opinion

A Common Goal

Stephen Yagielowicz
There is a limit to what one man or woman can do by themselves: Across many fields of endeavor, the efforts of the collective are needed in order to achieve the desired results — and the larger and more complex the undertaking, the more people are needed to succeed.

A case point is an event that occurred on May 25, when after a 423 million mile journey away from Earth, NASA's Phoenix Mars Mission entered an exciting new phase; with its lander spacecraft gently touching down on the surface of the red planet.

I watched the event unfold live on the Science Channel — scanning the telemetry that signaled each successful step throughout the lander's process of entering the Martian atmosphere; deploying its parachute and then finally its retro-rockets, as the spindly craft settled to the ground in preparation for its mission of drilling deep into the alien planet in search of water — the foundation of life here on earth — and possibly elsewhere, too.

This is very big stuff which represents a decade of commitment on the part of the many scientists, engineers, flight officers and support staff that were responsible for making it happen — and as I watched the professional, tense faces in the "Star Trek"-like control room periodically flash looks of relief and even elation as the mission milestones rolled by like clockwork, then witnessed the joy of the 800 team members and their families that were gathered to share in this long-awaited day; I realized that the outcome could have easily been quite different.

Rather than joy and the celebration of a huge achievement in their multi-billion dollar enterprise; sadness and disappointment could have easily reigned, as a flaming dream came crashing to the ground.

All it would have taken for this outcome to have prevailed is for just one person to have let the team down by not doing his or her best to address the inevitable problems that come with all great undertakings.

But that's not what happened here: everyone involved came together and worked towards a common goal — struggling against seemingly insurmountable odds and conquering one obstacle after another until a success was achieved that all citizens of humanity can be extremely proud of.

Of course, you expect rocket scientists to be smart enough to do the right thing; but what about pornographers? Are we all smart enough to do the right thing and work with each other towards a common goal?

As I look at our terrestrial landscape, I see our enemies rejoicing in their recent victories against Karen Fletcher and her "Red Rose" text-only website; Max Hardcore's defeat and other high-profile trials that are still underway; as prosecutors and politicians smell blood in the water and move in to feed.

Some operators (whether they financially support these groups or not) feel that leaving the protection of our industry to the various organizations that seek to accomplish this goal is adequate to ensure our longevity.

Indeed, the efforts that ASACP has expended in Washington lobbying on our behalf and producing Public Service Announcements featuring Stormy Daniels that promote the use of the industry-developed RTA website label that prevents children from accessing adult websites, is having a major positive effect on legislators and other entities.

But sometimes it takes more than an ad — it takes action; and not just on the part of an organization, but on the part of the collective, working together towards a common goal.

This is one of those times; as the DOJ is now proposing to change '2257 once again, this time amending the "record-keeping, labeling, and inspection requirements to implement provisions of the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006 that require producers of depictions of simulated sexually explicit conduct to maintain records documenting that performers in those depictions are at least 18 years of age. The rule also implements provisions of the Adam Walsh Act that create a certification regime for the exemption of producers, in certain circumstances, from those requirements and from similar requirements for producers of visual depictions of the lascivious exhibition of the genitals or pubic area of a person."

While you'll need to discuss how these changes may impact your operation with your own attorney, you do have the opportunity to let your feelings on the subject be known to the Justice Department — which does read, consider and address these comments.

You can submit your relevant comments online by visiting www.regulations.gov and entering "Docket No. CRM 105" in the "comment or submission" search box — you have until August 5th to do your part and work towards a common goal.

Together, we can accomplish great things.

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