As campaign for County of Los Angeles Ballot Measure B, the ‘condoms in porn’ measure heats up, adult industry attorney Michael W. Fattorosi explains in an article on his website adultbizlaw.com why the industry cannot simply pick up and move to other states if the measure passes - a threat many industry producers wield over business leaders, elected officials, voters and the public at large
LOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE)--As the campaign for County of Los Angeles Ballot Measure B, the so-called ‘condoms in porn’ measure that would require adult film producers to get a public health permit as a condition of filming in Los Angeles, heats up, a respected California attorney who works primarily on behalf of the multi-billion dollar adult film industry published an article Friday on his website, Adultbizlaw.com outlining why the industry cannot realistically leave California if the measure passes--a threat many industry producers try to wield over business leaders, elected officials, voters and the public at large.
Michael W. Fattorosi, P.C., who runs a boutique law firm located in Woodland Hills, California and also runs the Adultbizlaw.com. website, post an article on Friday, titled, “The Problem with Producing Porn Outside of California…”.
Officials from AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), who spearheaded the ballot measure and are shepherding the ‘Vote Yes on B’ campaign cheered Fattorosi’s analysis, who summed up the situation in his article as follows, “While it may be desirable, in light of the condom laws in California, for the industry to move to a different state such as Nevada, Florida or Arizona doing so comes with much risks to the producers.”
“We’ve always believed that the porn industry’s threats to leave California rang hollow, and now one of their own attorneys confirms as much,” said Michael Weinstein, President of AIDS Healthcare Foundation and one of five proponents of the ballot measure, which is formally known as the County of Los Angeles Safer Sex in the Adult Film Industry Act. “Larry Flynt has a skyscraper with his name on it on the Westside, and Vivid’s Steve Hirsch, a six story building on Cahuenga Boulevard in the Valley. We understand and respect the fact that porn is a legal industry here in California - but one that must follow all health and safety laws, including condom use. It’s heartening to read Mr. Fattorosi’s take on why the industry can’t just up and relocate out of California.”
With regard to relocating the industry, Mr. Fattorosi noted the following:
-- While it is possible that the industry may relocate to a different county in California there are problems with the industry relocating to another state. Currently, the production of hardcore pornography is only legally protected in two states, California and New Hampshire…
-- In all other states hardcore pornography production is a tricky legal situation. Not only because of possible criminal penalties or prosecution but because of the validity of the model releases. …Basically, the model release is the foundation of the entire industry. A signed model release by the performers allow the release of the scene or movie to the public for sale.
-- The issue to be concerned with as a producer is the enforceability of a hardcore model release. If a company produces hardcore pornography outside of California the model release might not be valid under the theory of “lawful object.” Meaning that the basis of the contract must be a lawful activity. It is clear that two people could not contract for the sale of a kilo of cocaine since the distribution of cocaine is an illegal activity. No court in the United States would enforce a contract for the distribution of cocaine.
-- At the heart of every hardcore pornography model release is the exchange of sex for money. …For the most part, courts do not allow the exchange of sex for money to be the basis of contract…Besides hardcore pornography in California another exception to this rule is legal prostitution only in Nevada brothels (except in Clark County which includes Las Vegas).
-- Any contract that is based on an illegal activity would be considered void and unenforceable in a court. In other words – useless. That might leave a producer open to numerous lawsuits and costs for defending such. Without a valid model release that a court is willing to enforce the producer is left in the situation of not having a model release at all…
-- Florida, Illinois, Hawaii and Minnesota have even a more restrictive law to the production of hardcore pornography then most other states. In Florida, prostitutes are legally allowed to sue their pimps for profits of their labor. In Florida hardcore pornography production is still considered prostitution and pandering.
Background on AHF’s Efforts to Increase Adult Film Worker Safety
Over the past six years, AHF has independently been championing safety reforms in the adult film industry, including efforts to require the use of condoms in all adult film productions. AHF and other advocates did so after two outbreaks or incidents of HIV infections tied to the industry that occurred over the past eight years. And this summer, an outbreak of syphilis has involved performers in the adult film industry in Los Angeles and Eastern Europe with as many as nine industry-related cases found to date in Los Angeles and as many as 100 cases in Europe.
Support for Condom Use in Adult Film Productions Several organizations committed to protecting the public health have called for mandatory use of condoms in the production of adult films, including the American Medical Association, the American Public Health Association, the California Conference of Local AIDS Directors, the California STD Controllers Association, the National Coalition of STD Directors, the National Association of City and County Health Officials, AIDS Healthcare Foundation and the California Medical Association.
AHF officials and members of the advocacy group, FAIR (‘For Adult Industry Responsibility’) have been shepherding the ‘Yes on B’ Los Angeles County ballot initiative that will appear on the November ballot which will require adult film producers to obtain a public health permit from County Health officials, much like barber shops, nail salons and tattoo parlors, as a condition of doing business in Los Angeles.
AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) is the largest global AIDS organization. AHF currently provides medical care and/or services to more than 176,000 individuals in 27 countries worldwide in the US, Africa, Latin America/Caribbean, the Asia Pacific Region and Eastern Europe. www.aidshealth.org
AIDS Healthcare Foundation
Ged Kenslea, AHF Communications Director