Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Measure B Was Only A Missile, CalOSHA Drops The NUKE: Draft Of New Porn Regulations Released, And It's As Bad As It Gets..And WORSE (UPDATED)

[UPDATED: Scroll to the bottom of this post.]

A lot of people were under the impression that since Measure B is now getting assaulted under legal action, and the proposed condom mandate law died a brutal death in the California Assembly, the porn world would be safe from regulation now for the forseeable future.

Problem is, though, they forgot about CalOSHA and their ability to use regulations to do what official law might not accomplish. And, considering the not so thinly veiled collusion between CalOSHA and the AIDS Healthcare Foundation in their mission to regulate the porn industry to death, or at least force "barrier protection" on them, it may have been not too wise to overlook them.

Well...can't overlook them now.

Tonight, CalOSHA, using the tried-and-true method of leaking to friendly supporters of their crusade (read, Mike South's blog), released their draft copy of proposed "bloodborne/sexually transmitted pathogens" prevention regulations that they plan to submit to the federal branh of OSHA for final approval.

I have converted the original .doc file to .pdf and will be uploading the file here ASAP for your personal viewing and analysis...but trust me on first reading, it is as bad as it gets...and WORSE.

Here's the quick Cliff's Notes summary of the proposed regs:

1) A new category of "sexually transmitted pathogens" is created in order to justify mandating condom usage, assuming that ALL porn performers are essentially carriers of STI's and are incapable of protecting themselves.

2) Condoms and other forms of "barrier protection" are now mandatory for ALL vaginal and anal penetrative sex, and any contact of semen/vaginal fluids with the face or internal body organs are now prohibited. Translation: no more facials or swallowing, no creampies, and no pop shots to the ass or near the vag, either. The back, the breasts, and anywhere below the knee is still apparently OK, though.

3) There is a exception from condoms (and I assume dental barriers for women) for oral sex, but that is conditioned on verification that the performers involved have undergone a stringent vaccination regime for HPV, Hepatitis A, and Hepatitis B, and is cleared by an approved physician....and that exception is invalidated by January 1, 2018.

4) All porn production studios are now required to have Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) -- as in safety gloves, goggles, aprons, and other mandatory equipment -- in use and accessible. In short, porn studios and personal residences are now forced to endure regulations more suited for hospitals or drug testing facilities...even though STI infections in porn are below that of the general population.

5) All porn production studios will be forced to provide a licensed physician at all shoots to verify that these regulations are being enforced, and to report any violations and/or possible infections to the local health authorities.

6) Vaccines for Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, and HPV will be required of all performers, at producers expense, and even if a testing/screening program is in place that clears the performer. (What..no Hepatitis B or syphilis??)

7) Porn production companies must provide at their own expense a program of medical services and followup treatment for possible exposures. (This is a direct attack at the PASS protocols, since their screening system doesn't include as of yet followup for treatment. I'm guessing that AHF is chomping at the bit to provide those "services" through their inferior yet "free" tests, right??)

That's the bad part...here's where it gets progressively WORSE:

8) Producers are now required to log every scene, including every scene performed within the last 30 years, including personal medical information about everyone involved with each and every scene....and that includes the performers' stage and real names, addresses, and other personal info. And, they must make such info available upon request to any federal or state authority, and must maintain such information for no less than five years. (This is 2257 on steroids, y'all. Can you imagine someone like Michael Weinstein getting his hands on such a database of personal private information?? Imagine no more, because it's more than probable that AHF will take over the monitoring and the testing AND the enforcement of these regulations, and thusly will have control over this "database". NSA will have nothing on THIS.)

9) Furthermore, even if the production company should go out of business, it would be required to immediately transfer these required records to the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (the federal branch of OSHA) within 3 months.

All in all, this is nothing less than an AHF/OSHA coup against the adult industry to impose their own standards and drive the industry underground or completely out of business...and all for AHF and the condom companies to have free ad placement. Other than the tube sites and illegal pirates who will now thrive on the sale of bareback porn that will, if these regulations come to fruition, suddenly become a commodity like gold, and the mainstream "simulated sex" genre who may get a boost from elimination of the hardcore competition, it's going to be pretty damn hard for any aspiring producer to survive, let alone make a profit.

Don't say that we didn't warn you of this happening.

UPDATE: I've now posted the full text .pdf version of the draft regs on Scribd. Here's a copy of the transcript:




UPDATE #2 (11-5-13) AVN has now confirmed with Cal-OSHA that the document as opposed is only a first preliminary draft document, not the final regulations. Quoting from them:

UPDATE: AVN has confirmed that the proposal referenced below was officially issued by CalOSHA, but in its current form, it is described as a "draft" rather than an actual "proposal."

Deborah Gold, the Deputy Chief of Health and Engineering Services for CalOSHA, recently stated in an email, "I believe that what is being circulated is a draft, not a proposal, and it was/is our intent to post it to the advisory committee webpage... With health regulations, Division staff sends draft proposals to Board staff for their review. Then those proposals, with comments, corrections etc. are sent back to Division staff, until a final proposal is reached.  What is being circulated is only a preliminary draft. The Board released it pursuant to a public records act request... We have had six advisory meetings which led to the current draft."

Gold also said that she is no longer the lead contact on this issue, and that those responsibilities have been assumed by Senior Safety Engineer Amalia Neidhardt, who noted in an email to AVN that the current draft has been edited from an original draft created in June, 2011. She also noted, "This draft has been sent to the Board staff for their review. It is not a rulemaking proposal at this time."
So, it seems that this draft proposal wasnt really intended to be released to the public, but was only done so through a "public records act request". So, who requested it?? Mike South??  AHF?? AVN??

Did AHF and South simply jump the gun to announce these regs as "final" even though they were clearly intended to be merely preliminaries to be adjusted for the final proposal?

And....considering that it took nearly TWO years for CalOSHA to revise their original 2011 preliminary draft document to this version, what does it say about the interagency warfare now going on within CalOSHA to tweak these proposed regulations? You'd think that if they were following the AHF template to the letter, they would have released a final edition by now....but there must be some ongoing infighting going on now.

In any case, the process is still ongoing, and we will still keep you updated should anything happen.

7 comments:

  1. No cause for panic here. One of the objections to Cal-OSHA's initial attempts to impose the blood-borne pathogen standard was that it was written for the health care industry and wasn't specific enough for porn. That it took about a year for the agency to even draft these new regs gives you some idea of how eager they are to get back into this mess, which is not very.

    No doubt their pals at AHF and The UCLA Working Group have been putting the squeeze on them to get this happening, as it appears increasingly likely that neither the legislature nor The Ninth Circuit will bend to AHF's wishes. Cal-OSHA is the last line of defense for all this idiocy, and a weak one at that. By their own admission, the agency's investigative process is complaint-driven and only employees have standing to invoke it. I don't think they relish the prospect of a jurisdictional battle over the employee status of porn performers and will restrict their actions to responding to complaints from snitches AHF will attempt to plant on porn sets.

    The result will be some wasted time and taxpayer money, but this is more a nuisance than a threat.

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  2. Ernest, I hope you're right.

    Anthony, any update on your article for Counterpunch?

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  3. I could be wrong, but I've been watching this whole circus at close range and it seems to me that the show's about over, or as they say in Variety, El Foldo in All Venues.

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  4. While I'm not optimistic about Anthony's piece appearing on CounterPunch, I'm rather more confident that what we'll soon see here is a replay of what happened when Obama didn't blink in the face of The Tea Party.

    I wonder what all the mouthy sudden mandatory condom converts are going to say when this whole thing implodes.

    I would remind them before they spill any more pixels on Twitter that in the entire 30 years I've been in this business someone has been threatening to bury it every single minute. Ed Meese was going to bury it. Ira Reiner was going to bury it. John Ashcroft was going to bury it. Gail Dines was going to bury it.

    And yet here we are, still legal and still very much alive. Based on the win-loss record, I know how I'm betting.

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  5. Gents..I'm pretty much resigned to the fact that CounterPunch probably won't publish my response to Dines...but that's OK. Their loss, not mine.

    I saw something where Dan Neal of Immoral Productions is attempting to negotiate a variance of the proposed regulations which would spare the worse of the regulations. I don't know whether he was or will be successful with this, or whether the industry will come out in full force to challenge these regs whenever (if ever) they are approved..but at least there's some bit of resistance.

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  6. Sorry, Anthony, But I guess we're in the same club - unpublished by Counterpunch, with no reason given.

    The post-Cockburn Counterpunch is awfully protective of Dines, isn't it? One day, we're going to find out what's really going on.

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  7. There will be no variances allowed in the regs. The regs will either be struck down as irrelevant to the workforce involved or they'll simply be ignored. As part of the creeping prohibitionism responsible for everything from the inability of BDSM web sites to get credit card processing to Amazon's ongoing purge of self-published erotica to the Cinemax's rather loud proclamation of the intent to back away from softcore programming we will end up living with the Cal-OSHA's on-the-books restrictions as a nuisance that can't be entirely avoided in creating what you make. There won't be a lot of investigations or big fines, nor will their be anything resembling widespread compliance, but after living with decades of potential federal obscenity prosecutions hanging over all our heads we're not going to just throw it in because some state agency might, under just the right circumstances, hit you with a fine. All these measures, endorsed by good progressives like the folk at CounterPunch, really add up to the liberal version of the FRC's agenda.

    Of all the big, stupid things the porn industry did when times were good, the biggest and stupidest was its failure to cover its left flank. Porno has no friends anymore. Fans are not friends. They're not going to take political positions that require outing themselves as porn wankers. What made Miller v. California and everything that followed it possible was the - perish the thought - libertarian liberalism of everyone from Barney Rosset to Gore Vidal to Kenneth Tynan. They're all gone now and those who have inherited their seats at the left-of-center table are more interested in identity politics than in individual liberty, which they now regard with suspicion as no more than a thin scrim to cover the ongoing evils of patriarchy.

    How did this happen? We let it happen because the guys who run the porn business aren't very smart, know nothing important about politics and can't tell their allies from their enemies. A charlatan like Michael Weinstein and a demagogue like Gail Dines can easily shame these First Amendment apostates into throwing us under the bus to make themselves seem less like Hugo Schwyzer. We needed those people and we did nothing as an industry to keep them onboard.

    So now we will continue to work on as we always have but with more anxiety over the remote but not unimaginable prospect of getting hit with a big fine for doing what we've always done. The genuinely liberal harm reduction systems put in place to make our work safer will be degraded by a general decline in confidence inspired by loud-mouthed losers like Rob Black and Mike South and the work of making porn will, in fact, become more dangerous for all but those lucky few who will be uplifted by the handful of remaining big producers who still sell into what's left of the sexually adventurous sub-cultures now abandoned by the SDP faction of the left that once embraced their attempts at enriching their sex lives and now rejects that as just "the corporatization of sexuality."

    I've warned of this happening for years. Nobody listened. How happy are they now?

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