WEST HOLLYWOOD, Calif. — The Free Speech Coalition at its inaugural Leadership Conference on Thursday introduced Murray Perkins, who leads efforts for the U.K.’s new age-verification regulatory regime under the Digital Economy Act.
Perkins spoke to those attending the 2018 XBIZ Show during the FSC’s Leadership Conference on Thursday about the new age-verification rules that will start in the spring.
Perkins is the principal adviser for the the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC), which last year signed on to assume the role of regulator.
Perkins traveled to the XBIZ Show on an informational trip specifically to offer education on the Digital Economy Act’s regulatory powers; he continues on to Las Vegas next week and Australia the following week to speak with online adult entertainment operators.
“The reason why I am here is to be visible, to give people an opportunity to ask questions about what is happening,” he said. “I firmly believe that the only way to make this work is to with and not against the adult entertainment industry.
“This is a challenge; there is no template, but we will figure it out. I am reasonably optimistic [the legislation] will work.”
Under third-party authority, the BBFC will be tasked to police the web for sites that don’t comply with mandatory age-verification checks for hardcore fare in the U.K.
The regulator can levy fines of up to £250,000, or five percent of a company’s revenue, when appropriate, to offending adult sites. It also has powers to recommend to credit cards like MasterCard to block processing for noncomplying sites.
Perkins offered understanding and answered questions about the latest proposed guidelines on how the regulation of online adult content is intended to operate, specifically relative to age-verification arrangements.
He also spoke about the appeals process and responsibilities of payment-service providers and ancillary service providers, such as traffic companies and hosting companies.
A team of classification examiners will start screening content for potential violations starting in the spring. (In a separate discussion with XBIZ, Perkins said that his army of examiners will total 15.)
“The Digital Economy Act will affect everyone in this room, one way or the other,” Perkins said. “However, the Digital Economy Act is not anti-porn … it is not intended to disrupt an adult’s journey or access to their content.
Perkins further spoke briefly about privacy issues of adult users of porn sites and the potential for fraud or misuse of personal data.
A half-dozen companies are currently marketing age-verification products and services related to the Digital Economy Act’s new rules.
Pictured: Murray Perkins, BBFC’s head of the Digital Economy Act, speaks to attendees at the FSC Leadership Conference, which was held at the Panorama Rooftop Ballroom at the Andaz hotel, host venue for the 2018 XBIZ Show