Record-Keeping is Burdensome for Pornographers
I think we’re all fully versed as to the costs of some regulation, such as Sarbanes-Oxley, that requires massive record-keeping and certification. However, many in the pornography industry are complaining that the DOJ has instituted record-keeping requirements so complex that it will surely drive them out of a legal business. The requirement? Keep records verifying the age of every employee that shows up on-camera for ten years. WSJ article here. Jeepers! Regulations passed last year require all online purveyors of sexually explicit videos or photographs to retain each subject’s birthdate, copy of government-issued ID, and list of aliases used in the industry.
According to the article, owners of websites are up in arms, saying that the DOJ wants to drive their legal adult entertainment sites out of business under the ruse of fighting illegal child pornography. Apparently, some would be performers don’t want to use their real names. Some owners of websites don’t want to list the address of their home business and announce to the world that they run adult entertainment websites. OK, sorry. But you can’t have it both ways.
Legitimate, legal businesses keep records. Every employer I ever had made a copy of my driver license and my social security card. The DOJ can call any legitimate business in the country and ask for proof of the age of its employees, and those employers can comply. Why? Because we have laws, such as child labor laws and tax laws where this information comes in handy. I guess the adult entertainment industry is uninterested in tax laws. How do they file W-2s if they have no actual name of performers? If you want the adult entertainment industry to be legal, then act like one. Obviously, re-sellers of materials are the ones with the larges burden, but they may be carved out of the regulations. I’ll leave the far-reaching privacy concerns to Dan, but for now, I’m unsympathetic to complaints of keeping records of employees’ identities. Try complying with SOX.