Adult Entertainment

The adult entertainment industry in the US is rifled with extensive legislature in both federal and state laws. The legal minefield that is the adult entertainment industry must contend with obscenity statutes and challenges to First Amendment rights on both federal and state fronts. Legal eccentricities are not all businesses in the industry must content with as anti-pornography zealots become louder and more motivated.

Harsh as the business climate, businesses must ensure that they maintain optimum legal standing such that they are not found wanting in complying with regulations in the regions where they may choose to do business.

Aspects of Adult Entertainment Law

A wholesome aspect of adult entertainment law is the expanse of entities that are covered by adult entertainment law. They include but are not limited to, adult-themed websites, adult-oriented social networking sites, adult filmmakers, and live adult performance businesses like Gentleman’s Clubs (more on these later).

The law may also seep into adult entertainment in any of the following cases:

  1. Copyright and trademark infringement
  2. E-commerce fraud allegations
  3. Obscenity law, censorship, and freedom of expression, including initiating legal action against overzealous anti-free expression organizations
  4. Drafting contracts for website “Terms of Use” and “Privacy Policy”
  5. Negotiation and enforcement between two or more parties on the delivery and receipt of web hosting, web design, and web development

It is important to obtain legal advice at the start of involvement in any adult-themed enterprise regardless of intent—monetary or non-monetary. These include but not limited to registering URLs; verify if present or future directions of the enterprise are or will be in compliance with local, state, or federal laws; incorporation of the enterprise; drafting model release forms.

Major Classes of Ventures Needing Understanding of Adult Entertainment Law

Content Producers

These ventures should endeavor to ascertain the king of content that is acceptable according to local, state, and federal laws. For example, content promoting child pornography or other child abuse forms either solely or in part of other adult-themed content is illegal. In addition, content producers should ensure that their intellectual property rights are protected.

Website Owners and Operators

It is important to verify compliance to and protection offered by the law for the specific type of website you wish to run. Types of adult-themed websites covered by the law include, freesites, paysites, tube sites, dating sites, cam sites, novelty stores, online communities, blogs, and affiliate programs.

Internet Service Providers and Web Hosting Agencies

It is necessary to know your stand in the eyes of the law if you are selling or leasing any of collocation, bandwidth, internet hosting, servers, and various other internet or web hosting technology to an adult-themed venture.

Definitions of Terms in Adult Entertainment Law

Adult” refers to an individual who is aged 18 or more.

Adult entertainment establishment” may refer to any of the following terms:

  • Adult bookstore
  • Adult theater
  • Special Cabaret
  • Unlicensed massage establishment

Adult Bookstore” refers to any partnership, business, or corporation of any kind that has in its stock magazine, books, other forms of periodicals; discs, videos, or other graphic media; sells, provides, offers, or rents any such sexually-themed material for a fee; and restricts or purports to restrict admission only to adults.

Adult theater” refers to an enclosed space within a building or a building within which live plays, dances, films, or other performances that are perceived or characterized by an emphasis on matter relating, depicting, describing, or relating to specific sexual activities; are displayed for observation by patrons; and restricts or purports to restrict admission only to adults.

Special Cabaret” refers to a business that runs a venture distinguished by featuring persons who engage in specific sexual activities for observation by patrons; and restricts admission for any part—either to partake in the featuring or as a patron—only to adults.

Unlicensed massage establishment” refers to any enterprise or business that provides, offers, or sells; or that purports to provide, offer, or sell massages in the specific nature of or relating to physical massage, kneading, rubbing, bathing, stroking, anointing, manipulating, or other tactile stimulation of the human body; by employees or attendants of any gender; by hand or with the use of any mechanical or electrical device; within or outside the registered premises of the enterprise. Worthy of note is that “unlicensed massage establishment” does not refer to an enterprise or business that habitually provides medical services by state-licensed massage therapists and health care practitioners with specific references in s. 480.043 and 480.041.

Broward Criminal Lawyer

Fort Lauderdale Criminal Attorney – Kenneth Padowitz

Strip clubs and other private venues that offer adult entertainment are often the target of aggressive prosecution and government investigations.  Such conduct, however, may be protected by the First Amendment of the United States Constitution. Broward criminal lawyer, Kenneth Padowitz, provides aggressive criminal defense for patrons, employees, and owners of private establishments providing adult entertainment against overreaching government prosecution.


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