There was a time when porn was a clubby little industry. The studios were all in Southern California. The filmmakers knew their performers, and the performers, to a large degree, knew each other. Through databases and
word-of-mouth, everyone was fairly aware of who they were working with. But in the past few years, this familiarity has vanished, and taken the industry's sense of security with it.
This week the porn world suffered its latest HIV scare and when this newest patient is identified, there's a good chance that few will know him or her very well, either. It's a sign of the changing nature of the industry. As
porn continues to expand in nearly every way, from the number of performers to the variety of studios to the increasingly far-flung locations of the shoots, the people involved have less and less idea of who they're working with.
Of course, the explosion in new male talent began years ago, but at least there was a relatively well-trusted database that performers could rely on to help keep them safe. But that database was maintained by the Adult
Industry Medical clinic (AIM) in Los Angeles. AIM, which was the medical testing center for virtually the entire industry, closed in May under the financial strain of lawsuits after the Derrick Burts scare. When AIM was open, if a performer
tested positive, a quarantine list could be swiftly generated showing who that performer worked with, who those people he worked with had worked with in turn, and so on.
This shuttering of the AIM database caught the industry with its proverbial pants down, and this is the source of much of the current confusion and fear, according to the adult-industry trade group Free Speech Coalition. We are putting a system into place to replace AIM, but it is not fully functional yet,
says Diane Duke, the Free Speech Coalition's executive director. On Aug. 28 the group called for an industry shut down until further notice.
An adult film performer who tested positive for HIV and caused the porn industry to shut down production as a precaution has been retested and the actor does not have the virus, a porn industry trade group has said.
Production can now resume, said Free Speech Coalition executive director Diane Duke.
The industry will be abundantly cautious as we try to nail down the reasons for what now appears to have been a false positive result on a previous test, Duke said.
The Texas Supreme Court has upheld a 2007 strip club entry fee tax, commonly known as the pole tax , claiming that the $5 charge doesn't substantially impact erotic speech and is justified as a tool to prevent the secondary effects allegedly caused by the combination of naked, gyrating female bodies and alcohol consumption.
Because the fee is content-neutral and satisfies the four-part O'Brien test, we conclude that it does not violate the First Amendment, wrote Justice Nathan L. Hecht for the unanimous court panel.
But as those who've been following this litigation know, the issue of using the fee to combat secondary effects was an idea introduced rather late in the game.
This is just a source of revenue; it has nothing to do with secondary effects, an attorney stated: The lady that authored the bill, when she presented the bill for the first time in committee, said, 'We are not claiming a link between
topless bars and sexual assault.' She was specifically asked that question.
That link was contested statistically by a professor at the University of Texas, and it was also contested in the sense of, there was no evidence introduced supporting that theory... There was no evidence that there had been sexual assaults in
the neighborhood, which is the basic secondary effect concept. They had evidence from a professor and a former police officer-turned-investigator that talked about sexual offenses in connection with entertainers, and they were assaultive type
offenses, but not committed by patrons, and not in the neighborhood.
Of the 169 clubs to which the fee applies, the attorney estimated that more than half could be put out of business because of the fee; that another 30% would be hurt, while just 20% would be minimally affected.
Private Media Group has formally filed with the Nevada Supreme Court an emergency writ to stay the motion for receivership, claiming the judge in the case abused her discretion in appointing a receiver.
The appointment of a receiver for the multinational adult entertainment company is potentially damning, Private counsel say, and already the receiver, Eric Johnson, hasn't wasted any time in exercising his authority,
including with its finances.
Within hours of the order being signed and before the order was even formally entered, he emailed relevant financial officers and directed that, 'Effective immediately cease all payments including but not limited to, each
and every account of the company's bank accounts, credit accounts, credit cards and any and all other accounts,' Johnson said in an email to company officials, according to Private counsel. 'Also halt the release of any payments in
whatever form, be it check or bank transfer or any other method for which prior approved (sic) for payment or release has been given. Such hereby approval is hereby rescinded.
Private said in its emergency writ to the Nevada Supreme Court that Johnson's first act as receiver may be all that is required to destroy this company and its subsidiaries.
I n 2009 Jack Furman Dean Jr. was sentenced to 30 years imprisonment for violating law which prohibits certain types of child pornography.
The defendant was convicted of viciously, sexually abusing his stepdaughter from the ages of 11-27.
The rest of the world undoubtedly sees the outcome of Dean as a well deserved come-uppance for a convicted child abuser. But what does this case mean for the adult industry? Aside from the general observation that tough
cases tend to make bad law, this decision is capable of having a colossally detrimental effect on vast amounts of adult web content. Specifically, almost any teen site on the web currently runs the risk of being categorized as child pornography
under this statute. Notably absent from the statute and resulting case law is a requirement that the prohibited material depict an actual child engaged in sexual activity.
Anti-porn nutters of the AIDS Healthcare Foundation are taking its condom case to the people ... maybe. The group, which has been trying to force all adult performers to use condoms on set, is undertaking a ballot initiative to get enough
signatures to put an initiative on the city's June 2012 ballot that asks if voters, want porn productions to made to use condoms in order to obtain film permits to shoot in Los Angeles.
City election officials said that: Activists must submit a petition with at least 41,138 qualifying signatures (15% of all votes cast in the last mayoral election) by Dec. 23 in order to place the measure on the June ballot.
The soft-core porn website Perfect 10 failed to show that Google's search engine caused its looming bankruptcy by offering the site's pictures of nude women for free, the 9th Circuit has ruled.
The federal appeals court in Pasadena rejected Perfect 10's request for a preliminary injunction in an ongoing battle with Google over alleged copyright infringements, finding that the website could not show it had or would suffer irreparable
Perfect 10 claimed in California's Central District Court that Google's web crawler software had destroyed its business model because it makes thumbnails of Perfect 10's images available without a subscription.
The court panel found that Perfect 10 had failed to submit a statement from even a single former subscriber who ceased paying for Perfect 10's service because of the content freely available via Google.
Cable and satellite television companies have a pornography problem: Their customers aren't watching enough of it.
Companies' revenue from highly profitable adult video-on-demand and pay-per-view services has been slipping, as the genre's consumers spend more time browsing porn on the Web.
The trend is prompting TV executives to pull back the curtain on how porn contributes to their businesses, a topic they have been loath to discuss publicly.
Satellite provider DirecTV cited lower adult buys as a cause for weaker pay-per-view revenue in its second quarter earnings. That followed Time Warner Cable Inc.'s admission last week that shrinkage in the adult category was responsible
for more than a third of a $14 million drop in video-on-demand revenue. While only a sliver of the cable company's $4.9 billion in revenue for the quarter, porn is one of TV providers' most profitable segments.
An AdultCon billboard has created a nutter backlash among residents of Glendora. The billboard was advertising an adult convention at the LA Convention Center.
I just don't think this kind of billboard has a place in our community, said Glendora resident Erica Landmann-Johnsey, who addressed the billboard at a recent city council meeting: I just can't imagine that many residents in Glendora
interested in going to a porn convention.
According to David Chantarangsu, planner for the city of Glendora, billboards in Glendora are protected by free speech laws: The Supreme Court has had a latitude of certain kinds of free speech, said Chantarangsu. These billboards are
nowhere near what the Supreme Court deems as obscene.
He said the advertising agency responsible for the AdultCon advertisement has purchased space on city billboards before, much to the dismay of residents who have called the city planning department with their concerns: We have placed calls to
the advertising agency to be a little more discreet about the types of ads they place on these billboards . They have been fairly cooperative, but they don't always listen to our requests. They have a vested right to place their ads, but
we're keeping an eye on them.
Los Angeles County public health officials do not need to require porn industry performers to wear condoms to protect against the spread of AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases, an appeals court has affirmed.
The Second District Court of Appeals upheld an earlier ruling that dismissed a petition from AIDS activists to force the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health to mandate condoms during the filming of hardcore pornography.
Anti-porn campaigners, AIDS Healthcare Foundation, had gone to court to compel county officials to act, arguing that they had passively observed an ever-growing epidemic within the porn industry. The foundation argued that the health
department had documented thousands of sexually transmitted diseases among adult film stars and attributed the epidemic to a lack of protection equipment for performers, including condoms.
The county moved to have the lawsuit thrown out, saying the foundation was asking for too much, to take any and all other reasonable steps necessary to stem the spread of sexually transmitted diseases in the production of pornography.
A Superior Court judge decided to dismiss the case in 2009, ruling that county officials had broad discretion over how they manage public health matters. The appeals court agreed, saying it could not compel the county health department to
implement AIDS Healthcare Foundation's agenda to combat sexually transmitted diseases.
Anti-porn campaigners of the AIDS Healthcare Foundation is taking its mandatory condom campaign to the California Supreme Court, asking for a review of a recent decision by a state appeals court panel that ruled Los Angeles County health
officials can't be forced to regulate the adult industry.
The AHF filed the petition arguing that there are several reasons the court should review the case. One of those reasons is that the issue affects the health of all California residents.
In December 2010, the adult film industry was rocked by the launch of PornWikileaks.com. Thanks to information purloined from the AIM Healthcare Foundation, porn stars' confidential information such as their real name and STD test results were
published on the internet.
Led by director Mike South, a portion of the San Fernando Valley's X-rated film industry community banded together to force the hand of the suspected owner of the site, adult actor Donny Long. South, attorney Michael Whiteacre, and Internet
expert Sean Tompkins were able to finally legally compel GoDaddy.com to confirm Long's ownership of the website.
Long wasn't ready to back down. But Whiteacre and South used the newly acquired domain information to find the person responsible for funding the site... Soon after the funder was revealed, PornWikileaks. com went dark and has remained so ever
Mark Townsend spent nearly two years fighting a bizarre libel case in Dubai. Here he tells of the legal limbo of the gulf city's labyrinthine legal system
August is a cruel month of extremes in Dubai. Triple digit temperatures connive with intense levels of humidity, and every day there is a mad dash to the next air conditioned space. August 2009 exposed a new kind of extreme,
that continues to occupy every waking moment of my life. For 22 months I have been subsumed in Dubai's labyrinthine legal system for a crime I did not commit. The crime: libel, a criminal offence in the United Arab Emirates carrying a
maximum two year prison sentence, a fine, or a combination of both. If you happen to be a foreigner there is a risk of deportation. For twenty two months the authorities withheld my passport. For twenty two months I was high and low, guilty and
innocent. There were two meetings with the public prosecutor; nine court appearances; five adjournments and the tacit use of tampered evidence.
A new bill sponsored by State Senator JP Morrell, Louisiana has partially decriminalized the acts of soliciting oral and anal sex, which, according to an archaic statute that considered those acts felonies, forcing those found guilty to register
as sex offenders and to carry driver's licenses and I.D. cards featuring the words SEX OFFENDER in bright, orange capital letters.
The laws were used to target sex-workers who were largely female, African-American, gay and transsexual, while white heterosexual streetwalkers were rarely subject to the outmoded law punishing unnatural carnal copulation. Being busted for
solicitation of crimes against nature meant greater difficulty in securing housing, employment, treatment and services.
The anti-nature crimes will be changed next month from felony to misdemeanor status, meaning that first offenders paying for anything other than vaginal intercourse face up to six months in jail and a maximum fine of $500. And it now
requires two convictions to be tagged with the sex-offender label.
Almost 40% of registered sex offenders in Orleans Parish are on the registry due to a Crime Against Nature conviction, so it's an important step in the fight against legal discrimination against minorities, especially when it's between consenting