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SexBiz Legal Seminars Pack A Punch

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Jan 12, 2004 12:00 AM PST    Text size: 
LAS VEGAS, Nevada – The SexBiz Legal Seminars took place at the Tropicana Casino and Resort Hotel for any and all webmasters interested in knowing the ins-and-outs of laws and ordinances that could potentially put them in jail, or at the very least rack up insurmountable legal fees.

The SexBiz Legal Seminars are the brainchild of longtime adult entertainment lawyer Greg Piccionelli, of Brull, Piccionelli, Sarno, Braun & Vradenburgh, and Frederick Lane III, publisher, author, and attorney, both of whom pooled their years of legal experience into an all-day seminar of compressed criminal and civil law risks facing online adult businesses, in addition to a 93-page SexBiz Legal Seminar Entertainment Handbook containing a comprehensive overview of the seminar’s curriculum.

“Our hope is that this seminar will present a balanced view of the obligations and opportunities facing the adult entertainment industry,” the SexBiz Seminar handbook states. “This seminar and all future seminars are offered for educational purposes only.”

And while the turnout in Las Vegas was surprisingly modest, given the extreme relevance and immediacy of just about every issue discussed, Piccionelli and Lane took the group of attendees through a whirlwind review of every law and legal nook and cranny that pertains to adult companies.

The fourth in an ongoing series being offered nationwide in Florida, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Phoenix, the SexBiz Seminars are geared not just toward adult webmasters, but toward individuals, professionals, and “adult curious” attorneys interested in learning more about free speech and First Amendment rights as they hold up to pornography in the workplace, patent and copyright laws, spam, viruses, obscenity, child pornography laws, and the increasingly dire legal outlook for adult entertainment companies under the present presidential administration.

“Our goal was to broaden the pool of interested people,” Lane told XBiz,explaining that the principal byproduct of the SexBiz Legal Seminars is the handbook that he and Piccionelli have put together from scratch over the past two years, and which is expected to eventually grow into a 300-400 page must-have guidebook for adult webmasters.

However, both Piccionelli and Lane clearly stated throughout the seminar that all information offered by them or through the handbook should not be taken as a substitute for direct legal advice from an attorney for hire, and is in no way intended to support adult businesses that that use "unscrupulous or fraudulent business practices."

Among the principal issues outlined in the SexBiz Seminars are criminal, civil, and liability topics such as:

1) Child pornography and synthetic child pornography laws

2) Obscenity laws

3) Pimping, pandering, and prostitution laws

4) Federal record-keeping and labeling laws when it comes to 2257 compliance

5) The ‘Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO)

6) The Child Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA)

7) State laws prohibiting distribution of harmful matter to minors and the efforts to pass a similar law at the federal level

8) Can-Spam Act, the recently enacted anti-spamming law

9) Anti-computer hacking statutes

10) Deceptive domain name regulations

11) Password theft laws

12) Database hacking laws

13) Anti-terrorism laws

14) I.R.S regulations prohibiting illegal organizations

15) Vicarious criminal liability, including conspiracy, aiding and abetting, and facilitation

16) Obstruction of justice

17) Attempts to commit carious types of crime

18) Various regulations adopted by the Federal Communications Commission and the Federal Trade Commission as they relate to consumer protection, false and deceptive trade practices, anti-spamming, unfair competition, and privacy

19) Copyright and website intellectual property protection

20) Trademarks, service marks, and trade dress

21) Patents

22) Anti-cybersquatting laws

23) Domain name disputes

24) Personality and celebrity rights

25) Domain name dispute regulations

26) Labor laws and related issues, including sexual harassment

27) Entity formation and location issues

28) Foreign and international laws issues, including extraditable crimes, trans-border intellectual property laws, and foreign dispute resolution

29) Bankruptcy laws and disposable entities

30) Domestic and foreign tax issues

“We are not trying to dissuade you from this industry,” said Piccionelli to the group of attendees. “I laud you and your good judgment for finding out what the laws are. If run properly, this business is lawful and constitutionally protected. Adult offers the greatest opportunity for small entrepreneurs. It is virtually unstoppable and growing rapidly. However, it is also the closest to the edge of illegalities out there.”

Additionally, Piccionelli warned that while it is not likely that the present government will take out the industry, under the second Bush administration, if it comes to bear, a larger number of webmasters will be prosecuted and forced to leave the industry.

“The time has come to get organized about these issues in your own individual businesses,” said Lane. “Online adult is consistently on the edge of new technology and legal issues. But the government is getting more aggressive, bottom line,” said Lane, “There has been a significant shift in the approach to adult entertainment on a federal level.”

Piccionelli and Lane typically end the seminar on an upbeat note, reminding webmasters in the audience that they are part of a dynamic and highly profitable industry that is on the brink of facing some of the most leading-edge technological changes, including wireless and handheld device technology, an increase in peer-to-peer usage for adult entertainment purposes, sensory technologies that could potentially spur incredible changes for online adult companies, and virtual reality, which both lawyers agree could become a key technology in the transformation of the entire adult entertainment industry.

The next in the series of SexBiz Legal Seminars will be held in Los Angeles on January 28. More information on the series can be found at: http://www.sbls.us.

Sponsors for the seminar series include Epoch, CECash, VideoSecrets, Paycom.net, ASACP, Women In Adult (WIA), and XBiz.com.

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