Jun 23, 2005, 9:39:09 AM6/23/05
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New policy threatens adult Web content
Randy Dotinga, PlanetOut Network Tue Jun 21, 8:48 PM ET
Strict federal regulations that are scheduled to take effect later this week could cripple many Internet porn sites and burden other sites with adult photos in personal ads or retail offerings.
Under the new rules, which expand the enforcement of an existing law known as 18 U.S.C. 2257, every Web site with explicit adult content -- including sites that allow for member-generated content -- must keep records proving the people portrayed in photos or videos are over the age of 18. webmasters who don\'t comply face federal prison terms.
The adult entertainment industry and advocates for online speech and privacy are fighting the regulations and hoping to put them on hold by Thursday, when they\'re scheduled to take effect. But explicit sites, including many within the LGBT community, are already preparing for the worst. Some are busy updating their paperwork, while others plan to simply go out of business, at least temporarily, or move their operations offshore.
The Free Speech Coalition (FSC), an industry trade association, filed a federal lawsuit last week in Denver, requesting that a judge either throw out the new regulations or issue an injunction that would put them on hold. A hearing on the coalition\'s request is scheduled for Thursday. (PlanetOut Inc., owner of Gay.com and PlanetOut.com, is a member of the FSC.)