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

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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  • SOP (Score:5, Insightful)

    by raydobbs ( 99133 ) on Saturday February 21, 2009 @05:38PM (#26943877) Homepage Journal

    It should just be SOP that you have a proof of age statement for ANY model that could potentially be seen as underage, file it right along side the model release form - and call it a day. A little extra insurance saves tons of headaches later in life, and a little prudence and CYA never killed anyone in this lawsuit-happy world.

  • oblig. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 21, 2009 @05:40PM (#26943891)

    This Thread Is Worthless Without Pictures.

  • Who cares? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Darkness404 ( 1287218 ) on Saturday February 21, 2009 @05:49PM (#26943969)
    Honestly, who cares? As long as no one is hurt, it should be legal. The government is not our moral compass. As long as it does not negatively impact you or anyone who didn't agree with it (and agreement should not have an age restriction), it should be, by definition, legal.
  • Nothing new (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Hao Wu ( 652581 ) on Saturday February 21, 2009 @05:53PM (#26944005) Homepage
    You don't get publicly carded for buying beer. The transaction is only between you and the store, unless there is evidence of a crime being committed.

    It is a deliberate tactic for anti-sex groups to threaten porn stars with stalkers. If they can't shame them into obedience, then they expose them to sexual predators.
  • Re:Who cares? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Frosty Piss ( 770223 ) on Saturday February 21, 2009 @06:00PM (#26944055)

    Honestly, who cares? As long as no one is hurt, it should be legal. The government is not our moral compass. As long as it does not negatively impact you or anyone who didn't agree with it (and agreement should not have an age restriction), it should be, by definition, legal.

    That's what a lot of people here say, but the problem is that a lot of people think exactly that and so this is why our elected representatives craft such laws.

  • Re:Who cares? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Kjella ( 173770 ) on Saturday February 21, 2009 @06:05PM (#26944091) Homepage

    (and agreement should not have an age restriction)

    So anyone from a three year old that's barely learned yes to a 17.5 year old should be able to agree to anything, and then it's legal? Come on, you gotta be kidding me.

  • Re:Kids will Lie. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by DJRumpy ( 1345787 ) on Saturday February 21, 2009 @06:36PM (#26944289)
    This is about the people/models in the photo's, not the one's wanting to see it. It wasn't designed to protect minors from adult pornography, but to protect minors from predatory pornographers. I have to agree that the restrictions were far to onerous to be useful. The whole 'fantasy' of pedophiles is purported to all be based on appearance. If someone looks to be a little long in the tooth, then why force them to maintain a pointless record verifying that aren't hot to a pedophile?

    It then comes down to who decides what looks 'legal' and who doesn't. I can see this turning into the same mess as ID verification for Alcoholic beverages (anyone over 30 ID'd). Somewhat of a joke since you can't really tell everyone age with any accuracy from looks.

    If the law is too difficult or to sweeping to enforce without unnecessarily restricting someone's first amendment rights, then it should be overturned as unconstitutional. We have those protections for a reason.

    They should find a better way to put the sick bastards away who peddle child porn.
  • Re:WRONG (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Wrath0fb0b ( 302444 ) on Saturday February 21, 2009 @06:49PM (#26944369)

    (a) Whoever produces any book, magazine, periodical, film, videotape, digital image, digitally- or computer-manipulated image of an actual human being, picture, or other matter which ...

    The word "produce" has a specific legal meaning that is not the same as "possess".

  • Re:Idea... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by mcpkaaos ( 449561 ) on Saturday February 21, 2009 @06:57PM (#26944435)

    If it doesn't have a number or if they're obviously not the same person, go after the publisher for consent.

    Porn is probably the number one industry in which people radically alter their appearance frequently, if not regularly. Good luck enforcing your idea.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 21, 2009 @07:00PM (#26944469)

    If you think the Lady Justice statue is sexual in nature, you've got problems.

  • Re:SOP (Score:3, Insightful)

    by westlake ( 615356 ) on Saturday February 21, 2009 @07:11PM (#26944551)
    It should just be SOP that you have a proof of age statement for ANY model that could potentially be seen as underage

    It surprised me that this post was originally modded as Flamebait.

    Because the professional artist or photographer needs to have this nailed down before the session begins.

  • Re:SOP (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Belial6 ( 794905 ) on Saturday February 21, 2009 @07:18PM (#26944601)
    apparently reading the summary is not being done, more so in responses to your post, but also in yours. It is not the magazine that is taking pictures. The magazine is being told that it has to have age verification ON THE ADVERTISERS PICTURES. Not their picturse, the pictures from their advertisers.
  • Re:SOP (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ivan256 ( 17499 ) on Saturday February 21, 2009 @07:25PM (#26944641)

    I would guess that a publication such as this would be afraid it would lose customers if those customers knew their names were going to be on file for an extended period just waiting for somebody to go trying to dig up some dirt on them.

    Isn't proof of age up front enough?

  • Re:Who cares? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Creepy Crawler ( 680178 ) on Saturday February 21, 2009 @08:25PM (#26945059)

    ---Agreement absolutely should have an age restriction, because it comes down to the ability of the person making the agreement to make an informed decision. This is important because if the person making the agreement cannot make an informed decision, then we can't really be sure that noone is going to be hurt.


    ---Is a 14 year old capable of making an informed decision? What about an 8 year old? Maybe, but as a society we've pretty much agreed that 18 is a reasonable place to set the bar.

    It depends on the 14 year old. If they're raised on that old idea of cause and effect and has been shown that bad things can and will happen, I'd trust their opinion over a 30 year old who hasnt learned that.

    Also, the 18 year age is not agreed upon by many segments of the population. When I was in high school, I knew many that formed their own opinions of politics, and could connect logic just as good as many adults. We allow sexual decisions at 16 and acknowledge that informed consent can be made then, but no pictures due to arcane laws that forbid it.

    We (royal, in terms of government) find under 18'ers guilty of crimes as we try them as adults. They are "adults" when compared to crimes, but no other adult rights?

    We (royal again) find young females guilty of "child pornography" when they take pictures of themselves, under no coercion. Who is harmed then?

    If you're over 21, you have pretty much every right as afforded by the USA, with exception to high political offices that have age limits. If you're under 21, it's a morass of what law you might be violating under which penal code. Take a topless shot of yourself at 17 and you now a child pornographer, or 18 and a sip of alcohol and DAMN YOU.

    ---We might ask who, if not the individual, is in a position to make such a decision on their behalf - I'd say here parents or guardians serve in that role until the child is old enough to make informed decisions.

    The standard of majority should be the lowest age of who has been tried as an adult in this country, without being found guilty. And that would indicate 12.

    ---I agree with the statement that the government is not our moral compass, but in this case I don't think this is about governments acting as a moral compass. I think it's about offering some protection to minors.

    Minors should be protected. The argument is whether 18 should be that standard. Im dead set that it should not be, due to actions by our very government.

  • by Dhalka226 ( 559740 ) on Saturday February 21, 2009 @09:56PM (#26945539)
    Almost certainly, it's a backhanded attempt to say "no see, we really do have this power!" After all, Congress clearly has the power to regulate interstate commerce.
  • Re:SOP (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Strange Ranger ( 454494 ) on Saturday February 21, 2009 @09:57PM (#26945547)
    The whole problem with this law and the concept of "insurance" is that you have to continually prove your innocence or you are de facto Guilty. You could shoot a nude of a 40 year old women but if you don't have a record of her age then you're guilty of a crime.

    I know we must all Think of Children all the time, but what if you had to continually register your possessions to prove you didn't steal them, or continually register your driving speed to prove you weren't speeding? We'd be all up in arms over the outrageous unconstitutionality of such laws. But point a camera at a naked body and all of the sudden it's ok to have laws just like Singapore or China.

    > Never underestimate the stupidity of humanity when it comes to anything sex-related.

    Indeed. Especially Americans.
  • ZOMG! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Brickwall ( 985910 ) on Saturday February 21, 2009 @10:29PM (#26945725)
    139 posts on /. on child porn issues, and not a single "Think of the children!" comment? I'm appalled.

    But seriously, this is just another example of what I call the "extended childhood" of North American children. Forget the Puritans; it was common all across Europe to marry children of 13-14 years of age for centuries. (Hell, didn't Jerry Lee Lewis marry a 14-year old in 1950's?) But even though our kids, thanks to TV, computers, and the net, are much more educated than kids were in the 1930's, we keep trying to protect them from their own natural urges for longer and longer periods of time.

    And this weird American prudishness just continues to amaze me. Here in Canada, on regular broadcast TV, not just cable, you can see nudity and soft-core sex practically every night. And on plain vanilla cable (which virtually all Canadians have), not specialty pay channels, you can even see hard core sex late night on the weekends. I really don't get why people think it's fine for the kids to see hundreds (if not thousands) of murders as they grow up, but think that if their kids see a naked breast, they'll be instantly corrupted.

  • I'd love to hear what the divorce rates are for teen marriages.

    You highlight the crux of a problem. Why is it not okay for teens to fuck, unless they're married, when it all becomes somehow righteous and loving and special?

  • Re:Who cares? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Ashriel ( 1457949 ) on Sunday February 22, 2009 @06:44AM (#26947547)

    The government is not our moral compass.

    The role of government is shaped by the values of the community which created it.

    Depends on the scope of the government you're talking about.

    Local government (municipal and county) can pass any damn law they feel like, and states aren't very limited, either. So long as they abide by the specifically protected freedoms in the U.S. Constitution.

    If Mississippi wants to declare all pornography to be obscenity, and mandate 20 years in prison for violators, than that's for Mississippi's citizens to deal with. They can either abide by the law, lobby for a change, or move somewhere else if they disagree with the majority of the communities there.

    The federal government, on the other hand, has a very specific list (18 things, in fact) that it can do - and serving as a moral compass for its citizens is not one of them. The entire premise that a national governing body that spans 3000 miles (5000 if you count Hawaii) can determine what is or is not proper for all of its local communities is absurd. What is obscene in Kansas [] may not be obscene in New York City.

    The Feds need to stay the fuck out of this crap

    I know of no government which will not insist on its right to protect minors against themselves and those who would exploit them.

    That can not and will not limit a minor's freedom of action.

    Minors have no guaranteed rights under basic law. They are property of their parents. Why do you think they use the term "emancipated" minor?

  • Re:Who cares? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by mpe ( 36238 ) on Sunday February 22, 2009 @09:50AM (#26948167)
    But, if we don't do that, we're also being hypocritical, unless we change the law. A simple change, adopted by several states, is to also add an age difference -- over 18, you can fuck anyone else over 18. Under 18, 5 years difference -- so 17 and 20 is fine, but 17 and 40 is statutory rape.

    Using this kind of metric can wind up equating to the same kind of discrimination as having different hetero and homosexual ages of consent.

    Even that is still pretty flawed -- is she really going to be less attracted to that 40-year-old man in a few months when she's 18? -- and there have been cases where a difference of a few days or months means the difference between a healthy relationship (among teens) and getting on the sex offender list, even with laws like that.

    Or young men and women are pushed into unhealthy relationships with people younger than they'd ideally want to be with. Such laws may not even be fully effective in dealing with teachers seducing students (or vice versa).

    I think we should fix the law, instead of selectively enforcing it, which seems to be what you're advocating -- or at least, enforcing it universally, but having the sentence be lessened in cases we "like".

    The difficulty with even attempting to "fix the law" is that it involves accepting that "teenagers" are young men and women with the same sexuality (and variations of sexual desires) as the rest of humanity. Most parts of the world have big cultural issues with human sexuality in the first place. Be it assuming that everyone is hetero-monogamous by default or outlawing prostitution as a regular commercial business. There are also issues like if you pick an "age on consent" there will be people under than age who will activly seek sex. (A few of them if you pick something like 12, a great number of them in you pick something like 18). Further with a high age of consent not only will there be a large number of sexually active people considered by the law to be "too young" there will also be a lot of situations where both/all involved in a sex act will underage.
  • Re:SOP (Score:4, Insightful)

    by The Snowman ( 116231 ) * on Sunday February 22, 2009 @10:45AM (#26948421)

    Never underestimate the stupidity of humanity when it comes to anything sex-related.

    Indeed. Especially Americans.

    While in general American-bashing irritates me, I have to concede this one. Sigh.

    As a United States citizen, taxpayer, voter, and veteran, I must say that I live in a country of pussies. I am trying to get my fiancee to go to a nudist event when it warms up a little: just a bunch of people swimming in a pool, nothing sexual, honestly it is just comfortable. She has a hard time imagining anyone seeing her naked. I explained it like this. Even fully clothed, everyone knows what she looks like naked. It is no secret that she has breasts and a vagina. Hell, half the human population has that. The other half tries to see it as much as possible anyway.

    There should not be anything taboo about a naked human body, yet our society insists on making it so. As a group, we mistakenly blur the line between nudity and sex, especially sex that should be taboo and illegal: rape, incest, child molestation. We blur the line so much until the issues become as one, and use fear-mongering to keep opposing ideas in check. That is the greater crime: legislating morality.

    As for the original topic: I am not opposed to such a law if worded correctly. It should not burden advertisers or publishers. Regardless of what the law says or if there is one at all, I believe it would be wise to have this information recorded somewhere. Whether the onus is on the advertiser or on the publisher, if anyone has any doubts about the age of the model, they need to record it. Copy the model's state-issued ID, and record the date the photograph was taken. Have a simple, one or two line document that states something along the lines of "based on the government-issued ID, I believe this model is of the legal age to get naked in front of a camera." Have the model, photographer, and someone able to execute contracts at the advertising agency sign it. It could literally take five minutes. Slap it in a filing cabinet indexed in a way that makes sense, scan it to PDF, whatever. Cover your ass. Even if there is no law requiring this, someone could still file a lawsuit: exploiting children is illegal regardless of this specific law.

"The following is not for the weak of heart or Fundamentalists." -- Dave Barry