Video Voyeurism Update

This past week, the U.S. House of Representatives took several actions of potential concern to adult webmasters.

The first bill, dealing with copyright piracy, made it illegal to trade in the "counterfeit labels" that are often found on pirated material such as CDs, DVDs, computer software and more.

While not a real concern for most in our industry, this first bill was still a "reassuring" note that the government is taking intellectual property rights seriously.

Of more concern, particularly for those into the "reality" and "voyeur" scenes, was the House's take on video voyeurism.

While the prohibition is "inapplicable to any person engaged in lawful law enforcement or intelligence activities," the Video Voyeurism Prevention Act of 2004 "amends the Federal criminal code to prohibit knowingly capturing (by videotape, photograph, film, or any means or broadcast) an improper image of an individual, without that individual's consent, depicting that individual's naked or undergarment clad genitals, pubic area, buttocks, or female breast under circumstances in which that individual has a reasonable expectation of privacy."

According to House Judiciary Chairman F. James Sensenbrenner (R-WI), "With the development of smaller cameras and the instantaneous distribution capability of the Internet, the issue of video voyeurism is a huge privacy concern."

Look for more legislation against video voyeurism as the market penetration of cell phones offering "enhanced" image capture increases.