Free Speech X-Press Delivering Weekly Censorship Updates to the Adult Industry Vol. VIII, No. 25, May 12, 2006 — A Member Service of the Free Speech Coalition __________________________________________________________ Free Speech X-press is researched and edited by Kat Sunlove and 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 __________________________________________________________ MEETING ANNOUNCEMENT
SAN DIEGO, CA — An FSC membership meeting is scheduled for 11:30 AM to 1:00 on Sunday, June 11 (room location to be announced) during the Cybernet Expo in San Diego. 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. No doubt the meeting will be very upbeat thanks to the recent victory in defeating the .XXX Domain scheme (see report below). 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 (room location to be announced). See seminar schedule for details.
DOT XXX GOES DOWN IN FLAMES, FSC CELEBRATES
MARINA DEL RAY, CA — The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) Board of Directors has voted (9 to 5) to reject the proposal by ICM Registry for a .XXX Sponsored Top Level Domain, a scheme which would have created a virtual red light district for adult entertainment. The vote represents a major victory for the adult Internet and for FSC, which has taken a strong position against the .XXX TLD almost since it was proposed. After study and analysis, FSC concluded that any such action, even if .XXX was initially intended to be voluntary, risked ghettoizing the adult Internet and burdening it with government mandated restrictions.
In March, FSC Communications Director Tom Hymes lobbied against the proposal at the ICANN meeting in Wellington, joined by Fiona Patten of the Australian EROS Association. In addition, FSC mounted a concerted campaign to rally adult Webmasters and adult entertainment companies to send letters to ICANN in opposition to .XXX. Many did send letters, including Larry Flynt of Hustler, Steve Orenstein of Wicked, Private Media and other major players, and the results clearly paid off as evidenced in comments by ICANN Chief Executive Paul Twomey. Twomey said that the Board took the adult sites’ concerns as a sign ICM did not fully represent the industry, a criterion currently required for such domains. Twomey said the decision largely came down to whether the creation of .XXX might put ICANN in a difficult position of having to enforce all of the world’s laws governing adult entertainment, including ones that might require adult sites to use the domain.
The ICANN vote is a victory for free expression around the world, a victory which fittingly involved an international alliance in which representatives of American and Australian adult entertainment joined forces in expressing similar concerns to ICANN at the Wellington meeting. Without that coordinated effort, and without the letters sent from adult industry companies, ICANN could have perhaps assumed that objections to .XXX stemmed from the opinions of only one trade association.
In a bizarre twist, many social conservatives representing anti-adult entertainment factions in the U.S. also lobbied ICANN against the .XXX idea. The groups feared that adult Internet companies would keep their dot-com domain names as well as .XXX domain names, thereby expanding the availability of adult materials on the Internet.
Some information and quotes are from Anik Jesdanun, Associated Press, 5/10/06
STATE HIGH COURT WILL NOT HEAR CHALLENGE
NEW ORLEANS, LA — The Louisiana Supreme Court has refused to hear a constitutional challenge to the state obscenity law brought by Emmette Jacob Jr., the owner of Le Video Store in St. Martin’s Parish. Jacobs faces obscenity charges based on standard video titles such as "Sabrina’s First Swing Party Orgy" and "Bootleg Bondage, Vol. 1.” In October, after hearing the arguments posed by Jacob’s attorney J.D. Obenberger, State Judge Charles Porter ruled that the Louisiana obscenity law is constitutional. The Third Circuit Court of Appeals upheld that ruling. (See X-Press Report, “Community Standards Test Upheld,” 10/7/05) Obenberger has said in the past that he might take the case to the U.S. Supreme Court but had not yet seen the Louisiana Supreme Court comments in early news accounts.
Barring further appeal, Jacob and Edward Burleigh Jr., the owner of Le Video Place, who has been charged in a related case, will face trial on obscenity charges in coming months.
Information and quotes from Kayla Gagnet, The Daily Advertiser, 5/9/06
SOCIAL NETWORKING SITES FOR MINORS TARGETED
WASHINGTON, DC — Representative Mike Fitzpatrick (R-PA) has endorsed new legislation called Deleting Online Predators Act (DOPA) that would restrict access by minors using school and library computers to commercial social-networking Websites such as MySpace.com and Facebook. The measure is defined in terms of sites which let users create public Web pages or profiles and which offer discussion boards, chat rooms, or e-mail services, which means it would cover much more than MySpace, also bringing in a wide range of interactive Websites and services, including Blogger.com, AOL and Yahoo’s instant-messaging features, and Microsoft’s Xbox 360, which permits in-game chat.
From Declan McCullagh, CNET News.com, 5/10/06
DANCE CLUB OWNER SUES CITY OVER NEW LAW
GRAND RAPIDS, MI — Mark London, owner of Sensations and Lady Godiva exotic dance clubs, has filed suit in federal court against a new adult business ordinance which bans nude dancing, keeps patrons and dancers 6 feet apart, and mandates that dancers perform on stages at least 18 inches high. The ordinance also orders the removal of doors and partitions from peep show booths. The lawsuit was filed for London by Gregory Fisher Lord, an attorney who won four years ago when he represented Velvet Touch adult bookstore in a suit against the city’s zoning ordinance. Lord won in the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals and the city was ordered to pay $125,000 for legal bills.
The city will be represented by Scott Bergthold of Tennesse, the same guy who lost in the Velvet Touch case. So once again it will be Lord v. Bergthold. Bergthold keeps showing up in X-Press reports all over the nation. He goes from state to state as a hired gun, drafting and defending municipal adult business regulations.
This time the city is being financially backed by social conservative groups. The Michigan Decency Action Council has promised to pay at least $90,000 from private sources to pay the city’s legal fees. The Black Hills Neighborhood Association has raised $102,000 to help the city cover the legal fees. Bergthold told them the suit should not cost more than $70,000. But Association spokesperson Judy Rose says if it does, she will turn to the donors who have remained anonymous.
Information from WoodTV Channel 8 News, 5/9/06
See also Jim Harger, The Grand Rapids Press, 5/10/06
FILTERS BLOCK WEBSITES UNEVENLY
WEST PALM BEACH, FL — When students or teachers in schools or libraries here try to log on to sites such as the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation or Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays, they are greeted with a notice that says the site is blocked. The reason: it falls within the gay/lesbian category.
However, students who want to check out organizations that oppose gay rights, such as the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality or the Traditional Values Coalition, encounter no problems.
Bob LaRocca, who monitors computer security for the school district, says part of the problem is the ages of students surfing the sites. He acknowledges the blocked sites may be fine for high school children but has concerns about younger students accessing them. That keeps them off limits for everyone.
"Someday, when we can differentiate who is going through the sites, things may change," he said. "But there is no technology out there to do that. When you have 200,000 users, how do you judge how old someone is? It’s impossible, so we have to treat it so it’s the youngest child."
The American Civil Liberties Union plans to review the policy.
Information and quotes from Christina DeNardo, Palm Beach Post, 5/9/06
COPS DO CAREFUL INVENTORY DURING RAID
POCOLA, OK — Police here have raided Adult World and accused owners of violating state obscenity laws. However, no arrests were actually made. The officers said their only goal was to confiscate the pornography and shut the store’s doors. An investigation leading to the raid took several months, during which time the officers reached the conclusion that the store was selling illegal videos and magazines. After the raid, officers from several agencies took inventory and seized items, which they said would be destroyed. The cops were still going through items to be destroyed several hours after the raid. Perhaps it was difficult to decide which officers would take which DVDs home for destruction.
Factual information from Channel 40 News, 5/8/06
OTHER NEWS OF THE WEEK
The Children’s Safety and Violent Crime Reduction Act of 2006 (HB 4472) complete with expanded obscenity law and 2257 provisions, has been placed on the calendar of the U.S. Senate for a vote.
Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) is planning to introduce a bill providing incentives to cable companies for a la carte programming.
Bob Tremont Golf Tournament
The Gala 19th Annual Night of the Stars Awards Show
The Bob Tremont Golf Tournament
(See Calendar below for dates)
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
MAY 25-29 — Mr International Leather, Chicago, IL
JUN 8-9 — Sex in Video Games conference, San Francisco
JUN 8-11 — Cybernet Expo 2006, Shelter Pointe Hotel, 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
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, Vista Valencia GC, Valencia, CA
JULY 17-19 — Adult Novelty Expo, Universal, CA
JUL 15-22, Gay Games, Chicago, IL
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 22-24 – Gentlemen’s Club Owners Expo, Las Vegas, NV
Subscriptions to Free Speech X-Press are FREE to FSC members. Contact us at Layne@inreach.com or 800-476-7813.