A rough guide to 2257 regulations for Partners

With our business growing steadily in the United States, plans are now full steam ahead to help you develop your portfolios across the pond in 2013. In order to operate in the US, we have had to produce three US specific legal documents.

For full details of all recent changes that you should be aware of, please see our Checklist of Changes for Partners.

The first of these is a set of US Terms & Conditions. Law differs between the UK and US, and can also differ from state to state; US Terms & Conditions must reflect this. The second document is an updated Privacy Policy, with privacy laws also differing between the UK and US.

For sites in the US that depict images or videos of an adult nature there is an additional regulation that we have to comply with. This is formally called the ’18 USC Section 2257 Record-Keeping Requirements Compliance’, commonly referred to as ‘2257 Compliance’ or simply ‘2257’.

What is this law?

2557 is a child protection law brought about in the 1980s after an infamous and prolific adult film actress was discovered to be 15 at the time of making some of her films. In essence, it asks producers of actual or simulated sex images and videos to prove that the performer was over 18 at the time of creation.

How do they do that?

All adult performers have to supply accredited documentation that proves their identity and that they are over the legal age limit. Producers of these images then have to keep detailed records of these that can be viewed at any time by a federal investigator, if required. If the performers and productions are not created but still shown in the US, location specific appropriate documentation must still be recorded and stored for inspection.

Do I need a 2257 compliancy statement?

Yes. To be safe and to avoid conflict with what the US Attorney describes as ‘lascivious exhibition of the genitals or pubic area’, we are applying the rule to all adult partner sites, as a precaution.

So do I need to keep 2257 records?

No. Not unless you are the photographer or commissioned the photographer. You must have the documentation if you are the primary producer. Or if you are the secondary producer, you must be able to refer to the primary producer having the documentation. You would be designated as a secondary producer if you use images that have been produced for ‘sale or trade’, e.g. from an agency.

Are there exemptions that apply?

Yes there are. As operators of the websites, we do not produce any images applicable to this law, as images are submitted by members. Our activities are limited to the transmission and hosting of images posted directly to the site, on areas of under the control of members. To comply with the regulations, we may delete content posted by users which we deem to be inconsistent with the law, our policies, and terms of service.

What does that mean?

User generated pictures are still the responsibility of the photographer. For anything that members submit we do not need documentation. Our moderators will continue to remove images if we suspect that they refer to someone who is underage.

What do partners need to do?

We have employed US lawyers to look closely at our terms and policies. We have redrafted them so that our US specific policies now comply with all the necessary federal and state laws. Partners must have three links to the following on all pages including home and splash pages; Terms & Conditions, Privacy Policy, and now, the new 2257. We have also created an optional ‘Dating Safety Tips’ link which is also referenced within the Terms & Conditions. We strongly recommend that you include this page.

If you have any further questions about 2257 Compliance, please feel free to contact your Partner Manager.

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