Likely the most pressing issue of the day for adult producers, the changing guidelines being litigated for the Federal government’s 18 U.S.C. §2257 record-keeping and labeling statute were the subject of an AEE seminar this afternoon led by two of the case’s primary attorneys, Paul Cambria (of Lipsitz, Green, Fahringer, Roll, Salisbury & Cambria LLP) and Michael W. Gross (of Schwartz & Goldberg, PC).
Also in attendance were leading industry attorneys Clyde DeWitt, Larry Walters, Al Gelbart, Reed Lee, Jeffrey Douglas and Roger Wilcox. Prior to the seminar, two FBI agents spearheading the government’s 2257 investigations approached Cambria with a request to sit in, he said. The FBI request was denied, on the grounds that it was too short notice, but Cambria passed on the message that they would be available during the convention to answer any questions about their investigations.
Calling the upcoming battle over the proposed amendments to the 2257 statute “a very serious situation,” Cambria commanded the first half of the seminar with an overview of what said amendments may entail, noting that “it remains to be seen if they’ll be helpful to the industry or not.”
Cambria expressed hope that the new regulations would address some of the complaints brought by the Free Speech Coalition in its impending lawsuit in Denver against the government, including that those regulations could jeopardize the privacy and safety of adult performers, and that a blatant disparity exists in accepting foreign identification documents for productions shot outside the U.S., but not for those shot here.
Perhaps the most troubling specter of the proposed amendments, as Cambria explained, is the expansion of the statute’s parameters to include anything with “lascivious exhibition of the genitals and/or pubic area of an individual.” In addition, the new regulations could apply to content portraying simulated sexual conduct — and even “lascivious exhibition” of clothed pubic regions — something that would bring mainstream Hollywood into the fight … which, of course, could be immensely beneficial to the adult sphere.
The problem in both cases is the slippery slope of who and what could become eligible for prosecution under such broad and nebulous guidelines. For instance, could you become responsible for record-keeping as a DVD replicator? As a magazine printing a lingerie ad? As somebody posting video clips on YouTube?
“Our Constitutional rights are being attacked on all fronts,” exclaimed Gross, “and we need to stamp this law out root and branch.
“Anybody who does anything with an image has to have the records for it,” he expounded, “and if they don’t, they’re a criminal.”
Urging the adult community to become educated on the details of the 2257 law, Gross, Cambria and the other attorneys present stressed that producers should seek them out for answers to specific questions, and warned that they should take this issue very seriously.
Toward the end of the session, Jeffrey Douglas made an impassioned plea for producers to donate to the Free Speech Coalition in order to ensure that this litigation is completed, stating that $300,000 is needed to do so.
Photo of Michael Gross and Paul Cambria by Rick Shameless.