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FSC Requests Delay of Implementation for 2257 Revisions

[From FreeSpeechCoalition.com]- CANOGA PARK, Calif. – Free Speech Coalition (FSC) has sent a letter to the Justice Department (DOJ) formally requesting a delay of implementation for revisions to 18 U.S.C. 2257 regulations that were issued in mid-December.

The final regulations implementing Congressional amendments to 2257 appear to have gone into effect on January 20. On that same date, President Obama, through Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, requested by memorandum that heads of departments allow for review by the incoming administration of all regulations not then final.

In the spirit of Emanuel’s memorandum, the Free Speech Coalition formally requested that the DOJ voluntarily announce that no enforcement, including inspections, under the new regulations will be implemented prior to review by the new Administration.

The FSC based this request on four significant issues. First, the implementation of the third-party record keeper (“non-employee custodian”) is a major alteration. Thirty-three days was insufficient time for the industry to adapt to a change of such magnitude.

Second, expansion of the record keepers from a few thousand (“primary producers”) prior to the publication of the final regulations to in excess of a hundred thousand record keepers (“secondary producers”) also takes time to implement.

Third, the pending case of Connections Distributing Co., et al. v. Keisler before the Sixth Circuit, en banc, also provides a basis for delaying implementation.

Finally, the regulations implementing 2257A, including the exemption for lascivious exhibition of the genitals, do not go into effect until March 18, 2009. At a minimum, extending the implementation of the rest of the regulations to that date would give the industry time to adapt to the new environment and give the new Attorney General the opportunity to review this regulatory scheme.

“Clearly the new administration plans to review some of the areas that the previous administration overreached in its authority,” FSC Executive Director Diane Duke said. “It looks as if the Obama administration respects the constitution. Hopefully that will play out in protecting all of our rights as they implement policy.”

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