FSC Travels to Brussels for ICANN-GAC Consultation
Free Speech Coalition (FSC) Executive Director Diane Duke will travel next week to Brussels, Belgium, to attend the ICANN Board-GAC consultation. Duke will represent the best interests of adult online businesses that stand in opposition to the proposed .XXX sTLD.
According to ICANN, the meeting will address differences between the Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC) advice and the current implementation of the GNSO (Generic Names Supporting Organization) New gTLD Policy recommendations. The goal is then to arrive at resolutions between the ICANN Board and GAC, or – if resolution cannot be reached – to identify which issues remain unresolved.
The U.S. government, and several others, has recently expressed concern about the current “generic” Top Level Domain proposal and fear that it may cause widespread fragmentation of the Internet.
There has been no indication from ICANN when its board will address .XXX domains or render a decision regarding the .XXX sTLD. However, Duke will be present to lobby members of the GAC and ICANN, in advance of the ICANN’s next board meeting, to be held in March, in San Francisco.
“It is critical that the ICANN Board and GAC hear the concerns of the adult entertainment community regarding .XXX,” Duke said. “I will carry those concerns with me and make sure that they are fully expressed.”
(Photo: Some rights reserved by Ssolbergj)
L.A. County Public Health Demands Blood Test from Performer
The FSC has been informed that agents of the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (LACDPH) have on at least one occasion, appeared at the home of an adult industry performer and demanded that the model immediately provide a blood sample. The LACDPH agents offered no court order or other lawful justification for this shocking intrusion into fundamental civil rights.
Although the Free Speech Coalition cannot provide legal advice, we urge any person to seek legal counsel before consenting to such lawless violations of medical privacy and Fourth Amendment rights.
This is not the first time that the L.A. County Department of Public Health reportedly has acted as if it had legal authority for an action, when in reality it had none.
In another incident, agents reportedly claimed to have authority from the U.S. Justice Department to seize 2257 records; authority that has not been documented and is almost certainly false.
“You are not a serf living under the whims and dictates of a feudal Los Angeles County Department of Public Health,” said attorney and FSC Board Chair Jeffrey Douglas. “You can and should ask for a written list of any demand and the authority for those demands. Know your rights and protect yourself.”
(Photo: Some rights reserved by Kuebi)
FSC ‘Free Love Lounge’ Fundraiser a Success
Wicked Girls at the FSC 'Free Love Lounge' fundraiser - (l to r) Stormy Daniels, Kaylani Lei, FSC Executive Director Diane Duke and Jessica Drake
Lucky winner with the Fleshlight
Sportsheets' Todd Carter wins the iPad - (l to r) ElDorado's Larry Garland, Todd Carter and Diane Duke
The ‘Free Love Lounge’ fundraiser held at the XBIZ Retail Show drew industry luminaries and raised funds for Free Speech Coalition.
“We would like to thank all our sponsors, including XBIZ for providing the venue and ElDorado Trading, Co. for generously donating raffle items to the event,” FSC Membership Director Joanne Cachapero said. “Also, we very much appreciate the participation of Wicked Pictures, Adam & Eve, Good Vibrations and the Screaming O for their contributions and for making the party a great success.”
The highlight of the evening was the appearance of Wicked contract performers Stormy Daniels, Jessica Drake and Kaylani Lei, followed by two exciting raffles. Adult director and DJ Jack Napier provided a sophisticated, relaxing musical ambiance to the event.
Newly appointed FSC board member and owner of ElDorado Trading Co. Larry Garland hosted the first raffle; excited party guests anxiously waited to see who would win prizes including a Hitachi magic Wand, a Fleshlight and a portable stripper pole.
The second raffle was for a new iPad, and drew much interest from the crowd. The lucky winner of the iPad was Sportsheets’ Todd Carter.
Other industry personalities that attended included Adam & Eve’s Bob Christian and Bruce Whitney, Evil Angel’s Christian Mann, Good Vibrations’ Joel Kaminsky, GVA-TWN’s Rondee Kamins, Wicked Pictures’ Heth Mares, East Coast News/IVD’s Frank Koretsky, Gamelink’s Jeff Dillon, Sportsheets’ Tom Stewart, Topco Sales’ Desiree Duffy, AAANews’ Sid Grief, XBIZ’s Moe Helmy, FSC Board member Mara Epstein, and many more.
“Our members and contributors help FSC do important work on behalf of the entire industry, with important issues like .XXX domains, anti-piracy efforts and workplace safety. So, again, we want to thank everyone for their support of FSC,” Cachapero added. “Especially after a long week of events and work – it was wonderful to have a chance to relax, have a drink and talk with old and new friends.”
(Photos courtesy of EMMReport.com)
Wasteland’s Rowntree to Receive FSC Leadership Award
Free Speech Coalition (FSC) is proud to announce that Wastelend.com CEO Colin Rowntree will receive the FSC Leadership Award, to be presented at the XBIZ Awards on Wednesday night.
“Colin volunteered his time and efforts to oppose the proposed .XXX sponsored top level domains – an issue that FSC has been dealing with for nearly ten years,” FSC Executive Director Diane Duke said. “By dedicating himself to spreading the message on .XXX opposition, Colin not only went above and beyond to support FSC, but also to reach out to his colleagues and peers in the industry.
“Colin’s work exemplifies the kind of community-building that the adult industry needs in order to face the issues that challenge us today,” Duke added.
Rowntree produced and directed “.XXX – The Movie,” a public service announcement on behalf of .XXX opposition and featuring industry leaders including John Stagliano (Evil Angel CEO), Ron Cadwell (CCBill CEO), Peter Acworth (Kink CEO), Mitch Farber (Netbilling CEO), among others. The video’s script was written by FSC Board member Theresa “Darklady” Reed.
FSC’s Leadership Award is presented to the adult entertainment industry business or individual who demonstrates excellence in the adult entertainment industry in leading by example. This award can be given for community service, activism, creating a positive and outstanding work environment, innovations and other qualities that lift the business or individual above the rest.
The XBIZ Awards are to be held February 9, at the Palladium in Hollywood, CA.
Three More Tubesites Join FSC APAP
Free Speech Coalition’s Anti-Piracy Protection Program (APAP) has added three more tubesites to its list of participants. The latest tubesites to join the program are TNAflix, Empflix and XHamster, bringing the total number of sites participating in its Mediawise program to twelve.
Other tubesites participating in the program include XVideos, Pornhub, XNXX, Tube8, Xtube, Spankwire, Keezmovies, ExtremeTube and Mofosex.
FSC APAP is made up of several components, including Videotracker and Mediawise.
Videotracker can be accessed only by participating FSC APAP content providers. With Videotracker, providers have access to copyright counseling, content tracking, documentation of infringements, and sending of DMCA notices. All actions are documented in evidence packets the provider can use for litigation or research purposes. Participants are charged a monthly fee to use this service.
Mediawise is the monetization component of APAP and available to all current FSC member content providers — free of charge.
Mediawise technology uses audio-video-metadata fingerprints to stop content from being uploaded. Content providers fingerprint their entire library and their content goes up only in the format specified by the content provider. Instead of pirated content going up, the software applies the business rules the content provider wants for that title and either truncates the content, or provides a trailer — both with an overlay ad that takes the viewer to the content provider’s site. With this approach, the content provider not only blocks stolen content from being uploaded, but also realizes a potential new revenue stream.
FSC APAP participants that use both the Videotracker and Mediawise components retain a 60 percent rev share once a piece of content converts. FSC members that utilize only Mediawise retain a 50 percent rev share. FSC functions as an “affiliate,” by collecting the remaining percentages, which are divided between the tube sites and software technology provider Vobile.
“This is an extremely exciting time for adult content providers,” FSC Executive Director Diane Duke said. “Soon, a source that has been a financial drain on their businesses may soon be a new and vibrant source of revenue. Tubesites are here to stay. The difference is, now they are working for us.”
FSC APAP is currently in the final stages of getting all participating content providers to fingerprint their libraries and designate their desired business rules. The tubesites are applying the fingerprints and business rules to their sites.
Representatives from FSC APAP will attend the Content Protection Retreat presented by Pink Visual, to be held at the Sofitel Hotel in Beverly Hills, CA, on Feb 6-7.
For more information on FSC APAP, call (818) 348-9373, visit FSCAPAP.com, or contact email@example.com.
(Photo: Some rights reserved by Paul Goyette)
FSC Anti-Piracy Action Program Adds Porn Guardian to its Team
FSC has partnered with Porn-Guardian to expand services provided in its Anti-Piracy Action Program (APAP).
“From the beginning, FSC’s Anti-Piracy Action Program has concentrated on providing a comprehensive plan that is user-friendly and adaptive to the needs of the content provider. In 2010, we successfully focused on a strategy that targeted tubesites,” FSC Executive Director Diane Duke. “We have had incredible success in that endeavor and now we are increasing our attack on piracy to include P2P infringements.”
In 2010, APAP developed and implemented a system that effectively deals with tube sites. In 2011, FSC will add the services of Porn Guardian in order to expand the types of piracy the program addresses.
Porn Guardian combines technology and human review to identify and remove infringement from file-trading locations including cyberlockers, such as Rapidshare, FileMonster, and MegaUpload and many others; link-trading sites such as Yahoo groups, user groups, linking sites and blogs; and P2P environments such as BitTorrent and eDonkey.
“We are thrilled by the expanded suite of services this partnership will provide to clients,” Porn Guardian’s Peter Phinney said. “With Porn Guardian’s expertise in peer-to-peer sharing and cyberlocker up-and-downloads, bundled with APAP’s extraordinarily effective solution to the unique problem of tube sites, clients now are protected against every major current piracy problem and also positioned to deal with emerging technologies we see evolving on the horizon.”
Representatives from both FSC APAP and Porn Guardian will attend the upcoming Content Protection Retreat hosted by Pink Visual, to be held February 6-7, at the Sofitel Hotel located in Beverly Hills, CA.
“We are thrilled to be working with Porn Guardian their services and approach will work well with the program we have already established,” Duke added.
Porn Guardian’s Dominic Ford said, “Porn Guardian is the industry’s best defense against cyberlockers, and APAP is the best solution for combating tube sites. Combined, FSC now has a total solution for its members. We are thrilled to be working with the Free Speech Coalition and look forward to helping the industry in this fight against piracy.”
A Year of Extraordinary Support From Extraordinary People
As 2010 closed, we put yet another recessionary year behind us I have to say, it had been one hell of a year. Dot XXX has crept back into existence like a zombie from the “Night of the Living Dead.” Megalomaniac Mike Weinstein from AIDS Healthcare Foundation set his sights on the adult entertainment industry utilizing CalOSHA as his weapon of mass destruction. And the industry has come together as never before to confront copyright infringement, once again showing that we can be the leader when it comes to embracing technology for business solutions.
Not a week goes by without someone calling me up and asking, “So, how ya holdin’ up?” mindful that the industry is struggling and, as businesses consolidate or fail, our revenue stream will be negatively impacted. True, finances are tight and we are watching every penny, but it feels as if FSC is more relevant to the industry today than ever before. We have had a significant impact on the direction of ICM’s .XXX. We have launched a solid defense in the negotiations with CalOSHA, more often than not being the voice of reason in the room. Working with key industry members we have launched an industry-wide attack on copyright infringement while opening up potential streams for new revenue. And, we are still in the trenches trying to provide some relief from the onerous restrictions of 2257. Yes, I believe we are more relevant today than ever before — and we have our members to thank, including some extraordinary people who have supported FSC like never before.
Dan and Moose from Girlfriend Films are regulars at the CalOSHA meetings providing valuable input and moral support, as well as a generous donation to help offset the cost of the special lobbyist we hired to help with CalOSHA. The folks at Hustler not only made a generous donation, but also threw a fundraiser for FSC at the Whisky a Go Go. I got a call from John Sander at Kink.com saying that he and Peter appreciated the work FSC was doing around .XXX and CalOSHA and wanted to donate. Colin Rowntree and Angie his wife made a generous donation to help us with .XXX, AND then went on to work with Theresa Reed (who also made a donation) to create a kick-ass parody video around .XXX. Allison Vivas and the folks at Pink Visual organized and implemented the Content Protection Retreat helping FSC promote the Anti-Piracy Action Program (APAP) and creating a top-notch website to support the program. Joone from Digital Playground and Keith from Titan Media have been instrumental in testing our APAP and spreading the word of its success. Director Michael Whiteacre also volunteered his time and resources to create the APAP public services announcements, which have generated more than 700,000 views on YouTube and featured adult performers reaching out to consumers with the anti-piracy message. Susan Colvin, Scott Tucker, Ron Braverman and some of the other founders have helped considerably with our 2257 efforts, and Sid Grief from AAA News has supported 2257 as well. We owe our brand and website development to Tim Valenti and the folks at Nakedsword/Cubik. And there are more, so many more.
So as 2011 begins, I reflect on last year and I’m thankful. I am fortunate to be working in this alternative industry with some of the best people on the planet. From the bottom of my heart I thank you all for your support and for the honor of being able to serve you another year. – dd
(Photo: Some rights reserved by Ellie)
FSC Sends Letter to ICANN, GAC, Opposing Proposed .XXX sTLD
Free Speech Coalition (FSC) on Friday sent a letter to the Board of Directors of Internet regulator ICANN and to its Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC), urging the Board not approve Internet registrar ICM’s application for the proposed .XXX sponsored top level domain (sTLD).
“This is an extremely comprehensive and powerful document,” FSC Executive Director Diane Duke said. “FSC thanks Jeffrey Douglas, Tom Hymes and especially Reed Lee who worked long hours ensuring not only that all topics were covered, but also that they were meticulously referenced.
FSC has opposed the adoption of .XXX domains for adult online business since 2004. The adult industry trade association is asking that the ICANN Board and GAC will consider the document prior to the ICANN Board meeting scheduled to be held in March, in San Francisco.
When it rejected ICM’s .XXX sTLD proposal in 2007, the ICANN Board articulated five reasons, virtually all of which related to concerns that had been expressed by ICANN’s Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC). After that decision, ICM Registry invoked ICANN’s process of an Independent Review Panel (IRP). Utilizing the information provided by ICM’s application and testimony that included ICM representation — but no adult entertainment industry representatives — the IRP determined that ICM had met the “sponsorship community” requirements for the sponsored TLD.
At the last ICANN Board meeting held in December, the Board expressed intent to move into a contract with ICM for a .XXX sTLD but, as required by ICANN’s by-laws, must consider GAC advice. The .XXX consideration now moves to consultations between the ICANN Board and the GAC.
On a number of occasions, the GAC has voiced concern over a .XXX sTLD. FSC’s letter focuses primarily on the context of those concerns raised by GAC. The GAC took issue with the promises included in ICM’s proposal, challenging ICM’s ability to follow through with those commitments.
ICM claims that .XXX will help combat child pornography and protect vulnerable communities. ICM asserts that $10 of every $60 registration will go to combat child pornography. However in its letter, FSC documents where that very same $10 has been promised to help the adult industry for everything from 2257 to piracy. Moreover FSC quotes the founder of Safekids.com — one of the oldest and most enduring web sites for Internet safety — stating, “As an Internet safety advocate, my concern about .XXX is that it could give parents a false sense of security.”
Also in its letter, FSC pointed out the promises to protect intellectual property seem to extend more to mainstream companies than the businesses ICM purports to represent. ICM’s “Sunrise for .XXX” initial rights protection document offers domain parking options to only non-adult companies. The letter challenges ICM’s intent to “take appropriate measures to restrict access to illegal and offensive content,” pointing out that what is legal and offensive varies drastically from country to country.
Finally FSC addresses the issue of “sponsorship community” clearly documenting where the adult industry and ICANN were deceived by the use of “pre-reservations” as a sign of industry support. – jc
For more information on opposition to the proposed .XXX sTLD, contact Diane Duke at firstname.lastname@example.org. The letter can be viewed in its entirety by clicking the link below.
Land of the Free: Pornography and What We Are Really Fighting For
Legions of rightwing moral activists – both groups and individuals, religiously and politically motivated – believe that if they can eliminate the adult entertainment industry, the world will be a better place.
There are already many countries in the world where “porn” is prohibited; China, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, Botswana, Vietnam and Pakistan, just to name a few. News broke this morning that Iran has sentenced two webmasters to DEATH for operating adult sites (one of these webmasters was operating in Canada, but was arrested when he traveled to Iran to visit his sick father). Perhaps anti-pornography activists should relocate to these countries and see if they like it better than the United States.
Because in the U.S., we have individual civil rights and one of these is free speech – that said, moralists are relentless in spreading their message of fear and “porn” is an easy target. Especially at a time when people are uneasy about the economy, the global political climate and many other everyday concerns; the “holier than thou” fear mongers are ready to build communities against an enemy. For people that are uncomfortable with sexually explicit material, their anxiety is easily provoked with misinformation about “porn addiction,” “epidemics,” “STDs,” “child pornography” and the spin around every other negative sex-related trending topic.
In just the last two months, several public figures have jumped on the anti-adult bandwagon, ready to push their moral agenda. And very quietly, people are listening to their message without realizing they are at risk of losing their civil rights, bit by explicit bit.
Anti-pornography organization XXX Church will sponsor “Porn Sunday,” to coincide with Super Bowl Sunday on Feb. 6. Participating churches will hold discussions on “porn addiction” and show a 30-minute video featuring, among other NFL players, Dallas Cowboys QB Jon Kitna.
In the original version of a promotional “Porn Sunday” video trailer, Kitna said when he entered college, he discovered the world of online porn and, at the same time, he began “drinking to blackout,” “cheating,” “stealing” and “womanizing.”
What is the point that Kitna is trying to make here? That “porn” caused him to act out compulsively? Well, there are plenty of people that enjoy adult entertainment that aren’t alcoholic and don’t steal or cheat their way through school. Why isn’t Kitna participating in “Alcoholic Sunday” or “Compulsive Behavior Sunday?” Maybe because those titles don’t draw attention (or flocks to churches) like the buzzword “porn?”
It should be noted that XXX Church has recently pulled the original version of the trailer and now has a more uplifting version available for distribution on its website. It also should be noted that there is NO official designation for “porn addiction” in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM IV) as of right now – but there sure seem to be a lot of therapists out there treating it. And a lot of those therapists seem to have a connection to some underlying religious/moral ideology.
In fact, a “porn addiction” center recently opened in the state of Utah, which, coincidentally, is also the state ranked No. 1 for viewing pornography online. A recent article in Salt Lake City’s Deseret News explained corporate brands that have recently taken an anti-sexually explicit stance (in this case, pulling advertising from MTV reality show, “Skins,” which – by the way – is NOT adult entertainment). The article seems to suggest that the time has come for corporations to overlook the rights of Americans and move forward with anti-pornography policies, in order to save society.
The unnamed author said, “Without addressing the question of rights, companies must face the mounting evidence that pornography is costly to individuals and society.”
What evidence? There wasn’t a shred of evidence presented in this article. If Utah has the largest population of online adult viewers, where are the signs of moral corruption and societal decline? In Utah, more than 60 percent of the population is members of the Church of Later Day Saints – that sounds like the environment for a very pious, moral population.
Remember – no one holds a gun to your head and makes you watch pornography. You do not immediately receive porn on your computer monitor when you hit the “power” button – you have to go looking for it. No legitimate, legal pornographer wants children to be able to view pornography. No adult entertainment business wants to be involved in illegal activities in order to produce adult entertainment. The adult industry is already subject to a higher level of scrutiny than other industries.
And if you don’t like pornography, then don’t watch it. DON’T watch it – you have the choice and you should be thankful that you have the liberty of choice in this great country of ours.
But there are plenty of well-intended citizens that want to make that choice for you. They’ve already decided that adult entertainment is bad for you and they want to save you from yourself by taking away your ability to choose. That attitude is not only condescending, it’s dangerous. Because if they get to decide that porn is wrong and dangerous, then what’s next? Homosexuality? Controversial books? Provocative clothing? Profane words? Video games? Violent movies? “South Park?” Anything that THEY don’t like?
You know what they say about good intentions… the road to Iran, China and many other places is paved with them.
Anyway, here’s a laundry list of moralists that have targeted adult entertainment as the biggest point on the Devil’s pitchfork:
- Republican politician Mitt Romney, who served on hotel chain Marriott’s Board of Directors until earlier this month, has been linked to Marriott’s recent decision to discontinue PPV adult entertainment in their hotels. Romney allegedly encouraged the decision after being criticized by conservative Republicans for his ties to a business profiting from adult entertainment. The AFL-CIO (the largest trade association in the U.S.) has criticized Romney for helping to eliminate a revenue stream that could provide higher wages for hotel union workers.
- Media activist group Morality in Media recently appointed Patrick Trueman as its CEO. Trueman was former Chief of the Child Exploitation and Obscenity at the Department of Justice under Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush. He is also founder of PornHarms.com, and anti-adult organization that researches the “harmful” effects of pornography.
- Anti-pornography activist, feminist and professor Gail Dines recently penned this article about the big business of porn, and her experience at the AVN Adult Expo in January – except that she is describing her experiences at the 2008 AEE show, though this article was published earlier this month. She calls adult producers and directors “predatory capitalists,” and implies that they persuade and coerce the female performers in the industry to objectify themselves for profit – which implies that, unlike “feminists” like Dines, adult industry women are so weak and ignorant that they cannot make their own decisions. She also is the founder of anti-pornography organization Stop Porn Culture.
- Anti-pornography evangelist Shelly Lubben and her Pink Cross Foundation actually did attend this year’s AEE, in order to “save porn stars,” as well as promote Lubben’s new book “The Truth Behind the Fantasy of Porn” and her rap EP, produced by Christian music producer Fredrick “Ricky B” Burchell. Lubben has claimed, repeatedly, that her relatively short career in the adult industry caused her to suffer from mental and physical illness. Since becoming a born-again Christian, Lubben speaks at seminars hosted by churches and universities.
- AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) recently filed complaints with CalOSHA against adult producer Vivid Entertainment – the most recent action in their two-year campaign to force mandatory condom regulations on adult video productions.
And that’s just since December. These groups will always exist and because they have a right to free speech, they will continue to have a voice in public forums. But we members of the adult entertainment industry also have a right to voice our opinions. Since adult entertainment is a protected form of speech, we have a right to produce legal adult entertainment for adults, and citizens of the United States have a right to view it if they choose – and then they can decide for themselves, what is appropriate or inappropriate, right or wrong, bad or good. No one has the right to take that choice away from you, in the United States of America.
Free Speech Coalition serves as a pro-adult industry voice to the public, media and legislators. We do that on behalf of adult industry businesses and professionals – and on behalf of free citizens. – jc
(Graphic: Some rights reserved by Nuclear Vacuum – The red areas indicate countries where pornography is prohibited; yellow where there are restrictions; and green where pornography is legal.)
FSC Announces Election Results, New Board Members
FSC is proud to announce new members to its Board of Directors. The Board election was open to all active FSC members and held during the month of December.
Incumbent board members that were re-elected include Board Chair Jeffrey Douglas, Board President Sid Grief, Secretary Mark Kernes, Board Treasurer Lynn Swanson, Reed Lee, Alec Helmy, Joel Kaminsky and Mara Epstein.
Kink.com founder Peter Acworth is newly elected to the FSC Board. In addition, ElDorado Trading Co. founder Larry Garland was appointed to a seat vacated by Wicked Pictures Joy King. King is stepping down due to other obligations.
“Both Larry and Peter bring a strong business component to the Board – Larry from the novelty side, Peter from the online video side,” said FSC Executive Director Diane Duke. “Those skills coupled with their leadership ability will be a valuable addition to FSC’s Board.”
Members of the board in good standing include Theresa “Darklady” Reed, Tom Hymes and Christian Mann, bring the total number of seats to 13. Those elected serve two-year terms. -jc
(Photo: Some rights reserved by David Drexler)