How Do Porn Laws Affect You?

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Rule 34 of the internet states that if something exists, there will be porn of it. A lesser-known but no less true rule states that if there’s porn of something, someone will want to ban it.

At the moment there are two huge potential changes to porn laws – one in California and another in the UK – which could have a big impact on how the porn you watch is made and distributed. Naturally at Hot Octopuss we’re big fans of porn – not just because the PULSE II SOLO makes it possible for you to watch it ‘hands-free’, so to speak. There are some amazing adult performers and producers who use porn to shape the way we see sex – to challenge stigmas surrounding it and open our eyes to the sheer variety of human sexuality.

So, of course, when they start talking about something, it’s important that porn fans pay them attention. Here are two porn laws that could affect you.

No On Prop 60

If you follow any California-based porn performers on Twitter, chances are you’ll have seen a few of them chatting about ‘Prop 60.’ Proposition 60 is, in principle, a measure that makes it compulsory for adult performers to use condoms in porn. Unfortunately, the scope of the law means that if you’re working in the adult industry, avoiding nasty consequences from the law won’t be as simple as just ‘putting on a condom.’

Supporters of proposition 60 claim that it will help protect performers from sexually transmitted infections by forcing all producers to provide condoms, and making it compulsory for all performers to use them. But The Free Speech Coalition – the trade association for the adult industry and one of the key organisations fighting Prop 60 – says that the law causes much more harm than good. One of the main problems with it is that it will allow individuals living in California to sue anyone involved in pornographic films that aren’t compliant with the law. That means if anyone watched a video in which performers didn’t use condoms, there’s potential for them to make money.

The FSC points to a number of examples of where performers may choose not to use condoms, including:

  • Where they are working with a long-term partner – a fairly common occurrence now that webcams make it easier for couples to make webcam porn from home.
  • Where they filmed the scene before Prop 60 was enacted – if it isn’t possible to tell when the film was made, someone could still file a suit, which could mean they’d have access to performer names and addresses, leaving them wide open to harassment.

Digital Economy Bill

The other side of the pond, the UK’s Digital Economy Bill is the piece of legislation that aims to totally change the way you watch porn. It grew from the government’s concern over young people accidentally accessing pornography, but as with any legislation around porn, the implications of it fall on adult viewers as well.

The most controversial aspect of the bill is the age verification process. In principle, the Digital Economy Bill will make it compulsory for all porn sites to have an age verification step before you can see any adult content. In practise what that means is you’ll probably need to provide credit card details before you can watch anything.

While it will be frustrating and nervewracking for viewers (many of whom are worried about the security of handing their card details over to yet another potentially hackable site), for performers and producers the bill could be catastrophic. Pandora Blake, an independent porn producer, has been very outspoken about the implications of the bill, explaining that:

“This is an unprecedented power grab from the UK government; over the last couple of decades our legislators have often shown an interest in controlling and restricting internet freedom, but this is the first time they have sought to extend that control to websites hosted and operated overseas.”

You can read her blog post here for more information.

What do these new porn laws mean?

For viewers, both of these laws could have a serious impact. It’s not just that the laws could change what you see on screen, they could mean that certain performers and producers simply stop making new porn. One of the most difficult things when legislating adult content is ensuring that new laws aren’t so censorious that they simply shut down a particular industry. Concerns from porn campaigners in both California and the UK imply that they’re worried these new porn laws could mean just that.

If you’d like to find out more about either of them, follow @FSCArmy on Twitter for updates on California, and @pandorablake for updates on the Digital Economy Bill.

About Sarah Childs


Posted on Sep 26th, 2016 Uncategorized

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