Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Fighting Over Online Sex Ads

What if the price of having a vital, well-financed string of newspapers included rare, but inevitable, sexual predation of minors?

Not a tough call, right? But maybe more complicated than you think for the businesses involved.

Before you head out for the lanterns and pitchforks, it’s worth remembering that a free press is not free. One of the offshoots of free speech is that it will be used to pernicious ends. In this instance, Village Voice Media has a classified network called Backpage.com that includes a section labeled “adult” with categories like “escort” and “strippers & strip clubs.” The vast majority of ads involves one consenting adult seeking another, but there have been instances in which the section was used to offer minors for sexual ends.

Village Voice Media is controlled by Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey, whose weeklies include The Village Voice, Westword and Phoenix New Times. It has an anything-goes approach to advertising, but in a digital age, that policy has new implications.

In September 2010, Craigslist, which hosted a great deal of sexually related advertising, bowed to pressure and banned that advertising in the United States. A number of crimes, including several murders, had been linked to ads on the site, and many critics, including a number of state attorneys general, suggested that Craigslist was enabling the trafficking of minors.

A significant portion of the estimated $44 million in sex-related advertising on Craigslist found a home on Backpage.com. Like a lot of newspapers, Village Voice Media’s chain of 13 weeklies has struggled through the terrible economic cycle and big changes in advertising spending, so the revenue from Backpage.com, much of it unrelated to sex, has played a critical role in its survival.

But in August the country’s 51 attorneys general sent a letter demanding that the site close its “adult” section, and now a coalition of religious leaders has joined that effort. Last Tuesday, Groundswell, an interfaith social justice group sponsored by Auburn Seminary in New York, published a full-page ad in The New York Times that was signed by clergy members of all stripes and cited the arrests of adults who had sold minors for sex using Backpage.com. The ad stated, “It is a basic fact of the moral universe that girls and boys should not be sold for sex.”

“While we empathize with your business challenges and the increasingly difficult marketplace in which Village Voice Media competes,” the letter went on, “we trust that you are committed to running your business without compromising the lives of our nation’s boys and girls.”

The Rev. Katharine Rhodes Henderson, the president of Auburn Theological Seminary, said that while the issue was complicated, the bottom line was not.

“On Backpage.com, you can buy a toaster, a car or a girl for sex,” she said. “We agree with the attorney generals on the legal issues, but we are raising this as a moral issue. Even if one minor is sold for sex, it is one too many.”

Mr. Larkin and Mr. Lacey are accustomed to having people come after them. They were harassed and arrested in the middle of the night in response to the coverage by one of their newspapers of Joe Arpaio, the sheriff of Maricopa County, Ariz. Mr. Lacey, who has made a career out of tweaking the powers that be, sees this battle as no different.

“I am beginning to like our odds,” he said. “We have all these practicing politicians and concerned clergy after us. We must be doing something right.”

In a phone call, he and Mr. Larkin pointed out that Web sites like Backpage.com are not legally responsible for posted content and added that the company had spent millions on both human and technological efforts to screen ads that feature minors. They said they had worked with law enforcement officials and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children in an effort to make sure Backpage.com’s “adult” section included only adults.

Both men see the debate as a free speech issue.

“We have always had a very libertarian approach to advertising,” said Mr. Larkin, adding that classifieds represented 30 to 35 percent of their business. “We don’t ban cigarettes, we take adult advertising. We take ads that sell guns.”

From their perspective, the claims of their opponents are wildly exaggerated and all the money being spent trying to wipe out advertising would be better spent on the root causes of the problem, including drug addiction, poverty and family abuse.

“There is a lot of mythmaking around the issue and I think it’s a way of avoiding the real problem,” Mr. Lacey said.

Rob McKenna, the attorney general of Washington State and the head of the association of attorneys general that went after both Craigslist and now Backpage.com, says the issue goes beyond minors.

“I think we have to be careful to protect the First Amendment rights of publishers, but free speech does not extend to the knowing facilitation of criminal activity,” he said. “This is not just about children being prostituted, this is about human beings being trafficked into the sex trades, as adults and as children.”

It’s no news to anyone that sex is an integral component of the Internet and much of the mainstream media. Early on, AOL included lots of raunchy backrooms. The brand-name cable channels make a great deal of money on sexually explicit content, and if someone is looking to buy sex, there are any number of Web sites that cater to all manner of interests.

It’s worth remembering that while pressure from the attorneys general and Congress led to a change at Craigslist, the whack-a-mole on the Web continues. If Backpage.comretreats — not likely given the predispositions of its owners — some other alternative will immediately take its place.

It reminds me a great deal of the early 1990s, when I was the editor of The Twin Cities Reader, an alternative weekly in Minneapolis. At the time, we were under fire for publishing ads for strip clubs, escort services and massage parlors. The staff and the publisher at the time, R. T. Rybak, were keenly attuned to the community and always looking for points of difference from City Pages, our weekly competitor. With support from the staff, Mr. Rybak announced that we would no longer take ads that “objectified” women, a bold move. It was thought that beyond the good will we earned in the community, other, nonracy advertisers might find our paper to be a more suitable platform.

Our critics, including many women’s groups, were thrilled at their victory and congratulated us on our sensitivity. The policy went into effect, wiping out, as I recall, about 15 percent of the bottom line. City Pages left its ad policy unchanged. Some of what we lost went to them and little in the way of new ads materialized to fill the hole.

City Pages eventually became the dominant paper — in part because it was very good and run by smart people — and when, yes, Village Voice Media decided to enter the market, it bought both papers and closed The Twin Cities Reader. I was gone by then, but I thought the decision to be selective about ads contributed to its demise.

I called Mr. Rybak, who is now the mayor of Minneapolis, to ask if he regretted the decision.

“It was absolutely the right move,” he said. “When you engage in a certain kind of journalism that is designed to be an alternative to the mainstream, you have a special obligation to have your editorial, your values and your advertising align.”

“If we had more time, I think it may have worked out,” he said. “But I often think about what would have happened if we had those two pages of ads in the back. Would the paper still be around? It wasn’t the only reason it went out of business, but it played a role.”

Although Mr. Larkin and Mr. Lacey hardly agree, they are taking their own version of a principled stand. And just because it aligns with their business interests doesn’t mean it isn’t valid.

E-mail: carr@nytimes.com;

Twitter.com/carr2n

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Connecticut Prisoners Protesting ‘Unfair’ Porn Ban

Prisoner

Porn.xxx Domain Expected To Fetch $50,000 At Auction

138885

After more than ten years of very vocal opposition by nearly every company potentially affected by the new .XXX top level domain (TLD) extension, on March 17th 2011 ICANN approved .XXX despite numerous concerns. Chief among those concerned was a prevailing consensus that the creation of the .XXX domain was an simply an underhanded attempt at a money-grab by ICM Registry, the backers and owners of the new domains. Now, the truth of that concern is finally coming to light. .XXX History And Widespread Opposition The theory that ICM Registry [1] would use their new .XXX domains to fleece owners of existing .com domains has become commonplace. The addition of a new extension with no other redeeming value according to opponents, serves solely as an attempt by ICM Registry to extort large sums of money from companies interested in protecting the purity of their existing brand names. Primary domains like Sex.xxx, XXX.xxx ,Porn.xxx, Hustler.xxx, Playboy.xxx and others were thought to be the most likely targets. Several leading companies from all facets of the adult entertainment industry banded together to take part in the creation of DotxxxOpposition.com, a news resource and community forum backed by the Free Speech Coalition and many industry insiders. The site hosts a parody style video that satires the efforts of ICM Registery and stars Larry Flynt (Huster CEO), Allison Vivas (PinkVisual CEO), John Stagliano (Evil Angel CEO), Joanna Angel (BurningAngel.com), Ron Cadwell (CCBill CEO), Peter Acworth (Kink CEO), Mitch Farber (Netbilling CEO), and a host of other adult industry leaders. The film was written directed and produced by Wasteland.com CEO Colin Rowntree. [2] Industry communication among online message boards and trade shows has also been decidedly against the creation of .XXX, and ICANN itself stated serious concerns that lead to a denial initially and a half-hearted approval eventually. "Upon first blush, a .xxx sTLD sounds like a brilliant idea. But once one factors in the real world implications of such an easily blocked, censored, marginalized, and manipulated domain suffix, it becomes far less appealing" according to DotxxxOpposition.com "When a business with no ties to the online adult entertainment industry decides to “protect” it by cornering the market, aggressively pushing for the domain, rewriting history, treating our representatives and press with marginal respect, brushing our concerns aside, charging $60 per registration — and telling us we’re lucky that the price is that low — even beer goggles don’t make it look kissable. For these and other reasons, we believe that, in spite of panicked domain preregistrations, the voice of the industry is soundly raised in opposition to what would ultimately become Stuart Lawley and the ICM Registry’s company store." Limited Market And Curtailed Reach As if the opposition to .XXX from within the industry it seeks to consolidate was not enough of a headwind for ICM Registry to overcome, major regions of the world including India and the Middle East immediately stated their intention to block all .xxx domains when word of their approval by ICANN was announced. According to a report published by The Economic Times: "India along with many other countries from the Middle East and Indonesia opposed the grant of the domain in the first place, and we would proceed to block the whole domain, as it goes against the IT Act and Indian laws," said a senior official at the ministry of IT. "Though some people have said that segregation is better, and some countries allow it. But for other nations transmission and direct distribution of such content goes against their moral and culture." [3] Michael Humphrey of Forbes.com also picked up on the myriad of economic problems that would unnecessarily be caused by the release of .XXX stemming from exorbitant domain registration fees, ghettoizing of adult content chilling free speech, and he concluded " Whatever your stance on porn might be, you can see why the industry thinks those “x’s” look more like a mark than a market." [4] Domain Pricing Expectations While ICM Registry has already set the wholesale price for 'standard' .xxx domains at approximately $60 per year, with markup charged by each associated domain provider at the consumer level expected to bring prices up to the $200-300 dollar range for newly purchased domains, ICM Registry has also chosen to hold back a large number of 'premium' .xxx domains in the hope of generating much higher selling prices at auction. It should be noted that much of the intrinsic value of some of these domains can be directly attributed to the fact that the underlying .com version of the same keyword has already been used in the marketplace successfully for years. In that way a strong legal argument exists regarding copyright infringement if companies decide to litigate rather than capitulate when acquiring the '.xxx version' of their own existing brand names. While the windfall profits may fall far below the desires of ICM Registry, the costs projected still make litigating appear to be inexpensive in contrast to purchasing premium domain names that may be garnered easily via court order instead. According to EllitotsBlog.com, a leading community of domain speculators, a poll recently posted asked what price domainers believe movies.xxx may bring as part of the auction at an upcoming TRAFFIC trade show. Two telling facts can be taken from the poll. On the one hand, the lowest option listed by editors was 'Under $50,000', creating a bias within the results of at least a five figure sale price. The other fact is that more than 40% of respondents at the time of this writing have made 'Under $50,000' the clear winner, with almost twice as many votes as any other price bracket. [5] Approval of Many More Top Level Domains When the initial ICANN ruling authorizing .xxx domains was announced, many onlookers were shocked by the decision. The 16 member panel had seemingly allowed the creation of .xxx in direct conflict with the industry most affected by it and opened what some believe to be a Pandora's box of free speech problems in the process. Two months later, on May 30th 2011 ICANN may have expressed it's reasoning through its own action in a way much more profound than any of the earlier rhetoric. A major barrier to completely revising the way the internet is managed was forever discarded by a 13 to 3 vote in favor of introducing an unlimited number of new top-level domains to compete with .com, .net and .xxx. The new process requires a $180,000 application fee and a fair amount of bureaucratic red tape, but for the first time it sets a clear path for anyone interested in creating their own new TLD quickly. For the mainstream market this means a company like Disney may soon own the TLD .kids or a company like Dreamworks might choose to create a .Movies extension. However, for the adult industry and .xxx specifically, the impact may be much more immediate and profound. If the price of creating the entire .Sex or .Hardcore TLD is only $180,000 and includes every domain name under a comparable adult TLD extension, why would any company choose to spend more than that amount seeking to secure the .xxx version of their own .com domain from ICM Registry? It is a question that domainers seem to be answering with the silence of their checkbooks. Analysis And Summary After a decade of battle to bring .XXX through the ICANN process and millions of dollars in expenses, ICM Registry may be left holding the bag on an entire set of domain names that lose value as each day passes. "We can unequivocally say that the industry does not support it," said Diane Duke, the executive director of the Free Speech Coalition, at a press conference covered by PCMag.com during a formal protest attended by many top industry executives during ICANN deliberations. [6] The fact that seems to have eluded ICM Registry is that the number of companies willing to explore business opportunities in the adult entertainment market has always been very limited. Most so-called mainstream companies won't even purchase traffic from massive adult sites or allow their affiliate program traffic partners to use explicit content to generate sales. With such a small list of potential buyers to begin with, the systematic efforts of ICM Registry to confound industry insiders and overlook industry concerns may have poisoned the well before .xxx ever had a chance to take root. Resource Links & Sources This Op-Ed by Stewart Tongue is based on information from private discussions with industry professionals, domainers and numerous credible resources. Some of the more prominent resources are linked below for your conevenience. [1] http://www.icmregistry.com/ [2] http://dotxxxopposition.com/ [3] http://articles.economictimes.indiatimes.com/2011-03-24/news/29181495_1_new-d... [4] http://www.forbes.com/sites/michaelhumphrey/2011/03/24/indias-reaction-to-xxx... [5] http://www.elliotsblog.com/at-what-price-will-movies-xxx-sell-8475 [6] http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2382185,00.asp#fbid=0CPO3-xA6az Stewart Tongue is a writer and professional SEO marketing consultant for leading adult entertainment industry brands. His work also includes a consistent focus on the ethics of online commerce. He owns and operates a network of more than 700 active websites.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

AVN Tech News

LEGAL INDUSTRY NEWS

LAFD Investigating Another Brazzers Public Shoot

The Los Angeles Fire Department has initiated an investigation into an adult video shoot, the footage of which was posted on the Brazzers AssesInPublic.com website. read full story...
VIDEO INDUSTRY NEWS

Reminder: 2012 AVN Awards Pre-Nom Site Now Open

AVN Media Network is now accepting pre-nominations for the 2012 AVN Awards Show. Producers, manufacturers and retailers should immediately request access to the restricted pre-nom website in order to submit their movies, products, outlets and other entities for awards consideration. read full story...

TECHNOLOGY INDUSTRY NEWS

Facebook Issues Fix for Problematic Tracking Cookies

Nik Cubrilovic, the Australian blogger who first issued the alert regarding the cookies, also has weighed in on the fix after reportedly working with Facebook engineers to help identify the most problematic cookie, which is now 'destroyed on logout.' read full story...
TECHNOLOGY INDUSTRY NEWS

SugarDVD Launches Stream-to-TV Boxee App

The app displays movies in a grid view, allowing users to sort by genres including Couples, MILF and Amateur. Over a hundred movies were added in August from several new studios, including Lethal Hardcore and Candy Shop.read full story...
TECHNOLOGY INDUSTRY NEWS

Robby D. Launches FilthCumsFirst.com

A master of photography and cinematography, Robby D's versatility is apparent in the content featured on the site, which includes niche, hardcore and fetish content done as only he can do it, with precision and the ability to capture the highest levels of perversion. read full story...
LEGAL INDUSTRY NEWS

FBI Arrests Florida Man for CP; Fails to Mention He’s Also ICE

The glaring omission by the FBI of Mangione’s significant role in numerous criminal investigations, including for child pornography, is especially odd considering the fact that the allegations against him were first made in April and reported upon in the media. read full story...
VIDEO INDUSTRY NEWS

Sabrina Deep Signs for HotMovies.com at Venus in Berlin

On Thursday, September 29, globetrotting, fan-banging 6' DD porn star Sabrina Deep will be signing at the HotMovies.com booth at the upcoming Venus Trade Fair in Berlin. read full story...
TECHNOLOGY INDUSTRY NEWS

Ariel Rebel: AVN Magazine Interview

When Ariel Rebel first started her website back in 2005, things were very different. Now the 26-year-old is enjoying her career more than ever, producing and managing her own site. She considers herself "the girl next door with a secret identity." read full story...
TECHNOLOGY INDUSTRY NEWS

Naughty America Goes Back-to-School with ‘Greek Week’

The series, which brings back the KOK Fraternity made famous by the classic Fast-Times scenes at Naughty America, stars some of the industry’s biggest names, as well as hot new up-and-comers. read full story...
TECHNOLOGY INDUSTRY NEWS

Command Cinema Classic October Silk Cums to HotMovies.com

HotMovies.com announced today the release of its eighth exclusive classic from the famed but nearly impossible to find Command Cinema library. October Silk will premiere on the popular VOD site just in time for the month for which it was named. read full story...

This Week's Posts on Xbiz

Google launched a new tool that will allow webmasters to track in real time how many people are currently on their site.

Google launched a new tool that will allow webmasters to track in real time how many people are currently on their site.

I have a policy: FSC does not give awards to standing board members. To the outside world it would seem a conflict of interest and somewhat self-serving. However, in this milestone year for FSC I thought it not only appropriate, but also necessary to say a few words about a man who is significantly responsible for FSC’s success — FSC Chairman of the Board Jeffrey Douglas.

The inaugural XBIZ EU international digital media conference this past weekend was a resounding success, with many top industry execs praising organizers for large turnouts to its seminars and events.

Two proprietors of “live adult entertainment for cash-paying customers” could get jail time for cheating the IRS.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Porn Industry Featured in LA Weekly

LOS ANGELES — The adult industry is getting some mainstream attention, with a lengthyarticle in this week’s LA Weekly.

A brunette performer in a bikini graces the front cover of the magazine and inside is an in-depth profile of the adult industry titled “Porn Defends the Money Shot.”

The five-page article talks about several topics that are impacting the adult industry today such as the success of adult parodies, the ongoing campaign by the AIDS Healthcare Foundation to enforce condoms on production sets to prevent HIV infections and where Cal/OSHA stands on the issue.

The article also interviewed several adult industry stakeholders such as director Axel Braun, AHF President Michael Weinstein, FSC attorney Jeffrey Douglas, performer Tom Byron and others to get their take on condoms in porn.

“We’re selling a fantasy,” Braun said. “If you make something illegal that has so much demand, you’re going to send it underground. You’re going to have people not getting tested anymore. I don’t think it’s the right approach.”

The article talked about how many porn performers engage in escorting, an activity that can be risky especially if the performer continues to work on adult productions.

“The dirty secret of porn isn’t crossover,” Weinstein said. “It’s taking escorting jobs.”

Brothel2

Behind Closed Doors: An Analysis of Indoor Sex Work in New York City

Urban Justice Center
666 Broadway, 10th floor, New York, NY 10012
Tel: (646) 602-5617 - Fax: (212) 533-4598

PRESS RELEASE

For Immediate Release: Contact: Juhu Thukral (646) 602-5690 jthukral@urbanjustice.org
Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Juhu Thukral (646) 602-5690 jthukral@urbanjustice.org Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Indoor Sex Workers Are Isolated and Fear Violence
Urban Justice Center Interviews U.S.-Born and Immigrant Sex Workers About Police Contacts

(New York City, March 30, 2005) - The Sex Workers Project (SWP) of the Urban Justice Center (UJC) has released the first-ever in-depth report in the U.S. examining indoor sex work. Behind Closed Doors: An Analysis of Indoor Sex Work in New York City, released today, includes interviews with sex workers who work independently or for brothels, escort agencies, dungeons, and private clubs. The report highlights the extreme violence that sex workers experience from customers, and the dangerous effects of isolation and stigma.

According to the report, 46% of sex workers experienced violence in the course of their work, and 42% had been threatened or beaten for being a sex worker. Additionally, 14% reported violence at the hands of the police, and 16% encountered sexual situations with the police. Sara, a respondent in the report, describes a client "who came in and had a knife ... I was cornered and I was about to be attacked and raped ... I didn't go to the police because it would be coming out about what I've been doing." "Many people are unsympathetic to prostitutes," says Juhu Thukral, Director of the SWP, "however, this level of violence is unacceptable, even if they are engaging in unlawful activity."

Leticia, another respondent, adds, "Just find a way to help us with the police ... we need somebody to protect us when we get beat up. Around here, they don't arrest you, they just mess with you like they own you."

Eight percent of the report's respondents were trafficked into the country for prostitution. The trafficked women told of being threatened, beaten, raped, and having their money withheld by the traffickers. The respondents were ethnically diverse and included women, transgender women, and men. Sex workers interviewed ranged in age from 19 to 54. Forty percent were born outside the U.S. and its territories.

Shockingly, 67% of respondents got involved with sex work because they were unable to find other work which provided a living wage. Previous jobs included waitressing, retail, and domestic work. Immigrants without work permits saw sex work as their best economically viable option. The unlawful nature of most sex work often results in extreme isolation, which serves as a barrier to accessing legal, financial, educational, and other necessary services. Prostitutes explained that they feared arrest and its consequences, and expressed a need for peer support and substantive services.

New York City's quality of life initiatives have always caught prostitutes in their net. However, Thukral stresses that "these police operations result in arrests that destabilize the lives of many sex workers who are members of the working poor, and jeopardize other legal employment." "This activity comes at an extremely high cost to the public, and is a waste of valuable public resources," added Melissa Ditmore, a co-author of the report. "Stringent policing creates an environment of fear and isolation that prevents sex workers from coming forward when they are victims of violence and other crimes."

Thukral aims to have the City do two things: ensure that all violence against sex workers is taken seriously by law enforcement authorities; and offer in-depth and appropriate services that lead to long-term solutions. "There is clearly a need for a fact-based public discussion around the problems of police and violence that include the voices of sex workers themselves in order to effectively and productively address the needs of sex workers and the community's concerns."

The full report can be found at http://www.sexworkersproject.org/ or http://www.urbanjustice.org/.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

January Seraph Discusses Adult Performers Association

Emergence_by_januaryseraph
LOS ANGELES — January Seraph, co-founder of the newly formed Adult Performers Association (APA), tells XBIZ that the organization has received a “really warm” reception in its first full week.

“We’ve been getting five to 10 emails a day with people wanting to be involved and to be kept abreast of the things we’re doing,” Seraph said.

A six-year industry veteran performer, producer and webmaster, Seraph started APA with producer/director Nica Noelle in an effort to provide assistance and resources to the adult talent community.

The Bay Area-native said she reconnected with Noelle through Twitter after realizing she was “talking about a lot of the same things that I was.”

“I’ve been joining in the discussion off and on for the last two years but I didn’t feel there was anybody committed to it,” Seraph said. “Nica was all about it though, so we compared ideas and we were pretty much on the same page with our core values.”

Seraph had already been privately compiling a list of “adult performer friendly” resources for some time. But as her concerns grew during the past two HIV scares and the problems caused by the rogue site Porn WikiLeaks, she was moved to act.

“I had the intention of starting a resource site about three years ago,” Seraph said. “I kept hearing stories about other women and the problems they’ve been facing. So we thought this was a really good time to start something like this. I feel that adult performers aren’t represented enough and I think there is a need for it.”

Seraph explained the APA is primarily about “harm reduction” and providing good information.

“We wanted to start something without causing more hatred, without looking like a labor union,” she continued. “We wanted to start just a supportive organization that assists you in how to get into adult, how to get through adult and how to segue out of it when the time comes.”

The APA Contact Form (AdultPerformers.org/contact) is discreet — it asks only for name/email/subject/message — so talent does not have to worry about possible “bullying,” Seraph noted.

She added that APA would soon be launching a KickStarter account to begin developing some educational videos targeting individuals who are thinking about entering adult and exiting the industry.

“It’s really exciting,” Seraph said. “We’ve had a lot of positive feedback.”

For more information about the launch, click here.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Judge Dismisses Sex Trafficking Suit Against Backpage.com

Judge Dismisses Sex Trafficking Suit Against Backpage.com

MISSOURI—U.S. Magistrate Judge Thomas C. Mummert has dismissed a lawsuit brought against Village Voice Media in Sept. 2010 by an unnamed 15-year-old girl who was a victim of sex trafficking through the company's Backpage.com online classified website when she was 14 years old. The woman who pimped the minor out on the site, Latasha Jewell McFarland, pleaded guilty to prostitution charges in December and was sentenced to five years in prison.

The victim held Backpage.com responsible as well, alleging in a four-page complaint that it “had knowledge that: explicit sexual photographs were being posted on its website; that postings on their website were advertisements for prostitution services; that minors were included in these postings for prostitution on its website; that sex trafficking of minors was prolific in the United States of America; and that the internet including their service was being used to advertise illegal sexual services, including child exploitation.” The minor sought $150,000 per alleged violation.

In his dismissal, however, Mummert found that Backpage.com, as an “interactive computer service,” is immune under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act for content posted to its site by third parties. The plaintiff made several arguments that attempted to override the immunity, but Mummert found none of them viable.

Indeed, in response to the claim that Backpage should not be immune under § 230 because it "is aware of prior cases of minors being sexually trafficked on its website and based upon the posted ads and photography, no reasonable person could review the postings in the adult categories and deny prostitution was the object of almost each and every ad,” the judge noted a 2007 First Circuit finding that it "is, by now, well established that notice of the unlawful nature of the information provided is not enough to make it the service provider's own speech."

In other words, even if a service provider knows that third parties are posting illegal content, under § 230, the service provider is under no obligation to intervene, and is in fact immunized from being held legally responsible. This immunization held in the earlier Craigslist case as well, in which a sheriff brought suit against the online classified giant for having “the single largest source for prostitution, including child exploitation, in the country.” Regardless of the allegations, § 230 immunized Craigslist, as it does Backpage.com, unless it had created the ads itself.

In conclusion, Judge Mummert wrote, “"Plaintiff artfully and eloquently attempts to phrase her allegations to avoid the reach of (the communications decency act). Those allegations, however, do not distinguish the complained-of actions of Backpage from any other website that posted content that led to an innocent person's injury. Congress has declared such websites to be immune from suits arising from such injuries. It is for Congress to change the policy that gave rise to such immunity."

The Order by Judge Mummert can be accessed here.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Oral Sex Tips

OralOraKama Sutra IllustrationImage via Wikipedia
iStock_000005793949XSmall

Exposing the Oral Orgasm: Play Prep and Tongue Techniques

“I regret to say that we of the F.B.I. are powerless to act in cases of oral-genital intimacy, unless it has in some way obstructed interstate commerce.”    — J. Edgar Hoover
Going down isn’t exactly an issue for Homeland Security, but it can be stressful for both partners if it’s not something you’ve tried for a while. According to the Kinsey Institute, this is a lot of you – barely more than half of all women aged 30-49 received oral sex from a male partner in the past year, and the numbers for women going down on their men aren’t much better…
So why all the fuss? Oral sex isn’t anything to shy away from! Talk to your wife – does giving or receiving oral sex make her feel anxious, scared or uncomfortable? What about you? Do you suffer from any feelings of inadequacy where your own oral foreplay skills are concerned? Well fret not. The basics of oral sex prep and technique are simple to master!
Getting Ready to Go Down
Grooming
Bodies are sweaty, stinky beasts and though it is our animal instincts we want to get in touch with, we want to get sweaty together between the sheets, not deal with office BO, so get clean first! Take a long, thorough shower before initiating sex and while you’re all wet, take a look at the hair down there. Few people enjoy a face full of fur, so if you want to encourage your wife to keep clean and trim bush, you need to do the same. A body wax isn’t necessary – a trim or some Nair should do the trick and leave her pleasantly surprised!
Negotiations
This isn’t high-stakes finance, so don’t get stressed out, but it’s important to talk about oral sex a bit beforehand, so there is an understanding about protocol when you in particular are closing in on the big O. Whether you want to pause and move on to another position, or push through to climax, it’s important to have an understanding and an early warning system in place! No one likes to be caught off guard and if you want to keep getting blow jobs, you’ll let your wife have a say in how to finish things off.
Technique
Variation is the key for oral foreplay – start a good oral session off right with gentle, smooth strokes around the least sensitive parts of her genitalia, working your way towards the inner lips and clitoris. Be delicate! These bits are soft and sensitive.
A figure 8 motion is great to get her turned on, edging around her little bud as it swells. Alternate between the smooth underside and the rough surface of your tongue’s tip to bring her to the edge of pleasure.
Don’t stick to any one repetitive motion for too long, until she is panting hard and ready to go over the edge. When you’re at this point, find the motion that makes her moan the loudest and take it home!
Positions
You may not be able to think of a lot of different positions for oral sex off the top of your head, but put those tired old favorites out of your mind, if just for a minute. There’s nothing wrong with the standard fare, but why not spice things up once in a while?
Do you and your partner have any classic positions that work every time? How often do you try something new when you lock lips, so to speak? Well now is the time! Don’t worry, you don’t have to worry about trying anything crazy that will end in an embarrassing injury!
One of my favorites is to get my husband to lie over top of me, perpendicular to my body. From this position, he has free range to caress my breasts and can explore an entirely new angle for clitoral stimulation! This position also makes it  much easier for him to use his other hand to penetrate when I’m wet and turned on.
Another that could encourage your partner to explore a whole new realm of both physical and emotional sensations related to power and control is a standing position. With your head hanging over the edge of the bed, your lover can straddle your face and has room to lean forward on the bed for support when her knees start to get weak!
Can’t get enough of these great ideas? Click the link below for 10 more incredible oral sex positionsyou have to try!
Do you  Gabrielle Moore? Spread The Love! >>   

Enhanced by Zemanta