The U.S. Code Title 18 Section 2257, which protect the underage performers in porn movies, is being jeopardized. Specifically, the 2257 requires from porn industries to keep stringent records on the ages of performers and allows federal agents to inspect them at any time. If this doesn’t happen the sanctions are strict including large fines and up to five years imprisonment for a first offense. But, Judge Michael Baylson made it a lot easier for porn industries to exploit and abuse underage children for profit. He actually, allows primary producers to fulfill age verification obligations by using a form developed by the Free Speech Coalition and worst he exempts major distributors from any record-keeping requirements.
The evolution of this war between porn industries and 2257 began at 1984 when underage Traci Lords is published in Penthouse magazine and this was the beginning of the outcry. After this, Congress enacted the Child Protection and Obscenity Enforcement Act, which included Section 2257. In 1996 the rapid growth of pornography on the internet led lawmakers to pass the Child Pornography Prevention Act. The porn industry has fought these regulations and its biggest victory was overturning the 1996 restrictions in a 2002 Supreme Court decision.
The coalition filed many lawsuits against 2257 and claimed that the regulations which have been adopted, restricted the pornographer’s free speech and violated Fourth Amendment protections against warrantless search and seizure. Until then, despite the continuous strikes of different courts against 2257, the regulations didn’t changed and remained intact. Not forever, though.
The trespass of 2257 began in the 2013 case in which the Free Speech Coalition claimed that there was no porn featuring young-looking females. The total jeopardy though, came with the decision of judge Baylson who suddenly was sided with the porn industry and not with the protection of underage children. Nonetheless, compliance with age verification laws is imperative, as the protection of children from the porn industry is clearly more important than economic interests.