Home > News > Senate Approves Web Labeling; Bill Faces House Battle • Bookmark   • Newsletters   • Register Search Options


Senate Approves Web Labeling; Bill Faces House Battle

Senate Approves Web Labeling; Bill Faces House Battle
Get XBIZ News
Jun 28, 2006 12:00 PM PDT    Text size: 
WASHINGTON — The U.S. Senate Commerce Committee, with the backing of the Bush administration, approved an amendment to a wide-ranging telecommunications bill that would require mandatory website labeling on pages that contain explicit sexual images.

The entire communications bill still has a way to go before it can be signed into law, however. It must receive a final vote from the commerce committee and then the full Senate. The bill also would have to be reconciled with a House of Representatives version, championed by John Kyl, R-Ariz., which does not contain a mandatory labeling provision.

Both proposals were prompted by a speech from Attorney General Alberto Gonzales in April, who called on Congress to act quickly to “prevent people from inadvertently stumbling across pornographic images on the Internet.”

According to CNET News, which has seen a copy of the bill, websites must not place sexually graphic images on their homepage, and they must rate “each page or screen of the website that does contain sexually explicit material,” according to a system to be determined by the Federal Trade Commission.

Webmasters who fail to properly label their sites would face up to five years in prison, according to the proposal.

“This will protect children from accidentally typing in the wrong address and immediately viewing indecent material,” Sen. Conrad Burns, R-Mont., said. “[Politicians] have to take a bold step in this world of danger to our kids, and there are some people out there who prey on young children and they use the Internet and other methods to feed their sickness.”

First Amendment Attorney Lawrence G. Walters offers a different point of view.

“Forcing speech on a publisher is problematic,” Walters told XBIZ. “I’m not against voluntary labeling. In fact, we need to do that to ward off government regulation. Many adult sites label their content with warning pages, but it might not have been widespread enough. I think the government will find that voluntary labeling is pervasive among adult sites, but we don’t have a uniform system. Most adult sites already comply.”

Walters mentioned the video game, music and movie industries as examples of the effective use of self-labeling.

“Unfortunately, web content has been fractured and inconsistent with labeling because of how unwieldy the international web is,” Walters said, citing the Internet’s tremendous worldwide scope and operations. “Depending on the final wording — and it still has a long way to go yet — I think this [bill] would technically be hard to enforce given how much content is out there. It’s unfortunate the adult industry couldn’t do enough to head off this type of legislation.

More ways to get XBIZ News:  RSS Feeds  |  E-Newsletters  |  Desktop Widget  |  Mobile
Looking for porn star news and behind-the-scene videos? Check out XFANZ.com !


WIA Profile: Kate Hodgson-Egan

Each month, industry news media organization XBIZ spotlights the career accomplishments and outstanding contributions of Women in Adult. WIA profiles offer an intimate look at the professional lives of... More »

Q&A: Holiday Products Founder Moe Levy Reflects on Decades of Career Accomplishments

Born and raised in the Bronx, N.Y., as an only child, Moe Levy learned to become business savvy at an early age from his parents. Even more importantly, Levy says his parents instilled in him their people-oriented... More »

AWSummit’s Alexandru Gheorghe Has Eyes Set on Growth

The AWSummit has quickly made its mark and has become a top draw for chat hosts, studios and cam sites from all over the world. Founded by CEO Alexandru Gheorghe just two years ago, the cam-centric AW... More »
Stay informed of the latest industry developments. Get XBIZ newsletters delivered to your inbox. Subscribe today!
Enter email address:

* To manage existing subscriptions click here.

Submit your press release to
multiple news outlets with 1 click.
Subscribe to RSS news feeds or
add free content to your website.
Access XBIZ news and articles
with your mobile device.
Access the latest issues of the industry's leading trade publications in digital form. View online or download for offline viewing.


XBIZ 2017

Jan 09 - Jan 13
Hollywood, CA

XBIZ Awards 2017

Jan 12 - Jan 12
Los Angeles, CA

ANME Founders Show

Jan 14 - Jan 15
Los Angeles Marriott Burbank Airport

Everything To Do With Sex Show

Jan 20 - Jan 22
Montréal, Québec
Everyday thousands of business professionals browse XBIZ's industry directory for quality products and services. Not listed yet? Your company could be losing potential new business. Submit your company today!
Use XBIZ RSS feeds to stay informed of the latest industry developments or as a content syndication tool for your website!