|Purpose|| Free speech advocacy |
Rights of sex industry workers and consumers
The Free Speech Coalition (FSC) is a non-profit trade association of the pornography and adult entertainment industry in the United States. Founded in 1991, it opposes the passage and enforcement of obscenity laws and many censorship laws (with the exception of "anti-piracy" laws).
Performer Availability Screening Services (PASS) is a U.S. organization that maintains a database of STI testing results for pornographic actors.The database is intended to help reduce or prevent the spread of STDs in the porn industry. The organization, formerly known as Adult Production Health and Safety Services (APHSS), is run by the Free Speech Coalition, a non-profit industry trade association.
Performers are tested every fourteen days for a HIV, syphilis, gonorrhea, chlamydia, hepatitis B and C and trichomoniasis.According to PASS, there has not be an on-set transmission of HIV on a regulated set since 2004.
During the global coronavirus pandemic, a special task force met to determine how to incorporate a test for COVID-19. All performers and crew are now tested for COVID-19 with the date of test posted in the PASS database.Researchers have suggested that the PASS testing system may be a model for other industries.
Free Speech Coalition (FSC) is the trade association of the adult entertainment industry in the United States. Founded in 1991, it opposes the passage and enforcement of some censorship laws (with the exception of "anti-piracy" laws) and obscenity laws. The concept of an organization as a rallying point for those who believe in the free expression of adult-themed works began as early as 1970. The first truly national group to emerge was the Adult Film Association of America (AFAA). At that time, adult entertainment was only available in adult theaters and bookstores so early members were largely theatrical exhibitors.
On the FSC's website it states that over the course of its history it has "fought for the rights of producers, distributors, performers and consumers of adult entertainment and pleasure products through battles in the legislature, the courts, regulatory agencies, at the ballot box and in the press".
The FSC is also committed to intersectionality, supporting populations within the adult industry concerned with issues such as: "women’s health and reproductive rights, LGBT rights, immigration, sexual health and wellness, sex education, decriminalization of victims and workers, human trafficking, discrimination, racism, and consent".
With the advent of inexpensive home videos, the AFAA became the Adult Film and Video Association of America (AFVAA). The next significant event that galvanized the AFVAA was the arrest of Hal Freeman for pandering. Prosecutors wanted to establish once and for all that paying performers to have sex in a film was an act of prostitution. Freeman won that legal battle, which redefined the use of the pandering laws relative to providers of adult product. As video productions became the dominant factor in the marketplace, theatrical exhibition diminished. The Freeman decision effectively legalized the production of adult films in the state of California.
Video chains and many independent stores in suburbs and smaller cities started carrying adult fare. Law enforcement officials subjected more and more retailers to obscenity charges. Then, in 1990, under the first Bush administration, the Federal government attacked most of the major manufacturers of adult video with a sting operation designed to destroy the industry.
In response, the Free Speech Legal Defense Fund (FSLDF) was formed by industry leaders to protect the rights of members in all areas of adult entertainment. In 1991, as the government attack was blunted, the FSLDF decided to select a name more reflective of its broadened role in the adult community, and the Free Speech Coalition was born. The association became closely aligned with other organizations representing the rights of free speech and civil liberties.
In 1995, a comprehensive Federal scheme regulating the creation and wholesale distribution of recorded images of sexual conduct went into effect. Aimed at detecting and deterring child pornography, the Federal Labeling Law (also known as the Child Protection and Obscenity Enforcement Act) eliminated all privacy in the creation of sexual images. Any producers of, and performers in, such materials were ordered to comply with detailed disclosure requirements. In order for the industry to comply, the FSC was essential. FSC conducted training seminars, prepared compliance documents and uniform exemption labels and negotiated with the Justice Department for relief from some of the more burdensome and unreasonable components of the law.
It was FSC's response to the Federal Labeling Law that established broadly throughout the industry the necessity of a functional trade organization to assist the industry.
The FSC supports the decriminalization of sex work and workers' rights.
In February 2015, the FSC announced an affiliation with the First Entertainment Credit Union. The arrangement with make member financial services available to approved production studios employees and their families, primarily in the adult film industry. Diane Duke, CEO of the FSC, stated "We are thrilled to be able to offer active FSC members and their families the opportunity to access First Entertainment for their banking needs and many other financial services. Especially because of difficulties faced by industry members that have had their business turned away by other institutions."
The FSC entered the field of lobbying in earnest in 1994, with the retention of a lobbyist in Sacramento, California's state capitol. After a year, the lobbying presence proved itself critical for the health of the national industry. A tax bill was introduced, with the purpose of assisting victims of domestic abuse and rape. An excise tax was proposed for all adult products and services, with the proceeds going to collection of the tax, law enforcement and, if anything remained, to rape counseling centers and battered victim shelters.
Constitutional law had long forbade the targeting of a content-defined tax and this bill was the model of such a tax scheme. Traditionally the industry had relied solely on the judiciary to protect itself against such intrusions, and legislatures across the country have become accustomed to regulating the adult industry without consultation with the parties to be regulated. Both patterns came to a halt with this proposed tax.
The FSC led a coalition of affected businesses and industry groups in fighting the tax. The FSC argued that the tax was a dangerous, unconstitutional precedent and that it would be bad for the state's economy. During the course of the ensuing debate, the economic influence of the adult entertainment industry was established in the minds of the zero votes in support. The bill was defeated at its first committee hearing.
The industry and FSC were placed in a difficult position by the amendment of the Federal Child Pornography laws in 1997, which included "simulated" child pornography within the definition of child pornography. The redefinition of child pornography to include adults appearing to be minors, engaging in actual or simulated sexual activity was controversial. The Senate Judiciary Committee (the committee of origin), never even held a vote on the bill, yet it was signed into law, following Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) attaching it during the Conference Committee to the October 1997 Spending Bill. Under the definition, films such as Midnight Cowboy , The Last Picture Show , Animal House , A Clockwork Orange , Halloween , Fast Times at Ridgemont High , Return to the Blue Lagoon , The Exorcist , Risky Business , Porky's , Bull Durham , Blowup , Dirty Dancing , and The People vs. Larry Flynt were now subject to prosecution and potentially a five-year mandatory minimum imprisonment. When these concerns were brought to Senator Hatch's staff, they responded by conceding that such films could be charged but that "legitimate" movies need not fear prosecution. The FSC challenged the constitutionality of the law. For the first time since its own redefinition as a trade association, FSC undertook litigation challenging the constitutionality of a Federal statute.
In 1999, FSC hired its first full-time Executive Director and began to gain a national reputation as a defender of First and Fourth Amendment rights. During the Clinton Administration, there were few obscenity prosecutions. Then-Attorney General Janet Reno seemed to see "obscenity" as a victimless crime. She also realized that in many areas community standards had changed and "obscenity" convictions were becoming more difficult to sustain.
In 1996 the "Communications Decency Act" (CDA) was enacted to protect children from accessing adult material on the Internet. The Child Pornography Protection Act (CPPA) soon followed; this legislation sought to criminalize the depiction of minors in sexually explicit video or online content, even if those depicted in the material were over 18-years of age. FSC filed suit against then-Attorney General John Ashcroft, charging that the CPPA abridged first amendment rights by defining protected speech as obscene or as child pornography. In 2002, FSC views were upheld in the US Supreme Court in "Ashcroft v. Free Speech Coalition", the "virtual child porn" case.
In 2005, FSC filed a complaint against the Dept of Justice and then-Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, citing that 18 U.S.C. § 2257 regulations endangered the privacy and safety of performers by allowing private information to be accessed through the record-keeping process; also that 2257 regulations were complicated to the extent that adult producers would be unable to fully comply with the record-keeping system.
The controversial regulations have been an ongoing issue for adult industry producers and FSC. In February 2009, the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit held in Connection Distributing Co. v. Holder that the record-keeping provisions of 18 U.S.C. § 2257 did not violate the First Amendment. A revised set of the § 2257 regulations was released in December 2009, prompting another complaint against the DOJ and Attorney General Eric Holder in 2010.
The 2014 Board consisted of the following:
Other executives included:
For 2015, elections were held in December 2014. Incumbent members Kink.com founder Peter Acworth, attorney Jeffrey Douglas, XBIZ founder Alec Helmy, Vivid Entertainment's Marci Hirsch, Good Vibrations owner Joel Kaminsky, AVN legal analyst Mark Kernes, attorney Reed Lee, and Classic Erotica's Lynn Swanson won re-election. Continuing board members include Adam & Eve's Bob Christian, ElDorado Trading's Larry Garland, MOXXX Productions Mo Reese, ATMLA's Mark Schechter, and NakedSword's Tim Valenti, which brought the total number of board members to 13.
HIV Activist Eric Paul Leue was hired as Executive Directorto replace outgoing CEO Diane Duke.
Executive Director Eric Paul Leue left in Julyand was replaced by Michelle L. LeBlanc in October.
The FSC Lifetime Achievement Awards are given to adult industry businesses and professionals for outstanding achievements and contributions to the adult entertainment industry.They were launched in mid-1988 by the Adult Video Association at its annual Night of the Stars fundraising event, replacing its discontinued Erotic Film Awards. When the association merged into the Free Speech Coalition in late 1992, the new coalition took over the tradition. Previous years' awards are listed at the AVA Wikipedia entry. Starting in 2008 an "Election Bash" in the fall replaced the former Night of the Stars awards ceremony, reflecting the FSC's change in focus from the entertainers to the business side of the industry. The award presentations were normally made late in the year, but starting in 2014 they were changed to January as part of the XBIZ 360 conference, which is also site of the XBIZ Award ceremony. Thus the awards normally presented in late 2013 were given out in January 2014. In 2015 a new award, the Christian Mann Courage and Leadership Award, was added.
Presented to "performers that have helped to dispel negative stereotypes and misconceptions connected to work in the adult industry."
The Legacy Award "recognizes innovation, successful business practices and contributions to the industry as a whole."
The Man of the Year Award is "given to business professionals that have shown exceptional leadership in building solid businesses and their communities."
The Woman of the Year Award is "given to business professionals that have shown exceptional leadership in building solid businesses and their communities."
This award goes to the pleasure products company "that has demonstrated constant and unwavering innovation and excellence."Prior to 2015 the award was known as the Novelty Company of the Year award.
The Production Company of the Year "award goes to the production company that has demonstrated constant and unwavering innovation and excellence."
The Internet Company of the Year "award recognizes excellence, innovation and contributions made to the adult industry overall."
The Leadership Award is given to "business or individual that demonstrates excellence in the adult entertainment industry in leading by example."
The Benefactor of the Year award "goes to the company that has demonstrated a consistent commitment to philanthropy and advocacy within the adult industry and throughout mainstream society."
This award "goes to the retailer that has demonstrated constant and unwavering innovation and excellence."
This award is given to "a member of the adult entertainment or pleasure products community who has shown exemplary courage and leadership fighting for the rights and image of the industry."
The Free Speech Coalition also presents an award of excellence at the Cybersocket Web Awards (won in 2010 by CorbinFisher.com)
Pornographic films (pornos), erotic films, or sex films are films that present sexually explicit subject matter in order to arouse and satisfy the viewer. Pornographic films present sexual fantasies and usually include erotically stimulating material such as nudity (softcore) and sexual intercourse (hardcore). A distinction is sometimes made between "erotic" and "pornographic" films on the basis that the latter category contains more explicit sexuality, and focuses more on arousal than storytelling, but the distinction is highly subjective.
The Child Protection and Obscenity Enforcement Act of 1988, title VII, subtitle N of the Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1988, Pub.L. 100–690, 102 Stat. 4181, enacted November 18, 1988, H.R. 5210, is part of a United States Act of Congress which places stringent record-keeping requirements on the producers of actual, sexually explicit materials. The guidelines for enforcing these laws, part of the United States Code of Federal Regulations, require producers of sexually explicit material to obtain proof of age for every model they shoot, and retain those records. Federal inspectors may at any time launch inspections of these records and prosecute any infraction.
Sharon Mitchell is an American sexologist and former pornographic film actor. In 1998, she founded the Adult Industry Medical Health Care Foundation (AIM), which tested over 1,000 adult film performers per month before a 2011 information leak led to a lawsuit and the clinic's closure.
Amber Lynn is an American pornographic film actress and mainstream actress, radio host, model, and exotic dancer.
Adult Video News is an American trade magazine that covers the adult video industry. The New York Times notes that AVN is to pornographic films what Billboard is to records. AVN sponsors an annual convention, called the Adult Entertainment Expo or AEE, in Las Vegas, Nevada along with an award show for the adult industry modeled after the Oscars.
Pornography is the portrayal of sexual subject matter for the exclusive purpose of sexual arousal. Pornography may be presented in a variety of media, including magazines, animation, writing, film, video, and video games. The term does not include live exhibitions like sex shows and striptease. The primary subjects of present-day pornographic depictions are pornographic models, who pose for still photographs, and pornographic actors who engage in filmed sex acts.
The National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE), formerly known as Morality in Media, is an American conservative non-profit known for its anti-pornography advocacy. The group has also campaigned against same-sex marriage, sex shops and sex toys, decriminalization of sex work, comprehensive sex education, and various works of literature or visual arts the organization has deemed obscene, profane or indecent. Part of the religious right, the group is primarily Catholic and its current president is Patrick A. Trueman. The organization describes its goal as "exposing the links between all forms of sexual exploitation".
William Margold was an American pornographic film actor and porn film director.
Kimberly Kane is an American pornographic actress.
A pornographic film actor or actress, adult entertainer, or porn star is a person who performs sex acts in video that is usually characterized as a pornographic movie. Such videos tend to be made in a number of distinct pornographic subgenres and attempt to present a sexual fantasy and the actors selected for a particular role are primarily selected on their ability to create or fit that fantasy. Pornographic videos are characterized as either "softcore", which does not contain depictions of sexual penetration or "extreme fetishism" and "hardcore", which can contain depictions of penetration or extreme fetishism, or both. The genres and sexual intensity of videos is mainly determined by demand. Depending on the genre of the film, the on-screen appearance, age, and physical features of the main actors and their ability to create the sexual mood of the video is of critical importance. Most actors specialize in certain genres, such as gay sex, lesbian sex, bondage, strap-on sex, anal sex, double penetration, semen swallowing, teenage women, interracial or MILFs.
Paul F. Little is an American pornographic actor, producer and director better known by his stage name Max Hardcore. He rose to prominence in 1992 with the film series The Anal Adventures of Max Hardcore, which in 1994 was awarded the X-Rated Critics Organization's award for Best Amateur or Pro-Am series. His work has been classified as gonzo pornography and described as "testing the limits of acceptability". He is a member of the X-Rated Critics Organization's Hall of Fame. Max and actress Layla Rivera appeared on the Howard Stern show on September 24, 2007. He spent two and a half years in prison (2009–2011), convicted in a trial for obscenity. His company, Max World Entertainment, was headquartered in Altadena, California.
In People vs Freeman of 1988, the California Supreme Court stated that adult film production was to be protected as free speech under the First Amendment. They ruled that since such films did not include obscene images and indecency, and stayed within society's standards, the adult film industry should be granted the freedom of speech. Escaping highly regulated government intervention, regulation in the adult film industry has been limited to preventing child pornography. In the United States Code of Regulations, under title Title 18, Section 2257, no performers under the age of 18 are allowed to be employed by adult industry production companies. The failure to abide by this regulation results in civil and criminal prosecutions. To enforce the age entry restriction, all adult industry production companies are required to have a Custodian of Records that documents and holds records of the ages of all performers.
Caballero Home Video is an American pornographic film studio, based in Canoga Park, California founded by Noel C. Bloom. It was previously known as Caballero Control Corporation. The company was founded in 1974, making it one of the oldest U.S. porn studios still in existence. Caballero was one of the largest studios during the Golden Age of Porn, and produced several of the best-selling and most critically acclaimed pornographic films of the 1980s and early 1990s. Its dominance of the adult video market saw it called the "General Motors of Porn". Its films starred some of the most successful and best known performers of the period, such as Marilyn Chambers, Seka, Amber Lynn, Stacey Donovan, Ginger Lynn, John Holmes, Joey Silvera, Traci Lords, Nina Hartley, Ron Jeremy and Christy Canyon. Previous company Presidents include Al Bloom. Throughout the 1980s it was awarded hundreds of thousands of dollars in damages due to its films being illegally pirated. It also acquired the U.S. rights to rival studio Cal Vista's entire catalogue of more than 150 films. Caballero is a contributor to the Free Speech Coalition.
Child pornography laws in the United States specify that child pornography is illegal under federal law and in all states and is punishable by up to 20 years' imprisonment or fine of $5000. The Supreme Court of the United States has found child pornography to be "legally obscene", a term that refers to offensive or violent forms of pornography that have been declared to be outside the protections of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. Federal sentencing guidelines on child pornography differentiate between production, distribution, and purchasing/receiving, and also include variations in severity based on the age of the child involved in the materials, with significant increases in penalties when the offense involves a prepubescent child or a child under the age of 12. U.S. law distinguishes between pornographic images of an actual minor, realistic images that are not of an actual minor, and non-realistic images such as drawings. The latter two categories are legally protected unless found to be obscene, whereas the first does not require a finding of obscenity.
Feminist views on pornography range from condemnation of all of it as a form of violence against women, to an embracing of some forms as a medium of feminist expression. This debate reflects larger concerns surrounding feminist views on sexuality, and is closely related to those on prostitution, on BDSM, and other issues. Pornography has been one of the most divisive issues in feminism, particularly in anglophone (English-speaking) countries. This deep division was exemplified in the feminist sex wars of the 1980s, which pitted anti-pornography activists against sex-positive ones.
Sexually transmitted infections in the pornography industry deals with the occupational safety and health issue in the sex industry of transmission of sexually transmitted infections/diseases (STIs/STDs), especially HIV/AIDS, which became a major cause of concern since the 1980s, especially for pornographic film actors. As of 2009, 22 HIV cases in the U.S. pornography industry have been reported; roughly half were among men who work in gay films, and the other half were men and women working in heterosexual productions.
Chanel Preston is an American pornographic actress and the Penthouse magazine Penthouse Pet for March 2012. She entered the adult film industry in 2010 at the age of 24.
Measure B, also known as the County of Los Angeles Safer Sex In the Adult Film Industry Act, is the law that requires the use of condoms in all vaginal and anal sex scenes in pornography productions filmed in Los Angeles County, California. The measure also requires porn production companies to obtain a health permit prior to production and to post the permit and a notice to performers regarding condom use during production. All individuals involved will also be required to pay $1,600 every 2 years.
Connection Distributing Co. v. Holder, 557 F.3d 321 is a case in which the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit held that the record-keeping provisions of the Child Protection and Obscenity Enforcement Act did not violate the First Amendment.
The 25th AVN Awards was an event during which Adult Video News (AVN) presented its annual AVN Awards to honor the best pornographic movies and adult entertainment products of 2007 in the United States.
Over the organization’s twenty five-year history, it has fought for the rights of producers, distributors, performers and consumers of adult entertainment and pleasure products through battles in the legislature, the courts, regulatory agencies, at the ballot box and in the press.
The adult industry is home to a multi-faceted and diverse workforce, which is why we are committed to intersectionality in our approach to serving the communities we represent. Our work must support not only the industry at large, but also the populations that work within the adult industry who have historically been underserved, harassed, and discriminated against by society at large. This includes but is not limited to issues related to: women’s health and reproductive rights, LGBT rights, immigration, sexual health and wellness, sex education, decriminalization of victims and workers, human trafficking, discrimination, racism, and consent. Join the fight, and support the communities that work within the adult industry.
As the trade association of the adult industry, we have championed issues of free speech and workers' rights for over twenty five years. We stand firmly against exploitation and view the decriminalization of sex work as a critical step to combat sex trafficking, and strengthen workers' control over their bodies and lives. Leading human rights and public health organizations such as Amnesty International and the World Health Organization agree that in order to adequately address the issue of sex trafficking, sex work must be decriminalized world wide.
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