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September 08, 2017

In Wake of Permit Fee Approval, FSC Issues Measure B Analysis

LOS ANGELES—Although the Los Angeles Department of Public Health won't be inspecting porn shoots in the county for nearly another two years, thanks to the settlement entered into between the county, Vivid Entertainment Group and the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, there are nonetheless signs that the county is gearing up for just such actions, the first step of which was establishing how much the department's inspectors will be charging for their inspections. It's in that spirit that the Free Speech Coalition, the trade association for the adult content and pleasure products industries, has just released its analysis of what content producers can expect when Measure B does begin to be enforced—and one of the first and most important points that analysis makes is the breadth of producers who'll be affected by the Measure. "Anyone who produces adult film in Los Angeles County is affected—cams, customs, studios, photosets and more," the FSC analyst wrote. "The law defines a producer as anyone that produces, finances, or directs, adult films for commercial purposes. This means not only traditional producers, but performer-producers as well. The Vivid Entertainment lawsuit limited the definition of adult film to those having penis-vaginal or penis-anal sex. Producers who during a two-year period create exclusively girl-girl or solo content are exempt." One possible additional problem that the FSC analysis does not address is what the effects of the California Health Code's Sec. 5193, which is mentioned several times in the Measure B law as passed, may have on production in the county. Though there are currently ongoing discussions at Cal/OSHA regarding revamping that Code section, as it stands, 5193 requires much more "personal protective equipment" than does the text of Measure B itself. As things now stand, the county health inspectors won't be responsible for checking anything but condom use—but that may change. However, in order to comply with Measure B, all producers (including those who merely trade content, and even cam performers who do boy/girl) and their "management level employees," including directors, are required to take sexual health classes, the times, locations and content of which have not yet been made public, and all producers (again including content traders and cam performers) must purchase, for $1,671, a two-year "Public Health permit," which can be renewed after the first two years for a fee just under $1,000, plus they'll also need a shooting permit from FilmLA at a cost of between $250 and $350—which permit also requires those producers to promise to use condoms during the shoot. And what if a producer doesn't purchase the health permit, or violates its requirements while shooting? According to FSC, that's a misdemeanor offense and will cost him/her/it a fine of up to $4,000, including penalty assessments, and may even land the person in jail for six months. "However, the enforcement mechanisms are unclear," the FSC analysis notes. "The industry mounted legal challenges to Measure B after its passage, and subsequent legal decisions stated that inspections proposed in the measure were unconstitutional—that is, the Measure could not be enforced as the Measure directed. That doesn’t mean it cannot be enforced, however," adding, in italics, "We recommend that all LA County based producers confer with their legal counsel for further details including possible exemptions from prosecution." The analysis then proceeds to give some background on the passage of the law, and how it differs from the recently defeated Proposition 60, then talks about the future. "FSC has spent the past several months battling with the Department of Health and the Board of Supervisors over the permitting structure," the analysis states. "While we were unable to stop the permitting at this level, FSC is looking at all options to tackle this ignorant and stigmatizing law, including legal challenges, amendments and a ballot-initiative to reverse it." The analysis also lays out FSC's position on the law itself, condemning it for failing to recognize that there are "other prevention options" other than condoms "that are far more effective" (like comprehensive testing); that no one in the industry itself was consulted regarding the text of Measure B or the amount the county should charge for its permit fees, all of which reveals "a severe lack of understanding of the adult industry"; and that the amount of the health permit fee will be an undue burden for small companies who shoot once or twice in the county, and an extreme burden on smaller producers, some of whom testified at the recent Board of Supervisors meeting that the permit cost is more than they earn in two or three months of camming. The full FSC analysis can be read here. FSC has also provided the email address [email protected] for producers who have further questions.

 
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