CrimProf Blog

Editor: Kevin Cole
Univ. of San Diego School of Law

Saturday, June 25, 2005

Sex Sites Cut Deal With DOJ

From  "Most Internet sex sites won't immediately have to follow expanded federal record-keeping standards, thanks to an 11th-hour deal with the U.S. government.  The Free Speech Coalition, an adult-entertainment trade group, and the U.S. Department of Justice reached an agreement Thursday afternoon that the government will not begin enforcing the regulations, which expand existing rules to cover online material, until Sept. 7. The expanded regulations had been scheduled to take effect June 23.  The deal applies only to those registered with the coalition by 2 p.m. PST on June 25. Current members have until Monday to confirm the names of their businesses with the coalition, which will submit a confidential list to a court-appointed special master on Wednesday.

The rules appeared in late May in the Federal Register, announcing that Internet sites would be tacked on to the list of adult media, including magazines and videos, already subject to record-keeping laws under the Child Protection and Obscenity Enforcement Act of 1988.  The expanded rules require both producers and "secondary producers"--in this case webmasters--of adult content to keep and provide extensive documentation about their performers, including legal name, date of birth and copies of documents bearing a photo ID. Secondary producers do not, however, include film or video processors, Web hosts and ISPs, or those who engage in "mere distribution," according to the Federal Register notice.

The government's rationale is that "the identity of every performer is critical to determining and assuring that no performer is a minor." [Mark Godsey]

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