Facing the Issues

Tom Hymes
Recently, XBIZ World Magazine asked several industry players "What do you think is the most important legal issue facing the industry this year?"

Here's what they had to say:

I think there is no question that count seven in the John Stagliano indictment, which states Evil Angel knowingly used an interactive computer service to display an obscene image in a manner available to a person under the age of 18, is by far the most serious legal issue facing our industry today. Many of us have hardcore images and trailers on our website tours, and every adult tube site I know of can be accessed by persons under 18, and they all can view hardcore material easily. So is it time for all of us to police ourselves and clean up our tours and free sites, or should the responsibility of Internet use by minors fall on the parents? Can one trailer on an entire website be found obscene? Who knows? Can John be held responsible for a minor who clicked a button claiming to be 18 and over? We shall see.

— Donald R. Osterholt, owner, Atlas Multimedia (PornStarDollars, DiabolicDollars)

I think the topic of legal issues as a whole is the most important thing facing the industry this year. We want to spend our time running our businesses — not worrying over the legal mess between tube sites, piracy, 2257, obscenity and the dozens other legal issues that pop up throughout the year. I'd rather sink our money into traffic than legal retainers, and concentrate all of our efforts on marketing and not legalities. Regardless, a great deal of time is needed to keep up on all of the latest in the legal world, and that alone is a big issue facing businesses in this industry.

— Mike Gall, NetluxeMedia, WickedBucks

The most important legal issue facing the industry this year is clarification of the enforcement guidelines of 2257. I predict that the growth of tube sites and social-networking sites that allow users and marketers to upload pirated content (with no links to 2257 compliance statements, and/or with no regard to compliance) will force the feds to crack down.

— Ben from Booble

In a word, "copyright." There's clearly growing frustration and anger in the adult industry concerning content piracy and other forms of intellectual property theft, and my hunch is we'll see more companies taking legal action against infringers this year than in years past. We've already seen Vivid file suit against PornoTube, and my guess is that other producers will initiate similar actions before long. Due to the slow pace of the courts, it's unlikely that any of these new cases will be resolved any time soon, but I think it's very likely that more will get underway before the end of the year.

— Q Boyer,

I think the greatest legal threat to the industry at this very moment is the legislators that are slacking on re-writing the Digital Millenium Copyright Act. This act was written when we had no inkling or foresight to what was coming in the digital age that we all live in now. Until this act is rewritten and encompasses and protects content, I am putting the blame and liability on the U.S. government for failing to protect creative and artistic works, be they adult movies or blockbuster box office movies. With that said, the current situation with the DMCA being ancient and archaic, the industry is turning on itself and cannibalizing itself and the content in the name of the short money game. The Internet's inhabitants have already been taught by YouTube and a number of other outlets that content shouldn't be paid for.They actually demand that it's free now a days. If the DMCA is not redacted and reworked to protect our intellectual property, it appears that the way the industry is going is that content is going to be free and all of us need to modify our models in favor of ad based or traffic equity models. Idly sitting by, the legislators of our country are costing the U.S. government million and millions in tax dollars by devaluing intellectual property assets on every level. Congress is our greatest legal threat.

— Airek, Vice President of Marketing and brand management, Hush Hush Entertainment and Shane's World


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