Free Speech Coalition Offers Update on 2257

Bob Preston
LOS ANGELES — Although there's been no major movement on 2257, the Free Speech Coalition told its supporters that it's ready for anything.

The most recent development happened in the summer of 2007, when the Department of Justice proposed amendments to the 2257 regulations that would implement provisions of the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006. These provisions would require producers of depictions of simulated sexually explicit conduct to maintain records documenting that performers in those depictions are at least 18 years of age.

This added section is called 2257A, and because it required studios shooting simulated sex to keep records of performers ages, it set off a round of lobbying by mainstream studios that resulted in the addition of a safe-harbor provision for mainstream film producers.

The FSC responded to the 2257A regulations by repeating earlier concerns and arguments about 2257 in general while also pointing out the unconventional steps the government took to propose the added regulations.

FSC Executive Director Diane Duke said that until the final version of the 2257 regulations are released, the FSC remains in a holding pattern.

"Unless Section 2257 is dramatically rewritten, FSC will continue its litigation efforts at the appropriate time and place," she said. "Barring dramatic developments, that time still appears to be after the publication of the pending regulations in their final form."

Duke said that the FSC feels treating 2257 as a Constitutional matter remains the best way to contest it, though she added that they're ready to fight it on the legislative level, too.

"[The] FSC has worked hard to develop avenues for responsible policy input at the federal level," she said. "And we have already taken positions concerning Section 2257 and its amendments which may help legislators and their aides to realize why it is finally time to start listening to us when it comes to Section 2257."

Duke also touched on the subject of continued compliance. Should companies continue to keep detailed records of all performers?

"As far as continued compliance is concerned, until the law is settled, the unfortunate truth is that there remain risks in this area," Duke said. "The specific risks you face can be effectively evaluated by only you and your attorneys on an individual basis."

Duke welcomed questions at diane@freespeechcoalition.com. For more information, visit FreeSpeechCoalition.com.

Related: