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Court Reinstates Proof-of-Age Requirement For Nude Ads 267

Posted by timothy
from the barely-legal dept.
arbitraryaardvark writes "An Ohio swinger's magazine objects to keeping proof on file that its advertisers are over 18. I reported here in 2007 that the 6th circuit struck down U.S.C. Title 18, Section 2257 as a First Amendment violation. The full 6th circuit has now overturned that ruling. The case might continue to the Supreme Court. The Cleveland Plain Dealer reports."
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Court Reinstates Proof-of-Age Requirement For Nude Ads

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  • by Jane Q. Public (1010737) on Saturday February 21, 2009 @06:46PM (#26944359)
    Section 2257 says that records must be kept by ANYBODY who creates pornography either intended for distribution, or with equipment or materials that were sold or shipped via interstate commerce. It does not distinguish whether those videos or images were taken for personal reasons.

    If you bought your camera on eBay, and you have taken pornographic pictures of your wife or girlfriend, the law very clearly applies to YOU. Which is not reasonable... but which is fact.

    Clearly, the law *IS* overbroad.
  • Re:Nothing new (Score:5, Informative)

    by mtdenial (769442) on Saturday February 21, 2009 @06:53PM (#26944387)

    One of the google talks by Violet Blue actually had some interesting information on the 2257 requirement. She did not go quite this far in criticising the law, but pointed out some very serious problems with it.

    Basically, a decent chunk of people who needed to prove age for 2257 compliance basically just had pictures of them with the driver's license. Of course, many people tend not to perform under their real name and if these pictures get onto the internet, then someone else can tie a face to a real name and possibly even an address. Not a good situation in general. From what I gather, the wording of the law was pretty vague as well as to what sort of proof was required and who could eventually ask for it.

    Anyhow, a pretty interesting talk here with some relevance to the topic: Violet Blue (Google Tech Talks) [youtube.com]

  • Re:oblig. (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 21, 2009 @09:46PM (#26945509)

    Yes, I too have dated a swinger. She also had psychological problems that made her less than desirable despite her hot body. For example, she used to work at a famous prostate cancer treatment clinic in Seattle, and she stole drugs, including Viagra, from there. Then there were the lies, jealousy and hypocrisy. She would get jealous cause I had a girlfriend but couldn't understand why I might be upset if she fucked some random guy. I feel sorry for the guy who got her after I did cause she had no intention of tell HIM that she had been a swinger. Around the same time, she quit because she started realizing that the guys treated the women like sex objects, not people and didn't care if the girls got jealous or not. DUH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    BTW, after she acted like such a twat, I made an anonymous tip that they might want to install hidden cameras at the clinic to watch for theft of drugs. Sometime there after I found out she had changed jobs rather suddenly so revenge was mine.

  • by Brickwall (985910) on Saturday February 21, 2009 @10:00PM (#26945559)
    Please tell that to John Ashcroft, the sanctimonious prig.
  • In Theory (Score:3, Informative)

    by maz2331 (1104901) on Saturday February 21, 2009 @10:40PM (#26945761)

    Yes, we do, but it's really more a "de jure" rather than "de facto" thing.

    First, any competent attorney will cost at least $10k before you get to court (pre-trial proceedings, evidentiary motions, research, etc).

    If you don't have the $10k to blow up-front, then you can get a public defender, who will usually be a less experienced lawyer with a huge caseload. The PD will do their best for you, but doesn't have the time or energy to really devote to your case, especially since she has 100 others in play at all times.

    Add to this that the court rules themselves (ie: little things like "font size in brief" or "line spacing" or "citation reference format") are arcane to the extreme, and any one can be a landmine that blows the foot off of your case.

    Next, add in that often prosecutors take an unreasonable "interpretation" of the law itself, which if unchallenged stands. And the challenge must follow ALL rules.

    So - bottom line - it's $10k or jail, guilty or not. If guilty, it's probably $10k + jail, if innocent it's just jail.

    If you have $100k and are innocent, you have a chance.

  • by RWarrior(fobw) (448405) * on Saturday February 21, 2009 @11:39PM (#26946027)

    This case is headed to the Supreme Court, and there is a decent chance they may agree to hear it. There is a directly conflicting ruling out of the 10th Circuit in Denver. A split on a point of law (a Circuit split [wikipedia.org]) is often a reason for the Supreme Court to step in, so that the conflict can be resolved.

    I had to deal with 2257 compliance in my work for an adult website. It works like this:

    1. The photographer (or production company) must verify identity with a government-issued ID. If shot in the United States, the government-issued ID must be an American identification, even if the model is not from the United States, such as a cute chick on vacation for a couple weeks just traveling on her passport. Note that if you shoot outside the United States, a foreign ID is fine. Are you shooting in El Paso? You can go to prison for shooting your Estonian model on her passport and visitor's visa, but if you take her to Juarez and shoot her there, you're in the clear.

    2. The photographer must keep a copy of the ID, the model's contract, AND the pictures for five years after the last publication of the photographs. In addition, if published on the Internet, you have to keep a complete list of all URLs (including thumbnails!) of any picture you publish, even when those URLs change or come down. You better not be using any database-driven stuff with auto-generated URLs, because you now have to track every one of them, no matter how they change.

    3. The records must be cross-indexed by model's real name, any stage names, any dates of publication, any dates of recording, title of product or production, and URL. Use three year old footage in a new DVD? You get to dig back through your compliance records and update your cross-indexes.

    4. The records must be SEPARATE from your normal day-to-day business records. That is, you have to keep this stuff for the ordinary course of your business, and THEN you must keep a SEPARATE copy for the government.

    5. You must publish the REAL name and address of the person who holds the records on each copy of your product -- DVD, mag, or book -- AND on EVERY PAGE of your website (a "click here for 2257 info" link is *not* acceptable).

    6. This person must be available at least 20 hours a week, 52 weeks a year, for unannounced visits from the FBI, who may rifle through your records (and copy any or all of them, to dig through at their pleasure) looking for violations without a warrant or any cause at all, probable or not.

    7. Violation of any of this can land you in prison, even if your models are not under the age of 18. You can do years in prison and pay thousands in fines if the only thing wrong is that you screwed up the cross-indexing.

    8. If you sub-license or sell your content (such as your website's affiliates), you have to give un-redacted copies of your records to the person you sell/give the content to. Are you a DVD producer who posts your movies on HotMovies [hotmovies.com]? HotMovies gets a copy of your records, complete with the model's real name and address. The model doesn't get any right to opt out, either; if they can also turn around and sell or sub-license your content, THEIR licensees get your model's information, and YOU can't do anything about it, and you have no control over who it all goes to!

    9. If you receive sub-licensed or sold content, you likewise have to keep a complete set of records. It is *not* sufficient to simply keep track of where your content came from so the FBI can back-track. You have to have your own independent, complete set of records, all lined up, cross-indexed and separated from your daily business records, and ready for inspection whenever the FBI decides to materialize.

    10. You are required to keep records even if you go out of business, be available for FBI inspection 20 business-time hours per week even if you go on vacation or operat

  • Re:SOP (Score:4, Informative)

    by The Snowman (116231) * on Sunday February 22, 2009 @10:49AM (#26948439) Homepage

    Okay, so let's see the records you have for the pictures of the toddler running around without a diaper, who you accidentally caught in a funny but "suggestive" pose.

    Don't try to tell me that the law doesn't apply to you! As written, it most certainly does.

    I have photographs of both of my children naked. Certainly I have photos from the delivery room. I even have pictures of their fist baths, and one of my younger son pissing on my ex-wife while she bathed him.

    The difference is I am not publishing these photographs, nor do I use them in a sexual context. It is the difference between nudity and sexuality. At the very least, if such a law were in effect, someone would need to see them, suffer some sort of harm (or claim that I harmed my children), and then file a lawsuit. Even if it is technically illegal, a judge wants to see that someone was hurt in some way before agreeing to hear a lawsuit.

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