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Court Strikes Down Age Verification For Adult Sites

kdawson posted more than 6 years ago | from the wouldn't-know-about-that dept.

The Courts 359

How Appealing reports that a court has struck down age verification requirements for porn sites, as a First Amendment violation. Here is the ruling (PDF). While the average reader here has never been to such a site, porn has been a driving force in the economics and technology of the Net. The age verification requirements of U.S.C. Title 18, Section 2257 were yet another attempt to regulate to death what the government can't outright prohibit. The requirements intruded on the privacy and safety of performers and created headaches for sites like flickr and photobucket that host images. It is has long been thought that the requirements wouldn't hold up in court, but this is the first actual ruling.

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359 comments

Viagra, anyone? (2, Funny)

hyades1 (1149581) | more than 6 years ago | (#21092399)

So does this mean there's no mandatory retirement age for porn stars? Granny will want to hear about this.

Re:Viagra, anyone? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21094505)

One of the perpetual needs of the average male is sex, but sadly most women

are reluctant to give in to this on the first date. This guide will tell

you step by step, how to ensure that you get her into bed.

THE DATE

--------

Take her to a restaurant, somewhere nice but cheap. I'd advice someplace

close to home, because if all goes well, you will want to get her home as

quickly as possible, before she escapes, err.. changes her mind.

Dress for the occasion. Wear clothes that mask the real you, that being

wear a suit, or something. You want to get her to believe that you are a

gentlemen, as opposed to a sex crazed maniac, the latter being the real you.

Take her flowers. Something so cheap, but such a powerful weapon. If you

don't want to pay for some, steal them. Anyone can pull some flowers out

of their nextdoor neighbour's yard.

Preparation is the key to success, so before leaving, put the following in

your car (just in case): A strong nylon rope, a balaclava, a sharp

Wiltshire stay sharp filleting knife (preferably with a brown handle), a

copy of "Solider of Fortune" magazine, and a walkman. It would also be a

good idea to pack a large polythene bag as well, and maybe some bricks to

match it.

ON THE DATE

-----------

Whilst on the date, you must be polite. Try and trick the bitch into

believing that you are honest, kind, considerate of others, and a "new

age" male. Get her believing this and you are half way there to getting the

slag in the bag.

Talk about things of culture, music, art, theatre. Don't talk about things

like "The time you bit the head of your mother's budgie", "Or how you

murdered a million tibetan monks, but we're excused because you were a

freemason", or "How many men you killed in Vietnam". No, ladies don't like

that sort of talk, despite the fact it is far more interesting. Tell them

about how you are a fan of good music, and have a great record collection.

Make sure you gear everything you say around their interests. If you find

out that she is a fan of "The National Bulgarian Potplant Orchestra", tell

her you have got all their albums at home, and maybe one day she could come

over and have a look (at the records).

Use humour, be funny and make her laugh. While she is laughing, you can

order more drinks. The more intoxicated you get her, the better. Aim to

have her vomiting bilious fluid by the end of the night and success is

assured. Don't order beer, order expensive wines. Ladies like wine, and

if you pour drinks at a 4:1 ratio, you should only be tipsy by the nights

end.

As the night progresses, slowly but steadily, start telling her how much

you like her, and how much you have in common. Women love this sort of

crap. Act like you mean it, and she will be putty in your sweaty hands.

Don't go overboard though and start licking her feet, but pay her lots of

subtle compliments.

Towards the end of the night, tell how you would really like to see her

again. By now, she should be totally pissed. If not, tell her anyway. It

is now time to play the final card. Tell her that she is too pissed to

drive, and so you'll take her home.

Stop off at your house, and invite her inside for a coffee. Hopefully, she

will accept, if not then it's time to get mean. Remember, fear and threats

the greatest aphrodisiac. If she refuses, try and convince her with words.

If words fail, lock the doors. Central locking is beaut for this. She will

probably get scared and start screaming now. If not now, then she probably

will when you begin to rape her. Take the nylon rope and tie her neck to the

headrest. Do it tightly in a slipknot, so that the more she moves, the more

she'll choke. Rip off her dress, and taking the knife in one hand hold it

to her. Then get on top of her, and rape her. You should be able to take

it from here.

Once you're done and you've told her how good she was. Give a kiss, and

tell her how much you'd like to see her, and maybe even her family, again.

Then take the knife and kill her. Put her body in the bag and dump it

somewhere, a good place being in X-Club, the nightclub in King Street

Melbourne, because no-one ever goes there.

If she decides to come into your home, you have won. Shut the door behind

her, then take out the knife. It is your house, and you are a male, so it

should be no problem to bash the fuck out of the bitch and then rape her.

Aim to knock her unconscious, but not into a coma. In case you didn't know,

a woman's cunt tenses up in a coma, and thus entry may be difficult.

Once done, discard of her. A dead bitch is environmentally friendly, so

have no hesitation in burying her someplace. Your backyard? Why not.

Hot diggity dog (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21094469)

I LOVE PR0N

this is a victory for all slashdorks

Leisure Suit Larry (4, Funny)

conner_bw (120497) | more than 6 years ago | (#21094471)

Does anyone remember the Leisure Suit Larry [wikipedia.org] age verification questions? As a kid who couldn't get into the game, I sure do.

Adult natured games in 16 color EGA for the kids of yester year, gonzo orgy divx on demand for the kids of today.

The future is fucked.

Re:Leisure Suit Larry (2, Informative)

spellraiser (764337) | more than 6 years ago | (#21094521)

Bah, that was easy. There was a limited number of questions, and I think four possible answers given for each one, so you just kept guessing away until you could map out all the answers to all the questions.

There's a nerdy solution to every problem.

Re:Leisure Suit Larry (3, Interesting)

empaler (130732) | more than 6 years ago | (#21094615)

Does anyone remember the Leisure Suit Larry [wikipedia.org] age verification questions? As a kid who couldn't get into the game, I sure do.

Adult natured games in 16 color EGA for the kids of yester year, gonzo orgy divx on demand for the kids of today.

The future is fucked.
You think you had it rough? Try for not even being an American. At least you cannucks can just shout over the border and get answers.

Re:Leisure Suit Larry (3, Funny)

wedgiesaurus (815742) | more than 6 years ago | (#21094855)

The majority proceeds to hold the statute facially over-broad...

Do judges really refer to their *ahem* as a 'statute'?

Ah! So that's what they do behind closed doors.

Re:Leisure Suit Larry (2)

WGR (32993) | more than 6 years ago | (#21095163)

That is statute not statue. Check a dictionary for difference.

Re:Leisure Suit Larry (2, Interesting)

intthis (525681) | more than 6 years ago | (#21094993)

my buddy and i knew the answers to all of the questions when we were 8... and does anyone remember the prophetic

O.J. Simpson is:
a. no one to mess with
b. something
c. something about juice
d. under indictment

so depending on when you played the game, there were two answers to that one...

Well duh (5, Funny)

spellraiser (764337) | more than 6 years ago | (#21094475)

While the average reader here has never been to such a site, porn has been a driving force in the economics and technology of the Net.

Of course not. People don't go to these sites to read, now do they?

Re:Well duh (4, Funny)

VirusEqualsVeryYes (981719) | more than 6 years ago | (#21094573)

You're right. The sentence needs to be reworded:

While the average reader here has never come to such a site, porn has been a driving force in the economics and technology of the Net.
There. That's better. I feel vaguely dirty, though...

Re:Well duh (4, Funny)

Dr. Cody (554864) | more than 6 years ago | (#21094673)

If you're feeling unclean, soap and water always works for me when I'm done inserting "come."

Re:Well duh (2, Interesting)

Wonko the Sane (25252) | more than 6 years ago | (#21095221)

If you're feeling unclean, soap and water always works for me when I'm done inserting "come."
Like most activities, this one is better if you find another person to help do it.

Re:Well duh (1)

zuddha (1109433) | more than 6 years ago | (#21094711)

Of course they do. As a matter of fact, the only reason I have subscriptions is for the myriad interesting articles on display!

Re:Well duh (4, Funny)

techno-vampire (666512) | more than 6 years ago | (#21094777)

That's only half the problem. Most slashdotters stay away from those sites just in case their mom comes down to the basement at the wrong time and gets a good look at what's on the screen.

Re:Well duh (1)

wizardforce (1005805) | more than 6 years ago | (#21094999)

and the rest of us know our hotkeys. :) alt tab, alt f4, ctrl t and any number of others with modified kde shortcuts

Re:Well duh (2, Interesting)

Kalriath (849904) | more than 6 years ago | (#21095139)

Pfft. According to research, half of them use Quicktime, Flash Player, or some other browser control nonsense which would slightly delay the minimisation or exit of the program, resulting in what you are watching being plainly visible for several seconds. My research indicates both Opera and Firefox are TERRIBLE for this.

Oh, good thing (1, Funny)

iknowcss (937215) | more than 6 years ago | (#21094481)

I was getting worried that they might get suspicious that I still wank to porn despite the fact that I was born in 1901. Viagra works magic, amirite?

Yeah. You might have become a victim of a Y2K bug (2, Funny)

Ungrounded Lightning (62228) | more than 6 years ago | (#21094759)

I was getting worried that they might get suspicious that I still wank to porn despite the fact that I was born in 1901.

Well now you're safe to publish a picture of your activities, without worrying about whether their software has a hangover Y2K bug and might decide you're only 6 years old.

Yipee! (1, Funny)

thornomad (1095985) | more than 6 years ago | (#21094483)

Well: I was always stymied by those "age verification" questions ... could never get in to look at that pr0n. Now I can!

Re:Yipee! (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21094537)

People seem to be misinterpreting what this is about, partially due to the vague nature of the summary. They aren't talking about those 'enter your birthdate to enter' gateways to porn sites; this is about websites being required to have verification that all actors involved are, in fact, of legal age.

Re:Yipee! (2, Insightful)

empaler (130732) | more than 6 years ago | (#21094637)

People seem to be misinterpreting what this is about, partially due to the vague nature of the summary. They aren't talking about those 'enter your birthdate to enter' gateways to porn sites; this is about websites being required to have verification that all actors involved are, in fact, of legal age.
That is, effectively, the complete opposite of what TFS had me believing. I thought it was the patrons.
Thank you for clearing that up.

Re:Yipee! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21094825)

YES THIS IS A VERY IMPORTANT DISTINCTION:

" They aren't talking about those 'enter your birthdate to enter' gateways to porn sites; this is about websites being required to have verification that all actors involved are, in fact, of legal age."

This is with regards to the onerous record keeping requirements that would require every publisher of an adult picture to keep on record for inspection the age documentation for the performer.

While it is crucial to have protection for underage performers, I don't think requiring 20,000 webmasters who post a nudie picture to have a copy of the performers drivers license etc - do we really think it is safe to give adult performers adresses to every tom dick and harry!?

Re:Yipee! (2, Informative)

skoaldipper (752281) | more than 6 years ago | (#21095149)

What I gather from the PDF is:

1. The Government application of record keeping requirements was "uncreative" as applied specifically to child pornography.

2. The law produced a weighted burden on other forms of free speech (in relation to 1).

3. It is regulation of speech, not conduct, since the photograph (and taking of it) "bear a necessary relationship to the freedom to speak, write, print or distribute information or opinion."

4. Connection publishes "swinger" magazines, which I'm pretty sure was founded by two wild and crazy guys, Georg and Yortuk Festrunk.

4. "facial" is actually a legal term.

Re:Yipee! (1)

kc2keo (694222) | more than 6 years ago | (#21094547)

I never really understood those age verification systems that just ask you for your age. So easy to lie. I've come across the more complex age verification systems in the past where you gotta enter your credit card info to prove your of age... are they crazy?

Now I just get all porn from limewire (until it gets shut down if ever)

Re:Yipee! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21095037)

So you're just hoping that you don't accidentally download child porn that could land you in gaol?

Correction! (0, Redundant)

NewsBot (1173591) | more than 6 years ago | (#21094503)

While the average reader here has never been to such a site
This is incorrect. Actually, studies [caslon.com.au] indicate [tripod.com] that many people do go to "porn sites".

Re:Correction! (1)

Golden Section (961595) | more than 6 years ago | (#21094631)

The links go to "studies" from 2001. How are these relevant in 2007, when 6 months ago is ancient history on the web? And for the "studies", the writers admit that they can't verify their estimates. Stephen Glass had more facts...

Re:Correction! (1)

Architect_sasyr (938685) | more than 6 years ago | (#21095127)

Sarg reports off my squid proxy verify those statistics! Now all I have to do is get them to look at decent porn rather than this yahoo images crap. Driftnet [ex-parrot.com] can be such a wonderful tool, and yes I have blocked goatse in the squid lists... just in case...

Finally! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21094513)

I can now post links to goatse and tubgirl without having to use a disclaimer! Imagine the changes here at Slashdot!

AVS companies are still here to stay. (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21094527)

I've been a smut peddler for almost seven years. Even if the AVS isn't required by legislation, you can still expect them to stay around. In addition to the AVS being a good way in general to sell site access, it is also required by a lot of content licenses. For example, if I license a porno video to put on my site, it will say right in the license that I must put that video in a protected area behind some sort of AVS (read: credit card) barrier.

Re:AVS companies are still here to stay. (1)

skelly33 (891182) | more than 6 years ago | (#21094661)

I too have been involved with adult content since before 2257 became effective in summer, 2005. No matter what court rulings come down as to the constitutionality of the law, until the law is actually repealed or amended, adult content providers won't change a thing. They will not break the law because it's not worth the prison sentence just to save some lazy schmuck three extra clicks to enter their (fake) birth date.

Re:AVS companies are still here to stay. (4, Informative)

cduffy (652) | more than 6 years ago | (#21094767)

No matter what court rulings come down as to the constitutionality of the law, until the law is actually repealed or amended, adult content providers won't change a thing. They will not break the law because it's not worth the prison sentence just to save some lazy schmuck three extra clicks to enter their (fake) birth date.
Eh? My understanding is that the most objectionable parts of 2257 are related to recordkeeping requirements regarding the performers, not the users.

Indeed, compromising the performers' privacy by requiring that identifying information be distributed to any site hosting the content they star in seems to have much less to do with its stated purpose of preventing underage individuals from acting in porn and much more to do with making a hostile and dangerous business environment for those in an industry the religious right would like to shut down.

Re:AVS companies are still here to stay. (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21094769)

Heh. Always fun on slashdot to see the idiots that know nothing try to BS their way around. 2257 has NOTHING AT ALL to do with "lazy schmucks" viewing the pornography; you can see the entire content of the law here.

http://www4.law.cornell.edu/uscode/html/uscode18/usc_sec_18_00002257----000-.html [cornell.edu]

If you had been working in the porn industry, surely you would know this.

No CC (0, Offtopic)

Merls the Sneaky (1031058) | more than 6 years ago | (#21094535)

No credit card requirements for porn sites to verify my age anymore then?

Great! More porn easier. Not AC because I am not afraid to let people know I like watching sex.

Yes I am over 18.

If you don't want your kids looking at it try a little thing called parenting.

Re:No CC (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21094553)

U.S.C. Title 18, Section 2257 is about the age of actors, not viewers.

Re:No CC (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21094701)

Where can I download that? Got a link? ;)

-Mc

Re:No CC (1)

slyn (1111419) | more than 6 years ago | (#21094715)

FTFS:

How Appealing reports that a court has struck down age verification requirements for porn sites, as a First Amendment violation.

How Appealing indeed.

Re:No CC (1)

noz (253073) | more than 6 years ago | (#21094799)

Eminem has some very tasteful shots at parents.

Get aware, wake up, get a sense of humor
Quit tryin to censor music, this is for your kid's amusement
(The kids!) But don't blame me when lil' Eric jumps off of the terrace
You shoulda been watchin him - apparently you ain't parents

Re:No CC (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21094827)

No, that's not what the ruling is about. Is relates to keeping records verifying the ages of the subjects DEPICTED on porn sites, NOT ages of those VIEWING the sites.

It says nothing about verifying ages of those wishing to view the sites. Oh wait, I forgot, nobody reads the article links before posting here.

The Internet is for (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21094549)

...
finish it.

Re:The Internet is for (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21094787)

lolcats

Re:The Internet is for (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21094969)

> lolcats

We are everywhere.
We are legion.
We are embarassed.
For one of us was more lame than all of us.

Saddest part is that if he'd posted that missed reference on Caturday, his fail would have been so epic it would have wrapped right around the integer into win.

The greatest pornography distribution mechanism in the history of mankind, and what do we use it for?

> lolcats

We were embarassed.
We know Avenue Q was a documentary.
We fixed it for him.

Re:The Internet is for (1)

anthonys_junk (1110393) | more than 6 years ago | (#21094995)

You rock, funniest thing I have seen all day :-) (but even if I had mod points, well you shouldn't be posting as AC)

Oh dear (-1, Offtopic)

Trogre (513942) | more than 6 years ago | (#21094557)

headaches for sites like flickr and photobucket t ... so does this mean we're going to get an influx of pornographic images on smut-free sites like the above? Great, another useful resource that's going to be blocked by schools now.

Honestly, if the masturbating perverts out there want to get their jollies off of dirty pictures, fine, just make it bloody clear that's what a site contains before the rest of us get bombarded with god-knows-what.

Re:Oh dear (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21094597)

Because flickr and photobucket totally don't have clauses in their TOS forbidding pornography and this TOTALLY affects their ability to keep that clause in their TOS you clueless RETARD.

Re:Oh dear (1)

Trogre (513942) | more than 6 years ago | (#21094623)

Ah, there's one of them now. Hello.

If what you said were so, then why would the requirements in U.S.C. Title 18, Section 2257 have been such a headache for them? And now that it's been struck down, will that make no difference?

Re:Oh dear (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21094785)

Because then they'd be legally required to vet every single uploaded image to make sure it wasn't porn.

Re:Oh dear (2, Informative)

cduffy (652) | more than 6 years ago | (#21094807)

Whether 2257 is in place or not shouldn't make any difference for sites that don't host porn, correct. Of course, in a world where user-submitted contact is every idiot's idea of how they're going to start a business that'll be The Next Big Thing On The Internet but artificial intelligence isn't good enough to conclusively determine whether a given piece appeals to prurient interests or is outside of established community standards, being a site that doesn't host porn is considerably harder than just putting a line in your TOS and filtering things out after-the-fact.

Re:Oh dear (5, Insightful)

thegrassyknowl (762218) | more than 6 years ago | (#21094839)

Honestly, if the masturbating perverts out there want to get their jollies off of dirty pictures, fine, just make it bloody clear that's what a site contains before the rest of us get bombarded with god-knows-what.

How is masturbating and looking at pornography of consenting adults considered "perverted"? That is a very limited view given that your body is wired in such a way as to encourage you to reproduce as frequently and as often as possible. It stands to reason that people need to satisfy their natural urges somehow. It's hard getting laid; people are picky about their partners and there's this stigma attached to sex still even in our modern liberated society.

It's pretty easy to watch porn and whack off... A few people take it out on poor unsuspecting passers-by (i don't condone that kind of thing). You gotta satisfy the urges that your body has somehow. I find it somewhat offensive that you would classify the satisfying of the body's natural urges "perverted".

I never really supported the age verification because I think a person who is old enough to know to seek out the content on their own is probably old enough to make their own decisions regarding sex. A person who wants to seek out the porn will be able to find it regardless of any age verification laws in one or two countries. Not everywhere is the USA or Australia. Lots of places don't enforce similar laws.

Younger kids should be supervised by their parents. Someone else said "if you don't want your kids looking at it then try something called parenting". I couldn't agree more.

I do agree that porn isn't for everyone, and a simple banner page warning is what a great-many of the porn sites have currently anyway.

Re:Oh dear (1, Funny)

Trogre (513942) | more than 6 years ago | (#21094929)

Ah, so you're a slave to your own desires then? Honestly, man, get some self-control.

Re:Oh dear (0, Troll)

Kalriath (849904) | more than 6 years ago | (#21095193)

Oh dear. We have ourselves a religious nut here.

I know it's tempting to try and force the ideals of your religion on anyone who'll listen (and if Christian, even the people who wont) but you need to be aware that it is the individual's decision what ideals they want to follow, provided they walk within the bounds of the law. If a person chooses to watch this type of material, that's their call. Not yours. Not your holy books. And might I add, you religious folks need to stop trying to get the ideals of your holy book codified as law - ironic that they preach that "god gave us free will to make our own choices" and then object when someone exercises that free will.

Woah, going way off topic here.

Re:Oh dear (0, Troll)

Score Whore (32328) | more than 6 years ago | (#21095175)

Those are some interesting points you have there. Why don't you go read the ruling and come back and make some points that have even a little bit to do with it. I mean come on, this isn't about verifying that seventeen year olds are not browsing your porn site. It's about keeping track of the age and identity of the young gal who is being double penetrated and face fucked whose picture you are putting on your website. Seriously. How hard is it to read a pdf?

Re:Oh dear (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21094861)

This is like a chinese being pissed off over someone writing a comment about the Tiananmen Square protests because China might block Slashdot. The problem isn't that someone is uploading smut, the problem is that they're censoring websites. I've worked in schools and none of them had blocked any websites, and guess what, the kids didn't sit there watching porn all day.

Re:Oh dear (1)

irc.goatse.cx troll (593289) | more than 6 years ago | (#21094983)

Theres plenty of porn on photobucket. Photobucket also doesn't keep records on the people submitting the pictures. Certainly not copies of valid photo id and all the other things USC 18 2257 requires.

This ruling just means photobucket is no longer illegal. It won't really impact anything, as its not like they'd actually go after photobucket before, but it's nice when there aren't crazy laws being held over your head 24/7 that can be used against you at any time if you pose a threat or decide to not comply with some powerful persons request.

Re:Oh dear (1)

langelgjm (860756) | more than 6 years ago | (#21095081)

What's going to stop those sites from prohibiting sexually explicit photos in their TOS, as most of them already do?

Rumors (4, Funny)

David Gould (4938) | more than 6 years ago | (#21094559)

While the average reader here has never been to such a site, porn has been a driving force in the economics and technology of the Net.
Yes, I, too, have heard rumors of such things... can it really be true? Is this technological wonder known as the Internet really being used as a vehicle for pornography? No hearsay, please -- does anyone here have a definite answer, from a credible source?

Re:Rumors (1)

Trogre (513942) | more than 6 years ago | (#21094599)

You won't get it. It's just another urban myth, that basically states that any sufficiently successful technology was invented for, and became successful due to, pornography.

Re:Rumors (3, Insightful)

petrus4 (213815) | more than 6 years ago | (#21094635)

While the average reader here has never been to such a site, porn has been a driving force in the economics and technology of the Net.
Yes, I, too, have heard rumors of such things... can it really be true? Is this technological wonder known as the Internet really being used as a vehicle for pornography? No hearsay, please -- does anyone here have a definite answer, from a credible source?


While it might be untrue that the Internet owes its' existence to the porn industry to the degree that is claimed, it is true from what I've read that the porn industry and the material's distributors generally are early adopters of new technologies, particularly in such relevant areas as media storage. (DVDs and such)

When you think about it, this is actually extremely logical. It follows that individuals who are broad minded in at least one category of their thinking are more likely to thus be similarly broad minded in others.

Re:Rumors (2, Funny)

E++99 (880734) | more than 6 years ago | (#21094749)

While it might be untrue that the Internet owes its' existence to the porn industry to the degree that is claimed, it is true from what I've read that the porn industry and the material's distributors generally are early adopters of new technologies, particularly in such relevant areas as media storage. (DVDs and such)

When you think about it, this is actually extremely logical. It follows that individuals who are broad minded in at least one category of their thinking are more likely to thus be similarly broad minded in others.

Because, pornographers are... broad minded???

Re:Rumors (2, Insightful)

Pfhor (40220) | more than 6 years ago | (#21094913)

it is not even that. They are following the money. Porn is dealing with the lowest common denominator and lowest barrier to entrance. Instead of a passionate love story, lets just show the 'good' parts. They went to VHS because they saw that it was allowing for lower cost films, faster turn around time and private home viewing. You had a broader audience and you got to cut out the theatre distribution chain. Since they were always a marginal aspect of society (there isn't a XXXMPAA to push laws for them) they have to meet consumer demand, instead of regulate the consumers. And to say that the industry shifted, well as a whole "porn" may changing formats and delivery mechanisms, but most of these changes are still being first to market by new comers to the industry, because each tech revolution lowered the entry point.

VHS made made amatuer porn challenge the Film market.
MiniDV, DVD and the Internet made it even cheaper, so that anyone with some starting money could be a porn star. Now Vivid and other shops have to compete with 'watchmehavesexallday.com' etc, so of course they are going to adapt. They can't lobby or pass laws banning those smaller sites since they aren't exactly popular enough to get senators on their side (however I wonder if some of them backed the age verification requirement, knowing that the smaller sites would crumble under the paperwork).

To say they are broad visioned and open minded is a stretch, I'd just say that they are always on edge and have been fighting to be around, legally and financially, so they have to stay quick and adapt, or fold. A lot of porn distributors went out of business when Video hit, another group went out of business with Traci Lords underage porn too.

Re:Rumors (0, Troll)

The Iso (1088207) | more than 6 years ago | (#21094705)

lol goatse [google.com]

Re:Rumors (0, Offtopic)

MicktheMech (697533) | more than 6 years ago | (#21095095)

Interesting troll.

The first link that you would assume is dangerous is in fact completely benign. The reader, now less concerned, is more likely to click on the signature link right below, which logs you out. Not that bad. Still, this fails because it's all transparent to anyone who can mouseover the links. If you want to be successful you'll need to learn to mask your URIs.

Re:Rumors (1)

The Iso (1088207) | more than 6 years ago | (#21095187)

Oh, I'm not a troll, I just like to encourage diligence. Maybe I should put my sig behind a tinyurl though. Not using previews seems to be a problem.

Re:Rumors (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21095057)

> Yes, I, too, have heard rumors of such things... can it really be true? Is this technological wonder known as the Internet really being used as a vehicle for pornography? No hearsay, please -- does anyone here have a definite answer, from a credible source?

I've waited just over ten years to say this:

"You bet your fragrant ass. Pull up a chair, asshopper."
- Billy the Bionic Badger, Space Moose, Cyberspace Moose [hackcanada.com] , early 1997.

(comic strip, safe for work, and dedicated to everyone who remembered the commercial for which this was a parody.)

Illegal? (2, Interesting)

clamothe (704740) | more than 6 years ago | (#21094565)

For you lawyer-types: Does this make it illegal for the Federal government to do this ? Or does it make it illegal for any government to enforce these requirements? Basically: Can the state of oregon say that they want to regulate this, or does this ruling make this illegal?

Re:Illegal? (5, Informative)

The Only Druid (587299) | more than 6 years ago | (#21094943)

This is a decision by the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, i.e. the highest federal court in the Sixth Circuit before you reach the Supreme Court of the United States.

It declares this law to be unconstitutional due to overbreadth (to simplify quite a bit), which means that within the Sixth Circuit, this law is unenforceable.

The Supreme Court may then either hear the case (and decide whether or not to affirm on the merits), or it may decline to hear the case (thus not issuing a decision as to the merits).

However, Circuit Courts of Appeal are not binding on the district courts in other circuits (though they are heavily persuasive authority). Thus, the government may prosecute under this law in other circuits, and hope that the district courts there disagree with the Sixth Circuit. Eventually, other Circuit Courts of Appeal may hear this matter and issue their own decisions as to the validity of this law.

Typically, the Supreme Court refuses to hear issues like this until more than one Circuit has issued an opinion on the matter. Even then, they have historically preferred not to hear the issue unless the various Circuits disagree. However, if the Supreme Court rules that the law is unconstitutional, then it is no longer a law, throughout the nation.

As for a state regulating this: States are permitted to provide greater protection to rights, not lesser. Therefor, if a State attempted to regulate speech in a manner that violates the federal constitution, then that State attempt would be equally unconstitutional.

As a final odd point: the philosophical question of whether it is "a law" once it is deemed unconsitutional is actually an unclear point. You can find legal scholars/philosophers who will refer to laws deemed unconstitutional by SCOTUS as invalid, nullified, non-existent, etc.

Misleading - is about the PERFORMERS (5, Informative)

bextreme (37107) | more than 6 years ago | (#21094585)

The law that was struck down was about age verification and ID requirements for PERFORMERS in the porn. It had nothing to do with the age of the people VIEWING the porn.

Re:Misleading - is about the PERFORMERS (2, Insightful)

jamstar7 (694492) | more than 6 years ago | (#21094755)

Ah, so they'll still insist on my credit card number to 'verify' I'm in my 50's.

I'm thinkin this is a good excuse to nail people for 'kiddie porn' if there's no age verification of the performers, especially in the US. Where's the 'Think of the CHILDREN' in this ruling????????????

Re:Misleading - is about the PERFORMERS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21094757)

Please, let's not have any accurate information. This is Fark, er, Slashdot, afterall.

Re:Misleading - is about the PERFORMERS (1)

jsse (254124) | more than 6 years ago | (#21094949)

The law that was struck down was about age verification and ID requirements for PERFORMERS in the porn. It had nothing to do with the age of the people VIEWING the porn.

oic, so the performers aren't required to click on "Yes, I'm 18" before acting anymore?

Oh wait...

Proof of Age of Those Photographed (5, Informative)

bazald (886779) | more than 6 years ago | (#21094605)

Note that this ruling is not about the questions you get asked when visiting a website. (e.g. Are you at least 18/21/whatever?) This ruling is on the rules for storing proof of age of the people recorded in sexually explicit photos or videos.

It makes sense that the overly broad ruling made earlier would be overturned due to its potential to conflict with the 1st amendment. It would have become exceptionally difficult to post sexually explicit content without fear of violating the law. Expect a less sweeping law to be put forth shortly. (IANAL)

Re:Proof of Age of Those Photographed (5, Funny)

Kalriath (849904) | more than 6 years ago | (#21095223)

Expect a less sweeping law to be put forth shortly. (IANAL)
That's not an acronym you should be using in a story on this topic.

Goat porn (0, Troll)

Neon Aardvark (967388) | more than 6 years ago | (#21094613)

This is good news for freedom of expression, and for the internet in general, because most of it consists of porn.

In other porn news, bestiality-porn is about to be made illegal in my country, which saddens me because I like goats.

H.M.S. Pornafore (5, Funny)

Scareduck (177470) | more than 6 years ago | (#21094625)

While the average reader here has never been to such a site, porn has been a driving force in the economics and technology of the Net.
Cmdr Taco: I am the owner of the site Slashdot Readers: And a right good owner, too. Cmdr Taco: It's very, very good, and be it understood, Cowboy Neal keeps the site afloat. Readers: It's very, very good, and be it understood, He keeps the site afloat. Cmdr Taco: Though some think it may be queer, On this site I have to steer The conversation away from porn I don't look at sites With girlflesh so white And I never peek at holes of corn... Readers: What, never? Cmdr Taco: No, never! Readers: What, never? Cmdr Taco: Hardly ever!

Gilbert and Sullivan, meet Dilbert and O'Farrell (1)

jdickey (1035778) | more than 6 years ago | (#21094989)

wtih a tribute to dyslexics everywhere: how many of you, semi-consciously scanning the page, read the headline as "H.M.S. Pinafore"?

Scareduck, you have a sterling future as a writer of 19th-century British satire. That should come in useful in the 19th century. :)

Keep it cumming!

Judicial humor? (3, Funny)

e9th (652576) | more than 6 years ago | (#21094649)

In their summary, How Appealing notes that the requirement was struck down as "facially unconstitutional."

Clarification Re: "Age Verification" (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21094679)

A lot of people are posting with obvious confusion about what was actually struck down.

Title 18 USC 2257 has absolutely nothing to do with verifying the age of a web site's surfers. It imposes record keeping requirements on the web sites. Requiring them to keep and make available records of every performer's age and identity etc.

The law has always been controversial in the adult industry due to privacy concerns it raises for the performers and for the web site operators (you may notice on many porn sites at the very bottom they'll have a link called "legal" or "18 USC 2257" which links to a name and address where the records can be obtained ... problem is the law is completely undiscriminating and many amateurs who run their sites from their homes are forced to publish their full names and address etc. for legal purposes. Not to mention that many feel that such documents regarding their performers identity should be kept confidential and only be obtainable via court order).

The full text of the law can be found at here [cornell.edu]

In other words it's not about verifying surfers age. It's about verifying performers.

hold your guns... (3, Insightful)

jax9999 (919336) | more than 6 years ago | (#21094713)

This ruling wasn't about putting AVS on sites so as to prevent people from seeing the pics. This was a controversial change to the 2257 laws that were going to basically make it illegal to have any sort of adult oriented image online anywhere unless there was a verified with US ID and current contact information for the model. the law was semi insane, as not only would the original site need to have the name, address, phone numbers and so on of the models. but so would everyone else down the chain. the advertisers, the affiliates. this was also supposed to affect personal sites, and private web pages. basically the laws weren't in any way meant to protect children, or even stop online pornography. They were being used as a bludgeon to make online hookup sites impossible to run. thank god it got struck down.

And there was great celebration (2, Funny)

MBCook (132727) | more than 6 years ago | (#21094725)

...And yea, the word came down from on high:
"Thou shalt not filter on the date of birth,
for that censors the rights of the children."
And the heathens cheered, as their ranks would swell,
while the righteous cursed, as the children would be corrupted.

-- Book of the Internet, Chapter 72 verse 17.

Of course, this ruling doesn't have a ton of effect. After all, it's not like a fourteen year old can't select "I was born in 1972" in a drop down. Those pages were basically worthless. I'm not surprised the court ruled as they did. Probably the right decision. I'm not sure that a click-though page is really censoring free speech, but I understand why they did it (conspiracy theories aside).

I'm surprised that it this lasted this long, but if I were running a site I would keep the page up for plausible deniability and because we all know someone will try to find a way to re-enact this (local level, perhaps).

Re:And there was great celebration (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21094797)

"If thou wannabe my lover, thou shalt getteth with my friends." -Spice 3:16

Re:And there was great celebration (1)

The Only Druid (587299) | more than 6 years ago | (#21094959)

So, did you just not read all the posts already on the page explaining that you've misunderstood the court's decision?

Better Idea? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21094903)

I think it would be a more suitable idea to keep records and not have to have them viewable to the public and only viewable by court subpoena. This would cause the "stories" of the high school sites and whatever to not have to force the 18 over line at the bottom. That is the nature of this law.

Sounds familiar .. (0, Offtopic)

duncan bayne (544299) | more than 6 years ago | (#21094927)

yet another attempt to regulate to death what the government can't outright prohibit.

So you'll be first in line to criticise any regulation of firearms then? Oh wait, this is Slashdot ... :-)

this is great news (5, Interesting)

H310iSe (249662) | more than 6 years ago | (#21094955)

There was widespread protest at the latest ammendments to 2257 (which just came out of review in Sept. and were going into law in Dec - written in 2006 by Gonzolas and the Bush whitehouse) as they were going to document-requirement-out-of-existence many adult themed but obviously non-porographic websites, the national lesbian bisexual gay transgenered taskforce was doing political organizing against it, among many other groups.

Effectively it said you are a porn producer if you run a website that has any graphic nudity (or "portrayals" of sexual activity) on it and you must therefore comply with section 2257 recordkeeping guidelines which are a huge, gigantic pain in the ass and go far, far beyond ensuring you're not using child actors in your smut.

Additionally if you are a producer (and w/ the new definition so very many people will be) you can be 'audited' at any time which is in effect a warrantless search and seizure.

I work with some people in the adult industry and I have this information from the source (i.e. not 2nd hand) that agents came into their production company on a 2257 record keeping inspection and seized EVERYTHING in the room the records were kept in. Computers. Other records. Everything.

Subsequently other production studios started actually building special rooms to contain just their 2257 paperwork and nothing else (it appears the understanding is the warrantless search only applies to the room where the records are kept). I was in meetings where they were trying to figure out if the room had to have a door or just an opening, a ceiling, and what cross-linked records (did I mention the requirements are a pain) might possibly be somewhere else... they even needed a new server just for the electronic records b/c elsewhere servers (with all their graphics and video) were seized b/c they had part of the 2257 records stored on them.

I know this sounds ridiculous but I'm certain this is was status quo - now this ... quo... was going to be applied much, much more widely come December.

Bravo 6th circuit for putting breaks on this insanity.

Sorry I don't have time to include links but I'll follow up later w/ documentation if I can.

Re:this is great news (1)

afabbro (33948) | more than 6 years ago | (#21095211)

I work with some people in the adult industry and I have this information from the source (i.e. not 2nd hand)

So, uh, if you're repeating something someone told you and that is not 2nd hand, what pray tell would be first hand?

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