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Adult Industry Law in the Covid-19 Era and Beyond with Attorney Corey D. Silverstein TPP277

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In this episode I’m joined again by leading adult industry attorney Corey D. Silverstein for an exploration of the adult industry legal landscape in the Covid-19 era and beyond

About Corey:

Corey D. Silverstein is the managing and founding member of the Law Offices of Corey D. Silverstein, P.C d/b/a/ Silverstein Legal.  His practice focuses on representing many areas of the law that impact the adult industry.  His clientele includes hosting companies, affiliate programs, content producers, payment processors, website operators, dating websites, webcam sites, traffic brokers, social media websites and performers, just to name a few.  Mr. Silverstein regularly provides legal services related to: age verification and record keeping requirements (18 USC 2257), intellectual property (copyrights and trademarks), the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, the Restore Online Shopper’s Confidence Act (ROSCA), Federal Trade Commission (FTC) compliance, first amendment / free speech, obscenity, corporate law, criminal defense, internet law, domain disputes and various other areas of the law.  Mr. Silverstein is an acclaimed litigator and dispute resolution specialist. His practice also concentrates on complex contracts, business structure, and business formation.  Mr. Silverstein prides himself in providing prompt and aggressive representation tailored to each of his clients’ individual needs.  Mr. Silverstein is regularly featured in adult industry periodicals such as AVN and XBIZ and has been quoted and published in mainstream media including the New York Times, FOX News, MSNBC, the Miami Herald, the Washington Post, the Detroit News and the Associated Press.  Mr. Silverstein is also a regular speaker at conferences throughout the world (United States, Canada, Colombia, Netherlands) and has made countless presentations related to topics and issues that affect the adult industry and online marketplace.  Amongst his numerous professional affiliations, Mr. Silverstein is a member of the First Amendment Lawyers Association (FALA). Myadultattorney.com is a website dedicated to the representation of adult industry clientele. Mr. Silverstein can be reached through Myadultattorney.com or by email at corey@myadultattorney.com. Mr. Silverstein can also be contacted by telephone at 248-290-0655.

My Non Verbatim Show Notes: 

CS: been in adult entertainment industry approx 15 years, law firm dedicated to adult ent, represent clients in more than 13 countries, harder in covid19 era to get with clients, crazy time period, government assistance package, funds used up, sba tapped allotment, provisions in the sba loan apps in essence disqualified certain adult entertainment, lawsuit filed in MI, strip club challenging constitutionality

phone ringing off the hook, issues coming in from all over the place

performers some never been busier, some can’t pay bills

Michelle from FSC, horrendous personal ordeal, suffering, being separated from families, wild right now

TP: dualities of different opportunities, liabilities, emergent properties, even preppers realize they have all these holes in their ship, didn’t factor in

xbiz newsletter, Utah legislation, warning label

CS: utah bill did become law, even though gov didn’t sign

telling sign, gov wanted nothing to do with

conversations with clients, each person needs to consult with own counsel

so poorly written, difficult time finding people to comply, virtually mandates you admit your content may be obscene

ridiculous

if someone does get fined, suspect pretty quick, constitutional lawyer pick up the challenge, unconstitutional

poorly thought out provision, state of utah, substantial religious motivations, shouldn’t surprise you, nothing new, unbinding declaration porn is health crisis

another reminder, always someone out there with an agenda to try to politicize adult entertainment

TP: web application firewall, not possible geo fence state ip ranges,

CS: uk age verification law, not hold, dead

TP: can’t geofence ip ranges for a specific united state, terms and conditions, not allowed to access website if resident of this state, if you do, violating terms, you can’t really enforce that, not using mechanism, does that have any protection

CS: don’t think answer to utah law, is to contract a way out of it, way its written takes presumption all adult content is obscene, have to label site as such, don’t see any way around it, someone will challenge as unconstitutional, wouldn’t take position to try to contractually limit it

there is some technology out there to ban state traffic, acts as admission you believe content obscene

already have federal obscenity test, articulated by us supreme court, as much as utah would like to define obscene content, eliminate adult entertainment as they see it, federal case law differs

TP: clarity on terms, realizing I take for granted they’re gonna think everything is obscene, operating on their terms,

CS: gotta read language very carefully, want you to write statement, adult content harmful to minors, whatever exact language is, utah once again went way to far, silly, nothing more than some politicians…want to run for office often say a lot of things, crack down on this/that, promise part of far right, curb back pornography, very telling, governor wouldn’t sign it

TP: bill in california, would impose dmv style license or food handlers license exam for anyone in adult entertainment activities, cam models, porn shooots, all forms of sex workers, what’s your take on that

CS: ab 2389, scarlet letter provision, state of california, article in xbiz, wrote about this topic, bill that would prohibit adult entertainers/performers unless received certificate of training completing regarding employment rights

originally language said needed valid business license, would have required adult entertainers to go to state of ca, proof took course, fill out application, fee, finger print, state directory of adult entertainers being held by state of ca

possiblyi one of the most ridiculous things I’ve ever seen,

reminded of scarlet letter, young lady who was alleged of adultery, required to run around with giant letter stapled on her

when I see statutes like this come out, who even thinks this stuff up

originally two supporters, one of them dropped out, backlash was massive

quickly amended it, has not become law as of yet, I don’t think it will pass

ca already had wars with adult entertainment industry in the last couple of years, not sure they want to end up in courts with this one, hopeful common sense will make them realize this is just a stupid idea

can understand, state of ca, wants adult entertainment workers educated, don’t see how its their right to mandate education

not a supporter, horrible for industry

for individual rights, think this is a massive step backwards

question true motivation, politicians behind this thing

this bill has not passed

lot of laws…get proposed never become actual laws

TP: interview with several officers several of the high ranking folks at the international entertainment adult union, original source of pressure on legislators to collaborate on crafting the language for this, govt, hammer that only sees nails, boilerplate language and strategy, compelling people to dox themselves, trusting gov to have digital honey pot database, hacker dream come true to exploit, data breech, applicable privacy laws, you’d never want to give them more information than they already have to do their own work to try to collect

spirit of it, opinion, I believe they adult performer advocacy committee has an industry voluntary stamp of approve for their standard of set rights, education or performers, website production house does their training, complies with their list, that’s where you want to go, industry self policing to standards that are worked out between actual stakeholders, not involving gov agencies, conflicts of interest, slow, ineffectual

CS: industry filled with a lot of different trade organizations, tremendous work, amazing results, free speech coalition, woodhull freedom foundation

I wasn’t there, don’t know what was going on behind the scenes, in front…never get the whole story

don’t think this was thought out well

not saying anyone had bad intent, suggesting this wasn’t thought out very well

when it comes to adult entertainment, it’s all about free speech,

rules regulations, certiications, another steop closer that you’re walking on top of people’s first amendment rights, always urge tremendous amount of caution

gov should be talking to trade orgs

listened …more to industries ideas regarding 2257 we wouldn’t be a 15 year court battle, however many years

goes both ways

in this particular case, no doubt…as to what this thing can do, …tramples first amendment

hard time to believe any adult entertainment entrepreneur would support this bill

TP: gov just wants to take money, give an inch take a mile, unlike a lot of other industries, one of the few where regulators aren’t in revolving door with industry

anywhere expect to be collusion/corruption, perverse incentives

CS: big issues, lot of politicians want to talk about it, soap boxes…won’t have telephone conversation, won’t meet with actual sex worker…that’s the problem…heart of fosta/cesta, any sex worker on planet, ask whether done any good, answers gonna be no, 9 times out of 10, nothing new hear,

does it really help, does it change anything on the ground, it doesn’t what’s what we’re seeing with fosta/cesta

brilliant lawyers involved [fosta/cesta] case, successful in court of appeals, message to trial court, sex workers have a legitimate argument, deserve day in court…hoping…more victories

TP: monkey wrentch in gears of court procedings, coronavirus, futurism mode, what do you think prospects are, whore-archy, come together organize, sex worker outreach project, doing fantastic work, could you imagine that this economic collapse/crisis after effects long term could their be an impetus to fight back against prohibition of sex work in general, reverse backlash

I could see a lot of people going into sex work, people who never would have thought about this before, have to do, because its the only thing people are paying for

CS: here’s the thing, simple fact…you can continue to pass ridiculous laws, base them on whatever you want to base them on, fact is, sex workers…not going to stop, fosta/cesta ill conceived

covid19 era, totally different world, people really should be exercising social distancing, limiting contact with other human beings…sex industry probably greatly been affected as well…notion, thought, this is where gov is wrong, that they can just keep passing laws and that’s someone gonna stop it isn’t gonna work, that’s not who you solve problems

other countries throughout the world that have legalized prostitution, that have legalized different forms of sex work that here in the us are illegal…seen crimes against sex workers with proper legalization/protocols, actually much safer

getting into issue, reality, politics, agendas, belief systems not based on fact, religious beliefs or whatever

I don’t see sex work necessarily going away, disappearing, do believe pandemic has hurt that industry very much…responsible people should be social distancing…minimize contact with other human beings…stop the spread of this aweful virus

when this is all over…getting back to normal…don’t think the sex work industry is a gonna skip a beat..

TP: new baby boom, 9 months from the vaccine roll out

CS: pregnancy through the roof, divorce through the roof, people married forever never had to spend this much time together in their lives…now they’re getting to know

TP: internet bandwidth, 5g tin foil hat, people got their netflix, zoom

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CS: netflix has admitted, changed policies, limited…people have to make tough decisions to protect their networks, don’t fault them, probably a good thing proactive

TP: if you’re savy and healthy you could really ethically capitalize on new niches of oppportunity, survivors and winners are gonna be the big winners, hopefully not just bailed out fortune 500

crypto, stable coins taking up market share

any thoughts on state of crypto for adult

gonna be stress tested by covid era as well

CS: crypto is and continues to be a long term play, don’t believe crypto will be running the world over night

icos folded up, shit coins, a lot of those fold up and go away

adult crypto continues to be accepted,

if you follow wall street, crypto now accepted, mutual funds, canadian stock market, mainstream legit financial branches accepting crypto, continue to be excellent tool for adult, any adult business needs to consider their future with crypto, have to have as potential option, still believe in it

a lot of junk out there, bad players, but industry has been weeding those out

look at dozens if not hundreds of “coins” that have basically disappeared, that’s not the worst step

crypto will continue to grow in adult space

learn about it, understand, don’t have to be afraid of

old school politicians want you to think crypto is a bad thing

crypto currency, blockchain can be used for so much more

big growth as more people..less intimated by it

bitcoin…still off all time high…tremendous amount of growth potential

TP: proving itself out more and more everyday,

thoughts on libra

CS: I don’t think libra’s gonna work, don’t think you can call it a cryptocurrency

are they using blockchain technology on the backend, yeah, do I consider it a cryptocurrency no

I won’t use it

google plus,

TP: in recycling bin of time

CS: think about how many people who don’t have debit cards, local branch of bank is closed…because covid…crypto currency never closes ever

TP: coins are hygienic as you could ever get

CS: bitcoin article, they use gold coin with b and dollar sign, stop doing that…segment of people that thinks it’s a real thing…no how it works…hopefully people will see past that

TP: earn it act

CS: end of the world!

Longer conversation, probably gonna have to dedicate more of a conversation, lot of history, premise of bill, as of right now…website can benefit from section 230, earn it act wants to do…flip that around…as opposed to automatic section 230 immunity you would have had to “earn it”

problem is…not entirely clear on what exactly companies would have to do to earn it

sets back free speech on internet tremendously

section 230, internet companies cannot be held liable for positing of users, now though…when you change that around, …onus on internet companies to start…monitor/police content…cut at the heart of what section 230 is supposed to do…in terms of freedom of speech

gov…access to encryption, a little new still, no one is completely clear…on what they’re asking for

require encryption but they have the key…terrifying…

act itself needs to be watched very carefully

anyone in IT business, search engine…online store…

need to be very careful about, need to be watching it

companies now fighting it

there’s gonna be a lot of resistance…big companies, facebook, etc. I think they’ll be fighting it hard…but…some will support it

don’t think this is good

another example of attacking free speech on internet, policing content on the internet, don’t think that’s good at all

internet…greatest inventions we’ve made

in this instance…start getting into this position, service providers responsible for content users post, going down that slippery slope

TP: could you imagine there would be a proactive constitutional amendment to explicitly protect strong encryption

CS: constitutional amendment, no

TP: just precedent set?

CS: we have to keep protecting section 230, anybody who attacks section 230 is attacking the IT industry, attacking free speech on the internet

wake up, strongly take position, no we don’t want more holes being cut in section 230

earn it act, highly based on sexual exploitation of minors, that’s fine they’re saying that’s what it’s for, absolutely agree that’s an important issue, the way they’re doing it…like taking a bazuka to eliminate an ant hill

just doesn’t make any sense

gov has to get smarter

age of internet people are smarter

reading, want to know about these laws

years ago gov had it a lot easier to slip things into bills

big believer in free and open internet

TP: thank you so much, covered so much material, invigorating

very reassuring, thank you so much for doing all the work that you do, on behalf of free speech for all, adult entertainers/performers, industry ecosystem

closing thoughts

CS: everybody stay safe, be smart, take care of love ones, make sure you’re doing the best you can in terms of social distancing, each person can do just a little bit to help stop the spread

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