The adult entertainment industry is dynamic. Reaching all corners of the world, pornography is a cultural unifier and divider. Unfortunately, many people in power all over the world have fallen into a moral panic or worldview surrounding concerns related to adult entertainment. It is believed that the adult industry is the wild west, and is simply a hotbed for corruption and criminal enterprise.
This as we well know is untrue, but that perception sweeps among people of all political ideologies and spreads like a virus. Nevertheless, Adult Site Broker and our strategic partners in this industry continue to work hand-in-hand toward a legal and ethically-acceptable mission of celebrating human sexuality and the right to free expression in every variation and creative discipline. Even with these aspirations, we must remain pragmatic in our business dealings moving forward because of the ongoing legal and legislative challenges against our industry in jurisdictions all over the world. In this blog post, we briefly touch upon the legal challenges adult industry professionals face in 2023 and beyond.
There are several challenges we are concerned about here at Adult Site Broker. We have touched upon some of the more notable challenges facing the industry in the new year sourced from the United States in another post that we published recently. This will deal with a broader outlook for the entire globe, touching on several ongoing legal cases and regulatory trends in Asia and Europe.
Why Should Adult Professionals Pay Attention to Legal Issues?
Regardless of where you’re based in the world, adult entertainment industry professionals have an extracurricular responsibility that legal compliance is being met. This includes the need to follow news about legislative and political movements in the local jurisdiction that permit or restrict the activities of porn production, the operation of websites, or the sale of sexual wellness products. It is also important to pay attention to developments in the local judiciary and common courts, with the subjects often ranging from intellectual property disputes, contracts and tort, and the overall ability for the industry to operate in any given jurisdiction without violating criminal or civil statute.
Stay Aware of Changes in Local and National Jurisdictions
Take the United States, for example. Much of the adult industry and its adjacent sectors are highly concentrated in the United States, and the impacts of the legal, legislative, and political landscape in that country carries impacts across the world. European markets in adult entertainment are the same. With such a high concentration, the United States and Europe could carry direct and indirect consequences for the survivability and overall legality of the industry in countries where sex work and liberation are quite taboo topics. Thailand, for instance, is a popular location for sex tourism. Bangkok, the capital of Thailand, is world-famous for its red-light districts and highly developed sex work industry. However, sex work (while still illegal) is frowned upon, but is tolerated. The production of porn and the operation of a porn site is, otherwise, illegal. While the police in the Kingdom of Thailand don’t consistently enforce this prohibition on pornography (a little cash goes a long way), the facts of the matter remain that this type of content carries with it prison time, civil penalties, and sanctions.
In Germany, on the other hand, pornography is legal to view and produce. But, recent civil lawsuits and local regulations have directly impacted the access to popular tube sites on the internet. The federal German government and its various state-level governments have long scrutinized the adult entertainment industry for failing to adopt invasive age verification methods to prevent the access of such age-restricted content by underaged people. This ongoing legal question in Germany has the attention of adult entertainment industry news outlets and journalists like XBIZ’s Gustavo Turner and YNOT’s Gene Zorkin and Michael McGrady. They focus heavily on particular jurisdictions because the mainstream business news media neglects to address the far-reaching implications that are possible when courts and regulators try to crack down on one segment. Potential implications like age verification regulations could be disproportionately and wrongfully applied to other areas of industry like video gaming and the access to LGBTQ and sexual health information from nonprofits.
The Legal Landscape: Lessons from Europe
The legal landscape for the adult entertainment industry entering the new year is considerably rough. As we mentioned above, one particular case we wish to discuss in greater depth is the age verification issue that is sweeping Germany. Major adult tube site xHamster.com was blocked in Germany for reportedly failing to prevent the access to the site by minors. This type of policy has spilled over into France, and is understandably concerning across the European Union and in the United States. The critically-acclaimed porn star and columnist for The Daily Beast, Cherie Deville, wrote of the age-verification legislative push in Germany and its overall outcome: “I want minors to stop watching porn, but government age verifications aren’t the solution.” Deville, of course, alludes to the fact that parents need to do their jobs and be parents. But, the landscape is interesting to note. In France and Germany, tube sites in particular have fallen victim to overtly anti-porn figures. Courts in France and Germany, urged by anti-porn activists and politicians, took steps to block adult sites due to their noncompliance with disputed age verification regulations several months ago. These measures have advanced, nonetheless, with great division and divided among members of the adult industry in these areas. The result, however, has resulted in legal battles among the companies that own the tube sites like xHamster and XVIDEOS. These governments, supposedly advocates for free expression, have overtly banned access to these sites leading to censorship.
To conclude, the legal landscape around the world should take note of Europe. The next year, and the years after that, will be flooded with litigation that will decide the future of the industry. Adult Site Broker implores all of our clients and friends in the adult entertainment industry from all over the world to stay on their toes and pay attention to the news. YNOT.com and XBIZ.com do a wonderful job of reporting on all of these stories. All of the developments in the various legal and legislative realms are extremely important elements to charting near- and long-term outlooks.