Home > News > Coalition Files Suit to Block Utah Anti-Adult Law • Bookmark   • Newsletters   • Register Search Options


Coalition Files Suit to Block Utah Anti-Adult Law

Coalition Files Suit to Block Utah Anti-Adult Law
Get XBIZ News
Jun 9, 2005 11:52 AM PDT    Text size: 
SALT LAKE CITY— A coalition of bookstores, websites, Internet service providers and free speech groups have jointly filed suit to challenge the constitutionality of a controversial Utah law that would require ISPs to rank website content, publish a register of sites considered “harmful to minors” and block access to adult websites upon a customer’s request.

John Morris, attorney for the Washington-based Center for Democracy and Technology, one of the plaintiffs in the suit, told XBiz that the Utah law is unconstitutional on several grounds.

"Service providers are not able to comply without unconstitutionally trampling on free speech," Morris told XBiz, adding that the publishers of these sites may never realize they’re being blocked.

While adult businesses have the most to lose should the law be implemented, the opposition has drawn widespread support from nonadult businesses.

In fact, the lead plaintiff in the case is The King’s English Bookshop, a mainstream store catering to both children and adults. The store’s owner, Betsey Burton, said she decided to pursue the action because she feared the law would restrict the book descriptions and jacket art she provides on the store’s website.

“Unless I limit the website to children’s books or attempt to exclude children from our website, I risk the danger of a criminal charge,” Burton said.

Burton also pointed out that the law does not make mention of an appeals process. “If I found out that my site is considered harmful to minors, how would I challenge this designation?” she asked.

According to Morris, the law also violates the commerce clause of the U.S. Constitution because it effects companies outside of Utah. "Every state that has attempted to regulate content on the Internet has fallen on the commerce clause," Morris said. "Only Congress can regulate what is essentially an interstate medium.

“All the Legislature really accomplished is forcing the state of Utah to spend money to defend a law that will be overturned,” Morris said.

Morris added that numerous sites often share one IP address. Some may have objectionable content while others don’t, he said, but it is technically impossible for an ISP to block only the sites deemed harmful to minors.

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 !


Data Privacy Is Tightening Up in the E.U.

Have you begun preparing for GDPR? If you are like most, you haven’t even heard of GDPR, but also if you are like most, it is going to affect your business, starting May 25, 2018. The GDPR, or General... More »

Could Adult Content Be Banned?

Earlier this month, I met with the Free Speech Coalition’s board of directors for our annual review. Despite the headwinds our industry faces, politically and economically, we are, as an organization,... More »

Cutting Costs in the Spirit of Entrepreneurship

Adult website owners are comprised of two groups: One is comfortable giving up 30-50 percent of their site’s gross sales revenue (aka profit) in exchange for software, hosting and services despite... 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.
Subscribe to XBIZ Premiere magazine, the industry's leading adult retail trade publications, delivering the most timely and comprehensive business news and information to producers and retailers of adult products.


XBIZ Retreat

May 30 - Jun 03
Miami, Florida

XBIZ Miami 2017

May 30 - Jun 02
Miami, Florida

XShow 18+ 2017

Jun 01 - Jun 03
Moscow, Russia

Cam Summit

Jun 02 - Jun 04
Lloret de Mar, Spain
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!