Justice Department Appeals 2257 Judgment, Decree

Justice Department Appeals 2257 Judgment, Decree

WASHINGTON — The Justice Department today appealed a federal judge’s final judgment and decree in the Free Speech Coalition’s long-running case over recordkeeping regulations for adult producers.

The government’s appeal to the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals stems from a ruling issued in August by U.S. District Judge Michael Baylson.  

In his decision over the regs, 18 U.S.C. §§ 2257 and 2257A, Baylson found that large parts of the recordkeeping regulations were unconstitutional on First Amendment grounds. An earlier FSC victory against the regulations on Fourth Amendment grounds came from a 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling.

The FSC in August said that since the fight over 2257 regulations started in 2005, more than $1 million in legal costs have been spent.

In August, industry attorney Jeffrey Douglas, also board chair of the FSC, defended the expenditure, noting, “This complex and morality-based regulation has been costing our industry untold millions, and [it] exposed adult producers, performers, affiliates, press and others to broad and biased prosecution by the federal government.”

Under 2257, both primary and secondary producers — including cam and tube sites — are required to keep extensive, cross-referenced records of any model that appears on their site, regardless of whether that site had any role in producing the original content.

Last summer, the FSC created a lawsuit donation page to help face a looming appeal. At the time, the adult trade group called Baylson’s judgment and decree a “major legal victory.”

Today, the FSC's executive director, Eric Paul Leue, told XBIZ the adult entertainment trade group will continue its fight against the regulations, which many have described through the years as "draconian."

“As we expected, the government has appealed Judge Baylson’s ruling striking down major parts of the 2257 regulations as unconstitutional under the First and Fourth Amendments, and permanently enjoining the government from enforcing those parts of the statutory scheme," Leue said. "FSC has a right to appeal as well, and we will continue to defend the rights of legal producers.”  

View notice of appeal

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