2257 Compliance?

Lawrence G. Walters

Our firm’s approach to adult entertainment law has always included the use of technology in conjunction with legal advice. So, years ago, when Congress passed the Child Online Protection Act (COPA) requiring that all adult websites incorporate some form of user age verification, we created the BirthDateVerifier to offer our clients a legal compliance option, while the courts sorted out the constitutionality of the law.

A few years later, when our content producers clients’ copyrighted material started being pirated at a rapid pace, we launched our automated DMCA Notice generator, described on DMCANotice.com, to allow these clients a quick, simple tool to have the infringing content removed without incurring legal fees. These devices, along with other forms, guides, and compliance tools, have always been made available to our clients free of charge, or at a very low cost, as a supplement to our legal knowledge, attention, experience —which is what any lawyer really sells.

Quick2257 is designed to be operated and understood by users with little or no legal training. With the proper tool, 18 U.S.C. § 2257 performer records are not that difficult to compile.

The 2257 records problem has been a difficult one to solve in the past, given the limits of available consumer technology. Sure, experienced website operators could design, code and implement custom records-uploading web pages, but those still required users to scan and email their IDs, after filling out online forms with inconsistent and sometimes confusing fields or requests for information.

Everyone’s system was different, and some were missing key information required by federal law. The integration of high-quality cameras on mobile devices, along with the ubiquitous availability of broadband or 3G/4G Internet connections, has changed the world in many ways. We can now deposit checks without going to the bank, submit insurance claims with pictures, and upload endless content to our favorite social networking sites.

But these advances have also made it much easier for adult performers, webcam models, escort advertisers, and other producers of sexually explicit depictions to instantly create the necessary 2257 records, and send them to the desired records custodian —in a matter of minutes.

Quick2257 is designed to be operated and understood by users with little or no legal training. With the proper tool, 18 U.S.C. § 2257 performer records are not that difficult to compile. This new application is designed to; 1) guide the user through the process of filling out the required elements of 2257 information 2) capture a legible, color copy of the front and back of the picture ID card, 3) certify the accuracy of the information, and 4) send all the information to the records custodian in one portable .pdf file, using the device’s email function.

We’ve launched the product at the low, introductory price of 99 cents to encourage the industry to experiment with the app, and understand its potential value. Webcam networks, online advertising directories, dating sites, and traditional adult websites may find that this simple app is more efficient than their custom web page uploads or other methods currently in operation. While there is no “one size fits all” 2257 compliance solution, we believe that Quick2257 goes a long way in simplifying a once complex process of compiling and categorizing 2257 information.

A few caveats: First, there is no substitute for legal advice on 2257 issues. This author has rarely published any articles, blog posts or other information on 2257 compliance, because it is a complex topic, and more appropriate for legal advice by a competent adult entertainment attorney.

Those readers who are unfamiliar with 2257 should obtain as much information and advice as possible, before venturing into the world of adult content production. Regardless of which device or technology you use to assist with 2257 compliance, make sure the process is vetted by your legal counsel. Second, the application is not intended to generate or maintain a database of all legally required 2257 data. Certain elements, like a copy of the subject content, and the associated URLs for website depictions, must be separately obtained if not already in the possession of the records custodian. Typically, however, that data is generated and stored by the website operator; not the performer. This application is focused on generating the necessary records that are ordinarily in the possession of the performer.

Finally, 2257 records are only part of the equation when it comes to forming a legal relationship with an adult performer.

Model releases, copyright assignments, employment records, visas, and a wide variety of other documents or information may be necessary, depending on the specific circumstance. Quick2257 is a piece of the puzzle —not the completed picture.

Certainly those devotees of Android products will be frustrated that Quick2257 is only currently available in the Apple App Store. Fear not; an Android version is in the works, and will soon be available.

And like any app, we intend to continue improving on the product, and updating its functionality.

Lawrence G .Walters is the founder of Walters Law Group, and has represented adult industry clients for more than 20 years. Nothing in this article is intended as legal advice. Walters can be reached at (800) 530-8137, larry@firstamendment.com, or FirstAmendment.com.

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