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Adult & the Law

March 1, 2013
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" 2012 was undoubtedly a busy year for the legal headlines in the adult industry. I anticipate that 2013 will be no different and will provide plenty of reading material. "

2012 was a very busy year for the adult industry’s legal news. This past year brought with it the obscenity-related conviction of Ira Isaacs, renewed life in the Free Speech Coalition’s battle against the constitutionality of 18 U.S.C. §2257, the failure of the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), the ongoing war against piracy, the passage of Measure B, the arrest of Fabian Thylmann and investigation of Manwin.

I believe that 2013 is going to be an even busier year for the adult industry from a legal perspective keep that will be keeping the writers at XBIZ busy.

There is no question that a lawsuit challenging the validity and constitutionality of Measure B is on the horizon. Make no mistake about it, this is a question of when and not if. It is important to realize that the Measure B challenge will not be quick and will most likely take quite a bit time. While some adult businesses affected by Measure B may be willing to wait to see how things go in court, many others will not be willing to wait for the litigation to conclude or take a chance on the outcome. In 2013, many adult businesses will leave the state of California in search of a more welcoming community. I expect, that many states will benefit from the passage of Measure B, including, Nevada and Florida but I also expect to see Canada (with emphasis on the province of Quebec) to see its market share of the adult industry increase.

One of the most intriguing events of 2012 occurred in the last couple of weeks. First a warning, while Fabian Tyhlmann has evidently been arrested and both he and Manwin are under investigation by numerous law enforcement agencies, neither Fabian or any of the Manwin entities have been convicted of any crime. While I realize that where there is smoke there is usually fire, speculation and guessing are not substitutes for facts. It is a certainty that as the facts surrounding Fabian’s arrest unfold and the media continues its interest in this story, 2013 will be a year where Manwin and its associated websites undergo some substantial changes. I do not believe that Manwin and its associated websites will continue “business as usual” and I anticipate that this will have a substantial effect on the online portion of the adult industry.

As of today’s date, 18 U.S.C. §2257 and its related statutes are valid and enforceable laws. These statutes must be adhered to despite the ongoing challenges presented in Free Speech Coalition Inc. et al. vs. The Honorable Eric H. Holder Jr. While the case was initiated in 2009, 2012 was a very important year for the plaintiffs. Earlier in 2012, the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the lower district court’s decision to dismiss the case and ruled that the plaintiffs should be afforded the opportunity to conduct discovery and amend their complaint to add allegations about specific inspections that were brought against them in the past. In essence, the 3rd Circuit court brought the plaintiffs’ 1st and 4th Amendment challenges back from the dead. Also in August, the government filed its motion to dismiss in part, and in December, the government lost that challenge as well; again allowing the plaintiffs’ case to move forward. This case has a long way to go and I do not believe that 2013 will bring finality to this case. I do anticipate that in 2013 this case will have significant activity however for those hoping that 2013 will be the year that this issue is decided once and for all, 2013 will probably be a disappointment.

2012 was undoubtedly a busy year for the legal headlines in the adult industry. I anticipate that 2013 will be no different and will provide plenty of reading material. For those of you who haven’t done so already, now is as good a time as any to reflect on the events of 2012 that affected you personally or that read about. There is nothing wrong with learning from your mistakes or the mistakes of others. I encourage you to stop for a few minutes and have a chat with your lawyer about your business or how you conduct business so that you don’t end up on the negative side of a headline in 2013.

Corey Silverstein is the managing member of the Law Offices of Corey D. Silverstein. Silverstein can be reached through MyAdultAttorney.com or by email at corey@silversteinlegal.com.


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