CANOGA PARK, Calif. — While the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals’ ruling today left intact most of 18 U.S.C. § 2257, the recordkeeping regulation for producers of sexually explicit content, the decision is a victory in many respects for filmmakers.
Diane Duke, the CEO of trade industry group Free Speech Coalition, remarked that today’s decision prohibits “the routine, warrantless inspections, which were the hallmark of the original regulation.”
"This decision was a hard-fought victory for adult industry,” Duke told XBIZ. “The 3rd Circuit’s decision struck down the recordkeeping inspection as unconstitutional under the Fourth Amendment, dealing a substantial blow to enforcement of the 2257 regulations.
“Under today’s ruling, the government can no longer appear at the doors of Free Speech Coalition’s members without a search warrant, and demand entry to inspect their 2257 records without cause.
“It is important to note that this decision only protects members of the Free Speech Coalition, the plaintiff in the case. We suggest that all adult producers make sure their membership is in good standing, and if not, to join in order to take advantage of the protections.
"Of course, we entirely disagree with the court's holding that the regulations themselves are not prohibitively burdensome to producers under the First Amendment.
“However, the court remanded some of the restrictions back to a lower court — including those that require business owners keep certain hours to make records available for inspection — and we're hopeful they will be overturned. Over the next few weeks, we will be examining the decision in more detail to determine if we should appeal it en banc."
Tim Valenti, NakedSword founder and FSC's chairman, said: "These battles don't come without a fight, and they don't come for free."
"Anyone who produces adult content, whether they a large studio or a performer doing content trades, needs to support the work the Free Speech Coalition does by becoming a member," he told XBIZ. "Not only does it help us fight for our rights, membership also grants you protections — in this case, from warrantless government inspection — not available to nonmembers."