Attorneys Discuss 2257 at Internext Seminar

Tom Hymes
HOLLYWOOD, Fla. — Five distinguished industry attorneys and Diane Duke of the Free Speech Coalition engaged in a discussion of 2257-related issues during a well-attended 2257 Update seminar Friday at the Internext trade show, which ended yesterday.

The attorneys were Lawrence Walters, who moderated the panel, Greg Piccionelli, Roger Wilcox, J.D. Obenberger and Eric Bernstein. Diane Duke, who also participated, is the Executive Director of the Free Speech Coalition, which has challenged the regulations in federal court.

In an at-times spirited discussion that took up the allotted two-hour time slot, the panelists were asked to respond to a series of specific questions regarding the newly-imposed "lascivious exhibition" component of the regulations, how industry members should respond to the Justice Department's request for public comment regarding the latest proposed version of the regulations, who is and is not obligated to comply to the regs and what adult website owners need to do to become compliant with the newly-proposed obligation to label all pages on their websites, and others.

Consistent with most seminars on the subject, there was disagreement among the attorneys on many, if not most, of the issues surrounding regulations that remain inconsistent and unclear. With that in mind, it was to be expected that everyone on the panel urged everyone who comes under 2257's scope to bring a very conservative attitude to all questions of compliance.

One potential upside to the efforts required by webmasters to once again assess and become compliant with the current proposed-2257 regulations is the fact that the DOJ specifically has asked the industry to comment on financial and other burdens imposed by the regulations.

Duke spoke to how important it is to have as many people comment as possible, as specifically as possible, with strong warning by the attorneys that any information specific to a person's company be assessed by a lawyer before being sent on to the DOJ.