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9
Aug

War Machine on the Lam After Violent Altercation Friday

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Christy Mack reported to be injured and in the hospital; MMA promoter releases War Machine following report of assault.

LAS VEGAS, Nevada—MMA fighter and short-lived porn performer War Machine has been released by promoter Bellator following reports late Friday by TMZ and local media that Las Vegas police were looking for the former Jonathan Koppenhaver in connection with “a domestic dispute that ended in severe injuries” Friday morning.

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TMZ added, “According to police, War Machine was involved in a 3-person altercation early Friday morning at their home in Vegas. Two of the combatants sustained severe, but non-life threatening injuries ... and were taken to a hospital. One of the victims is described as the fighter's ‘significant other.’

“It's well known,” noted the site, “that War Machine has been dating porn star Christy Mack since last year—however police have not released the names of the victims.”

AVN has so far been unsuccessful in contacting Mack, but TMZ recently updated their coverage to indicate that the performer was injured so severely that she is currently nearly unable to speak; the report also relays a message from a Mack spokesperson that “Christy's family and friends are willing to pony up a $5000 reward to anyone who can help police locate the fugitive MMA fighter.”

Also, the last post to Mack’s Twitter account, from yesterday at a shade after 2 p.m., is a photo with the message, “Hey guys I won’t be attending the Art & Ink Show at the South Point Casino this weekend. I had a personal emergency come up BUT still please go support all of the artists and great people at the show!”

This latest incident appears to seriously escalate last year’s Twitter dust up in which War Machine tweeted about having raped Mack, igniting a Twitterstorm that ended only after Mack came to his defense. Bellator also backed him up at the time, but this report seems to have forced their hand.

Shortly after news of the incident broke, Bellator president Scott Coker released a statement that said, "We have a zero tolerance policy at Bellator when it relates to any form of domestic violence. After learning of this latest incident involving Jon Koppenhaver, War Machine, Bellator is releasing him from his promotional contract."

ESPN added of the troubled fighter, “War Machine (14-5) has not fought professionally since he suffered a first-round submission loss to Ron Keslar at a Bellator event in October. A former UFC fighter, he competed on the sixth season of ‘The Ultimate Fighter’ reality series in 2007. He was arrested on felony assault charges in 2010 and served jail time in 2011 and '12. He signed with Bellator in 2013 and went 1-2 in three fights last year.”

As of Saturday afternoon, War Machine was reportedly still on the run.

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9
Aug

Kapersky: Koler Police Mobile Ransomware Still Extorting People

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Koler Police Mobile Ransomware Still Extorting People

Posted Aug 09th, 2014 02:45 PM

LOS ANGELES—Kapersky Lab is warning about a notorious form of mobile ransomware that targets visitors to porn sites that was thought to have been eradicated but which is still at work, actively extorting money from unsuspecting victims.

“The malicious application is downloaded after a user’s visit from a pornographic website,” interaksyon.com reported today. “After it is installed, the malware blocks the screen of the victim and generates a localized message from the police demanding a ransom or fine of between $100 [and] $300.”

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AVN reported in early May on the Koler ransomware, which was immediately targeted by security software vendors like Kapersky,  which says now that while “component parts” of the malware had been disrupted last month, “malicious components” are still active.

“Those behind the attacks used an unusual scheme to scan victims’ systems and offer customized ransomware depending on location and device type,” said Kaspersky. “The use of a pornographic network for this ransomware is no coincidence: victims are more likely to feel guilty about browsing such content and pay the alleged fine from the ‘authorities’.”

It’s ability to survive concerted attempts to neutralize it proves, according to Vicente Diaz, Kaspersky Principal Security Researcher, “ just how well organized and dangerous this campaign is.”

Interaksyon.com adds, “Kaspersky said that among almost 200,000 visitors to the mobile infection domain since the beginning of the campaign, the majority are based in the USA (80 percent – 146,650), followed by the UK (13,692), Australia (6,223), Canada (5,573), Saudi Arabia (1,975) and Germany (1,278),” and includes four tips by Kapersky to keep such attacks at bay:

* Remember that you will never get official ‘ransom’ messages from the police, so never pay them;

* Don’t install any app you find while browsing;

* Don’t visit websites you don’t trust; and

* Use a reliable antivirus solution.

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8
Aug

Ralph Long Signs 3-Year Contract With Spizoo.com

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Ralph Long Signs 3-Year Contract With Spizoo.com

CHATSWORTH, Calif.—AVN Award-winning performer/director Ralph Long has signed a contract with content producer Spizoo.com to exclusively direct and appear in the company's productions for the next three years.

"This is my dream, baby," Long told AVN. "I've had a great relationship with Spizoo, and now it's my home. I love shooting for them, and couldn't be happier that now it's the only place I'll be shooting. Expect great things on the way!"

Added Spizoo owner Mark White, "We at Spizoo are really pround to have Ralph Long exclusively with us for all our upcoming projects. He has been directing at Spizoo for the past year showing great entusiasm, professionalism and innovative ideas, and we can proudly say he is part of the Spizoo family!"

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Pictured: Ralph Long with Isabella de Santos.

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8
Aug

Women’s Health Picks 20 Sex Toys That Could ‘Change Your Life’

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Women’s Health Picks 20 Sex Toys That Could 'Change Your Life'

Posted Aug 08th, 2014 02:30 PM

CYBERSPACE—In a feature published recently on its site, Women's Health magazine highlighted “20 Sex Toys That Might Just Change Your Life.” Set up as a slideshow, the 20 picks were billed as “top pleasure boosts—whether you want to go on a solo mission or share the good vibes with your guy.”

The Screaming O—whose Makeup Brush Vibe was featured—tipped AVN off to the product spotlight. Women's Health selected items from a wide range of manufacturers: drugstore brands like Trojan and Durex, large pleasure product manufacturers like California Exotic Novelties, and boutique manufacturers like Jimmyjane and Revel Body.

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The products were organized in four categories:

Nightstand-Friendly/For a Newbie included discreet and playful choices: the Shiri Zinn Cupcake, the Crave Wink Vibe, the Trojan Vibrating Multi-Thrill 3 in 1 Vibrating Bullet, the Screaming O Studio Collection Makeup Brush Vibe, and the Lifestyles a:muse His & Hers Pleasure Massagers.

Almost-Real Replica/For a Newbie offered items that looked more like sex toys but were suitable for new users: the Durex Play Allure Intimate Massager, the Adam & Eve Silicone Diamond G, the Jimmyjane Form 6, Lovehoney's Sqweel 2, and the CalExotics Bendies Stud Ballsy.

Nightstand-Friendly/For an Experienced Pro: Included were the Revel Body Sonic Vibrator, Lelo Ora, Jimmyjane Form 2 Luxury Edition, Vibratex's Magic Wand and the We-Vibe 4.

Almost-Real Replica/For an Experienced Pro: Highlighted the Adam & Eve L'Arque G-Spot Massager, Lelo Smart Wand, Afterglow, OhMiBod Lovelife Adventure and Vibratex Rabbit Habit.

Women's Health also provided prices on the items, links to either manufacturer or retail sites, and a note on whether the toys were designed for solo or couples use. (See links below to AVN's reviews of some of these products.)

“The Makeup Brush has been a favorite with first-timers and women who prefer soft massage-like vibration, and it’s no surprise that the editors at Women’s Health touted it not only for its feel but also for its incognito look!” The Screaming O representative Conde Aumann said. “It’s no big deal if this mini vibe is left out in the open or packed in a purse; it looks so much like makeup, no one will even bat an eyelash. It’s her little secret—and we promise that keeping a secret never felt so good!”

The Screaming O Studio Collection Makeup Brush Vibe was recommended by editors at Women’s Health for its “blush-worthy” design that gives women a discreet and compact way to spice up their sex lives. Women’s Health writers recommended the Makeup Brush’s “tease” pulsation that transfers powerful vibration through its thick, flexible silicone “bristles.”

See the feature in Women’s Health here.

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8
Aug

Kink.com: The Vegas Shoot AHF Filed Against Was Oral Only

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The Vegas Shoot AHF Filed Against Was Oral Only

LOS ANGELES—Kink.com has issued an updated statement that adds more information to the one they issued yesterday in reaction to the news that AHF had filed a complaint with Nevada OSHA against them for a production that took place in that state. The new statement says no vaginal or anal sex took place on the contested shoot, which therefore did not "violate their AB1576 bill, let alone existing federal OSHA regulations." The statement is published in its entirety:

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Yesterday, the AIDS Healthcare Foundation filed a OSHA complaint against a Kink.com shoot in Las Vegas, citing alleged unprotected oral sex. The suit is contrary to AIDS Healthcare Foundation’s prior statements that it had no interest in legislating condoms for oral sex.

The shoot “Vegas Road Trip” (referred to by AIDS Healthcare Foundation as “Hogtied Whores”), featured oral sex between both women and men. There was no anal or vaginal intercourse.

“As far as we’re concerned, this is a retaliatory complaint meant to intimidate us from speaking against them at the state legislature,” said Peter Acworth. “AIDS Healthcare Foundation has a long history of abusing the Cal/OSHA process to harass the adult industry. There’s nothing in this shoot that would violate their AB1576 bill, let alone existing federal OSHA regulations, which don’t even mention condoms.”

When asked about the discrepancy between existing regulations and the complaint filing on Twitter, AIDS Healthcare Foundation cited Las Vegas anti-prostitution laws as justification for their complaint. The move is another shift by AHF, which has previously stated that it supports adult film as a legal business.

For Acworth, the latest suit reveals AHF’s true intentions.

“We’ve said from the beginning that AB1576 was a morality campaign disguised as a healthcare initiative, and this complaint backs that up. All performers on that set were tested, the sex was safe, and nothing in that shoot would violate AHF’s own stated preferences for adult film protocols. Still, they filed the complaint. It’s either harassment, or the opening salvo in a bid to force performers to use dental dams and condoms for oral sex.”

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8
Aug

Bill Sponsors Fold Two California Bills Legalizing Online Poker

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Bill Sponsors Fold Two California Bills Legalizing Online Poker

SACRAMENTO—The sponsors of two separate pieces of legislation that would have legalized online poker in the state of California have thrown in their cards in and admitted defeat for the current session.

According to pokernews.com, "A representative of Assemblyman Reggie Jones-Sawyer told PokerNews today that his bill to legalize online poker in California [AB 2291] will not have enough time to pass this legislative session, which concludes at the end of the month, but that a new bill will be the first one introduced by the assemblyman for the next session in December.

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"Jones-Sawyer's announcement," it added, "comes a day after the Los Angeles Times reported that Sen. Lou Correa was shelving his online poker bill." Correa's bill is SB 1366.

While Correa won't be returning to Sacramento next year because of being termed out, the rep for [Jones-Sawyer ] representative indicated that the Assemblyman was determined to get his bill passed, adding that a lot of progress was made in 2014 in spite of his inability to get the bill across the goal line before the current session ends later this month.  

"He said that being unable to pass legislation this session had nothing to do with the crusade by Las Vegas Sands owner Sheldon Adelson to stop online gambling, this being an election year or the legal problems of Sen. Rod Wright," noted pokernews.com, adding, "The legislature simply ran out of time to work out language of a bill that all parties could accept."

According to igamingbusiness.com, "In May, a report by Capitol Matrix Consulting estimated that online poker would generate $800 million (€587 million) and create more than 2,000 jobs for the Californian economy by the end of the decade."

Bad actors in the sector and a debate over the inclusion of horse racing appear to be the main obstacles to progress this year. Pokernews.com explains, "The main sticking points are the inclusion of a bad actors clause to stop companies, namely PokerStars, from participating that offered online poker in the state after passage of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act in 2006, and whether or not to allow horse racing tracks to take part. Most of the interested Indian tribes have been steadfast on having a bad actors clause and denying horse tracks throughout this year, but those positions may be softening, particularly after PokerStars' recent acquisition by Amaya Gaming.

AVN previously reported on the legal issues faced by online entities such as Poker Stars and Full Tilt Poker, which were targeted in 2011 by the U.S. Department of Justice. Despite taking place a few years ago, the repercussions from those events are obviously still being felt today.

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8
Aug

Smash Pictures Releases NSFW Trailer for ‘American Hustle XXX’

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Smash Pictures Releases NSFW Trailer for 'American Hustle XXX'

Posted Aug 08th, 2014 09:47 AM

LOS ANGELES—Back in February, AVN was on the set of Will Ryder's American Hustle XXX Porn Parody—and we've been looking forward to seeing the results ever since. Finally, the moment has arrived: Smash Pictures has released an NSFW trailer for the parody, which captures the complicated cons in director David O. Russell's 2013 mainstream movie along with healthy helpings of hardcore sex shot in HD.

The DVD, weighing in at 2 hours and five minutes, will street on Sept. 4. The disc will include both a narrative and an all-sex version.

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Playing the two swindlers who fall in love are Tommy Gunn and Penny Pax, while Ryan McLane is the FBI agent who busts them and then forces the two small-time con artists into  one of the biggest stings of the 1970s. The fourth main player is Irving’s wife, played by Aaliyah Love, and when she sleeps with the mob, things get even more dangerous. In this menage of politicians, crooks and feds, the intrigue is thick—but leavened with plenty of humor and graphic sex.

Also featured in the production are Luna Star, Eric John, Mia Austin, Carter Cruise, Van Wylde, Kurt Lockwood, Rio Lee and Tommy Pistol. 

The hardcore trailer is available in various formats: Windows, Quicktime and iPad/iPhone.

For pre-orders, contact Smash Pictures Vice President Stuart Wall at (818) 772-7219 or fax (818) 772-775. Call toll free at (866) 772-7219. For more information, go to SmashPictures.com.

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8
Aug

‘Michelle Austin’s Trans Men Adventures’ Released on DVD

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First movie to feature all FTM/MTF scenes

'Michelle Austin's Trans Men Adventures' Released on DVD

Posted Aug 08th, 2014 09:26 AM

LAS VEGAS, NV—Kennston Productions and FTM Fucker have released their first DVD together, Michelle Austin’s Trans Men Adventures. The first full length movie featuring trans men with a trans woman (FTM/MTF), directed by FTM porn star and Tranny Award Winner James Darling.

FTM porn is still fairly new to the porn world and thanks to big names like Buck Angel and James Darling, the sight of trans men on the net has become widely popular. Kennston Productions has teamed up with one of the pioneers in FTM porn, James Darling and FTM Fucker, to bring fans Michelle Austin’s Trans Men Adventures. This is the first time Michelle Austin has essayed a "top" role, with some of the hottest men of FTM porn by her side. The DVD features James Darling, Chance Armstrong, Fritz Von Fuckup and Parker Reed. Each scene has its own unique storyline with Michelle and one of the guys.

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For this DVD, each scene is unique. In Michelle's scene with James Darling, they play a 1950s husband and wife duo in a scene called "Mr. and Mrs. Beaver," complete with astro-turf and all! Chance Armstrong, the body builder himself, plays with Michelle in a hot scene called "A Chance Workout"— and after his workout, he comes back to fuck his girl! The hottie Fritz Von Fuckup is an RA at the university that Michelle is at. She is caught smoking and drinking in her dorm in "Dorm Room Fuckup." Last but not least, Michelle introduces new-guy Parker Reed in "Grindr Hookup."

This DVD brings a different look and take on porn, and Austin hopes that it will appeal to both men and women. “I am so excited to help bring FTM porn to a more mainstream audience. Teaming up with James has been a dream come true. We have uniquely worked hard to bring this project together. We are just thrilled to have the DVD actually come to life,” Austin said.

To learn more about the DVD, click here to buy the DVD, get clips or see on VOD. For wholesale sales, click here for more information.

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8
Aug

CatalystCon West Announces Pre-Conference Business Seminar

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CatalystCon West Announces Pre-Conference Business Seminar

Posted Aug 08th, 2014 09:10 AM

CatalystCon West announces a business seminar to be held on Friday, September 12, from 2-3:30 p.m.. Protecting Your Original Ideas: Trademark, Copyright, and Counterfeit Sales will be presented by Peter Phinney and Jeff Carter of the online piracy watchdog group Piracy Stops Here.

The 90-minute “crash course” seminar will clarify the rights of business owners to protect what they create, and cover issues currently at play online that are undermining well-known brands and cutting into the bottom line of pleasure products manufacturers in all market niches. Through hand-outs, case studies, and anecdotes from the trenches, professionals fighting digital piracy, trademark and patent infringement, and counterfeit sales online will reveal what’s being stolen, how it’s being stolen, how the internet is helping to facilitate this illicit activity and ways of working to combat it.

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 “Counterfeiting is running rampant across the Internet and we think it's time creators take back control of their products' distribution,” said Phinney. “We're stepping up to help them do so and this seminar will explain how.”

The seminar will be free and open to the public, but registration for the seminar is recommended. CatalystCon West will take place at the Westin LAX from September 11-14, and registration for the conference and other pre-conference activities is currently open at CatalystCon.com/register.

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8
Aug

AVN Awards 2015 Eligibility Expanded to VOD-Only Titles

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AVN Awards 2015 Eligibility Expanded to VOD-Only Titles

CHATSWORTH, Calif.—With changing times come changes in the norms and standards that prevail in both business and leisure. That statement is certainly true in adult entertainment, for which times have indisputably changed so far as the prevailing manner by which it is distributed and enjoyed. 

In an effort to better reflect the landscape of today's adult entertainment marketplace, AVN Media Network has decided for the 2015 AVN Awards to expand its longstanding eligibility requirements for adult movies seeking consideration to include ones distributed solely via video-on-demand, in accordance with the following guidelines:

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• A title must have been made available during the eligibility period for VOD download and/or streaming through at least two (2) major for-pay VOD providers, defined as ones carrying movies from at least 100 active labels/studios.

• The title must have clearly marked post dates falling within the eligibility period across all qualifying VOD platforms carrying it.

• Companies wishing to submit VOD-only titles to AVN for consideration in the 2015 AVN Awards must provide links showing that said titles meet the above requirements.

The eligibility period for the 2015 AVN Awards is Oct. 8, 2013-Sept. 30, 2014. To be considered, a title must have been released within these dates, either via VOD as outlined above or on DVD in accordance with the traditional distribution requirements of being stocked with five wholesale distributors and/or 100 retail outlets.

With the implementation of these new criteria, the allowance of the past several years for a delayed release deadline on DVD provided a title was released via VOD by the standard deadine will be discontinued. All titles must be released via one of the above methods by Sept. 30.

"The time to make this amendment has come," AVN senior editor Peter Warren said. "Stepping back and taking a good, hard look at the reality of how the industry has changed made it clear that we could delay it no longer.

"We took a lot of care in formulating these new guidelines so as to make their impact as minimal as possible on studios and producers," Warren continued. "Those who have planned their release schedules for specific productions to meet our customary eligibility requirements should not be affected; our hope is simply that this will open the door for some who have eschewed the DVD format, and serve as a pivotal step in the evolution of the AVN Awards."   

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8
Aug

Sportsheets Plus Intimate Accessories Target BBW Ladies

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Sportsheets Plus Intimate Accessories Target BBW Ladies

Posted Aug 07th, 2014 05:49 PM

Sportsheets is proud to introduce the first-ever line of plus-size intimate accessories designed to enhance the unique curves of big, beautiful women. Developed by women for women, this new line offers plus-size couples a sophisticated series of strap-ons, sexual positioning tools and sex toys without skimping on fashion, form and function—because healthy, satisfying sex has no bounds.

More than 55 percent of women purchase clothing sized 16 or larger and 62 percent identify as being overweight, yet there’s never before been a stylish and well-constructed line of plus-size adult products—until now. We set to work to create sensual options for every body type with a design and development team comprised completely of women whose No. 1 goal was to give plus-size couples new tools to help them build intimacy and confidence from head to toe.

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Designed for sizes 12 to 30, Sportsheets Plus products feature longer straps, longer and wider supports as well as wider pads, and greater adjustability to assure the perfect, most comfortable fit, with every product handcrafted in the U.S.

 “‘Big Beautiful Women’ is one of the top searches on search engines, and more women not only identify themselves as plus-size, but also embrace it with open minds and hearts,” Sportsheets President Julie Stewart said. “While society still maintains a negative attitude toward larger women—with fat-shaming and other negative stereotypes—there’s a resurgence of sex-positive celebrations of body image among women of all sizes and shapes. And these are the confident and curious consumers that Sportsheets Plus speaks to.”

Sportsheets encourages product feedback and reviews and for those who need general information about where to find Sportsheets Plus products, go to the Sportsheets website.

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8
Aug

Rick’s Cabaret International is Now RCI Hospitality Holdings

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Rick's Cabaret International is Now RCI Hospitality Holdings

HOUSTON—Publicly traded Rick's Cabaret announced at its annual shareholders meeting yesterday in Houston that it had received approval via a vote of shareholders to change the name of the company from Rick's Cabaret International, Inc. to RCI Hospitality Holdings, Inc. The name change went into effect yesterday, Aug. 6.

Eric Langan, president and CEO of the leading operator of adult gentlemen's clubs and sports bar/restaurants in the U.S., commented, "RCI Hospitality Holdings clarifies our identity and reflects how we have evolved into a substantial, more diverse enterprise. Since becoming a publicly traded company in 1995, when we had only one adult club named Rick's Cabaret, we have transformed into an owner and operator of 43 adult clubs and sport/bar restaurants under multiple brands and formats across the country. The new name embraces critical qualities that are key to our success now and in the future."

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In addition to a new name, the company also has a new corporate website, rcihospitality.com, as well as a new logo, but will retain the ticker symbol RICK for its NASDAQ stock exchange listing.

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7
Aug

Third World Media to Distribute MenAreSlaves.com

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Third World Media to Distribute MenAreSlaves.com

CHATSWORTH, Calif.Third World Media has signed a deal with Reality Studio to distribute content from the latter's website MenAreSlaves.com.

The deal encompasses distribution via DVD, as well as broadcast and licensing for both the domestic and foreign markets.

MenAreSlaves.com "is undoubtedly one of the top fem-dom membership sites on the net," TWM sales manager David Peskin told AVN. "We're in the midst now of planning the first release, which will be sometime in mid to late September."

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That release will be MenAreSlaves.com Presents Balls Destroyed, which Peskin noted has a cast of 17 girls. 

A reprenstative from Reality Studio commented, "We had met with Dave shortly after he left Vivid in regard to DVD distribution. We had decided to go in a different direction and launched a few clip stores and membership sites with content we created together. We feel the timing is now perfect to explore these new avenues for our content with the experienced and established team in place at Third World Media."

The Reality rep continued, "We are excited to offer the MenAreSlaves.com membership site content on these additional platforms for our existing customers and what will hopefully be a new customer for our content as well."

For up-to-date information on MenAreSlaves.com Presents Balls Destroyed, follow TWM on Twitter.

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7
Aug

FDA Issues Warning About Certain Tattoo Inks

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FDA Issues Warning About Certain Tattoo Inks

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Tattoos are fairly popular in the adult industry, and some stars even create their own tattoos using home kits—and those kits have been the subject of a recent Food & Drug Administration recall and warning.

The kits in question were marketed by White and Blue Lion, Inc., and although that company issued a recall of its ink products on July 11, the agency fears that people who may have purchased bottles of ink before that may be at risk of the bacterial contamination which the FDA found upon inspecting unopened bottles.

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"FDA has confirmed one case of skin infection involving a consumer that used this company’s tattoo products," said Dr. Linda Katz, director of the FDA's Office of Cosmetics and Colors, "and we are aware of other reports linked to tattoo products with similar packaging. Tattooing poses a risk of infection to anyone, but the risk is particularly high for those with pre-existing heart or circulatory disease, diabetes or compromised immune systems."

Katz warned that injecting contaminated ink into the skin or using contaminated needles may result in infections at the site of the tattoo. Signs of localized infection include redness, swelling, weeping wounds, blemishes, or excessive pain at the site. Further, an infection that is left untreated or inadequately treated could spread through the bloodstream (a process known as sepsis). These infections may be associated with fever, shaking chills and sweats. If these symptoms arise, treatment with antibiotics, hospitalization and/or surgery may be required. In any case, if you experience any problems connected with the tattoo site, definitely seek medical attention.

The FDA suggests that those wishing to tattoo themselves or others at home be wary of ink bottles and kits that "have no brand name, carry a dragon logo, and/or are missing the name and place of business of the manufacturer or distributor; are sold singly and in kits containing anywhere from five to 54, or perhaps more, bottles of inks of various colors; and are marked with 'Lotch' [sic] and Batch numbers, and 'Date produced' and 'Best if used by' dates."

However, the White and Blue Lion kits aren't the only tattoo equipment to be wary of. Earlier this year, the FDA issued an alert regarding the temporary tattoos that are sold in novelty stores and occasionally given away as prizes or gifts. The main problem with them is black henna, a coloring that is often combined with natural red henna, which can cause a chemical reaction that may lead to dangerous skin reactions.

More information is available here and here.

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7
Aug

Porn.com Confirms ‘Hijack’ of Domain, Now Being Recovered

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Statement adds that the domain is "presently in transit back to domain registrar Moniker."

Porn.com Confirms 'Hijack' of Domain, Now Being Recovered

LOS ANGELES—Porn.com has released a statement confirming rumors that the top-ranked domain had been hijacked by an unknown party, and adding that tireless efforts have resulted in the recovery of the domain to its rightful owners. News broke yesterday that Porn.com had filed a UDRP with WIPO over the domain. The statement issued today is reprinted here in its entirety:

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"We can now confirm that Porn.com, one of the largest and top adult entertainment websites in the world, was recently 'hijacked' by an unknown third party. Porn.com was originally purchased in 2007 for $9.5 million making it the 3rd most expensive domain of all time.

"Since learning of the hijacking, Porn.com’s attorneys Corey D. Silverstein, and Paul Keating, with the assistance of Larry Walters have worked tirelessly to recover Porn.com and return it to its rightful owner. Porn.com is presently in transit back to domain registrar Moniker.

"The domain was recovered through the diligent efforts of Porn.com's legal team, in cooperation with the registrars and Verisign. At no time did Porn.com consider payment of any ransom or settlement fee to retrieve its rightful property.

"As a result of Porn.com’s legal team’s efforts, despite the hijacker’s malicious attempt to steal porn.com, at no time was day-to-day business affected at Porn.com and consumer experience was not impacted in the slightest.

"Porn.com and its attorneys continue to conduct a detailed investigation into how this event occurred and intend to hold all responsible parties accountable for their actions.

"During this unfortunate event, Porn.com’s attorneys utilized all available tools including but not limited to Mr. Keating initiating UDRP proceedings through the World Intellectual Property Organization ('WIPO'). Additionally, Porn.com was at all times poised to take aggressive legal action in the event that the registrar did not act quickly to remedy this blatant act of domain theft.

"Porn.com thanks the countless individuals that offered assistance and did assist during this difficult event. All further media inquiries should be made by email and directed to Corey D. Silverstein (corey@silversteinlegal.com), however, due to the continued investigation regarding this matter, no further information shall be provided at this time."

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7
Aug

Kink’s Acworth Responds to AHF’s Nevada OSHA Complaint

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Kink owner says the AHF complaint is “baseless” and meant to be a distraction from the Foundations many other problems.

Kink’s Acworth Responds to AHF’s Nevada OSHA Complaint

Posted Aug 07th, 2014 09:42 AM

LOS ANGELES—In response to yesterday’s announcement by the AIDS Healthcare Foundation that it filed a complaint last week with Nevada OSHA against "Bay Area adult film production company Cybernet Entertainment LLC, also doing business as Kink Studios, LLC and Kink.com (as well as DBA Hogtied.com and DBA Behindkink.com), over recent filming that may have exposed employees—adult film performers—to infectious disease by exposure to blood and other potentially infectious materials”—Kink.com owner Peter Acworth has responded with the following sharply worded retort:

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"In the past week alone, AHF has been accused of over-billing Los Angeles County $3.5 million, faced protests in the LGBT community, had their lawsuit against the City of San Francisco laughed at and called 'baseless', and had their porn campaign rebuked by leading AIDS and HIV prevention organizations. Meanwhile, they're fighting an ongoing battle against their own workers' attempt to unionize. So I can see why they'd want a distraction.

“The complaint is baseless. It wasn't filed by anyone at the actual workplace, but by Michael Weinstein to bolster his current political campaign. Current federal regulations make no mention of condoms, and uses standards that were developed in the 1990s for hospital labs, not porn sets. We will continue to work with performers, doctors and regulators to develop protocols that keep set safe, and still respect performers' rights."

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Aug

AHF Files Complaint with Nevada OSHA Over Kink.com Shoot

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AHF Files Complaint with Nevada OSHA Over Kink.com Shoot

LOS ANGELES—In a press announcement released late Wednesday afternoon, AIDS Healthcare Foundation says that it filed an official complaint last week with Nevada OSHA "against Bay Area adult film production company Cybernet Entertainment LLC, also doing business as Kink Studios, LLC and Kink.com (as well as DBA Hogtied.com and DBA Behindkink.com), over recent filming that may have exposed employees—adult film performers—to infectious disease by exposure to blood and other potentially infectious materials."

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Last month, Kink issued its own press release announcing that it had opened production offices in Las Vegas, and that it had wrapped production on two movies shot in Sin City.

“Vegas is looking more and more attractive as time goes by,” said company founder Peter Acworth at the time. “The cost of doing business out there is lower. The resources are slowly moving there. It’s becoming easier and easier to do business. … I think that a lot of companies are doing what we’re doing. They’re setting up satellite offices and getting their feet wet with Vegas as a potential place to shoot.”

In today's announcement, AHF states that in the July 25 complaint to Nevada OSHA, it asserts, “On June 8, 2014 in Las Vegas, NV, employees engaged in acts for an adult film owned and operated by Cybernet Entertainment LLC titled Hogtied Whores that resulted in exposure to bloodborne pathogens and other potentially infectious materials (OPIM). The website, Hogtied.com, which is owned by Cybernet Entertainment LLC, contains still images, video footage, and a film trailer that clearly demonstrate Cybernet Entertainment LLC allowed, and upon information and belief may have encouraged, employees to engage in activities in Las Vegas that are highly likely to spread bloodborne pathogens and OPIM in the workplace. Federal and state governing measures must be taken to control the spread of bloodborne pathogens and OPIM, which include, but are not limited to, HIV, hepatitis C, and syphilis in the workplace.”

Readers should take special note of the language contained in that paragraph, especially the use of the acronym "OPIM," which stands for "Other Potentially Infectious Materials." It is a phrase with a very precise meaning, that is used most conspicuously throughout California Code of Regulations, Title 8, Section 5193, which sets out in detail workplace requirements for bloodborne pathogens and just happens to be the code that informs both Measure B and Isadore Hall's AB 1576, the first sentence of which reads, "In addition to the requirements of Section 5193 of Title 8 of the California Code of Regulations, an adult film employer shall include the following information in an exposure control plan."

AVN's definitive coverage of Section 5193, published in 2013, defined the term: "OPIM are defined in subsection (b) as, among other things, '[t]he following human body fluids: semen, vaginal secretions, cerebrospinal fluid, synovial fluid, pleural fluid, pericardial fluid, peritoneal fluid, amniotic fluid, saliva in dental procedures, any other body fluid that is visibly contaminated with blood such as saliva or vomitus, and all body fluids in situations where it is difficult or impossible to differentiate between body fluids such as emergency response.'" [Emphasis added]

In other words, AHF is using specific language common to state and federal statutes regulating bloodborne in convince Nevada OSHA to take similar action against Kink that Cal/OSHA did earlier this year when it levied over $78,000 in fines against the production company for workplace violations. Kink said it would appeal the fines.

Today's press announcement also contained a lengthy quote from AHF president Michael Weinstein in which he takes direct aim at Kink's Acworth, accusing him of willful ignorance of the law.

“Under the guise of his various Kink and Kink.com adult film businesses and brands, owner Peter Acworth thinks he and his companies can simply ignore the Federal OSHA Bloodborne Pathogens Standard with regard to required condom use in his adult film productions shot in Nevada," he states. "This new complaint in Nevada is based on the simple fact that they cannot hide from federal law there, or anywhere in the U.S. When we first proposed the Los Angeles City bill, the industry said they’d film in other L.A. cities. When we proposed Measure B for L.A. County, the industry said they’d film in other counties. And when we proposed AB 1576, the industry said they’d film outside of California. Here, Mr. Acworth will no doubt find out that both Nevada and Federal OSHA statutes apply as well. Are workers in Nevada any less entitled to protection from harm than those in California?”

The reference to federal law is likely meant to reference the fact that Nevada uses federal OSHA bloodborne standards instead of developing its own, as California did. California, however, is also in the middle of a years-long effort to create bloodborne standards specific to the adult entertainment industry, an effort that one knowledgeable individual told AVN could take as many as two more years to complete. In the interim, the state as well as legislators like Hall—at the bidding of AHF—use current standards, which were created specifically for use in hospitals and other industries were the exchange of bodily fluids is probable. It is clear from a close reading of Section 5193, however, that the complex and comprehensive requirements found in those regulations are far more extensive than would be necessary to protect adult performers.

Indeed, AVN's seemingly exaggerated reference in numerous articles over the past year or so to hazmat suits is a direct reflection of the extreme precautions imposed by Section 5193, which may be appropriate for an intensive care unit while being ludicrous for just about any other activity.

But like them or not, those extremes as found in California's Section 5193 and also in similar OSHA bloodborne standards at the federal level are what is used to assess workplace violations in the adult industry—at least that is what AHF and Weinstein are hoping is the case in Nevada, where this complaint may be the first of its kind.

AVN has reached out to Kink.com for comment, as well as to an industry lawyer conversant in Cal/OSHA issues, and will provide those comments as they become available.

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7
Aug

Christian Mann ‘Celebration of Life’ Set For August 8-UPDATED

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Christian Mann 'Celebration of Life' Set For August 8-UPDATED

A celebration of the life of Christian Mann, the highly-respected adult industry veteran who ran Video Team for nearly a decade and who, for the past six years, had served as General Manager for Evil Angel Productions, will take place on Friday evening, August 8, at the Airtel Plaza Hotel in Van Nuys.

"Christian Mann—the man, the myth, the adult industry legend!" reads the celebration website. "Come and celebrate his extraordinary life with other friends who loved him deeply and respected his integrity, trusted his insights, and admired his brilliance and wicked, biting wit. He was an absolute original, and he will be missed."

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Attended by his wife, Melissa Mann, and his sister, Melissa Villaneuva, Mann died after a long illness on Wednesday evening, July 30. Tributes to Christian Mann from many adult industry members who knew him can be found here and here.

The celebration will begin at 4 p.m. and is expected to last about four hours. The Airtel Plaza Hotel is located at 7277 Valjean Avenue, at the corner of Sherman Way, in Van Nuys, Calif. 91406.

Those who wish to attend are asked to RSVP here. AVN thanks Vivid Entertainment co-owner Steve Hirsch, a long-time friend of Mann's, for the above information.

"Christian was loved by so many people that a lot of his friends want to share their stories," noted Hirsch and his sister Marci. "Because we want everyone to have a chance to speak, we are asking that the speakers keep their speeches to 3 minutes.  We will be starting promptly at 4 p.m. and food will be served."

Relatives of the deceased have asked, in lieu of flowers or other gifts, that donations be made to the USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center and/or to two non-profit organizations of which Mann thought very highly, Free Speech Coalition (of which he was the Board President until his death) and the Reason Foundation. When donating, please note that the donation is being made in memory of Christian Mann.

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7
Aug

South African Group Seeks to Quash Launch of Adult TV Channels

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South African Group Seeks to Quash Launch of Adult TV Channels

Posted Aug 06th, 2014 05:30 PM

LOS ANGELES—According to its site, "The Justice Alliance of South Africa (JASA) is a coalition of corporations, individuals and churches committed to upholding and fighting for justice and the highest moral standards in South African society."

It's probably not a surprise then that the group came out yesterday against last year's decision by regulator Icasa to allow "TopTV [to] finally launch three adult satellite channels—Playboy TV, Desire TV and Private Spice—between the hours of 8 p.m. and 5 a.m. only," AVN reported at the time,

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Yesterday, JASA said it is not only opposed to the channels, but it also officially registered that opposition in November when it filed paper with the High Court in Cape Town challenging Icasa's ruling.

“Jasa believes that it is a step too far to introduce pornography to the family TV, which is usually in the only living room in the home,” said the group in a statement. “Inevitably children will be aware of it, even if parents attempt to prevent them watching. The 8pm watershed period is absurd because teenage children settle down to watch TV at that time after doing their homework.”

Considering South Africa's relative conservatism regarding the proliferation of pornography, TopTV insists it has already made substantial concessions in order to improve security on the channels to ensure that minors do not access them.

According to The Citizen, "Top TV said the pornographic channels would be a separate package for subscribers, which required a separate monthly subscription, age verification, and other security features, such as a secure pin code." The measures were intended to "ensure that only viewers who willingly subscribed to the channels had access to the pornography channels."

The efforts are insufficient for JASA, however, which said of its filed complaint, "As advised by counsel, Jasa alleged that Icasa erred in law in failing to find that the constitutional rights of children were laws of general application, which should have trumped the rights to freedom of expression."

It also contends that Icasa is obliged "to consider the moral and spiritual implications of TV channels," and failed in that task by approving the channels.

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7
Aug

Ryder Casts Pistol as Frankie Valli in ‘Jersey Boys XXX’

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Ryder Casts Pistol as Frankie Valli in 'Jersey Boys XXX'

HOLLYWOOD, Calif.—Just a couple weeks ago, at the Vice Is Nice bash, Will Ryder regaled AVN personnel with the notion that the mainstream musical Jersey Boys would make a dandy porno. Before we could decide if the parody king was actually serious about the notion, a release rolled in announcing his intentions to add an XXX to the end of the celebrated play and Clint Eastwood-directed film about the 1960s group the Four Seasons and lead singer Frankie Valli.

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And in this week's news, Ryder has a bit of charmed casting to report: Multi-faceted adult performer Tommy Pistol has been cast to play the role of Frankie Valli in his Jersey Boys XXX: The Porn Musical.

The movie continues in the musical vein that brought Ryder such success at last year's AVN Awards Show: Grease XXX and Not the Wizard of Oz XXX. Ryder noted that Pistol “was the perfect choice to play the Italian crooner because of his resemblance, quick wit, humor, acting ability and his reliability as a solid woodsman.”

Pistol said, "I'm really excited to get this role because Frankie Valli has one of the coolest careers in show business and he's still performing, and the fact we get to create a porn parody musical made me immediately jump at the opportunity."

Ryder believes Jersey Boys is a prime candidate to have an adult movie parody created due to the ongoing success of the Broadway musical, which has multiplied to a dozen stage companies performing it around the world. It is a  fan favorite in Las Vegas and returns to Los Angeles in September. And Clint Eastwood's filmed version is out in theaters now.

"This is the perfect project at the perfect time and Tommy Pistol is the perfect actor to play Frankie Valli," Ryder said.

Ryder added that he has been immersed in the music of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons for the past 60 days. He has also seen the movie and stage musical multiple times. He is currently producing and recording the parody musical selections with his music studio partner Rock Hardson.

"We take creating the music very seriously and this is going to be among the top-selling adult movies of the year. It will be worthy of couples that want to enjoy good sexual entertainment with a high quality production and I predict a real blockbuster, as they say. I am a huge Jersey Boys fan and we will not disappoint anybody," Ryder promised.

Some other roles have been cast but that process is still under way. Interested actors should contact Will Ryder.

Jersey Boys XXX: The Porn Musical will be in stores in late September.

Pictured above: Tommy Pistol in a photo shoot taken for the 2015 AVN Awards Show, which he will be co-hosting with Alexis Texas.

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6
Aug

Who’s Bent Out of Shape by Dita Von Teese’s Maternity Collection?

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Who's Bent Out of Shape by Dita Von Teese's Maternity Collection?

CYBERSPACE—For some reason, Daily Beast writer Emma Mahony has trouble getting her mind around the idea that even after childbirth, some women (though apparently not Mahony herself) will want to look sexy, and the lacy offerings from burlesque artist Dita Von Teese might just fill that bill.

According to Mahony, "the very last thing that any new mother wants impressed upon her by a grateful husband or significant other" is a "lacy, underwired bra" from the Dita Von Teese Maternity Collection.

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"Unless said partner is ready to be whacked over their head with the box for their thoughtlessness, they have made a grave mistake," Mahony claims. "If they so much as brush past those bosoms after birth, they can expect to feel the full force of the be-ribboned package on their head. Hell hath no fury like a woman whose breasts are engorged with milk, and watch her roar if they are touched by anyone other than her newborn’s tiny fingers."

Apparently, part of Mahony's problem is that Von Teese's nursing bras only go up to a size 40F, which Mahony describes as "relatively pimple-size," adding that, "Have they not told her that after Day One, as the bosoms expand from a comfortable B cup to a double H, J, K, even L cup, that a sensation akin to molten lava running through your breast ducts kicks in, and there needs to be space in your giant bra for a large cabbage leaf for nipple rub?"

Mahony's certainly correct that some accommodation should have been made for the nipple, but the idea that every woman who's had a child suddenly balloons from a B-cup (examples of those include Jennifer Aniston and Mary Tyler Moore) to "double-H" or larger (like Kitten Natividad's 38HH's or Minka's 70HH's) sounds more like Mahony projecting than what's likely to happen in real life. (Websites that provide breast size comparisons include this one and this one—and we can't help but note that both reference Jenna Jameson's tits pre-reduction—and that none of them include anyone with sizes J, K and L, though MMM seems mildly popular, at least among a small segment of adult performers.)

"New mothers want two hammocks made of soft, shapeless cotton sewn together and viewed only in a darkened room," claims Mahony, perhaps betraying her own sexual hang-ups. "No nursing bra should ever be outed in Von Teese’s signature pose, accessorized with a giant martini glass. They are about one thing only—comfort. It’ll be months before looks matter." (Maybe to you, Emma, but hardly to every woman.)

But Mahony's hang-ups are front and center in her article.

"As the mother’s primary maternal preoccupation kicks in, the baby and only the baby is your focus," Mahony claims, adding that "to look sexy is the very last thing on your mind. You don’t want to look sexy straightaway, in case your partner might ask you to have sex—which for most new mothers would be akin to starring in a hard-core fetish film, something that perhaps Von Teese should keep to in the future, building on her career in Decadence or Pin Ups 2."

Mahony gives props to Von Teese for "tak[ing] on the breastfeeding evangelicals with her range," warning that they "will pillory her for allowing those life-giving breasts to be turned into mere objects of male desire, rather than succour for baby.

"Von Teese may believe that she is some warped sort of feminist whose 'greatest achievement' is in 'having a hand in the revival of the Burlesque movement,' but the La Leche lot have spent decades making breastfeeding in public a non-sexy pastime, and they are not going to allow her to get away with a drop-down bra for titillation purposes, to bolster Her Sexellency Range," whatever that means.

Indeed, whatever it does mean doesn't seem to have stopped Olivia Wilde!

Frankly, more and more jurisdictions in the U.S. are making it clear that there's nothing illegal or immoral about a woman breastfeeding her infant in public, and it's not inconceivable that some of the women who choose to do so, understanding that they will be observed by passersby, even male ones, might want to show that they're not the fuddy-duddies mothers have been supposed to be since forever. And Mahony almost cedes that point.

"The truth is, there might be a slim possibility of wanting to wear something 'glamorous' and 'beautiful' perhaps six months down the line after birth, when the hormones have calmed down and the mastitis has worn out the old, comfy nursing bra," Mahony admits. "Then, and only then, if you are among the 45 percent of American mothers still breastfeeding, you might just be ready to splash out $55 on something that doesn’t resemble a grey wrinkled dishcloth."

However, the piece concludes with the admonition, "And no amount of fancy lace could ever have competed with the joy of sleep."

Sleep well, Emma; just don't assume that every new mother wants to feel and, perhaps as importantly, look as if she's doomed to suffer through several months of rubberized white nylon just when she's thinking that finally, after (let's say) seven months of an ever-expanding waistline, she's got a chance to look like her old sexy self again.

Pictured: Some of the Dita Von Teese Maternity Collection.

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6
Aug

Texas GOPers Invoke Pedophilia in Same-Sex Marriage Amicus

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In a friend-of-the-court brief filed with the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, 63 Texas legislators argue that same-sex marriage could lead to making incest, pedophilia and bigamy legal.

TEXAS—In what feels like a frantic bid to convince the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals to reverse a lower court ruling that found Texas' marriage laws that say only one man and one woman may legally marry are unconstitutional, 63 Texas legislators have signed an amicus brief filed in the case. Unfortunately, as was noted by lonestarq.com yesterday, "The brief states that U.S. District Judge Orlando L. Garcia’s February decision striking down the marriage bans opened the door to a variety of unions that society has deemed unacceptable." 

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The authors of the brief further claim, "The district court broadened the definition of the ‘existing right to marry’ as one that includes the right of people to ‘select the partners of their choosing’ for marriage, 'without regard to sex.' If the right to select ‘partners of their choosing’ is the criterion used to invoke marriage as a fundamental right, then marriage restrictions on age, polygamy, and consanguinity are also ripe for challenge.”

Elsewhere in the brief, the authors specify what other sorts of restrictions would be up for grabs by noting, "Another ground cited by supporters of Texas’s marriage laws and subsequently dismissed by the district court is that recognition of same-sex marriage 'could lead to the recognition of bigamy, incest, pedophilia, and group marriage[.]' As already discussed in this brief, restrictions on marriage relating to these moral considerations remain valid. Thus, the goal of actively trying to prevent those practices from becoming valid is entirely rational public policy."

Obviously sensitive to being accused of outright bigotry, however, the authors of the brief try to mitigate the obvious inferences contained in their comments by adding, "None of this is to say that recognition of pedophilia or other morally reprehensible actions being recognized as valid is actually a logical next step that would follow recognition of same-sex marriages. Rather, it supports the fact that legislators and Texas voters enacted Texas’s marriage laws with the intention of supporting marriage arrangements that they believe support valid goals related to those concerns. Thus, the laws are entirely rational and constitutional."

Unfortunately, that explanation only serves to insult the intelligence of the court to which it was addressed as well as anyone else reading it. What they really mean to say is, "Some folks think letting gays marry will lead to bigamy, incest, pedophilia and group marriage, but even though we're not saying that one morally reprehensible action (same-sex marriage) will definitely lead to other morally reprehensible actions (bigamy, incest, pedophilia and group marriage), we need to outlaw same-sex marriage to make sure that dog don't hunt."

As spurious an argument as that is, it is all but identical to the larger argument made in the brief, that Texas' marriage laws outlawing same-sex marriage were "not enacted out of animus or for the purpose of making anyone unequal under the law."

"To the contrary," claim the 63 legislators, "the laws were enacted with a desire to elevate the state’s legal recognition of marriage to a level that society has celebrated throughout history."

Determined to convince the court that the state never intended to discriminate against anyone, or deny anyone their rights, the authors include a quote from Senator Todd Staples, the author of the resolution proposing the state constitutional amendment that was eventually passed, who said of the amendment, "I’m personally bringing this legislation because I believe that we should protect the institution of marriage as it is defined in law today. That we should hold that up higher than any other relationships. I believe that there’s a distinction between intimate association and the right for government to recognize or subsidize any other form of relationship. And I think that is a distinction there. And I think the institution of marriage, as it is defined in law today, should be protected."

But even with that, the authors of the brief cannot help but add language that attempts to explain the "higher than any other relationship" comment, obviously concerned that it will be read at face value.

They explain, "Holding marriage up 'higher than other relationships' is not the same thing as discriminating out of animosity or bare desire to harm. It is a desire to define, clarify, and celebrate marriage, rather than exclude anyone from it. Texas legislators and voters acted on the former rationale, not the latter."

The religious parallels are too obvious to ignore, even if the legislators are too cowardly to invoke them. (Their claim of man-woman marriage as "moral" certainly reveals their underlying religiosity.) Likewise, the tortured (and insulting) logic being used here would only be tolerated by someone who also believes that a higher power provides the authority to the state to deny a higher relationship to same-sex couples, not out of animus or the bare desire to harm them, but to define, clarify and celebrate according to...  and here is where they cannot bring themselves to utter the words that run like a vein through the brief... "god's will."

The amicus brief can be read here.

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6
Aug

Plaintiffs File Final Reply Brief in Lawsuit Against 2257

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Plaintiffs File Final Reply Brief in Lawsuit Against 2257

PHILADELPHIA, PA—Late last week, appellants' attorneys J. Michael Murray and Lorraine Baumgardner filed their Reply Brief with the Third Circuit Court of Appeals, responding to the government's Appellee's Brief filed in late June in the case of Free Speech Coalition, et al v. Attorney General of the United States—and its arguments are virtually irrefutable.

The appellants begin by citing one of the U.S. Supreme Court's most recent decisions, McCullen v. Coakley, which struck down a 35-foot anti-abortion "protest limit" around women's clinics in Massachusetts—and which was, in essence, a free speech case, some of whose language applies directly to the appellants' desire to strike down the federal record-keeping and labeling laws, 18 U.S.C. §§2257 and 2257A (hereafter "§2257").

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The attorneys first note, however, that under a ruling by the Third Circuit in a 2011 case, that court itself "stressed that in cases raising First Amendment issues, appellate courts have an obligation to conduct '[i]ndependent fact review' to assure that the trial court’s judgment 'does not constitute a forbidden intrusion on the field of free expression... and to provide appellate courts with greater control over the case-by-case elaboration of First Amendment principles.'" Such a review by the appellate judges is vital in this case, since the trial court, U.S. District Judge Michael Baylson, gave short shrift to the testimony of both plaintiffs and plaintiffs' experts in ruling that the §2257 laws served an important governmental purpose and were the least invasive method of doing so.

But the appellants' opening salvo is all about the McCullen case, noting first of all that while the high court had determined that Massachusetts' "buffer zone" law was "content-neutral," as the Third Circuit had done in this case, the law must nonetheless by "narrowly tailored to serve a significant government interest," which the majority in McCullen found "that 'by demanding a close fit between ends and means, the tailoring requirement prevents the government from too readily "sacrific[ing] speech for efficiency"' and stressed that 'mere convenience' is not an acceptable justification for a law burdening speech."

The problem for the government is, "efficiency" and "mere convenience" are exactly its rationale for upholding §2257—and according to appellees had "too readily ... foregone options that could serve its interests just as well without substantially burdening" speech," as the Supreme Court found that Massachusetts lawmakers had done with the buffer zones.

In their brief, Murray and Baumgardner point to the testimony of attorney and Free Speech Board Chair Jeffrey Douglas, who described in minute detail all of the requirements an adult producer, distributor, retailer, photographer or even common citizen must adhere to in order to film or otherwise create an artform that depicts actual human beings engaged in actual sexually explicit conduct. Some of those include making sure all 2257 documents created by the producers/artists and the government-issued photo IDs of the participants are properly filed and alphabetized and "in perfect order" in case government inspectors show up at their door, unannounced, during the minimum of 20 hours per week that such producer/artist must make such records available. Douglas also noted the incredible burden imposed on so-called "secondary producers" who, although they almost never have personal contact with the persons depicted in the movies or artworks, must keep the same records even if they, for example, post box covers of the movies they sell on the internet—and be available the same 20 hours per week for inspections—even though all of those records must be obtained from the producers themselves rather than from the performers/artistic subjects.

"Any misstep in compliance with these requirements is not punished by a simple administrative penalty as under other regulatory recordkeeping schemes, but by a potential prison term of up to five years," the brief notes.

The appellants go on to recount the testimony of Sinclair Institute's Dian Wilson and actress Nina Hartley about the costs associated with either maintaining those records themselves or hiring a third party to do so, but note that "While the regulations are burdensome for larger commercial producers, they are a complete nightmare for one and two-person businesses," citing the testimony of Eugene Mopsik, Executive Director of the American Society of Media Photographers, who not only said that such recordkeeping would be "impossible" for his organization's hundreds of professional photographers, but the requirement that a label be affixed to each photograph listing the location of the photo ID and other records, and the name of the person to be available 20 hours per week in case of inspection would be equally unworkable.

The brief goes on to list the devastating effects that §2257 would have or has had on several of the other appellants/plaintiffs, including the 1,800 images of vaginas that Betty Dodson and Carlin Ross had to remove from their sex education website; the self-censorship practiced by photographer David Levingston, "appropriationist artist" (collagist) Carol Queen, and website owner Tom Hymes; the inability of David Steinberg to distribute a Norwegian fine art magazine in the U.S.; and photographer Barbara Alper to publish a book of people having anonymous sex on Fire Island, not to mention a sexually explicit book of images that predate the §2257 statutes.

The brief then tackles those options the government could have used—or is already using—as a substitute for §2257, most notably the "numerous state and federal laws imposing 'substantial ... criminal penalties for creating and distributing child pornography'," which the brief later notes allowed the government to prosecute 4,000 child pornographers and kiddie porn possessors between 2002 and 2012—while during the same period, the DOJ prosecuted just nine people under §2257, most of whom were not adult movie producers, and no prosecutions at all under §2257A.

Incidentally, the brief also suggests that allowing all adult movie and content producers to have the same "bypass" of §2257 that the law allows mainstream producers to use—writing a letter to the Attorney General assuring him/her that the production company keeps identification and tax records in the normal course of its business—would also be a good substitute for §2257.

Finally, the brief suggests that the same laws that require vendors of alcohol and tobacco to check the IDs of any purchasers who appear to be under ages 25 or 26 would be another viable work-around that would serve the government purposes equally well.

"The Government, nonetheless, insists a universal age verification procedure enforced by criminal sanction is the only effective means of assuring that minors do not appear in commercially produced sexually explicit expression," the brief continues. "In making that argument, the Government does not contend there is a 'widespread' problem with underage performers appearing in commercial adult material. For good reason. The evidence demonstrated that the appearance of minors in commercially produced adult materials is nearly non-existent. Both Jeffrey Douglas, who has represented clients in the adult industry since 1982, and [Nina Hartley], who has performed in adult films since the early 1980s, testified there have been only a handful of instances in which a minor has appeared in an adult film. In each instance, the minor had been able to appear in the production, not because the producer had failed to obtain photo identification, but because the minor had duped the producer by using fraudulent identification." [Emphasis added; citations removed here and below]

As AVN has previously pointed out, if a producer is provided with an authentic-looking government-issued photo ID for an underage actress, that producer cannot be arrested for a §2257 violation even if he/she uses that underage actress in a movie or other content, as long as he has kept a copy of the ID in the proper folder in the company's records. The producer can, of course, be prosecuted for child pornography in such an instance.

The brief then spends several pages dealing with the question of how much "teen porn" is out there, noting that Dr. Gail Dines testified that "only between one-fourth and one-third of commercially produced sexual expression depicted adult performers who are youthful-looking enough to be confused as minors," which the brief goes on to note, "leaving the remaining two-thirds of commercially produced sexually explicit expression unnecessarily burdened by the statutes.

"Of course, the evidence also demonstrated that commercial producers of sexually explicit expression—adult film makers and professional photographers alike—do not rely on 'visual inspection alone' to determine whether a performer or model is an adult," the brief continues. "It has been a longstanding practice—well before the enactment of 18 U.S.C. §2257—to check identification documents to assure that their performers or models are adults.

"That leaves the Government with the same type of argument made by Massachusetts in McCullen, in support of its law's fixed buffer zones: the buffer zones would make law enforcement's job much easier. Similarly, the Government here argues that by 'eliminating subjective disputes' about a performer's age, the statutes would make law enforcement's job easier."

Or as the Supreme Court put it in McCullen, "To meet the requirement of narrow tailoring, the government must demonstrate that alternative measures that burden substantially less speech would fail to achieve the government’s interests, not simply that the chosen route is easier. A painted line on the sidewalk is easy to enforce, but the prime objective of the First Amendment is not efficiency." (That's a line that First Amendment fans will probably see quoted nearly as often as Justice Kennedy's dicta in Free Speech Coalition v. Reno.)

The appellees go on to note that, leaving aside adult movies and explicit internet sex scenes, "Depiction after depiction [of plaintiffs' images published on the internet] features mature adults who could not reasonably be confused as minors. Between 63 percent and 90 percent of the persons depicted in actual sexual conduct in Plaintiffs’ expression are at least 25 years old–with many of them, much older. Plaintiffs also submitted a 500-page exhibit that included examples of artistic expression subject to the statutes, depicting obviously mature adults... Additionally, Plaintiffs presented evidence regarding the production of sexual imagery by married couples–in their own bedrooms or using available technology to “keep the spark going” in long distance relationships. They also produced evidence of the large body of sexually explicit photos and videos shared between adults on social networks and adult dating websites... Finally, Plaintiffs produced articles, surveys, and other documentation buttressing their claim that producing explicit photos and videos plays a large role in the private sex lives of ordinary American adults."

But, the brief notes, rather than dealing with this enormous amount of evidence showing that sexually explicit images created by adults for adults on websites, in sexts and on Skype, the government has instead attacked the experts—notably Drs. Drouin and Zimmerman—who testified about the ubiquity of such images, usually focusing on their methodology, which plaintiffs content is perfectly sound scientifically.

Murray and Baumgardner then reference the Supreme Court's decision in U.S. v. Stevens, which dealt with videos depicting dog-fighting, noting that the high court struck down the law prohibiting such videos because it was written so broadly as to prohibit everything from hunting magazines to bullfight videos.

"Nowhere in Stevens did the Court suggest, as the Government argues here, that the existence of these sizeable hunting magazine and video markets demonstrated that the law had not 'effectively ... chilled' expression, and therefore, warranted upholding it," the brief argues. "To the contrary, the Court reached the opposite conclusion and determined the statute’s application to this large body of expression rendered it unconstitutionally overbroad, and struck it down."

The brief then tears into the government's argument that the warrantless searches of the 29 companies that had their records inspected by the FBI in the mid-'00s were necessary to prevent child porn from being filmed and released, but that the appeals court shouldn't bother with that section of the statute because the FBI had disbanded its inspection team and was unlikely to restart it.

"Title 18 U.S.C. §§2257(c), 2257A(c), require Plaintiffs to maintain their records and make them available to the Attorney General for inspection; it is a violation of the statutes, punishable by term of imprisonment, to refuse to do so," the brief notes. "Plaintiffs have no choice but to comply with these provisions—regardless of the Government’s past, current, or future intention with respect to an inspection program—or face the risk of criminal prosecution... Significantly, the Government has, at no point, represented Plaintiffs no longer must maintain the records and be prepared to make them available for inspection by the Government. The statutes and regulations continue to impose ongoing obligations on them."

To bolster that argument, appellees refer to another recent Supreme Court case: Susan B. Anthony List v. Driehaus, which gave the petitioner leave to continue to challenge Ohio's law against lying in political campaign ads even though Driehaus himself had withdrawn its suit against the List—a situation that echoes the government's argument here that since it no longer has an inspection force empaneled, plaintiffs have nothing to worry about regarding possible future inspection regimes.

The final section of the brief deals with the government's argument that the warrantless searches are justified because the adult industry is allegedly "a highly regulated industry." Murray and Baumgardner, however, cite a 1978 case, Marshall v. Barlow's Inc., which destroys the government's claim.

"It [Marshall] stressed that designation of an industry as one that is 'closely' or 'pervasively' regulated for purposes of allowing warrantless searches is reserved for those having a 'history of government oversight' and that have been 'long subject to close supervision and inspection'," the appellees wrote. "It rebuffed the Government’s contention that the Occupational Safety and Health Act’s general regulation of working conditions constituted pervasive and close regulation such that businesses subject to its provisions had a diminished expectation of privacy, permitting warrantless searches of their premises. The Court noted that following the Government’s logic, warrantless searches would become the rule, rather than the exception—a result inconsistent with its precedent."

The brief also refers to New York v. Burger, which "likewise made clear the administrative search exception was limited to businesses that are 'pervasively regulated'—not because they have to comply with the general laws as all businesses do, but because they are subject to pervasive governmental regulations imposing specific requirements on the industry in which they operate, which has sufficiently diminished their expectation of privacy." And if there's one thing adult producers know, it's that the government has rarely even acknowledged the existence of the adult entertainment industry, much less "imposed specific requirements" on it.

In all, the appellees' brief is well-thought-out and makes the important point that §2257 does absolutely nothing to prevent underage would-be performers with realistic ID documents from entering the adult industry—and the fact that only five or six of them have done so since 1985, when Traci Lords was discovered to have been illegally performing, speaks well of both the intent and efficacy of the current vetting system used by adult industry members countrywide, if not worldwide.

The brief also marks the end of the documentation needed for the Third Circuit to consider whether to uphold, modify or simply overrule Judge Baylson's ruling in the case—but it's likely that oral argument before the appeals judges will not occur until later in the fall, with a decision probably coming sometime early next year. And then, no matter what that decision is, the likely next step will be for the losing party to appeal the decision to the U.S. Supreme Court—assuming that the adult industry shows the will and the pocketbook to make that happen.

The Appellees' Reply Brief can be found here.

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6
Aug

UDRP Filed for Porn.com, Fueling Theories the Domain Was Stolen

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UDRP Filed for Porn.com, Fueling Theories the Domain Was Stolen

CYBERSPACEMXN Limited, the Pimproll-affiliated, Barbados-based Internet media and investment firm that purchased Porn.com in 2007 for an amount alleged to be somewhere just north of $9 million, has filed a UDRP (Uniform Domain-Name Dispute-Resolution Policy) claim with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) over the status of the domain. The case, which is listed at WIPO here, is currently active.

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Scant information is provided by WIPO about the reasons for the filing, however, and when contacted earlier today in an attempt to get more information, an individual speaking on behalf of MXN told AVN, "We have no comment at this time."

That leaves people to speculate about what happened. Over at The Domains, Michael Berkins weighed in this morning on the change in Porn.com's WHOIS listing from a few weeks ago to now, and why he thinks foul play was involved.

"The domain name Porn.com was registered at Moniker.com for a many years until just a week ago or so when it was transferred to the Regional Network Information Center, JSC dba RU-CENTER (.RU) under privacy," he wrote. "We have not been able to confirm the nature of the UDRP and that its to recover a stolen domain but [it's] the only thing that makes sense."

He added, "If this is a case of a stolen domain, [it's] Certainly the most valuable domain since Sex.com to have [been] stolen, which led to years [of] lawsuits, but was taken under a completely different 'paper' transfer system which existed years ago. According to Alexa.org, Porn.com is the 854th most visited site on the Internet."

Gary Kremen, who spent years getting Sex.com back from Stephen Cohen, eventually sold it for the disputed (and never corroborated) amount of $14 million.

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6
Aug

Team Seeks to Crowdfund Doc on Gay Performer Fostter Riviera

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CYBERSPACE—Moviemakers Thomas Krauslach and Steffen Krüger recently started a crowdfunding effort to produce a documentary that will interest fans of gay adult entertainment. Titled 21x7, the doc will follow the life of 24-year-old Sydney Fernandes for one year.

Fernandes is better known as Fostter Riviera, a gay porn actor whose success is no doubt partly fueled by his dimensions, which in centimers equal 21 by 7 (for those who think in inches, that's 8.26772 by 2.75591). His credits, according to IAFD.com, includes titles for Cazzo, Kink.com, Toxic Unlimited and All Real Bareback.

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According to the documentarians, “Fostter stands for a life of public sex and fun, but Sydney is the guy who has to live with the consequences. Four years of unrestrained excess have not passed by without damages. While Fostter took all the applause, Sydney suffered from a lack of real care and closeness. To change that, he decides to get away from porn and Fostter. A big part of the film will focus on Sydney's approach to reconquer his ‘normal’ life.”

At the heart of the movie, say Krauslach and Krüger, is the question of whether Fernandes will be able to move past the past or whether his porn persona will linger for the rest of his life.

According to IMDb.com, Thomas Krauslach's prior credits include two shorts, Armadingenund and Betten-Seifert ist tot (both 2011).

The 21x7 team is reaching out for publicity on this crowdfunding campaign because, as they say, “every dollar or euro will help.” More information about the project can be found at 21x7.eu/GoFund and also on the site's homepage. The movie also has a Facebook page.

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6
Aug

Shine Louise Houston to Host Screening at Queer Film Fest

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Shine Louise Houston to Host Screening at Queer Film Fest

VANCOUVER—Pink & White Productions director/founder Shine Louise Houston hosts an evening of erotic cinema Saturday, August 16 at Vancouver's Cineplex Odeon International Village Cinemas as part of the 26th Annual Vancouver Queer Film Festival.

In her program, dubbed "Crashing the Porn Party," Houston will present a show-and-tell of erotic shorts including N Maxwell Lander's Emile, Sadie Lune's Egg, Christian Slaughter's Biodildo, Cheryl Dunye's Mommy Is Coming, James Darling's FTM Fucker: Dieselboi and Tina Horn's Point of Contact, as well as highlights from Houston's own work, including Heavenly Spire with Jack Hammer and Jessie Sparkles, Bed Party starring Eden Alexander and Sebastian Keys, The Wild Search, and episodes from CrashPadSeries.com with performers Siren Wolf, Zelda DuJour, Joey Minx, Lyric Seal, Nikki Darling, Chocolate Chip, Kimberly Kills and Sparky St. Claire.

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Performer Jiz Lee will also be in attendance, joining Houston on stage in a post-screening Q&A about the presented works, queer sexuality and adult cinema.

VQFF is the largest queer arts festival in Western Canada, featuring over 80 productions from 11 countries, including Russia, Brazil and the Philippines, with themes of gender identity and forbidden love.

“We really pushed the envelope this year, working hard to present the multifaceted lives of queer people through film,” festival programmer Shana Myara said.

Tickets for Vancouver Queer Film Festival's "Crashing the Porn Party" are available here and at Little Sister’s bookstore (1238 Davie Street, Vancouver). Find out more about the festival at queerfilmfestival.ca, as well as on Facebook and Twitter.

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6
Aug

Abed Brings ‘#Mystery’ to Hyaena Gallery

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Opening reception Sat., doubling as premiere party for 'Mystery World of Sex'

Abed Brings '#Mystery' to Hyaena Gallery

BURBANK, Calif.—Avant-garde moviemaker and artist Ramzi Abed, aka Mr. E, has a collection of his mainstream and adult work showcased in a month-long exhibit entitled "#Mystery" running throughout August at Burbank's Hyaena Gallery, with an official opening reception taking place this Saturday, August 9.

The event, which will also serve as a premiere party for the Mr. E motion picture Mystery World of Sex, kicks off at 8 p.m. Saturday and is free and open to the public. Hyaena Gallery is located at 1928 W. Olive Ave., Burbank, CA 91506.

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On display in the exhibit are portraits and photographs of subjects ranging from Werner Herzog, Mark Borchardt, David J. Haskins and Lloyd Kaufman to adult performers Sarah Shevon, Kaci Starr, Sheena Rose, Marley Mac, Keira Kelly, Cadence St. John, April Flores and Abed's own on-screen alter ego, Brock Doom.

As to Mystery World of Sex, which Abed said has been a year in the making, the auteur describes it as "a very surreal experiment in the realm of the erotic, [which] features numerous film noir-inspired sex scenarios and lots of dark and disturbing music and sound design."

For more information on "#Mystery" click here.

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6
Aug

Time: Nationwide Sex Stings Net 500 Johns

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Nationwide Sex Stings Net 500 Johns

LOS ANGELES—Analogous to the war on drugs, the war on sex work is evolving its strategy to begin focusing law enforcement efforts on the demand part of the sexual transaction—i.e., the john. To that end, Time magazine reports that a recent nationwide crackdown on individuals who pay money to have sex has resulted in the arrest of almost 500 men.

"The police crackdown," reports Charlotte Alter, "part of an annual 'National Day of Johns Arrests,' led to more arrests than any previous sex sting of its kind, officials said. Law enforcement agencies in 14 different states collaborated on the sting, which is part of an ongoing national pivot toward fighting the sex trade by punishing johns instead of prostitutes."

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The series of raids took place between July 17 and August 3. Among those arrested were 91 men from the Greater Phoenix area, who "were trying to buy sex off the website Backpage.com."

Time was given the scoop a day ahead of the official announcement of the raids and arrests, which were headed by the Cook County Sheriff's Department. Explaining the rationale for the new strategy, Sheriff Tom Dart told Alter, "If there was no demand, there would be no prostitution. It makes them understand that there are some consequences here. The public still perceives prostitution as a victimless crime, so we’re going about it this way to address the problem and raise awareness.”

As a part of that awareness, Dart said that 53 percent of the arrested johns were married and 47 percent were college graduates, adding, “The idea that these are a bunch of ne’er-do-wells could not be further from the truth."

There is nothing new about that, of course. The idea that johns are "ne’er-do-wells" is about as accurate as the ancient stereotype about all porn consumers wearing raincoats, or that all or even most sex workers are victims of sex trafficking, a perspective that was evident in the article itself, which stated that "111 prostitutes were recovered during the operation." [Italics added]

It will be interesting to see how this new strategy works out. Who knows, maybe, as the government's war on drug users winds down, we'll see millions of pot smokers and dealers released from prison, with millions of white-collar men taking their place. 

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