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Adult Entertainment Industry Announces Draft Code of Ethics & Best Practices


July 7, 2006 – The Free Speech Coalition (FSC) today released a draft Code of Ethics & Best Practices for the Adult Entertainment Industry, to be considered by its membership over the next several months with final approval slated for late 2006. 

“As the trade association for the industry,” said Michelle Freridge, Executive Director of FSC, “it is our responsibility to provide leadership through the development of consistent ethical standards and by describing responsible best practices, many of which are already in use by adult businesses. We look forward to continued input from the industry as we work together to develop a Code of Ethics and Best Practices we can all be proud of.”

Contrary to misinformation and outdated stereotypes often found in the mainstream media, the majority of adult entertainment businesses are run by ethical, law-abiding people who are concerned parents, loving grandparents, good neighbors and engaged voters. The adult entertainment industry regularly employs thousands of Americans, generates revenues often estimated in excess of 12 billion dollars per year, and pays millions of dollars in taxes at the federal, state and local levels. Adult entertainment is a product that is regularly enjoyed by millions of of-age consumers on a monthly basis.

Compiled with the support and approval of industry leaders, the FSC Code of Ethics reflect the following guiding principles:
  • FSC members run responsible companies that comply with the law.
  • FSC members conduct business with integrity and professionalism.
  • FSC members take appropriate steps to help parents control access by minors to adult entertainment without limiting access to such content by consenting adults.
In coordination with other industry organizations, FSC is also developing recommended Best Practices. Among these are the use of technologies known as “end-user empowerment tools,” considered by online safety experts and civil libertarians to be the most effective methods of protecting children from viewing inappropriate material on the Internet without compromising the free speech rights of adults.

These empowerment tools allow individuals to filter, block, or monitor Internet access on their own computers, giving adult consumers control over their online experience rather than allowing government or corporations to tell them what they and their children should view.

Parents who wish to filter, block, or monitor their children’s access to online content can do so with empowerment tools such as Family.Net, Bsecure Protection Products, WebBlock, AOL Parent Controls, and SafeBrowse. Educational resource organizations like GetNetWise, http://kids.getnetwise.org, provide Internet safety information and instruction for parents, teachers, and librarians that protect children.

Included in the draft Best Practices are a number of steps Adult entertainment companies already take to help parents utilize these tools, including:
  • Registering their websites with the above companies;
  • Labeling their websites with text that triggers the above tools;
  • Self-labeling through ICRA (Internet Content Rating Association) and other self-labeling methods;
  • Placing links to the above tools on their front pages so that adult consumers who are parents can access the tools quickly and easily; and,
  • Using age verification methodologies that prevent unsupervised minors from ordering adult entertainment products.
The draft Code of Ethics and Best Practices is available at www.freespeechcoalition.com in the Topics Section. An initial comment period will run until September 15, 2006, during which time other Best Practices – including meta-tagging, industry self-labeling and voluntary self-rating strategies – will be discussed. All comments submitted will be reviewed by the FSC Board of Directors, with final approval to be determined by a majority vote of the FSC membership at the end of 2006. (Date to be determined.)

For more information, please contact Tom Hymes at tom@freespeechcoalition.com.

Free Speech Coalition is the trade organization of the adult entertainment industry. Its mission is to safeguard the industry from unconstitutional governmental censorship and to promote good business practices within the industry.

 











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