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Porn Permit Applications Have Fallen by 95 Percent in the Wake of LA Condom Law

By 11.21.13

Mussolini-Condoms

Last year, LA County passed Ordinance B, a law requiring adult film performers to wear condoms on all adult film shoots in the county – an expansion of an earlier city ordinance. The two main arguments against the law, which was loudly promoted by the loudly self-promoting AIDS Healthcare Foundation, were that it would only push production out of the county into areas with less regulation, and that all the previous, much-used-as-a-cautionary-tale cases of HIV in porn had been off-set transmissions, which, if anything proves that the current testing standards had been working, not that they weren’t. But illogical or not, even in LA, very few politicians feel comfortable running on a raw-dog platform (Southern California needs you, Rob Ford!).

Now that the law has been in effect since January, it seems clear that it has either pushed most productions out of the county, or pushed them to shoot without permits. Either way, permit applications are down 95 percent.

Only 24 permits for adult films have been filed so far in LA County in 2013, compared with 480 filed in the same period last year, according to the Free Speech Coalition, the adult film industry trade group. Film permits are legally required for filming outside of a certified sound stage or studio backlot, whether the filming is conducted on public or private property.

The new law, which voters passed in November 2012, requires that condoms be used on adult film sets in LA County. It was authored by the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, which says condoms are necessary for performers’ workplace safety and the only sure way to prevent the spread of STDs. The Free Speech Coalition and many porn producers oppose the law, saying that viewers do not want to see condoms in porn and that the industry’s STD testing protocol adequately protects performers. […]

Free Speech Coalition CEO Diane Duke said porn producers have told her that they’ve been filming outside LA, including in Ventura, San Francisco and Las Vegas. Others, she said, have slowed down production and are waiting for the outcome of her organization’s lawsuit against the condom mandate.

For example, according to Duke, adult film company Vivid Entertainment hasn’t filmed in LA at all since the mandate went into effect, and porn site Reality Kings has opened a production warehouse in Las Vegas. Vivid Entertainment declined to speak to HuffPost and Reality Kings did not respond to a request for comment. [HuffingtonPost]

The AIDS Healthcare Foundation’s Michael Weinstein, meanwhile, is convinced that the productions are still going on, only without permits now, and that there needs to be stronger enforcement.

As to the question of whether producers are now shooting porn without permits or shooting porn outside the county, most of the porn industry people I talked to aren’t saying, and the official word out of most production companies is “no comment.” One reason for that is that shooting porn is only officially legal in two states, California (the Golden Shower State) and New Hampshire (Jizz Free or Die).

Adult films are protected under the Freeman decision of 1988, when the State of California tried to prove that Harold Freeman, a producer and director of adult films, was pimping actors. The California Supreme Court disagreed, and as a result, the making of hard-core porn was allowed in California. Only New Hampshire has a similar law. Earlier this year, the New Hampshire film office reported no requests from studios wanting to work there. [LADailyNews]

Before Freeman, porn was mostly shot in secret locations. Thanks to Measure B, it sounds like a lot of the porn industry has reverted to that. And considering all the reported cases of HIV among adult performers in the past eight years, since current testing standards were implemented, came from transmission off-set, it’s not hard to imagine this atmosphere of increased secrecy having the opposite effect of the law’s supposed intent.

Though I’m not sure why they don’t just shoot more stuff in New Hampshire. I guess it’s too far for the actresses to drive from Arizona State.

[picture via Welcome Back Kotter XXX]


TAGSCONDOMS IN PORNDIANE DUKEMEASURE BMICHAEL WEINSTEINPORNO

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