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Six Porn Companies Have Flunked 2257 so Far

Michael Fattorosi posts on www.adultbizlaw.com: On the last day of Internext I was able to attend the class The War on Porn moderated by attorney Larry G. Walters of Weston, Garrou, DeWitt & Walters with panelists Clyde DeWitt, Gregory Piccionelli, Reed Lee and Jennifer M. Kinsley. All are prominent First Amendment attorneys within the adult industry and all have my utmost respect.

This was one of the most interesting panels of recent memory. All the panelist gave excellent insight into the government’s current attack on the adult industry, also known as 18 USC 2257 and the Adam Walsh Amendment. While this article should not be construed as legal advice or even a transcript of their presentation, I will attempt to highlight the interesting issues raised by the panelists.

According to Jennifer M. Kinsley of Sirkin, Pinales & Schwartz, lead counsel on the 2257 litigation for the FSC, the FBI/DOJ has no interest in violating the terms of the injunction that is apparently still in effect despite recent inspections on supposed secondary producers.

Based upon the discussions with the lead US Attorney in the FSC v. Gonzalez litigation, the FBI/DOJ only want to inspect primary producers. Greg Piccionelli added that in his opinion, there are no restrictions in regards to the injunction as to when your membership in the FSC began. This basically means that even if you join the FSC today, you would be covered by the injunction and thus immune from an inspection if you are a member and only a secondary producer. Therefore, anyone in the industry should still visit the Free Speech Coalition’s website and join today.

Piccionelli went on to state that there are approximately 700-750 companies that are on the FBI’s inspection list. When I asked how this list was compiled he answered that based upon his meeting with the FBI/DOJ, they used online DVD sales websites as well as doing their own research by entering and inspecting actual adult retail stores to construct the list. Therefore, based upon these statements we can only assume that most to all of the inspection targets are DVD companies and not internet companies, unless that internet company produces their own content.

He went on to also state that of the 7 inspections already completed only 1 company passed without any violations. Clyde DeWitt indicated that of all the companies the one that used the services of KeepSafe got it right. He unfortunately did not mention the one company that passed inspection though.

Of the 6 that did not pass, there were numerous violations but there were no arrests made. According to the FBI, they were merely performing an administrative inspection and preparing reports which would then be given to the DOJ for review and decision making as to whether any of those companies would be prosecuted. The FBI did provide instructions to the companies as to the violations and how to correct them. Those in violation were also given time to correct the violations before the FBI handed it’s final report to the DOJ, however, even if the violations were cured this did not relieve the company of a infraction and thus possible prosecution later on. We await the DOJ’s decision at this time.

According to Reed Lee, the is a great disconnect between the FBI and DOJ as to the nature of the inspections. From my own research, it appears that the FBI is in uncharted waters in respect to having to perform administrative inspections, not criminal investigations and that the actual members of the inspection teams are not “gung-ho” about their assignment. Remember, the FBI is still fighting a war on terror. A close childhood friend of mine currently in the FBI confirmed this sentiment.

As for how easy it is to be pegged for a violation, according to Piccionelli, the FBI inspectors are actually watching target company’s film and taking screen captures from that movie. Armed with just the name of the performer they are inspecting the records and attempting to match the screen capture and the pictures on the ID of the performers. If for some reason the pictures on the ID cannot be matched to the screen capture pictures, that is a violation(s). Thus, don’t use black and white cheap copiers to make copies of performer’s IDs. Only use high resolution cameras and/or color copiers. Further, if your own records have IDs without a picture or an illegible picture get a better one or dump the content. The last piece of advice from the panel was that if your company produces DVD movies and you use trailers in the movie, whether they are phone sex ads or other clips, you need to have 2257 documents on those clips on file as well, if not that is a potential violation.

Overall, it was one of the most informative panels as to 2257 I have recently attended. I only hope this article has cleared up some questions our visitors may have had in regards to the 2257 inspections. Finally, Reed Lee went onto state that the regulations on the “new” 18 USC 2257 with the Adam Walsh Amendment are likely to be promulgated any day. We await the changes in order to provide our visitors with the lastest information pertaining to these records and how all of our lives in the fast lane of adult entertainment is about to change – again.

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