Things like this seem to keep coming up with Free Speech Coalition people it’s time to disband this thing and create something that actually has oversight and is responsible to it’s membership and to the industry.
Last year, Assemblyman Paul Krekorian (from Burbank), authored Assembly Bill 1394 which authorized the seizure of counterfeit products (such as adult movies) which violated trademark protections. An example of this would be when some counterfeiter bought an adult DVD and then made thousands of copies to sell without paying anything to the production company.
Free Speech Coalition told their Sacramento lobbyist not to support the legislation or help it in any way because while some of their members are the legitimate production companies, some of their other members are the counterfeiters. That is an amazing conflict of interest.
This year Assemblyman Ted Lieu has authored AB 568 to require that every building or place used to manufacture or sell known counterfeits of a registered trademark is declared a public nuisance and fines are issued against the property owner that has been allowing the illegal activity to continue.
AB 568 would create a significant deterrent to would-be counterfeiters that would greatly help out the adult entertainment industry. Every year our movies are pirated and either sold through unauthorized sources or given out for free by services which charge a subscription fee to their customers. In the end the legitimate producers of adult films lose business and that translates to lost jobs for all of us.
So you would think the industry’s representatives would support AB 568, right? But when adult entertainment industry representatives were up in Sacramento for their lobby days last week, they did nothing on this bill and did not even meet with anyone from Assemblyman Lieu’s office. Assemblyman Lieu is the Chair of and controls the Assembly Rules Committee. The Assembly Rules Committee controls the direction of every piece of legislation, such as the big Torrico bill (AB 1082) that wants to tax all products containing harmful matter relative to being viewed by a minor.
You can barely pick up any industry news source without some mention of how Free Speech Coalition met with every lawmaker who sits on the committees that AB 1082 is going to, and all of these lawmakers said the bill was stupid and wasn’t going to be successful.
Free Speech Coalition has now said in multiple venues that they met with “every lawmaker that the bill is going to” and “all of them said the bill is stupid and isn’t going anywhere.”
So who did Free Speech Coalition meet with on the Assembly Revenue and Taxation Committee that will receive and vote upon AB 1082 first? Here are responses from those offices, and their phone number to verify the information.
The committee Chair, Assemblyman Calderon? According to Mr. Calderon’s office Free Speech Coalition didn’t meet with him or anyone from his office, 916-319-2058.
What about the Vice-Chair, Assemblyman DeVore? No, and they didn’t even drop off any materials. But supporters of AB 1082 dropped off their materials, 916-319-2070.
Okay, then, what about the other voting members of the committee:
Assemblyman Beall? No, and his office didn’t even receive a meeting request, 916-319-2024;
Assemblyman Coto? No, they met with staff who did not commit, 916-319-2023;
Assemblywoman Harkey? No, they met with staff who did not commit, 916-319-2073;
Assemblywoman Ma? Yes (finally), they did meet with the lawmaker, 916-319-2012;
Assemblyman Nielsen, awaiting reply… 916-319-2002;
Assemblyman Portantino? No, they met with staff who did not commit, 916-319-2044;
Assemblywoman Saldaña? No, they met with staff who did not commit, 916-319-2076;
Assuming there is no mass conspiracy and these 9 offices are telling the truth, then Free Speech Coalition is 1/9th accurate in their representation of what is going on in Sacramento, or 89% wrong. Those are not odds I favor.
So let us move onto other issues. Then there is AB 819, by Assemblyman Charles Calderon, which would create the Intellectual Property Piracy Prevention and Prosecution Act of 2009 to go after piracy of intellectual property theft of movies, music, software, and video games. Another big one for the adult industry. You guessed it, no effort exerted by Free Speech Coalition or their lobbyist.
How about AB 847, again by Assemblyman Charles Calderon, which wants California businesses to collect sales tax on all of their products sold to out-of-state consumers regardless of any contract in effect which requires shipment to a contact outside of the state in compliance with existing law. Again, there has been no contact with that office, or the Assembly Revenue and Taxation Committee staff on this legislation.
So all of this boils down to one question. What is Free Speech Coalition really doing to protect the adult entertainment industry in California? And moreover what are they doing with the money they get from members?