FSC Plans to File Suit Today Over 2257 Regs

CHATSWORTH, Calif. — The Free Speech Coalition said it plans to file a lawsuit Wednesday with 14 other plaintiffs challenging revised record-keeping rules.

With the pending suit, the FSC claims that the revised 18 U.S.C. § § 2257 and 2257A regulations are unconstitutional, as well as an unfair burden placed to producers to comply with the regulations.

FSC attorney Michael Murray said in a conference call Tuesday evening that he plans a “substantial constitutional attack” and hopes that the FSC and 14 other plaintiffs will prevail and obtain injunctive relief.

“We plan on a full-scale attack raising 1st Amendment, 5th Amendment and 4th Amendment issues,” said Murray, noting the FSC chose the U.S. District Court in Philadelphia because the court has extensive experience in the area of obscenity.

“The court also is in the district of the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which also has extensive experience in that area,” Murray said.

Murray is hopeful the court will hear the case by the beginning of 2010.

The FSC’s announcement comes just one day after the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal in Connections Distributing vs. Holder, which involved the ability of a publishing company to post sexually explicit photos of swingers to accompany advertisements seeking like-minded adults.

The 14 plaintiffs attached to the suit represent a rainbow of individuals, organizations and companies that one way or another publish or screen erotic material, from performers to photographers to studios to an adult entertainment business journalist.

In addition to the FSC, Murray said at the conference that the the 14 plaintiffs in the case are:

  • The American Society of Media Photographers, which represents 7,000 members.

  • Barbara Nitke, a teacher at the School of Visual Arts in New York and a commercial photographer.

  • David Steinberg, a photographer and writer of sexual issues.

  • Nina Hartley, a performer and website owner.

  • Michael Barone, a photographer.

  • Dave Cummings, an adult industry performer who owns numerous websites.

  • Tom Hymes, an adult industry journalist who runs a website.

  • Sinclair Institute, which operates sexual health clinics.

  • Channel 1 Releasing, which operates a gay porn studio.

  • Barbara Alper, a photographer.

  • Carol Queen, a sexologist and feminist sex educator.

  • Dave Levingston, a photographer.

  • Betty Dodson and Carlin Ross, who co-host a website.