DOJ Releases Proposed 2257 Amendments

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Department of Justice has released proposed amendments to the 2257 record-keeping law designed "to account for changes in the underlying statute made by Congress in enacting the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006."

Available online via the Federal Register, the document states: "Neither the current regulations nor this revised proposed rule restrict in any way the content of the depictions themselves. Instead, the rules clarify the identity verification, record-keeping, and labeling requirements pertaining to the depictions."

The proposed amendments reflect "several significant changes" to the law per the Adam Walsh Act as quoted below:

1. The definition of "sexually explicit conduct" has been expanded to include "lascivious exhibition of the genitals or pubic area of a person."

2. The Adam Walsh Act "revised the exclusions in the statute for the operations of Internet companies [...] excluding from the definition of 'produces' the 'provision of a telecommunications service, or of an Internet access service or Internet information location tool."

3. The term "copy" has been expanded to include "every page of a Web site on which [visual depictions of sexual conduct] appears," requiring the statement of location of records to be "affixed to every page of a Web site on which visual depictions of sexually explicit conduct appear."

4. "[T]he Act confirmed that the statute applies to secondary producers as currently (and previously) defined in the regulations [in 1995]."

In a statement to the adult industry issued this morning, the Free Speech Coalition responded to the proposed amendments as follows:

"It is important to recognize that the regulations that DOJ has set forth today are simply proposed regulations, issued for comment and possible change.

FSC will extensively comment on the regulations, and we intend to launch an industry-wide campaign to elicit industry comments as well. We need industry participation in this process. In the coming days, we will provide details on how to comment.

"Some of the points set forth were expected and they represent the modest gains that we have achieved through litigation thus far.

"Some of the points are troubling and represent the intransigence which we have come to expect from Attorney General Gonzales and his associates. On the critical subject of secondary producers, the Justice Department is continuing to suggest that it has been right all along and that Congress always intended secondary producers to be included in 2257. Therefore, they are considering the 1995 regulations to be valid for secondary as well as primary.

"We understand that for many of you, it is simply impossible to comply with the Justice Department's demands, and that is one of the reasons why we will continue to fight.

Unless the final regulations change radically from those proposed today, FSC will continue our litigation at the appropriate place and time, including seeking another injunction for secondary prods as well as others.

At the end of the day, we will make sure that Federal judges understand the absurdity of these regulations and we will not let up on our commitment to you and your rights."