Will the controversial law survive legal challenge?
The Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act (FOSTA), which became law in April 2018, has been criticized as an attack on free and open communication over the Internet. It holds online publishers liable for any third-party ad postings for sexual services, including consensual sex work.
You may have noticed that Tumblr no longer allows erotic content. Craigslist shut down its Personals section and a slew of forums on Reddit were closed. These are just a few examples of how popular sites, ones that rely on user-generated content, have responded to FOSTA.
Rather than face any potential legal risks in a sex-negative climate, we’re seeing platforms enforcing blanket bans on sex-related content.
It’s also creating panic and problems for legitimate adult websites, says sex tech lawyer Maxine Lynn. However, FOSTA is currently being appealed, making it an important piece of legislation to keep your eye on this year.
Lynn talks about FOSTA in the video below, filmed at the 2019 AVN Adult Entertainment Expo held in Las Vegas in January. The full transcript is provided below the clip.
Hi, my name is Maxine Lynn and I am an intellectual property attorney. I do a lot of work with adult industry companies in patent, trademark, and copyright law.
Something to keep an eye on is what’s going on with FOSTA, the Allow States and Victims to Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act. That’s a law that was passed by Congress and signed by the President last year that has wreaked a lot of havoc in the industry.
The stated purpose of the law was that it was designed to stop human trafficking. The reality is that it has stopped a lot of legitimate websites from operating in the porn and sex work businesses.
So, keep an eye on it.
It’s being currently appealed and so we’ll have to wait and see what happens. But that’s definitely something to keep an eye on in the sex tech, porn, and anything relating to sex work in those businesses.