Boyer’s article kicked off with “Among the debates that take place between the armchair attorneys who haunt adult webmaster boards, one of the most oft-repeated discussions concerns what seems like a simple enough question on its face: in the U.S. is it legal to shoot adult content outside the state of California?”
Being one of those “armchair attorneys” I wanted to chime in on this article: while it does a great job of analyzing many of the nebulous details of this complicated issue, it may lead some readers to taking unwise chances.
While Freeman does not provide a carte blanche authorization for shooting adult content within the state of California; with OSHA, zoning, obscenity and other laws, for example, also regulating these enterprises; in-state producers have little to fear in regards to pandering or prostitution charges as a result of this case.
It is on this basis that some of us opine that “it is legal to shoot porn in California” – and on the basis that such findings have not been made in other states, that we opine that “it is NOT legal to shoot porn outside of California.”
An overly simplistic stance, maybe, but a safe one as there are some practical realities beyond the speculative ones: Sure, there may be reasons why state prosecutors are not eager to bring (and possibly lose) a pandering case against an adult producer – and it is very likely that anyone thus charged would be acquitted in most jurisdictions – but do you know how much money you’ll spend on legal fees alone in trying to prove your “innocence”?
I’m sure there are a few attorneys who would love to try this type of case, in Florida, for example – and send you a bill for a quarter million dollars in the process… But for a kid that just maxed out his $3,000 credit limit buying a new camcorder before heading off to Tampa in hopes of “finding hot sluts to suck my dick so I can make money by being a big pimpin’ gonzo porn producer,” that kind of money is a far-off dream.
It is with these types of realities in mind, that I try to keep things real simple for the folks: shooting porn is “legal” in California and illegal in every other state; and while that could easily change, do YOU want to be the one that pays for the change?