This is what happens when you find a stranger in the Alps

April 23, 2014

This is a pretty familiar story line. A businessman wants to open a strip club. Some members of the local community decide that they do not want that kind of thing in their town. The resistance is usually faith-based (which is where the wheels really come off). I fail to understand how anyone can believe in a supreme being, who created all of heaven and earth, but would be upset at some boobies.

The City this time is Destin, Florida. As reported in their local paper, it seems that the driving force behind the attempt to keep the strip club out of town was “ a vocal group of citizens determined to keep an adult entertainment establishment away from a nearby neighborhood and church.” (source)

The strip club sued, under the theory that the city’s attempts to drive them out of town was a violation of their First Amendment rights. And, after spending $300,000 in attorneys’ fees, the city finally backed down – and paid the strip club owner $2.1 million for his First Amendment rights. There will be no strip club, so the zealots can be happy. But, the money to pay the settlement comes out of the City of Destin’s taxpayers’ pockets.

Dollars to cover the buyout will come from the city’s $5.2 million unassigned fund balance, putting a serious dent in reserves accumulated over the years to use in emergencies. (source)

So almost half of the city’s reserve fund gone. I wonder if the churches will give up some of their tax exempt status to help replenish the fund.

Congratulations to First Amendment Lawyer, Gary Edinger, who was lead counsel for the strip club in this case.


Proposed New Porn Rule: No porn with your kids

December 27, 2012

A few weeks ago, I declared that I have two rules for porn:

Rule #1: The subjects must be adults
Rule #2: The subjects must be consenting adults

I am not sure if I should add this as a third rule:

Proposed Rule #3: The subjects should not be in a pornographic film with their children, of age or not.

A mother-daughter duo is, apparently, launching a porn career together. (Oh… one guess where these beauts are from).

The mother and daughter claim that this is not technically incest because they refrain from making physical contact with each other during sex, while participation of a third party.

Although in the video it may seem as though they are touching or kissing, they claim that it is not happening.

What do you think? They’re both over 18. So this does not violate Rule #1 or Rule #2. Do we need a third rule? Maybe not… maybe we should just have a “now that is totally fucked up” category.

Update: A commenter asked if I thought “sister porn” was ok. I said that was all right, since I presume that sisters are relative equals, thus there is no power dynamic that fucks things all up.

I guess what makes me uncomfortable about parent-child porn is that if it is the parent driving the move, then I can’t see how there could be an absence of coercion. If it is the child driving the bus to crazy-land, then I just can’t imagine that there was good parenting involved.

I think that my discomfort really isn’t from a “this porn is too fucked up” perspective… it is a parenting issue. Because honestly, if a two women pretended to be mother-daughter, mother-son, father-son, father-daughter, in a porn movie, I wouldn’t care. I might not buy it, but I wouldn’t care if you did.

I might be getting old.


Anonymous Comes for Hunter Moore – Moore’s Man Card Revoked

December 1, 2012

Anonymous has now targeted Hunter Moore.

In a release published today, Anon writes:

Greetings citizens of the world, We are Anonymous.

This is a call to all Anonymous worldwide, you have a chance to make a real difference in the lives of hundreds of bullied teenagers and protect them from real harm such as rape or stalking.

Hunter Moore, Founder of previous revenge pornography site http://www.isanyoneup.com is coming back stronger than ever from the shutdown of his previous website. This capitalist makes money off of the misery of others.

People submit pictures of others naked to his website and he posted their social networking profiles along with the pictures.

This time he is taking it a step further and plans to list physical addresses next to the victims pictures along with a map to their house, self proclaiming that he has singlehandedly enabled the stalking of hundreds.

His servers are up. he already has domains he is secretly testing and will go public soon. He hides behind a loophole of section 230 of the United States online decency act which states he cannot be held legally accountable for third party submitted content.

This is a call to all of anonymous. We Will hold hunter moore accountable for his actions, we will protect anyone who is victimized by abuse of our internet, we will prevent the stalking, rape, and possible murders as byproduct of his sites.

Operation Anti-Bully. Operation Hunt Hunter engaged. We are Anonymous, we are Legion, we do not Forgive, we do not Forget, Hunter Moore, EXPECT US. (source)

I applaud them for it. I do have one issue with the missive — I don’t think that Moore is as protected by Section 230 as he likes to believe.

But, lets set the legal issues aside for this post: Moore is a douchebag, and deserves everything that Anonymous may throw at him. Here’s why:

Once upon a time, girls weren’t all paranoid about being raped, having shit slipped in their drink, or being stalked. Then, douchebags discovered rohypnol, stalking, etc., which ushered in a new era of “Why has this asshole just showed up at my table with a drink in his hand? Does he think I’m an idiot?”

Now, thanks to these clowns, you need to convince the girl that she should have sex with you AND that you’re not going to rape her or cut her into little pieces. Girls who were once approachable are scared to death to even have a conversation with you in a bar. All because of douchebags who need to circumvent rejection with drugs. And stalking. Lots and lots of stalking.

The douchebag’s MO is to shit out a cloud of fear. That cloud of fear supports an ecosystem that only benefits two kinds of people — other douchebags and second-wave feminists who absolutely love women in fear, because it makes their bullshit message resonate with just enough terrified women to keep a few of them signing up for their classes. Never forget the best way to control behavior is through FEAR. Just like the TSA, fear creates a justification for existence. There is the implied message of “If you challenge me, I’ll fucking spank you, so you better choose wisely.” But, if you take away fear, the assholes evaporate.

Involuntary Porn sites (like those run by Hunter Moore, Eric Chanson, Craig Brittain, and Chance Trahan) are the online equivalent of the asshole who goes to a bar with roofies in his pocket, or who stalks a girl who won’t give him the time of day. They punish all women through fear because they got rejected by their high school prom date or some chick in a bar or…whatever. They get off on the smell of fear and the resultant power over a woman and this is the drug that gives them the warm tinglys.

Imagine if no women had to live in fear of a shithead ex-boyfriend or these dickless fucks. Forget the morality of what they do, if you want, and think about from a purely utilitarian / economic perspective. Without these nimrods, a woman would always feel comfortable letting you take naked pictures of her. Women would feel comfortable sending you those pics as a “hey good morning” present. More naked pictures of girls means a better world for everyone, in my humble opinion.

Real men don’t get off on scaring women. Real men get off on trying to take that fear away.

Not because we are nice, or chivalrous. OK, some of us are, but more importantly, it’s because we want more naked pics and Hunter More and Craig Brittain are fucking with that.

So fuck you, Hunter Moore. Fuck you, Eric Chanson. Fuck you, Chance Trahan. And Fuck you, Craig Brittain.

Any man who gets off on putting women in fear loses his man card.

Good hunting, Anonymous.


Steve Swander

November 24, 2012

Steve Swander, R.I.S.

We lower the Satyricon’s flag to half mast today in honor of Steve Swander, the Immediate Past President of the First Amendment Lawyers’ Association. Mesothelioma took his life at 3:45 AM today.

His practice was based in Fort Worth, Texas, where the local weekly described him as an expert at fighting authorities in the State of Texas over “morals laws.” (source) Swander was a much-respected soldier in the ongoing battle to preserve civil liberties and freedom of expression. (source) And, he did so in Texas – hostile territory for someone on his side of the fight. (source)

The Dallas Observer wrote of him:

Swander is a professorial type who speaks carefully and almost winces when he comes to the more colorful details of what obviously is a specialty, the relationship between body parts and free speech. He spiels off the history of clear latex pasties: the court decision that caused the clubs to switch to non-latex pasties in order to change their status to Class A dance halls and escape location limits, followed by a new ordinance in 1997 focusing on the breast beneath the nipple, struck down by the court, thereby allowing clubs to operate with non-flesh-colored pasties as dance halls rather than sexually oriented businesses. (source)

That might not be a typical selection for a eulogy, but Swander wasn’t a typical guy. I see that quote and a big smile breaks out across my face, as I remember Steve.

And, it isn’t just me… my inbox is bursting with expressions of respect and sorrow from fellow members of the First Amendment Bar. If you knew Steve, this would be of no surprise to you. If you didn’t know Steve, and you saw the list of names in the “from” lines on those emails, you would think that a Supreme Court justice had just passed away. This was a bona-fide First Amendment Bad Ass.

Normally, I wouldn’t share FALA emails with the rest of the world, but I think I can make a limited exception in this case.

The current president of the organization, Daniel Aaronson, wrote about observing Steve as he prepared to take over the FALA helm.

I saw a man who conducted himself with a quiet calm grace that made all respect him. I will truly miss Steve and on behalf of all of FALA I will take the liberty of saying that we will all miss him.

Thank you Steve for your dedication to the First Amendment, to our organization and for just being you. You will be remembered.

The usually irreverent Paul Cambria, provided this particularly somber expression of respect:

When a person dies there is a set of numbers on the left of their tombstone representing the day their life began then a dash and a set of numbers on the right representing the day their life ended, but the dash represents their life. In Steve’s case that dash was filled with good things, good friends and good accomplishments great guy will be missed by all of us.

In honor of our fallen friend and colleague, I lower the flag to half mast and award Mr. Swander a posthumous First Amendment Bad Ass award.

If there is an afterlife, I am certain that Steve has already gotten to work there making sure that the place is more fun for the rest of us when we arrive. When you get there, if the angels are bare-breasted, and not wearing bikini tops, you can probably thank Steve.

Rest in slack, Steve.


It isn’t Condoms that will drive the porn industry to Nevada

November 10, 2012

Measure B passed. And, by now, everyone knows that Los Angeles will now require condoms in porn production. Cue the reporters calling me incessantly asking the same question: “Will this now push the porn industry to move to Las Vegas?” Because that is everyone’s theory.

The answer is “no.”

No, the porn industry will not move to Las Vegas just to avoid using condoms in their productions. But, when the State of California raises income taxes by 30% retroactively, THAT makes successful business people wonder if living in LA is really worth it.

I wrote an article, back in August, making the case that porn producers very well should move to Nevada. See Randazza Legal Group: The Case for Relocating Porn Production to Las Vegas. The rationales in that article still stand.


The Copyrightability of Porn

August 18, 2012

Back in April, I wrote an article “Challenging The Copyrightability Of Porn” (html versiondigital mag version)

This was to confront a growing chorus of voices questioning whether porn can be copyrighted. You likely don’t need to read my article to know where I come down on it.

Over the past week, The First Amendment Lawyers’ Association has honored me by permitting me to file amicus briefs on its behalf in Colorado and Massachusetts, confronting this issue in the courts. (The MA one is a little better refined)


Massachusetts court strikes down ordinance limiting permits for adult businesses

March 27, 2012

By Laura Tucker

A U.S. District Court in Mendon, Mass., granted summary judgment in favor of Showtime Entertainment, allowing the company a special permit to open a live nude dancing venue and invalidating an ordinance that gave the zoning board too broad of authority to deny permits to similar businesses.

In its order, the court reasoned that even if the establishment would have an adverse secondary effect on the community, the court is still “bound by long-standing principles of constitutional law that narrowly constrain” the regulation of activities that are protected by the First Amendment.

The Mendon city ordinance at issue in the case prohibited the operation of an adult entertainment venue absent a special permit from the Mendon zoning board. The ordinance stated that the board “may” issue a special permit for adult businesses, provided that the business did not fall under certain categories.

The board granted Showtime’s application, but determined that the venue would increase the risk of crime in the town and required that Showtime meet certain conditions prior to operation—notably that it limit its hours of operation from 4 p.m. to 1 a.m. and that it provide various parking, security, safety, and noise reduction measures, as well as prohibiting the venue to sell alcohol.

According to the adverse secondary effects doctrine, government officials may limit adult businesses if they are concerned that the business will have negative secondary effects associated with them—higher crime, for example. The doctrine has sometimes been broadly applied by courts, and many First Amendment advocates are critical of its implications.

Section 5.01(f) governs when the board should not grant a special permit for adult businesses, but, according to Showtime, whose reasoning the court adopted, it did not explicitly state when a permit should be granted because it used the word “may” instead of a more definite “must.” The court analogized to a similar Massachusetts case in which the court invalidated an earlier version of the statute for virtually the same reason. Thus, the court held, the ordinance allowed for broad authority in denying such permits, in violation of the First Amendment.

The town argued, however, that the statute did, in fact, state when a special permit could be granted: when the conditions under which the permit should not be granted were absent. The court rejected this reasoning, stating that the statute did not affirmatively state under what circumstances an adult entertainment venue could operate. Furthermore, the court said the town offered no reason to show that the word “may” should be construed as “must.”

The court’s reasoning included a good reliance on authority from Massachusetts cases, and provides a great upholding of the First Amendment, notwithstanding the town’s reliance on the secondary effects doctrine. Even though the court clearly shows its disapproval for such businesses in the second paragraph of the opinion (“the Court is entirely sympathetic to the concerns of the people of Mendon, as reflected in the actions of their public officials, that such an establishment is likely to have a deleterious effect on the community in a variety of ways”), it still did the right thing by invalidating the ordinance.


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