Way back in 1987 a pornographer by the name of Hal Freeman was charged and convicted of pandering, the procurement of persons “for the purpose of prostitution”, by the state of California.
Freeman appealed the conviction to the CA Court of appeals and lost. Freeman then appealed to the California Supreme Court, which subsequently overturned his conviction, finding that the California pandering statute was not intended to cover the hiring of actors who would be engaging in sexually explicit but non-obscene performances.
The State of California unsuccessfully tried to have this judgment overturned by the United States Supreme Court. Justice Sandra Day O’Connor denied a stay of the California Supreme Court’s judgment, finding that its ruling was founded on an independent and adequate basis of state law. The full Court subsequently denied the petition for review.
As a result of this precedent, the making of hardcore pornography was effectively legalized in California.
What is surprising to me is that porn has been legal in California all that time but was essentially ignored by city and state regulatory agencies for 25 years. It usually doesn’t take that long.
Admitted OSHA generally doesn’t get involved unless there is a complaint and my OSHA guy tells me that if a business has fewer than 10 employees OSHA doesn’t require any record keeping.
Back in Freemans day porn was a much smaller circle of people and what self regulation there was stayed within that circle so people didn’t much get upset about it, but it seems that particularly with the internet that circle of people grew exponentially and with it came an exponential growth of the problems, particularly STDs. Before HIV getting cured of an STD wasn’t that expensive and was quietly done but HIV changed all that.
When people in porn started showing up HIV Positive the industry didnt have the desire to look after them so the end result was to say they got it from drug use or gay sex and its not out problem, the industry disassociated itself from these performers and that was that, eventually they died.
As medical advances made HIV a more manageable condition and a very expensive one the industry still had no desire to look after its own so people who got HIV ended up getting dumped into the lap of charities and non profits, the main one being AIDS Healthcare Foundation, whose charter was to help and to aid in prevention.
In the end I expect AHF got tired of paying for porners mistakes and began to push back and in doing so drug in a reluctant OSHA and Local and state health departments and here we are.
The industry seems to think it can solve its problems by moving the industry someplace else, like Las Vegas or Florida but only a real simplistic and unintelligent person would think that that option would work. There are already moves in both states to bring OSHA regulations down on companies shooting adult, OSHA laws are federal and if they get pressed by AHF or anyone else they will be enforced.
For all of the blustering about moving by the industry it seems that porners really do get that and have decided, and wisely so, to make their stand in California, the problem is that porn has neither the money nor the savvy to make a successful stand, porn gets steamrolled at every intersection by AHF because AHF is better funded and mostly because AHF much smarter at these things.
In a recent move lawyers are threatening to file suit against AHF for libel on behalf of Kink.com. Tynans reasoning being that AHF claims that transmissions happened on set are libelous because according to her they didn’t. personally i don’t see this strategy flying for the simple reason that AHF has two former performers, both of whom claim on set transmissions since 2004 in their employ and for all the foot stomping by Diane Duke saying the transmissions didn’t happen on set when the performers stand up in court and say oh yes it did I dont see this libel suit being anything other than a waste of Kinks money. Additionally such a lawsuit would open up Kink.com and Peter Acworth to discovery and deposition, something I dont think they really want to do.
In yesterdays Vice.com article on Rosebud porn I made the observation that “Companies in porn are like blackbirds on a phone wire. When one takes off they all follow. I think, in this case, they all followed into the side of a glass building.”
I got a lot of kudos from porners for that and i guess it is a good quote that pretty aptly describes how porn has gotten away from it’s core audience but in the context of this article I expect that glass building is a government building….