Posts Tagged ‘obscenity’

Consumers to be Charged in Obscenity Case?

In 1969, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled on the case of Stanley v Georgia, unanimously concluding that a person has the right to watch pornography in the privacy of his or her own home. In the decision, Justice Thurgood Marshall wrote:

Whatever may be the justifications for other statutes regulating obscenity, we do not think they reach into the privacy of one’s own home. If the First Amendment means anything, it means that a State has no business telling a man, sitting alone in his own house, what books he may read or what films he may watch. Our whole constitutional heritage rebels at the thought of giving government the power to control men’s minds.

With this in mind, the news that federal prosecutors in Washington D.C. are attempting to force a company to turn over records that divulge the names and addresses of people who purchased “obscene” materials is puzzling at best and frightening at worst.

A company named only as Company X has been served with three Grand Jury subpoenas requesting business records and 2257 documentation – not uncommon or unreasonable in a prosecution of this type. But the fourth subpoena demands “a copy of records that show the identity of all movies sold or distributed, including the date of each transaction, payment received, and method and date of each of each shipment, from customer purchases” from the company’s website that occurred during 15-day windows in December 2007 and April 2008.

The company offered invoices with customer names and addresses blacked out, but the Dept of Justice demanded the originals that included personal information for everyone who purchased adult videos from this company in those time periods. While the judge presiding over the Grand Jury had the good sense to reject the prosecutors’ insistence that the documents show personal customer information, the motives of the Justice Department are open to speculation.

Could the DoJ be planning to go after consumers of adult materials in the future? It’s hard to say, but important to note that while possessing obscene materials is not a crime, receiving them is. I’m not sure how a person comes to possess anything without first receiving it, but the bottom line is that the feds may be considering stepping over a boundary that would put porn consumers in jeopardy.

Even though VideoBox has content standards and a business model that make it an extremely unlikely target for government witch hunts, I felt it was important that we all, as consumers of adult entertainment, know what’s happening elsewhere in the world of porn. The Grand Jury hasn’t made any indictments yet, so let’s hope that rationality prevails and Company X (whoever they are) doesn’t end up like Rob Zicari, Janet Romano or Max Hardcore.

via: AVN

John Stagliano Interview

Below is a video of an interview with John Stagliano regarding his obscenity prosecution. I’m not sure how old it is (the interview was done in April), but If you’re seriously interested in this case or obscenity law in general, this is a pretty in-depth discussion of the topic. If you’re more interested in John Stagliano’s life and the history of porn, start the video about halfway through.


For more information: Defend Our Porn

Max Hardcore Convicted on Obscenity Charges

Max HardcoreI’ve never been a fan of Max Hardcore. I don’t like his movies and I’ve heard rumors about the way he conducts business that give me pause. That said, I’m pretty pissed off that he was found guilty of distributing obscenity last Thursday. The following is, obviously, my own personal opinion.

It is entirely unbelievable to me that sex acts between consenting adults are subject to any kind of government scrutiny whatsoever in the US. If someone wants to be paid to have her head shoved in a toilet bowl while she’s being verbally abused and doggy-styled and someone else wants to pay to watch that, it’s absolutely none of anyone’s business. Not mine, not my elderly next door neighbor’s, not the government’s.

When I was a little younger and a little more willing to accept that obscenity laws were just a fact of life in this business, I felt that people like Max Hardcore were screwing it up for the rest of us. If folks like him would quit making movies that attract attention, the government would leave the porn industry alone. That was naive.

Attacking producers like Hardcore is just going for the low-hanging fruit. When the government’s agenda is nosing around in people’s bedrooms, no one is safe. The UK recently passed a law banning “violent” pornography. Canada’s obscenity laws are shockingly idiotic. Many countries continue to ban pornography outright.

I think for most people, it’s very difficult to stand up and say that you’re pro-pornography and you want to put an end to this ridiculousness. But this kind of activism is long overdue, both inside the industry and in society at large. If you’re interested in reading more or participating in the discourse on this topic, please check out the following links:

AVN coverage
Porn Star Ashley Blue’s reaction to the judgement
Porn Star Dave Cummings’ reaction to the judgement
Gram Ponante’s reaction to the judgement
Mike South’s coverage
US DOJ press release about Stagliano/Evil Angel obscenity indictment
AVN Article: Stagliano/Evil Angel indictment

Porn Addiction: One Woman’s Opinion

Is porn addiction a serious psychological condition that is causing millions of men their jobs, marriages and relationships with their faimilies? Is it a figment of the collective imagination of the religious right who will stop at nothing to curb our personal freedoms? Like most controversial issues, the answer isn’t black and white, but here’s my personal take: