A controversial decision by a federal court in Pennsylvania will likely increase the production and distribution of child pornography, according to various anti-porn advocates.
The August 3 ruling effectively slapped down U.S. Code Title 18 Section 2257, which requires pornography producers to keep detailed records of the ages of the individuals who appear in their films. Under the code, officials must be able to inspect these records at any time, so that they can ensure that there are no underage people engaging in pornographic material.
In its final Judgement and Decree, the court ruled:
“The record-keeping requirements set forth in 18 U.S.C. §§ 2257(a), (b)(3), (c), 2257A(a), (b)(3), (c) and 28 C.F.R. §§ 75.2-.4; and the associated criminal prohibitions set forth in 18 U.S.C. §§ 2257(f)(1)-(2), 2257A(f)(1)-(2) are unconstitutional under the First Amendment. The Court hereby permanently enjoins Defendant, his agents, servants, employees, attorneys, and other persons acting in concert or participation with him from enforcing these statutes and regulations.”
The organization that won the case, The Free Speech Coalition, has been battling to have the statute lifted for some 14 years, according to The Indiana Daily Student. FSC deems the law to be “unnecessary and burdensome.”
Gail Dines, the author of “Pornland: How Pornography Has Hijacked Our Sexuality,” said that the crucial statute was “the only way to verify and track performers’ ages,” and now it has been rendered powerless. Title 18 “served as a major incentive for businesses across the complex supply chain to monitor content,” she added.
Dines told the Christian Post that Judge Michael Baylsone, who ruled in the case, “appears to have sided with the industry over the protection of children.”
“Indeed, the decision only considered injuries to porn businesses, not to children,” she said.
Dines warned that the increasingly powerful porn industry, which has an estimated worth of around $100 billion, has started to “shape the regulatory environment to support its shifting business model” of using girls who appear to be underage.
“The growth of the market segment featuring young-looking females represented a potential legal threat,” Dines explained. “And distributors of porn – like other internet companies and social media platforms – want to avoid responsibility for content that could expose them to substantial legal and financial liabilities.”
The Department of Justice has not yet stated whether it intends to contest the court’s decision.
(H/T: Christian Post)