LAS VEGAS — Industry attorney Marc Randazza dispels the oft-repeated myth that porn can only be shot in California and New Hampshire in a paper released today by the Nevada Law Journal titled, “The Freedom to Film Pornography.”
Randazza told XBIZ today that he first was inspired to write the piece after he traveled to Sacramento, Calif., several years ago to speak before lawmakers concerning one of the attempts to create a condom statute targeting the porn industry.
“So I got tired of hearing that porn can only be filmed in California and New Hampshire and started writing a short article,” he said.
That “short” article, Randazza said, mushroomed into a 42-page dissertation that debunks the myth that porn can be shot in only those two states.
The four-chapter paper spells out how the porn biz fell out of love with Southern California after Measure B in Los Angeles County passed and how the debate about where production of porn could end up if a piece of legislation, AB 1576, passed.
It also takes a peek at a key U.S. Supreme Court decision, People of California v. Freeman, that gave First Amendment protection to adult film production in California. The paper also offers a scorecard on a number of states outside of California and New Hampshire that have been talked about as new porn hubs.
“While AB 1576 failed, the debate over it gave new life to the myth that California and New Hampshire were the only places in the U.S. where it is legal to make adult films,” Randazza wrote in “The Freedom to Film Pornography.” “Journalists thought they were the first to discover this hidden legal gem. For example, Dennis Romero writing in the L.A. Weekly falsely declared: ‘Porn is only explicitly legal in California and New Hampshire. Otherwise it’s prostitution.’
“And, with that, he damaged his own credibility and made all of his readers that much less educated,” Randazza wrote.
After taking a close look at the Freeman case and its applicability in other states in the paper, Randazza delves into a hypothetical constitutional showdown and sums up that prosecutions over adult film shoots in other states besides California and New Hampshire would be “unthinkable.”
“In the event that another state wishes to tackle this issue, it would likely be a fool’s errand,” Randazza wrote. “Only a fanatical anti-porn crusader would bring such a prosecution at this point. And if such a prosecutor brought such a case, the most likely outcome would be a state court decision following Freeman or a landmark decision based on the federal Constitution.
“Ironically the reasoning that gives life to the myth that filming pornography is legal only in California and New Hampshire is the same mythological spirit preventing many states from confronting Freeman.”
Randazza’s article, “The Freedom to Film Pornography,” can be downloaded here.