Free Speech X-Press Delivering Weekly Censorship Updates to the Adult Industry Vol. VIII, No. 29, June 9, 2006 — A Member Service of the Free Speech Coalition __________________________________________________________ Free Speech X-press is researched and edited by Layne Winklebleck. Copyright 2006 Free Speech Coalition. Permission to reprint granted to FSC members; please give credit. __________________________________________________________ VISIT OUR WEBSITE FOR FSC MEMBERSHIP INFORMATION http://www.freespeechcoalition.com __________________________________________________________
SAN DIEGO, CA — An FSC membership meeting is scheduled for 11:30 AM to 1:00 on Sunday, June 11 during the Cybernet Expo in San Diego, on the premises of the Kona Kai Resort (formerly known as the Shelter Pointe Hotel) in the room where the seminars are being held. Speakers will include FSC Deputy Director Scott Lowther, First Amendment attorney Eric M. Bernstein, FSC Board Director Connor Young and FSC General Counsel Jeffrey Douglas. FSC Executive Director Michelle Freridge will moderate a discussion of the current state of FSC and the latest issues threatening free speech.
Also at Cybernet Expo, don’t miss the panel discussion of First Amendment issues scheduled on Saturday, June 10, from 1:30 PM to 2:30. See seminar schedule for details.
NET NEUTRALITY ISSUES NOW UP TO THE SENATE
WASHINGTON, DC — The House has passed (321-101) a major telecommunications bill containing many far-reaching provisions. Of special concern to the adult industry is the issue of “net neutrality,” which got short shrift with the House passage of H.R. 5252. Many fear that the major telecommunications companies will be able to hijack the future of the Internet by charging content providers for premium, or faster, Internet service, which necessarily means that those who do not pay up will stay in less than super lanes of the information super-highway. H.R. 5252 contains only meager provisions guaranteeing the continuation of the net neutrality that has characterized the Internet until now. Maintaining principles of net neutrality may also be necessary to prevent the telephone and cable companies, which are increasingly going into the content business, from favoring their own products over those of others.
These arguments carried little weight in the House. H.R. 5252 reflects the considerable clout of the telephone industry in the House, opines New York Times reporter Stephen Labaton, and in particular its ties to the Republican leadership there.
Advocates of net neutrality may have better luck in the Senate. Commerce Committee Chair Ted Stevens (R-AK) has announced that he is working with Senator Daniel Inouye (D-HI) on revised language for his committee’s version of the broad communications bill, and plans to release the new version soon.
“Many members do not believe that the (net neutrality) provision in the existing bill goes far enough," said Stevens.
Some information from Stephen Labaton, The New York Times, 6/9/06
See also: Susan Davis and Drew Clark, Technology Daily
Additional information and quotes from Anne Broache, CNET News, 6/8/06
For comments by Google co-founder Sergey Brin: Reuters, 6/6/06
For background summaries see X-Press reports “Net Neutrality Issues Debated in Congress,” 3/10/06; “Lawmaker Reconsiders Net Neutrality,” 4/7/06; and, “Coalition Forms to Protect Net Neutrality,” 4/28/06.
BROADCAST INDECENCY BILL PASSES CONGRESS
WASHINGTON, DC — Members of the House have overwhelmingly (379-35) passed S. 193, legislation that raises maximum fines for broadcast indecency violations by ten-fold to $325.00 per incident. The bill now goes to the President, who is expected to sign it.
If there is a bright side to this legislative overkill it’s that it could have been even worse. Last year the House passed a bill by Representative Fred Upton (R-MI) that would have increased the maximum fine to $500,000, allowed fines for individual performers and given the FCC the authority to revoke the licenses of broadcasters fined three or more times. However, as happens a lot these days in D.C., the somewhat more moderate Senate would not go along with a bill quite that radical. S. 193 was sponsored by Senator Sam Brownback (R-KS) and fast-tracked through the Senate.
Information is from the Associated Press, 6/8/06
See also: John Eggerton, Broadcasting & Cable, 6/7/06
BILL WOULD END FEDERAL COURT REVIEWS
WASHINGTON, DC — Representative Chris Cannon (R-UT) has filed legislation that would prevent federal courts, including the Supreme Court, from hearing challenges to state laws regulating adult materials. The rationale for the scheme is a sentence in Article III, Section 2 of the Constitution which reads as follows: "In all other Cases before mentioned, the Supreme Court shall have appellate Jurisdiction, both as to Law and Fact, with such Exceptions, and under such Regulations as the Congress shall make."
Several other bills are pending in Congress based on the same Article III language. One would prevent the Supreme Court from reviewing a government official or agent’s "acknowledgment of God as the sovereign source of law, liberty, or government.” Other bills remove federal jurisdiction from cases involving the Pledge of Allegiance, gay marriage, and public prayer by government officials. The scheme is known as “jurisdiction stripping,” or “court stripping.”
Is there a possibility that such an outlandish strategy could take away federal review of First Amendment protections? It would seem at first glance that the tactic, if successful, could apply across the board to all manner of legislation, effectively “stripping” the federal courts and the Supreme Court of any authority whatsoever. On the bright side, of course, is the fact that the ultimate agency to decide if the Supreme Court is to be stripped of authority is… the Supreme Court.
Information is from Alan Choate, The Daily Herald (Utah), 6/7/06
MONTANA ATTITUDES SHOW IN VOTER RESULTS
BILLINGS, MT — The results are in on two adult entertainment laws which were put before voters in Yellowstone County. A poorly-drafted obscenity ordinance, which could have created problems for adult businesses, was voted down. Voters did approve amendments to county zoning regulations, creating new rules for sexually oriented businesses, including exotic dance clubs. (See X-Press Report “Voters to Decide on Adult Laws,” 3/24/06.) However, the new regulations will probably not cause much initial hardship for adult businesses, because existing clubs and stores are grandfathered in under the old rules. Also the ordinance does not apply to Billings, which is in Yellowstone County but not subject to County regulations. Therefore only a very few rural adult businesses are involved.
It is always interesting to see what happens when voters have an opportunity to register opinions about adult entertainment protected by the anonymity of the voting booth. It is also interesting to get a birds-eye view of the perspectives of Montanans, who may be “red” state voters in many respects, but also have a reputation for following the Code of the West: Live and let live.
The turnout was in above average numbers. A news team from KULR, Channel 6, in Billings, polled some voters. Most said they were interested in the obscenity ordinance. Voters rejected the obscenity ordinance by a 56 to 44 percent margin, with 15,314 voting no and 12,064 in favor. The sexually oriented business ordinance was approved by a very slim 425-vote margin, with 13,612 in favor, 13,187 opposed.
Vote tallies for precinct 1 and precinct 6 were of particular interest because the area involved is around the site of Planet Lockwood, an exotic dance club that has been the focus of much controversy. A majority of people who voted at Lockwood School, about a mile from Planet Lockwood, didn’t see a need for the ordinances. Voters in Precinct 1 opposed the zoning ordinance by a 33-30 margin. In Precinct 6, the ordinance failed by a 683-566 margin.
The obscenity ordinance, which failed countywide, also failed in both precincts located at Lockwood School. Voters in Precinct 1 rejected the measure, 34-28, and voters in Precinct 6 rejected it by a 754-535 margin.
Information is from Tom Howard, The Billings Gazette, 6/8/06
See also an earlier Gazette report.
A LA CARTE CABLE PROPOSAL PUT FORWARD
WASHINGTON, DC — Senator John McCain (R-AZ) has introduced a bill setting incentives for cable operators to offer channels on a per-channel, or a la carte basis. The bill would not mandate a la carte, but it would reward cable operators who offer the option by eliminating state and local franchising obligations and by reducing franchise-fee payments. Consumers are clamoring to receive a la carte, said McCain, in lieu of large programming packages that include channels they don’t want to buy or consider indecent for children to experience.
Information from Ted Hearn, Multi-channel News, 6/7/06
DECISION ON DANCE CLUB SET OVER
TARZANA, CA — Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Dzintra Janavs has declined to issue a temporary restraining order against the Frisky Kitty exotic dance club here, allowing the club to stay open, at least until a another hearing next month. The club has been in operation since 1998 and is located in a manufacturing zone. So what’s the problem? It seems the Frisky Kitty was served with a notice in 1998 that the club was illegally operating within 500 feet of a residential area, a notice that the club never appealed. According to Frisky Kitty attorney Roger Jon Diamond, there is an ambiguity in the city code that makes it unclear how such distances should be measured. The closest residents are senior citizens who live in an apartment building, some of whom said in previous interviews with the media that they liked the club being there, Diamond said.
From CBS Broadcasting, 6/8/06
MUST BE AN ELECTION YEAR
LITTLE ROCK, AR — Democratic lieutenant governor candidate Tim Wooldridge, a former Clinton administration official, is throwing mud at rival Bill Halter for sitting on the board of Akamai Technologies, Inc., which distributes Website content on servers worldwide, and once accepted adult sites, although the company phased out its relationship with the adult Internet in 2002. Halter “profits from online gambling and Internet pornography" by sitting on the board, said Woolridge.
From the Associated Press, 6/7/06
Bob Tremont Golf Tournament
The Gala 19th Annual Night of the Stars Awards Show
The 6th Annual Bob Tremont Golf Tournament
(See Calendar below for dates and locations)
TICKETS AND SPONSORSHIPS
Event Sponsor $2,000 (Foursome, Hole Sponsorship, & additional recognition)
Foursome & Hole Sponsor $1,300
Hole Sponsor $500
Individual Ticket $260
19TH Annual Night of the Stars Awards
Event Sponsor $5,000
Program Sponsor $3,000
Table Sponsor $1,500
$175 (Purchased before June 1, 2006)
$200 (Purchased on or after June 1, 2006)
$1,600 (Purchased before June 1, 2006)
$1,800 (Purchased on or after June 1, 2006)
Night of the Stars Program Advertising
Full page, Full Color Ad (81/2×11) $500
Half page, Full Color Ad (81/2×51/4) $250
Quarter page, Full Color Ad (41/4x 51/4) $125
Business Card Size, Full Color Ad (2×5) $75
For application materials or additional information, contact Valerie Vizmanos or Michelle Freridge by email or at 818-348-9373
JUN 8-9 — Sex in Video Games conference, San Francisco
JUN 8-11 — Cybernet Expo 2006, Kona Kai Resort, San Diego
JUN 9-11 —Exxxotica Miami Beach, Miami Beach, FL
JUN 16-17 — Exotic Erotic Expo and Ball, New York, NY
JUN 18 — Folsom Street East, New York, NY
JUN 17 — Leather Pride Night, New York, NY
JUN 17 — Rock N Roll Bingo, Benefit for FSC, L.A. CA
JUN 23-25 — Erotica Los Angeles, L.A. Convention Center
JUN 27-JUL 1 — AASECT Annual Conference, St Louis
JULY 9-12 — Desiree Conference, Las Vegas, NV
JUL 12-14, XBiz Summer, Las Vegas, NV
JUL 15 — Night of the Stars, L.A. Center Studios, L.A. CA
JULY 16 — Bob Tremont Golf Tournament, (1 PM Shotgun) Braemar Country Club, Tarzana, CA
JULY 17-19 — Adult Novelty Expo, Universal, CA
JUL 15-22, Gay Games, Chicago, IL
JUL 26 — AUG 5 — Outgames, Montreal, Canada
AUG 4-6 — Internext Summer 2006, Weston Diplomat, Hollywood, FL
AUG 22-24 – Gentlemen’s Club Owners Expo, Las Vegas, NV
See our Website Calendar for a more complete calendar of events scheduled for 2006.