United States Code Title 18 accumulates all the criminal policies of the federal government. This section is responsible in governing explicit and actual sex image production which are utilized or meant to be utilized in interstate commerce. Under Title 18 is Section 2257 which covers all graphical representations. This section chiefly imposes a series of duties to those who create the images linked to data acquisition, record creation and maintenance, notice of compliance, and inspection on the implementation of government request.
Traci Lord’s Disturbing Fame
Section 2257 came into shape because of a controversy in the entire adult entertainment industry.
The legendary Penthouse Magazine’s Pet of the Month in September 1984 was a neophyte who introduced herself as twenty-two-year-old Kristie Elizabeth Nussman. It was an instant fame after that first appearance making her a hot item in the adult business. It also pedaled her to making numerous hardcore adult video where he gathered AVN award nominations. But this girl has a big secret to the majority, using several names. Truth like oil in water will soon float so they say and her secret was eventually discovered. Her real name is Nora Louise Kuzma, then only at the young age of fifteen.
You must know her better as Traci Lords. Creating a controversy quickly, it was also coupled with encompassing criminal prosecutions with video distributors, the appeal of at least one of which thwarted the United States Supreme Court border.
The incident caused removal of adult tapes from the shelves of adult bookstores that estimated to have cost thousands of dollars. The enforcement of the law gave enough reason for the agents from all corners of America to recurrently scour the shelves of adult bookstores for any trace of wandering Tracy Lords tapes that owners might have let passed.
The tidal wave of the incident reached the Halls of Congress and created a call to do something. As a response, the congress investigated and passed laws but an argument emerged. Given that the law currently stated in Section 2257 existed in 1984, the argument was whether it would have created any significant difference in this ground: Traci Lords admitted that she obtained a valid identification card at the Torrance office of the California Department of Motor Vehicles by using an older person’s birth certificate.
Instead of commercializing Traci Lords at the edge of pedophile, she was rather depicted as an object of sexual fantasy to the mass of American men. In the 1984 Penthouse, Traci’s given age was 22 as she started her career in the adult industry.
In conclusion, the incident paved the way to the creation of a legislation that will act as anti-commercial exploitation of pedophilic pornography, partially by regulating the production of general pornographic materials through identification demand among performers, apart from their age.
Title 18 United States Code Section 2257 on November 18, 1988 was reenacted, this time imposing specific obligations on graphical representations of actual, explicit sexual conduct producers.
Last June 2004, the Attorney General published a proposal of the newly amended regulations that altered some of the obligations originally contained by Section 2257 which is being addressed to the Adult Internet for the first time.
The newly amended regulation is requiring all secondary producers (now counting webmasters that do not create content themselves) must obtain copies of age-verification records and I.D.s required by Section 2257, at the same time advocating them in accordance with the law, in the same way as chief producers of content. Assuming that the regulations are approved as proposed, any performer living in countries outside the United States are required to produce a passport as the only verification of their identification.
Another significant alteration is the revised prerequisite for the site of the disclosure relating to the Custodian of Records. Under the suggested rules is positioning the Disclosure on the web site’s “main URL” or “home page.” It should also be bared in the same style as the names of the owner, producer, director, or whichever is biggest.
Certain prominent adult sites featuring their own original content are impetuously leaving the surfer with the impression that the involved webmasters either do not understand Section 2257, just unaware or they just ignore it. Nonetheless, the adult webmaster cannot refute that the hazards are not real.
A lot of adult content video manufacturers have been present for several years and they have collected knowledge which is yet to be learned by those who are novice to the adult entertainment business. Until now, there are only few prosecutions because of obscenity arising from the internet. It can not be quite assumed though that obscenity prosecution will not start again.
Heaps of webmasters in the hardcore genre are determined to presume some risk of this prosecution. However, webmasters must also be careful when they create content decisions based on an appraisal of how he would defend his site against obscenity allegations where he is positioned and in all the jurisdictions where his content fall under, using each of the set standards in their community.
Reproduction of Content
Webmasters who do not create original content or contract for his or her production should obey with a law that does not appear to include him in its terms. The question that arises here is whether or not he can actually comply. A careful webmaster would observe the contents for 2257 observance and comply with the regulations in question albeit he had his own creation of the images.
In maintaining the records, proper indexing and maintenance of the performer information where his business is located together with preservation of the identity documentation is needed. The problem here is hard to determine but it most likely causes an almost unfeasible duty for the webmaster.
Section 2257 has been treated as a trap for the impulsive. Several times, the significance and usefulness of the Section is misinterpreted seriously by some content providers. In contrast, Section 2257 is an important means in protecting webmasters.
Regardless of whether the law actually requires the records or not, the content producer engaging in any nude or semi-nude erotic images should still include and maintain information for his own protection.
Avoiding using images from the Usenet or TGP pages or clips acquired from P2P is more than a copyright violation. It is difficult and useless to guard himself from child pornography prosecutions by arguing that he reasonably believed the performer to be of legal age because he is unaware as to where the images originated.
Importantly, a webmaster must use images from known origin that are abiding Section 2257 like established content businesses that assume dangers of criminal prosecution.
To eliminate the doubt of illegal deeds, ask questions, know the source, and take positive steps.
It is with high regard that Section 2257 push for anti-child pornography. This is one of the most serious contemporary problems on the web. It is a form of maltreatment and sexual abuse of children causing great damage to them and to their future as well. Internet is currently a very powerful tool in children exploitations.
Cyber criminals appear to be fearless with the authorities as they continue posting images of underage children on the web. With the constant clients that support this type of business, the show goes on and with the wide spread globally, it is hard to contain. It is not an act being done by particular set of people but even well-educated professionals like government employees, teachers, and accountants.
To combat this online problem, different government agencies and international organizations have consolidated their efforts. However, there are misconceptions and confusions regarding child pornography as to what can be considered such. Child pornography standards and definitions usually differ from one country to another.
Some countries consider all depictions of nudity of minors, regardless of whether the minor is depicted in an erotic pose or engaging in a sex act, as illegal. Also, anyone proven guilty of promoting or doing such act is subjected under the law. In some countries though, naturist magazines depicting nude underage persons are not considered as child pornography. They are even widely distributed to their target market. Some countries prohibit written works that explicitly describe minors’ sexual activities.
Just recently in some countries, simulated child pornography like paintings, drawings, or computer-generated images, has been included in the definition of child pornography.
In spite the differences, the drive in protecting countless children against pornography has gained positive response from different sectors. The collective efforts of various sectors shaped the Adult Site Against Child Pornography or ASCAP.
The ASACP (Adult Site Against Child Pornography) is an international organization committed in protecting helpless children as well as helping the adult industry in out-battling child pornography. It is established in 1996, and since then it became a devoted government partner in law enforcement concerning child pornographic sites.
ASCAP believes that knowledge about child pornography could help the concerned sectors and individuals in understanding and handling such problem and will in some ways facilitate in creating possible solutions to the problem.
The Organization assures that they will, at all cost, allow the adult site industry to do their part in resolving the said problem since they are the ones more knowledgeable about the issue.
Another primary concern of the organization is strengthening sectoral relations to make sure that each sector does its part in fighting child pornography.
ASCAP is giving high regard with reporting child pornography sites to the suitable government and civic organizations. Lastly, ASACP assures that its members are at all times well-informed and familiar with existing legislations, issues and developments of their plans.
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- Saturday, March 26th, 2005 at 7:35 pm