LOS ANGELES—Violet Blue, pictured, is up to her old tricks. In a Sunday morning roundup of sex and tech news, ZDNet's “self-made author, reporter and agitator” wrote an item that didn't sound right to us. We contacted the star of her post, industry attorney Marc Randazza, who had some choice words in response to her comments.
Blue’s post concerned a couple of lawsuits filed by Randazza against the operators of a sleazeball “revenge porn” website named UGotPosted.com. One was filed in Los Angeles federal court on behalf of the mother of a female minor whose “lascivious” images were allegedly posted to the site. Taking her facts from another article, Blue claims that Randazza filed the case “…on counts of distributing child pornography and failing to comply with 18 U.S.C. § 2257 (federal age record requirements for porn sites).”
That is partially correct. Randazza is suing over violations related to 18 USC §2252 and §2252A (knowingly shipping or transporting “material involving the sexual exploitation of minors”), and also Cal. Civil Code §3344 (using others likenesses without prior consent), but not technically over 2257, which is refenced in the counts only to the extent that the defendants, by ignoring the statute, failed "to verify [the minors] identity or birth date prior to posting the images of her engaged in sexually explicit conduct on the Internet."
Though sloppy, the technical faux pas pales in comparison to what comes next. Referring to the revenge porn lawsuits in general and Randazza’s involvement in particular, Blue observes, “I find it interesting that veteran adult industry lawyer Randazza seems to be stepping away from Big Porn's ‘circle the wagons’ party line and he now takes on many revenge porn cases pro bono.
“The mainstream porn industry's loudest mouthpieces typically attack critics of even its most consent-blurring violent filmmakers, and racist production companies, while recently ‘girlfriend revenge porn’ has been embraced as a genre for some mainstream porn producers.
“I hope this heralds a signal change for Big Porn's old attitudes.”
Besides being amused that a certified Big Media employee (CBS Interactive) was getting so exercized about something called Big Porn, we also wondered whether Violet Blue had become stuck in a Gail Dines-inspired vortex of multiplying and unfounded accusations. What embrace of revenge porn was she referring to and by which mainstream producers? If Randazza was “stepping away,” is she saying that he previously supported revenge porn websites? Confused, we dashed off a quick email to Randazza, despite the fact that it was 8 a.m. Sunday morning, to ask if he had “a fucking clue what she's talking about.”
“Funny you should write this,” he replied almost immediately. "I was just composing a bitchy comment to her article!" He then kindly provided us a freshly minted riposte.
“It’s simply lazy journalism,” he said of Violet Blue’s Sunday morning effort. “I'm not even that certain what ‘Big Porn’ means. I have never seen anyone in the adult entertainment industry stick up for revenge porn—not even theoretically. All I've heard from people in the industry is ‘good job’ for doing these cases. The legitimate adult entertainment industry does not approve of underage or involuntary content. Why do you think the industry funds ASACP so well?
“The author seems to have an anti-industry agenda,” he added.
It was then that we recalled another similar incident involving San Francisco’s resident porn grouch. It was only four short years ago in fact that former AVN staffer David Sullivan, responding to a piece she had written for the San Francisco Chronicle, gave Blue a metaphoric reaming over her self-righteous “blathering” and inability to get facts straight.
In a memorable opinion piece posted to AVN.com, Sullivan dismantled Blue’s arguments brick by brick before ending the piece with a blistering description of the “author” as “ the typical example of that San Francisco 'sex-positive' counterculture faker who blathers on about the 'community' and their own highly evolved sexuality, how all us sexual outlaws have to look out for each other, but is really nothing but a self-promoting, narcissistic wannabe capitalist who, if you get in the way of their quest for power and prominence, will swiftly resort to the very sort of behavior they decry in others outside their 'tribe.'”
Regarding the revenge porn lawsuits against UGotPosted.com, Randazza told AVN, “These cases were no brainers. This site doesn't seem to respond to demands, even from the FBI. So, there wasn't much else for the victims to do. Hopefully, once the case is concluded, it will stand as a warning to other revenge porn purveyors.”
Would that include Violet Blue?