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Porn website AdultShop.com pawned as rules ignored

from www.theaustraliannews.com – ADULTSHOP.COM managing director Malcolm Day blames the poor enforcement of pornography sales regulations for his company’s failure to turn a profit over the past four years.

Privately owned erotica chain Sexyland last week launched a $7.9 million takeover bid for Adultshop.com, pitching the offer as a lifeline to shareholders who have watched Adultshop’s market value plummet from more than $600m to just $3m over the past 10 years.

But Mr Day said the $7.8m in losses his company has accumulated since 2004 were directly attributable to rival retailers illegally selling X-rated material outside the ACT and Northern Territory — the only jurisdictions that allow it.

“I put most of it down to the lack of regulation in Australia on the sale of X-rated DVDs in the states,” he said.

“All the shops on the east coast openly sell them. If it was regulated they’d be forced to buy them from a wholesaler, and we’re the only wholesaler that submits DVDs to the OFLC (Office for Film and Literature Classification) for classification and editing.”

Fiona Patten, chief executive of sex-industry lobby group The Eros Foundation, estimates that about 80 per cent of X-rated material purchased in Australia is sold illegally in states other than the ACT or NT.

In addition, Eros estimates about 70 per cent of pornographic material sold in Australia has not been approved for sale by the OFLC, and is therefore illegal to sell.

The Australian found that Sexyland’s outlet in the Melbourne suburb of Airport West had hundreds of X-rated DVD titles displayed for sale, alongside DVDs lacking required rating stickers and not appearing on the OFLC database of titles that have been cleared for sale.

In contrast, the Adultshop .com website includes only videos that have been cleared by the OFLC, with all online orders being posted from Canberra.

“For Adultshop to grow our sales and profitability, we need a similar licensing system as they have in the ACT throughout the states of Australia — consistent laws that are properly policed,” Mr Day said.

Under the Victorian Classification Act, sale of X-rated material within the state is punishable by up to six months’ imprisonment, while sale of material that breaches classification guidelines in punishable by up to two years’ jail.

Sexyland owner Angelo Abela could not be reached for comment yesterday. Sexyland staff said he was visiting a pornography trade fair in Europe.
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