a lack of a proper permit.

Actually, the most interesting point is not that, but the offer of AHF to have the CAO do a RFP to outsource enforcement of the law to another group -- namely, AHF or some sockpuppet group, I suppose. Remember that AHF had already agreed to foot the bill for all legal challenges to the law (and rest assured, there will be a plenty of legal challenges). Would they be so willing to invest more of their own money to allow for enforcement?

Or, would they rely solely on the money gained by requiring anyone with a camcorder and a commercial website to buy a permit before they could even shoot a camshow? (Not just major porn companies, Clones....ANYONE running an adult website out of their house who tapes themselves engaging in real sex would be liable to either buy a permit or face harsh fines or even jail.)

And, keep also in mind that California is pretty damn broke right about now, with budget cuts coming down the line that will more than force cutting at the local level as well.

Bottom line is this: would AHF be willing to put its money where Mike Weinstein's big foot is lodged and risk their other enterprises in order to fund their own personal Condom Police Unit? Or...will Weinstein simply double up his thrift stores with more bareback gay porn to sell to make up the difference, or squeeze more AIDS Walks funds...or even more shakedown lawsuits to get more cash??

Curioser and curiouser, sayeth Alice. And I ain't talking Sunny Lane's Alice, either.  Stay tuned....the fun may just be starting.


UPDATE:  Well, The Free Speech Coalition just tweeted this in response to a tweet I did about AHF's fund raising efforts:


AHF's annual budget is $187M - they're good at getting funding; other HIV orgs call them the "Walmart" of HIV orgs


for enforcement staffing ;-) Does Weinstein want to be the porn czar?
 Yeah....Michael Weinstein as "Porn Czar". With Monica Foster and Shelley Lubben as his aides. And Gail Dines as Chief Policy Advisor. That's not very scary.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Porn Panic 2012 Continues: From Inevitable Tsunami To Spring Shower: LA Condom Mandate Committee Asks For 90 Day Extension Due To "Complexities"

You know, Clones, momentum is a strange thing. One day you have it like you think you will move the world on your little finger; the next morning, it slips though your hands.

I'm sure that before this morning, the folks over at the AIDS Healthcare Foundation were feeling mighty good about themselves, since they had browbeaten the LA City Council into passing their condom mandate law, and were just theeeees close to getting the hammer they needed to smash the LA porn industry into submission.

Problem was, reality got in the way of their mission...and now they will have to defer their celebration for an indefinite spell. At least, for 90 more days.

Today was supposed to be the day that the advisory committee setting the rules for enforcing the condom mandate law would issue their final report regarding the details of how they were going to enforce said law. The report was a prerequisite of the 120-day grace period between the passage of the law in January and the supposed enforcement of the law, which was scheduled to take hold on June 1st.

Unfortunately, like I said, reality got in the way.  Well, that, and the heavyweights of the porn industry finally getting together to fight the law.

First, the news that the final meeting of the "Adult Film Industry Working Group" was canned and delayed until further notice, via XBiz.com:


L.A. Porn-Condom Panel Postpones Meeting

 LOS ANGELES — The Adult Film Industry Working Group's fourth and final meeting slated for this week has been postponed.

The panel has been charged with crafting policies to implement Los Angeles' porn-condom ordinance and planned to schedule a final meeting sometime this week before they release findings in a report to City Council.

But Los Angeles city analyst Eva Bitar told XBIZ that the meeting has been postponed for this week and that no new date has been set for next week.

City officials last week said they were hoping to release findings to City Council by May 23 in accordance with a 120-day rule when ordinances must be enacted after approved by City Council and the mayor.

The porn-condom ordinance was passed by City Council in January while a ballot-initiative effort by the AIDS Healthcare Foundation was in full swing; council members decided for the ordinance after weighing legal and ballot-initiative costs.

The ordinance currently isn't being enforced in the city, but later this month the ordinance could be put in effect.   

At the last meeting on Friday at City Hall, the 11 working group members heard public comments from Immoral Productions' Dan Leal, Free Speech Coalition Executive Director Diane Duke and adult industry attorneys Michael Fattorosi and Allan Gelbard, as well as the AIDS Healthcare Foundation's Mark Roy McGrath.
Now, keep in mind that this process was supposed to be completed TODAY, with a final report sent to the full LA City Council by May 23rd -- that would be this coming MONDAY, Clones -- so that they could rubberstamp their final approval and officially begin the process of blowing the LA porn industry to bits....errrrrrrrrrrrr, improving protection for porn performers.

It's looking more and more like that's just not going to happen now, so what the "Working Group" will send to the Council at its scheduled meeting on Wednesday will not be "Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead!!" but rather "Give us a bit more time, and we will get this done.  Maybe. Probably. Hopefully." Again, from XBiz:

 L.A. Condom Panel Asks for 90 Days, Cites 'Complexities'
 LOS ANGELES — The city administrative officer has asked for a 90-day extension to report back to City Council and Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa over rules implementing the new condom ordinance targeting adult performers.


The request, made in a memo obtained by XBIZ, cited "complexities of this issue" and asks the City Council and mayor to give the Adult Film Industry Working Group additional time needed to complete the report.


The request effectively puts enforcement of the ordinance, which makes condoms mandatory for performers at on-location adult film productions within city limits, on hold until at least late summer.


The Adult Film Industry Working Group has met three times already to craft policies to implement the ordinance; the panel, composing of city, county and state officials, had planned to schedule a final meeting sometime this week before reporting to City Council, but that meeting ended up postponed.


The panel had been pressured to create a master plan for the ordinance within 120 days of the law being passed by City Council and signed by the mayor. The condom ordinance was passed by City Council in mid January after threats of litigations from the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, which was successful in getting a ballot initiative pushed through.


In recent weeks the Adult Film Industry Working Group panel has heard from a contingent of vocal adult entertainment industry officials who say the ordinance is faulty and unneeded.


Two weeks ago, Free Speech Coalition Executive Director Diane Duke and FSC Board Chair Jeffrey Douglas met separately with the city administrative officer, Miguel Santana, and his staff to discuss specific complications inherent to the ordinance's  implementation and enforcement.


And last week's meeting at City Hall produced a strong turnout for the adult entertainment biz and included public comments from Immoral Productions' Dan Leal, Duke and adult industry attorneys Michael Fattorosi and Allan Gelbard.


Gelbard, who spelled out problematic legal consequences associated with the ordinance at the meeting, told XBIZ today that the 90-day extension may give the panel more time to logically think things through.


"Perhaps, if they take a more thorough look at the constitutional issues involved in attempting enforcement, they will realize what a mistake passing this ordinance truly was," Gelbard said.


"I would hope the working group advises the city that the chance of this ordinance surviving a legal challenge is all but nonexistent, and that the city — in this time of fiscal uncertainty — can ill afford the cost of defending this clearly unconstitutional statute in court, not to mention the significant additional financial exposure of having to pay an attorneys fees award when it is finally struck down."


Fattorossi told XBIZ that because of the industry's comments and analysis at the meetings, the working group is now well aware of problems that enforcement of the law will place on the city's services.


"The act is unconstitutional and it is encouraging to see the city finally recognizing how it is fatally flawed," he said. "It was apparent from my attendance at the meetings that the members of the working group had not considered how far reaching and overly broad the act is.


"I have a feeling they may need even more than 90 days."
XBiz has also posted a copy of the Working Group's official request for an extension, you can read it here. (Warning, PDF document requiring Adobe Reader)

This coming Wednesday's LA City Council meeting just got a lot more interesting.

I'm sure that Mike Weinstein and Brian Chase are going to be mad enough to be spitting bricks and chewing nails (and I don't mean fingernails), and they are going to have some real choice words to the council. And, I'm doubly sure that they will also have their Request For Proposal paperwork in their hands, screaming that if the LA City Council won't do its duty and choke the XXX industry to death with their condoms and dental dams, then perhaps they should simply outsource the job to those who will...namely, AHF and their allies. How that will fly in the wake of the expected wave of budget cutting due to the state of California being too broke and in debt, we'll just have to see.

Considering that AHF has already agreed to foot the bill for any and all legal costs for defending the law, you can probably understand their zeal.

This isn't to say that LA porn purveyors should declare victory and get out by any means.....there's still Cal-OSHA and their proposed "barrier protection" regulations that not only could supersede any actions by the LA City Council, but could be imposed statewide. Not to mention, nationwide, since the federal branch of OSHA has their own interest in this. (Those are the ones, remember, that would impose "barrier protections" -- meaning condoms for men and dental dams for women, and possibly even gloves, goggles, and other personal protection devices -- for any act of penetrative sex (oral, anal, or vaginal).) Plus, one should never underestimate the ability of AHF to simply throw tons of money to bribe their favored politicians into compliance.

This battle is far from over, and will be a marathon fight to the finish. Even past 90 days.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Why AHF Might Want To Consider Putting Gail Dines On Their Payroll: The War On AIM And....JM Productions???

[Updated...scroll to bottom.]

There are some who still think that the AIDS Healthcare Foundation is sincere in their motives about protecting performers through their condom mandate.

And then, there are the rest of us, who see them for what they are: a backdoor antiporn censorship group who hides behind a rainbow just to get paid.

More proof of the latter??

Gene Ross over at AdultFYI just posted a reprint of an email that AHF chief counsel Brian Chase sent to AHF President Michael Weinstein on April of 2010, in which Chase describes what he imagines to be the best media strategy to get the Adult Industry Medical (AIM) Foundation out of business. You will remember, of course, that AIM was ultimately driven out of business in 2011 due to the concerted efforts of AHF's nusiance lawsuits, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health's investigations, and the newly found requirement of a permit for non-profit organizations.

But at the time of Chase's email to Weinstein, the effort was just starting, and ideas for a media campaign to smear AIM for its alleged lax attitudes towards the alleged HIV/STI pandemic affecting the industry were only being fleshed.

So, what in particular did Chase have in mind for ambushing AIM?? How about linking them to a particularly gruesome "misogynous" porn site, like, say, JM Productions??

Keep in mind, also, that right about this time, AHF was already attempting to wax AIM through the lawsuit filed by Diana Grandmaison (you may know her better as the mom portion of the mother-daughter team of "Desi and Elli Foxx"), claiming neglect by AIM for the public release of her personal medical records to one of Donny Long's (he of the original PornWikileaks fame) message boards.

Apparently, though, that wasn't enough for Chase, who.....ahh, hell; I'll just let the email speak for itself.

On April 16, 2010, Brian Chase the assistant general counsel for Aids Healthcare Foundation emailed Michael Weinstein. AHF was looking for various ways to discredit AIM and the porn industry. Chase [pictured left] wanted to use Diana Grandmaison aka Desi Foxx [center] as a puppet in their production. But Chase also wanted to go after Jeff Mike, the owner of JM productions.

Chase suggested that AHF begin targeting Mike because he was volatile and likely to same something dumb to the mainstream press.

"I don’t think it would confuse our press strategy to go after both AIM and porn companies," Chase writes Weinstein.

"I think it would have the opposite effect. If we make the suit it all about AIM, they can try to portray themselves as the little nonprofit clinic that’s just trying to keep the girls healthy. We know that’s a lie, but it is difficult to rebut in a sound byte.

"If we go after JM Productions at the same time we attack AIM, we link AIM to JM Productions. Suddenly they aren’t just an innocent clinic serving sex workers - they are scum who are enabling the horrible abuse of women - we can frame the issue and ramp up the ick factor exponentially.

"JM produces series like 'American Gokkun' where women swallow ejaculate from hundreds of men, and 'DP Virgins' where each actress has unprotected anal and vaginal double penetration," Chase continues.

"They also produce a series called 'gag factor' where women sometimes vomit because they can’t breathe while giving oral sex. They have a series featuring women being anally penetrated bareback while the man shoves the woman’s head in a toilet. Let AIM try to defend that.

"Check this out this quote from JM Productions’ website," Chase goes on to say.

"'Watch as faces turn blue from a lack of oxygen in this throat fucking masterpiece. Each whore is brutally throatfucked for your viewing pleasure. Every cock is forced down virgin throats balls deep, and ever cum shot must be swallowed.'"

"If we just sue AIM, then it’s all about privacy rights and medical records (yawn). If we go for both, we show that AIM is just another cog in the machine that brutally abuses these girls without any regard to their emotional or physical well-being.

"Plus the owner of JM Productions is a lunatic. He fought off an obscenity prosecution a few years back and he loves to shoot off his mouth. When the press goes for the industry’s side of the story, they will probably get some great soundbytes from this guy - which will cut into any efforts AIM makes to defend itself in the press.

"Sharon Mitchell will have some well-crafted soundbytes from the FSC, but the folks at JM Productions will just say whatever they want, which could be great for us."

Now, when reading this, keep in mind that this is the same Michael Weinstein who was selling bareback gay sex videos at his thrift stores, and who probably would have no problem at all making money off gay porn selling the same throat-gagging, "body punishing", "brutal" sex.

But what fascinates me the most is that for someone who claims to only want to protect the performers, AHF sure sounds like another well known antiporn feminist activist I've heard of; one who spouts pretty much the same BS in pretty much the same language.

Maybe at their next presser, for maximum boostage, Weinstein should have both Shelley Lubben and Gail Dines at his side to rail against the evil porn industry and how they are simply abusers and exploiters? It would be a hell of a lot more truthful than their paternalistic pandering to be all "concerned" about protecting women performers.

Not to mention, covering up for crossover HIV+ performers..but that's another story I'll leave for others to tell.


Update:  


Oh, but it just gets better...in a followup post at AdultFYI, Gene Ross reveals an earlier email sent by Brian Chase to Michael Weinstein, in which Chase attempts to recruit Diane Grandmasion (nee Desi Foxx) to the campaign against AIM.


Hey Michael,

Dee Grandmaison [Desi Foxx] is the former adult film actress who now works with the Florida Coalition Against Human Trafficking. She is the one who is willing to be a plaintiff against AIM.

We may also be able to help Dee sue her former employer directly. The California Private Attorney General law gives employees pretty broad power to sue for breached labor laws – and under some circumstances it allows a single employee to sue on behalf of other employees to recover huge fines (most of which end up being paid to the state).

Dee worked for JM Productions, which is a prolific studio that churns out very unsafe gonzo porn. The owner is a real scumbag and he is very outspoken. He would make a great villain. If we can go after JM we could highlight a very unsafe workplace, and possibly get some $$$ for the bankrupt state government.


Dee and her daughter worked with some of the talent agents we complained against yesterday. We might want to have them file complaints as well.
Can we fly Dee out here, or can I fly to Florida to visit her? I think we need to have a face-to-face meeting in the near future.


This is fascinating in so many ways.

First, how in the hell did Diane (get the name right, Mr. Chase!!) Grandmaison go from not only being a full-time in house escort (even going as far as recruiting her own daughter into hooking as well), to becoming a spokesperson for an anti-prostitution abolitionist group so quickly??

Secondly, the fact that she did some scenes with JM Productions means...what?? That they forced her to do those nasty scenes of bukkake and deep throating?? Other than the usual antiporn agitprop, exactly how would that be credible in a court of law..and what would AIM, who only tests performers for STD's, have anything to do with that?

But here's where it gets real good. This email was dated before it was discovered that Desi's medical records had been leaked to the public via the original PornWikileaks. Yet, AHF's counsel decided not to pursue any action against Donny Long or his gaggle of groups involved in the raid of AIM's database, but instead focused their laser beam stun guns exclusively on AIM, aiding Grandmaison's ultimate lawsuit against the latter for the release of her records. (Ultimately, the FBI would be called in to launch a more comprehensive investigation, the results of which remain unknown.)

Two conclusions are inevitable from this.  Either AIM is really that incompetent with their databases, or there was a mole working for AHF (or maybe Pink Cross) who was sneaking personal records to PWL for smearing purposes.

Could it be that Weinstein, Lubben, and PWL might have been working together in collusion to entrap AIM (and by extension, the industry), and Diane Grandmasion was simply the pawn in their scheme??

And of course, getting money for "our bankrupt state government".  Yeah...but not without our 20% cut. Nice to see Chase remembers the fundamentals: do good, and get paid.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Porn Panic 2012: The "Weinstein-Lubben Model" Expanded To Homemade Webcammers; Plus, AHF Volunteers To Become The Official "Condom Nazis"

Just in case you thought that it couldn't get any worse, it gets much worse.

Mark Kernes has now posted at AVN.com his recounting of yesterday's meeting of the LA City Council committee involved in enforcing the condom mandate law, and it confirms two disturbing developments that I first mentioned on my update to my original post.

First off...there is this exchange that is documented between Immoral Productions chief "Porno Dan" Leal and  FilmLA VP Todd Lindren regarding the scope of the new law regarding personal webcamming.  Remember that Leal's company was paid a surprise visit by LAPD Vice the night before, and cited for not having a valid permit under the new law.

The first speaker was Immoral Productions owner Dan "Porno Dan" Leal, who informed the Group that one of his independent contractors had been given a citation by one of the eight members of LAPD's Vice Division who arrived at the location, for shooting a live webcam show without a permit. Leal explained that since the citation has been issued because the show, which was not yet under way when the police arrived, was being done for commercial profit or gain, he surmised that every webcam performer in the city would not be required to get a permit from FilmLA, and asked the FilmLA representatives if that was correct?

"It has been consistent that any commercial production, including webcasts, needs a permit," responded FilmLA's Lindgren.

"So any webcam show shot by anyone in the city of Los Angeles will now need a permit, is that correct?" Leal asked.

"Has always needed a permit, right," Lindgren corrected him.

"Ergo, any married couple shooting in their house, who's shooting a webcam show for profit or gain, which by definition would be every single person that shoots webcam, would now need a permit, is that correct?" Leal pressed.

"Under the city ordinance, if it's for commercial purpose, it needs a permit," Lindgren stated.

"And therefore, they would need condoms under the new regulation, is that correct, that logic?" Leal continued.

"We're in the process of developing that specific—and I can't answer that question," Lindgren responded.

At that point, Santana cut Leal off, stating that the comment period wasn't supposed to include a question-and-answer dialog with Group members, leaving Leal to finish by stating, "We will be happy to comply with whatever the city decides to do."
In other words, it isn't just about intimidating the big studios into wrapping up anymore; it's about forcing condoms on everyone who does any form of adult sexual media for profit.

Indeed, it isn't even about condoms, come to think of it...since the new law now extends the requirement of a permit to include even homemade adult webcamming -- and remember, the new Cal-OSHA regs could potentially require "barrier protection" (read, dental dams and gloves) for girl-girl and even solo scenes) as a means of "protection" -- that means that ANYONE who does an adult webcam in the city of LA is now liable to be required to apply for a permit, or face stiff fines and even jail time.

Now, whether or not the city has the means or the will to enforce this equally on all is a legitimate issue, but the fact remains that the city now has that hammer with which they can stomp anyone not meeting Mike Weinstein's or Cal-OSHA's rigid standards of "protection".

And then, there is the real issue with the collection of such information in the filing and handling of permits. What about the risk of a potential permitter having their information exposed and used as blackmail against them, or exploited by antiporn groups wanting to banish them "for the sake of the children"?? And, what about the very real threat of public exposure of private cammers as a means of shaming them, or outing them to their families?

Anyone who doesn't see the potential mass violation of basic privacy and sexual liberties inherent in this law is either dense or blind. But, hey, they're all just ignorant sluts, and this is for their own good and protection, so who cares??

Of course, the folks who put forth this law in the first place will always complain that even that is not enough, and will volunteer their services to drop the hammer down that much stronger. Witness the testimony of the only AHF representative at this meeting, Mark McGrath, as documented by Kernes:

AIDS Healthcare Foundation's (AHF) Mark Roy McGrath spoke next, and began by claiming that during the investigation of the  2010 Derrick Burts HIV infection, the LA County Department of Public Health had no problem identifying "all the production companies, all the secondary producers... in quick, short order," charging that those companies "continue to violate California law, they continue to act as outlaw entities, and we feel that... it's time that this industry act with legal responsibility and show a modicum of corporate citizenship."

McGrath claimed that the law "does not distinguish between content, but on acts," adding that, "they can create any content they want that's simulated. This law is specifically looking at infectious disease transmission and exposure." (Of course, most adult content fans won't buy simulated sex, but that's not something that worries McGrath.)

While noting that neither he nor AHF is "happy with the draft language," he asked, "How is it going to be logged? How are we going to conduct these investigations? If the fire department and police camn't do it, where are we going to do a Request for Proposal?"

Of course, several prominent adult industry members have suspected all along that part of the reason AHF got the new ordinance put on the books was to eventually offer its services to the city as the only official "condom inspectors," so it will be interesting to see which entities respond to McGrath's suggested RFP.
First off...I thought that the 2010 outbreak featuring Derrick Burts took place in Florida, right?? And that there was really no investigation by either FilmLA or Cal-OSHA, but from the LA County Department of Public Health, which AHF had already dismissed as "stonewalling" to begin with??  (And, dare I mention that even Burts admitted that he was infected in a shoot where condoms were already used??)

And of course, McGrath would say that it's only about acts and that if producers wanted to show authenticity, then they could always rely on simulated sex. Yeah, right...like everyone's going to move over to late night Showtime or Cinemax to get their fix of losing bareback sex.

But, it's the last sentence that is the most important: since AHF obviously doesn't trust the LA Vice squad to enforce their condom mandate the way they want, they wouldn't mind getting paid by the city to do the enforcement themselves.

WOW...outsourcing the enforcement of a public law to a private for-profit entity....that'll go well, and won't be abused. Like bloody hell, it won't. Ask the victims of the original Porn Wikileaks.

To put it simply, this is the Swedish Model for sex work applied to porn, shifted a tad, and then jacked up to heights unknown. Julie Bindel and Gail Dines would proudly support this...and I'm sure that Gail will give her blessings next chance she gets to post a CounterPunch essay. Only thing missing is the "Real Men Don't Buy Bareback Porn" ads and celeb endorsements.

Neoliberal antisex censorship. Just like right-wing fundamentalist antisex censorship....but neoliberal.

Seriously, we have GOT to fight this. To the fucking WALL.



Friday, May 11, 2012

Porn Panic 2012: The "Weinstein-Lubben Model" Of Sex Containment Hits LA Hard; Immoral Productions Busted By Vice Already

UPDATED....scroll to bottom.

A lot of people were fearing the day when the LA condom mandate law would begin to be enforced.  That day came yesterday, and it probably won't be the last day, either.

On the eve of what was supposed to be the final meeting of the Los Angeles City Council committee drafted to set the parameters of enforcing the newly passed ordinance, the porn production/cam company Immoral Productions, directed by "PornoDan" Neal, was hit with a unexpected bust by the LA Vice department, and thusly charged with violating the law, which states that all adult prodution within the city of LA must have a valid permit, and must also, in exchange for that permit, mandate that male performers wear condoms in their sex scenes. (There are some exceptions for those shoots with their own sound stages located in site.)

Here is the full accounting from XBiz.com:

LOS ANGELES — Immoral Productions received a citation from the Los Angeles Police Department on Thursday night for filming without a permit, CEO Dan Leal confirmed to XBIZ.
Leal said that eight officers from the LAPD's Vice Division visited the Immoral Productions studio in Chatsworth, where an independent contractor for Immoral was preparing to shoot an advertising spot with a handful of adult performers. Immoral produces numerous different live cam shows at the studio that are also later packaged for DVD distribution.
Leal was not at the studio Thursday during the visit, but he says he will appear in court on June 7 for the citation. He told XBIZ it was his understanding that he was specifically targeted by the LAPD, and that other webcam shooters should be aware that they also will have to obtain a permit in order to shoot or risk citations.
The LAPD officers were only at the studio for about 15 minutes, Leal said.
Of course, no one knows what the actual citations or punishments for violating the law will be, or whether or not, given the economic depression, LA Vice actually has enough juice to successfully implement or enforce the law.

And as for that meeting, that took place this morning??  Once again, here's the first scoop from XBiz:

Panel Needs More Time to Craft L.A. Condom Policies



LOS ANGELES — The panel that has been charged with crafting policies to implement Los Angeles' porn-condom ordinance will meet one more time next week.

On Friday, the Adult Film Industry Working Group convened for what was supposed to be the last time before they release findings in a report to City Council over how to enforce Los Angeles City Ordinance No. 181989, called the "Safer Sex in the Adult Industry Act."

But Los Angeles City Administrative Officer Miguel Santana on Friday said the panel needs more time and will meet sometime next week so that they can release findings to City Council at least by May 23, in accordance with a 120-day rule over when ordinances must be enacted after approved by City Council and the mayor.

The porn-condom ordinance was passed by City Council in January while a ballot-initiative effort by the AIDS Healthcare Foundation was in full swing; council members decided for the ordinance after weighing legal and ballot-initiative costs.

The "Safer Sex" ordinance currently isn't being enforced in the city, but later this month the ordinance likely will be put in effect, dramatically changing the wheels of porn production in the region. 
  
At Friday's City Hall meeting, the 11 working group members heard public comments less than three minutes each from Immoral Productions Dan Leal, Free Speech Coalition Executive Director Diane Duke and adult industry attorneys Michael Fattorosi and Alan Gelbard, as well as the AIDS Healthcare Foundation's Mark Roy McGrath.

The meeting lasted one half hour.

Leal, whose company was cited just last night by LAPD's vice squad for filming without a permit, told the panel about the bust, and asked how them how they could reasonably create an ordinance that would regulate sex between couples — "even married couples ... how could you regulate that?" he asked.

Fattorosi told the panel that any such ordinance would be "impossible to regulate."
"It will be an insurmountable task to identify the real producers for an industry that is worldwide," he said.

Duke, meanwhile, said that the ordinance is a "different type of censorship" that is filled with constitutional issues.

Gelbard echoed Duke's take on the ordinance, saying the statute is unconstitutional, that it is content-based regulation of speech and will never survive strict scrutiny, a standard of judicial review for a challenged policy where the court presumes the policy to be invalid unless the government can demonstrate a compelling interest to justify the policy.

The delay in crafting the enforcement leg of the ordinance was openly criticized by McGrath, the only AIDS Healthcare Foundation rep in the audience, which numbered about a dozen. McGrath also complained to the panel about creating a "permissive fees" structure  for adult entertainment film permits.
Basically, McGrath wants to put any porn producers and performers not using condoms to be put in jail and/or fined out of business. And, I assume that this includes even those who use cams in their personal homes to produce paid content for their home websites. In effect, use the full powers of the State to force performers to use condoms or simply quit the business.

Welcome to the "Weinstein-Lubben Model" of neoliberal sexual fascism, people. Scared enough to fight yet??

Michael Fattorosi has been covering this process throughout its genesis, and his @Pornlaw Twitter page is a valuable source for anyone wanting some valuable insight.

Then again, some people are willing to walk the talk. Like, say, Sean Tompkins over at The Real Porn Wikileaks, who issued this bit of warning to the likes of Bill Rosenthal and Mike Weinstein today:

To quote Steve Martin in Planes, Trains and Automobiles, “You’re Fucking With The Wrong Guy.” I couldn’t care less about your publicity raid.

You guys are no different than the bullies over at PWL You’re like one of those stupid lizards that puffs up their head to make them seem scary. In reality, you’re a collection of gay people [sic] who despise straight porn, straight sex and the freedoms that go with it.

Sadly, you’re dealing with a billion dollar industry that has no idea how to rally the troops. But once they figure it out, AHF and the rest can shove the condoms up their asses.

UPDATE:

More details on how exactly the condom law will be enforced in LA are coming in, and it is getting progressively worse.

Michael Fattorosi has been using his @Pornlaw Twitter livestream to update the adult performer/producer community on the potential impacts of the law, and he has discovered a segment of the law that can only be described as frightening.

The fulcrum of the law is the requrement that anyone producing porn in LA must get a permit from the group FilmLA to shoot porn, or face not only stiff fines, but also potentially a year in jail for shooting without a permit or violating the terms of the permit (including, of course, shooting without using a condom). The local LA Police Vice Squad would probably be the main group responsible for enforcement, but AHF spokesperson Mark McGrath testified at today's hearing that he would suggest that AHF officials from outside be recruited to become vice members as a means of enforcement.

Well, according to Fattorosi, his interpretation of the law is that  that proscription would not only cover porn shoots, but also potentially adult camshow productions as well. Meaning, that anyone, even those who upload camshows for their own homegrown websites, could be subjected to being raided by the Condom Nazis (or even just the Vice Squad) for not having the proper pemit to perform.

In effect, this recriminalizes private commercial adult sexual expression and media within the juristiction of the City of Los Angeles (well, at least those not meeting AHF's standards of "condom only").

The only thing missing from this debacle is Hollywood celebs talking up how adult webcamming is part of the Great Sex Trafficking Network...although I'm sure that McGrath and Weinstein already have a press release ready for that.

And now you know why Shelley Lubben was so gung ho in aligning with Mike Weinstein on this. It's never been about protecting porn performers from HIV and other STI's; it's always been about wiping adult commercial sexual media off the face of Los Angeles...and eventually, the rest of the world. And, of course, about getting easy money off porn panics.

I ask you again:  Scared enough to fight this, people??

The Free Speech Coalition (@FSCArmy) has just released their review of the hearing; it can be accessed here.