Friday, July 1, 2005

First Amendment Infringement?

So today I've heard a lot about the first amendment, and how the government has infringed upon it, and our rights as citizens of the United States to freely express ourselves. Well no offense folks but I don't see a problem with what they enacted. Now don't get me wrong, I'm not particularly against porn, I mean, it has its place, know what I'm sayin'? ;) But let's not start burning flags (now THAT law might be a first amendment issue) or storming Capitol Hill until we take a look at this, ok?

The law enacted today covers pornographic content in the US. It states basically that people who produce or distribute pornographic content must have documentation on the models and actors depicted, whether it be in print, video, or internet type settings. There is and will continue to be much debate on this issue, brought on by people who cry censorship, or government oppression of our rights.

Here's what today's law does and why/how.

Now "legitimate" pay sites require the use of a credit card, which also constitutes age verification, thus preventing minors from seeing all those parts and pieces they shouldn't be seeing. The pay sites already, for the most part, have the needed legal documentation on their models and actors, which costs money to get, which is why they charge a membership charge, which ensures that the viewer is not a minor. You all see how this cycle works?
It's as much about child safety as it is about profit, which is not to say they aren't making money, because they are, by the fist full (haha no pun intended.)

But, you see, by doing things the right way in the first place, they've pretty well remained in a position to be unscathed by this change.

This actually effects the free porn sites moreso than the pay sites, because free sites, by way of being free, do not use credit cards for payment or age verification. Instead they rely on the honor system to keep the kids out. Now come on people, what horny 16 yr old do you know who's going to click the "I'm not 18" button on a free porn site?

The 'free sites' tend to use undocumented and often pirated/stolen images, because said documentation can be expensive, and if they had to get it, wouldn't be able to offer their services free of charge, right? Now again, they're free - no charge to view pictures, but the owners DO make money, by way of sponsors and advertising clicks, which is why these folks are the ones raising cane about the change. They're losing money.

Also, by requiring documentation on the models/actors, this law prevents illegal content, by which I mean images of child porn, beastiality, etc. Know any actors that are willing to have their names, addresses and social seurity numbers associated with photographs or movies that depict them involved in federal offenses like those? Yeah, I didn't think so.

So, by following the new law, people of legal age are still more than welcome to express themselves by viewing legal porn. I don't see much of an infringement there - what I see is the government trying to keep kids out of porn, both as viewers and forced/abused participants, (finally!) and I see people who want to make a quick buck off the illegal porn industry raising hell over a financial loss.

Tough shit.

So, American people have lost something great and wonderful today, and it has nothing to do with porn or the first amendment rights. Today, we lost Luther Vandross, and by THAT, I am indeed upset.


  1. That was an awesome post, E! It reminds me of how the people who bitch about cops are usually the ones who get caught speeding/selling drugs, etc. If you were following the rules, you'd have no issues, right? Sounds like the stink being raised is by those who have no right to complain. Would a drug dealer bitch that the cops confiscated all his cocaine during a drug bust? Anyway, maybe it's not the best analogy, just another thing I have always thought was silly.

  2. NOOOOO! I had not heard that he died.

  3. With kids on the streets younger and younger this was a needed measure of protection. I agree entirely.

  4. I don't understand how this is a first amendment issue. Really. There's so much more important that first amendment activists should be concentrating on. Besides, every job I've ever had has always taken a copy of my drivers liscence. Why not pornographers? And Erin, I can't agree with you about the police officers. Doing something wrong and getting busted is one thing, but having the cops watch you like a hawk because you're the wrong color is something entirely different. See, THAT'S the kind of shit with which the ACLU should be concerned.

  5. Sorry, Raz. I should have been more specific. I was referring to the people I have known who go 100 MPH with a brick of hash in the back seat and then bitch and moan about the authorities when they get caught. I was likening the pornographers to THEM - those who have no right to complain - not those who are unfairly persecuted for unjust reasons.

  6. See, now that I understand. That's waaaaay dumb.