A new interpretation of pr0n regulations

Via metafilter, the Department of Justice is changing how it enforces laws governing adult material on the web. From Wired, “Under penalty of federal prison terms, new interpretations of existing regulations would require sites that feature photographs or videos of sexual activity to keep records confirming that performers are of legal age.” I guess this means that anyone who has a website featuring adult material must keep complete records of any person depicted. I’m curious how this will effect the adult industry as adult media is treated essentially as a commodity.

Unintended consequences:

  1. Offshore adult hosting.
    Adult businesses may relocate overseas probably in the same datacenters housing online poker websites. The internet is getting better at limiting the power of local national governments.
  2. Orphaned pr0n.
    Orphaned media (anything lacking documentation after 1995) shifts to peer to peer channels like bittorrent and message boards. Pr0n lacking the proper provenance of government records would relocate. I would expect better p2p tools to be developed for this purpose. Possibly an eruption of adult torrent sites.
  3. Content laundering.
    Content is produced or sent overseas where fake records are created. Content is then repackaged and resold by the offshore entity to domestic purveyors and distributors. Domestic purveyors have no means to establish provenance independently.
  4. More spam.
    I imagine this will result in more spam as businesses will rely on text to get their solicitations across.
  5. Independent amateurs.
    One-man, or one-woman producers will see more business as they will only have to worry about record keeping for one performer… themselves.

I think this will most adversely effect small domestic operations. Anyone who relies on third party content, anyone who borrows content, community websites or forums, and anyone who wishes to keep their identity a secret for whatever reason. The big producers already keep records and they may actually applaud this decision as it provides another mechanism to keep their material from being distributed anywhere else. After all, anyone who steals content will also need to provide the records of the people depicted.

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