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Staying of Amended 2257 Marks 1-Year AnniversaryBy: Michael Hayes (Courtesy of XBIZ.com)
Washington — The now historic order by Judge Walker D. Miller to stay the enforcement of the new rules imposed on 2257, the federal record-keeping and labeling requirement for adult content, has reached its one-year anniversary. Although no resolution in the case has been reached, the adult entertainment industry should be proud of the progress made on the issue, according to Free Speech Coalition Communications Director Tom Hymes.
While Hymes stressed that the litigation was still ongoing, he felt that the one-year anniversary of amendments to 2257 being stayed was a good time to recognize the industry’s legal and political accomplishments.
“As difficult and costly as it is to bring a lawsuit against the federal government, it was a necessary move by the industry,” Hymes told XBIZ. “We hope that the industry appreciates the efforts of our outstanding legal team, and we urge everyone to continue to support those efforts. We are all better off because of this litigation.”
For attorney Michael Gross, the anniversary speaks volumes about the government’s current position on 2257 and the industry’s response.
“One year in and no enforcement, no inspections and no one has gone to jail that we know of,” Gross told XBIZ. “But as a result of the threat of 2257, I am aware of people censoring their content.”
Gross went on to speculate that while the eventual outcome of the 2257 litigation would not be immediate, the new front of concern for the industry might be obscenity.
Attorney Lawrence G. Walters marveled at how dramatically the climate in the industry had changed from this time last year.
“I was fielding more than 100 calls per day regarding 2257,” Walters told XBIZ. “It was madness this time last year.”
While Walters was proud of the injunctive relief FSC lawyers have been able to provide the industry, particularly secondary producers — a group not mentioned in the changes to the 2257 statute — he stressed that the battle was far from over.
“Regardless of the outcome of the 2257 litigation, people in this business still want to know what they’re getting into,” Walters said. “They want to be sure that if they start a website, six months from now the content on that site will still be legal.”
Walters added that many companies in the adult business have opted to comply with the changes to 2257 record-keeping requirements both as a hedge against the possibility of an unfavorable court decision and as a defense against allegations of child pornography.
A year ago, the industry was in a chaotic state as producers struggled to understand how to comply with the looming 2257 changes. At the time, XBIZ published constant updates informing the adult entertainment industry of compliance efforts made by various companies.
According to Hymes, staying the changes to 2257 was “an extraordinary achievement.”
2257 regulations requiring record keeping for content depicting actual sexual acts have been in place since 1990. Amendments proposed by then Attorney General John Ashcroft in 2004 sought to extend record-keeping responsibilities to so-called secondary producers.