FSC MEMBERSHIP MEETING SCHEDULED
Vol. VIII, No. 21, April 14, 2006 — A Member Service of the Free Speech Coalition
Free Speech X-press is researched and edited by Kat Sunlove and Layne Winklebleck.
Copyright 2004 Free Speech Coalition. Permission to reprint granted to FSC members; please give credit.
VISIT OUR WEBSITE FOR FSC MEMBERSHIP INFORMATION
CANOGA PARK, CA — FSC will hold a General Membership Meeting Thursday, April 20, at the Marriott Warner Center in Woodland Hills, California. The event will begin with a reception at 5:30 PM followed by the meeting at 6:00, moderated by FSC Executive Director Michelle L. Freridge. The following speakers and topics are on the agenda:
FSC Board Chair Jeffrey J. Douglas will provide an update on FSC’s 2257 litigation and will also discuss bills pending in the U.S. Congress which contain revised record-keeping requirements under the 2257 law. ( See X-Press Report, “New Version of Pence Bill Passes House,” 3/10/06)
Stephen Rohde, an attorney representing FSC in the Utah Child Protection Registry litigation, will describe the current status of the lawsuit.
FSC Board Member Reed Lee will discuss the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals ruling striking down the pandering provision of the PROTECT Act (See report below).
FSC Communications Director Tom Hymes will report on his recent trip to the ICANN meeting in New Zealand, and will provide an update on issues related to the .XXX Top Level Domain proposals discussed there. (See report below)
FREEDOMSTREAMS ’06 FUNDRAISER GAINING MOMENTUM
CANOGA PARK, CA — FreedomStream ’06, a fundraiser for the FSC 2257 Legal Defense Fund, is gaining serious momentum, with over 80 companies signed up to participate. The fundraiser is the brainchild of HotMovies.com, the video-on-demand retailer, which has been working tirelessly over the past several months to solicit the participation of companies for this important event.
The concept is simple: HotMovies is designating one day, April 18th, during which participating studios will donate their HotMovies.com profits to the 2257 Legal Defense Fund. As an added incentive, HotMovies has offered to match money raised dollar for dollar. It’s as simple as that, but it promises to raise thousands of dollars for this cause. Some of the largest and most influential content producers in the industry have come together to show their support. The names of the many producers who have signed up are posted on our website.
Adult Internet producers, won’t you join this event? We’re all in this together. Winning a preliminary injunction in Denver was a great victory, but it was just the first step in a long battle that must be won.
For details or to sign up, contact Scott Lowther, FSC Director of Membership Development and Services, at 866-FSC-9373, or C.J. Cox from HotMovies.com, at (800) 611-MOVIE.
For more information about how you too can organize a fundraiser to benefit the Free Speech Coalition, please contact Scott at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you HotMovies and thank you all for your support!
ALARMING LANGUAGE IN .XXX NEGOTIATIONS
WELLINGTON, NEW ZEALAND — FSC Communications Director Tom Hymes attended the recent Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) in Wellington and learned that provisions detrimental to the adult entertainment community are being considered for inclusion in the contract (Agreement) between ICM Registry (the organization that has submitted proposals for a .XXX Top Level Domain) and ICANN — provisions which have been kept secret from the adult industry.
According to Section III of a communique (3/28/06) on the ICANN Government Advisory Committee (GAC) website, ICM Registry, in its application to GAC in November, 2005, “promised a range of public interest benefits as part of its bid to operate the .XXX domain.” However, said the communique, to “the GAC’s knowledge, these undertakings have not yet been included as ICM obligations in the proposed .XXX Registry Agreement negotiated with ICANN.”
That range of public policy aspects, said the GAC communique, “include the degree to which .XXX application would:
1) Take appropriate measures to restrict access to illegal and offensive content;
2) Support the development of tools and programs to protect vulnerable members of the community;
3) Maintain accurate details of registrants and assist law enforcement agencies to identify and contact the owners of particular websites, if need be; and
4) Act to insure the protection of intellectual property and trademark rights, personal names, country names, names of historical, cultural and religious significance and names of geographic identifiers drawing on best practices in the development of registration and eligibility rules.
"The Free Speech Coalition has long opposed the establishment of a .XXX top level domain name because of its potential to serve as an easy censorship tool," said Hymes. "The current contract talks, together with the Baucus-Pryor bill, show that FSC’s concerns were well-founded all along.” (Re the Baucus-Pryor Bill, see X-Press Report, “.XXX Top Level Domain Bill Introduced, 3/17/06)
In an email to AVN Online, ICM Registry President Stuart Lawley downplayed the disclosures and called FSC “either misinformed or confused.” Lawley claimed the GAC communique was from ICANN (GAC) to the ICANN Board and did not reflect ICM/ICANN agreements. He stood by the ICANN agreement, which he said was a matter of public record. He also claimed most of the provisions in the GAC communique were already a part of the law and/or were normal requirements for any Top Level Domain.
If Lawley denied that ICM Registry has committed to GAC using different language than the organization used in the ICANN agreement, it was not mentioned in Ed Crane’s AVN Online report.
From an FSC press release, 4/7/06
And from an ICANN (GAC) communique, 3/28/06
And from Ed Crane, AVN Online, 4/11/06
APPEALS COURT STRIKES DOWN PANDERING LAW
ATLANTA, GA — In a 11,000 word opinion written by 5th Circuit Court Judge Thomas M. Reavley (sitting by designation) a three judge panel of the 11th Circuit has ruled unanimously in U.S. v. Michael Williams to overturn a section of the 2003 federal PROTECT Act (18 U.S.C. §2252A(a)(3)(B)) which outlawed promoting, or “pandering,” material “in a manner that reflects the belief, or that is intended to cause another to believe,” that the material contains illegal child pornography. Under the law, someone like Williams could receive a sixty-month, mandatory, minimum sentence if convicted of offering child porn on the Internet, even if he in fact was not in possession of any actual child porn. In Williams’ case, he was in possession of child porn and was initially convicted of both crimes, possession, which also carries a sixty-month, mandatory, minimum sentence, and promoting under the PROTECT Act, sentences to run concurrently. So, Williams did not personally benefit, in terms of a reduced sentence. when the appeals court overturned his conviction under the pandering part of the PROTECT Act. He will still serve 5 years in prison.
Fairness under the law benefited, however, at least in the 11th Circuit, which includes Florida, Georgia and Alabama.
“Suppose for example,” wrote Reavley for the panel, “the government intercepts an email claiming that attached photographs depict ‘little Janie in the bath hubba, hubba!’ Does this ‘reflect a belief’ on the sender’s part that the photos are lascivious?…. Regardless of what is actually depicted in the photos, whether they are innocent baby-in-the-bubbles snapshots or candid stills of the family Rottweiler in a No. 10 washtub — regardless, in fact, of whether any photos are attached — this communication could be interpreted as criminal behavior."
The logic of U.S. v. Michael Williams turned on the Supreme Court’s decision in Ashcroft v. Free Speech Coalition (2002), which is referenced on almost every key point. The constitutionally dubious pandering section in the PROTECT Act was transparently an effort by lawmakers to tweak the language in order to try again in their efforts to dramatically expand the reach of child porn laws, after an earlier, similar effort was struck down (6-3) in Ashcroft v. FSC. But they didn’t tweak enough. The Supreme Court made it clear in Ashcroft v. FSC that child pornography laws must involve the sexual abuse of actual children. What is it about actual and child that the U.S. Congress does not understand?
Said the 11th Circuit in unambiguous language which hopefully lawmakers will hear this time:
“In the wake of Free Speech Coalition, sexually explicit speech regarding children that is neither obscene nor the product of sexual abuse of a real minor retains protection of the First Amendment. We believe the Court’s decision in Free Speech Coalition leaves Congress ample authority to enact legislation that allows the Government to accomplish its legitimate goal of curbing child abuse without placing an unacceptably heavy burden on protected speech.”
From U.S. v. Michael Williams, 04-15128, 11th Circuit
And from Mark Kernes, AVN.com, 4/10/06
GROUP ACCUSED OF UNFAIR TACTICS
SCOTTSDALE, AZ — The plot has thickened in the feud here between the City Council and exotic dance clubs Babe’s and Skin Cabaret. In response to the high profile purchase of Babe’s by adult entertainment star Jenna Jameson with her partners last year, the City Council passed an ordinance amendment in December, 2005, banning nudity and requiring a four-foot barrier between exotic dancers and patrons in the only two exotic dance clubs in town. In response to that action, Jameson launched a referendum drive and succeeded in placing the issue before the voters on a May 16 ballot. (See X-Press report, “Showdown in Scottsdale,” 12/16/05)
In a recent development, Lamar Whitmer, a political consultant hired to lobby for Babe’s and Skin Cabaret as the clubs try to overturn the regulations, has filed papers forming a political action committee — on behalf of a group with ties to the clubs — aimed at defeating a proposition that would raise the city’s spending limit by $79 million.
The connection between the clubs and the spending cap opposition has prompted accusations that the political committee’s true intent is pressure the City Council on the exotic dance ordinance.
"Why else would the strip clubs be involved or at all interested?” asked Mayor Mary Manross. “It simply is an attempt to threaten the council so that we will give them what (they) want and gut our ordinance, which protects our commercial and residential neighborhoods.”
Whitmer denied that there was a link between the two. The spending cap opposition group is simply trying to force greater City Hall financial accountability, he said.
Information and quotes are from Ryan Gabrielson, East Valley Tribune, 4/5/06
OTHER NEWS OF THE WEEK
A federal court judge in Jackson, Mississippi has ruled in favor of Babes Showclub, allowing the club to reopen. It’s the latest development in the “war” between the clubs and Jackson Mayor Frank Melton. (See X-Press report, “Mayor Versus Exotic Dance Clubs,” 2/17/06)
An ultra-Orthodox, "sex commando," Israeli hacker has targeted Israeli-based adult websites. Visitors to the hacked sites see only a photo of a stern-faced Rabbi and a condemnation of men who have “spilt their sperm for nothing.”
Foreigners who want to qualify for residency in the Netherlands must now watch a DVD that illustrates various aspects of Dutch life, including a topless woman frolicking in the surf and two men kissing warmly
The MPAA ratings board has forced the producers of Basic Instinct 2 to cut a bi-sexual, menage-a-trois scene in order to avoid an NC-17 rating. “I guess it was too hot,” said the film’s star Sharon Stone.
APR 7-9 – Leather Leadership , New York, NY
APR 13-16 – Domcon L.A. , Sheraton Four Points Airport LAX, L.A. CA
APR 15 – Nina Hartley and Richard Pacheco, "Backstage with the Pornstars," Stanford University, CA Airport LAX, L.A. CA
APR 18-19 – CELEBRATE FREE SPEECH LOBBYING DAYS, Sacramento, CA
APR 28-30 — Venus 10, International Trade Fair, Berlin, Germany
APR 29 – 2nd Annual Sin City Chamber of Commerce Spring BBQ, Chicken Ranch Brothel, Pahrump, NV (Benefit for FSC)
May 5-7 –Leather Fest, Washington, DC
May 10-13 – Webmaster, Toronto, Ontario
May 25-29 – Mr International Leather, Chicago, IL
JUN 8-11 – Cybernet Expo 2006, Shelter Pointe Hotel, San Diego
JUN 9-11 – Exxxotica Miami Beach, Miami Beach, FL
JUN 12-14 – XBiz Summer, Las Vegas, NV
JUN 14 – Celebrate Free Speech Day, Flag Day, Washington, DC
JUN 18 – Folsom Street East, New York, NY
JUN 17 – Leather Pride Night, New York, NY
JUN 23-25 – Erotica Los Angeles, Los Angeles Convention Center
JUL 12-14 – XBiz Summer, Las Vegas, NV
JUL 15 – Night of the Stars, Course TBO
JUL 15-22, Gay Games, Chicago, IL
JUL 16 – Bob Tremont Golf Tournament, Location TBO
JUL 26 – AUG 5 – Outgames, Montreal, Canada
JUL 19-22 – Lifestyles West, Las Vegas Stardust
AUG 4-6 – Internext Summer 2006, Weston Diplomat, Hollywood, FL
AUG 22-25 – Gentlemen’s Club Expo, Las Vegas, NV
AUG 25-28 – Erotica Expo -New Zealand
SEPT 4 – West Coast Rubber, Palm Springs, NV
SEPT 24 – Folsom Street Fair, San Francisco, CA
SEPT 23-24 – Adultcon 11, Los Angeles Convention Center
OCT 20-26 — Everything To Do With Sex Show, Toronto, Canada
OCT 21 — Exotic Erotic Ball, San Francisco, CA
DEC 1-3 — Black Rose 2006, Washington, DC