Did Perez Hilton fail to comply with § 2257 guidelines?

By J. DeVoy

At True/Slant, there’s speculation that noted celebrity blogger Perez Hilton may have violated Federal obscenity laws.  The upshot:

According to AVN.com [WYB], the online home of Adult Video News, the adult movie industry’s trade publication, Hilton’s March 15 post, “Chuy Is an Official Porn Star!” [WYB], does not follow 18 U.S.C. § 2257 guidelines. The code requires websites that post explicit sexual content to comply to various regulations and rules, including a link to a “2257 compliance statement containing the name and address of the custodian of records, who is required to keep records relating to the age and identity of the performers in the content, as well as other information,” writes AVN.com’s Tom Hymes. Hilton’s post doesn’t.

2257 regulations were born out of the Child Protection and Obscenity Enforcement Act of 1988, and it may behoove Hilton to note that “Federal inspectors may at any time launch inspections of these records and prosecute any infraction.” The vast majority of producers of adult content are intimately familiar with the finer nuances of the regulations and follow them dutifully so as not to be targeted by the Feds. And it’s not only those who produce adult content that must comply; it includes so-called “secondary producers,” defined as “anyone who ‘publishes, reproduces, or reissues’ explicit material.” Including Perez.

The post further notes that Obama’s administration, notably Attorney General Eric Holder, lacks the zeal of former AG’s Alberto Gonzales and Ed Meese in prosecuting pornography crimes.  From my volunteer stint at a United States Attorney’s Office, Gonzales’s crusade seemed to consume a significant amount of office resources.  But, those days appear to be over.

Nevertheless, obscenity charges against Hilton would be a just dessert for the kind of degenerate crap he’s pushed on mainstream culture over the years, pulling it deeper into the cesspool of meaningless distraction — even though his day job is lawful.  Something similar happened to O.J. Simpson.  In the end, hubris betrays all who fancy it.

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