Vice Squad
Friday, May 13, 2005
Legal Developments Around Obscenity

Today we mine the point of view of the pornography industry on recent events, via the Adult Video News (not work-safe) website. First, there is the announcement last week of the formation of the US Justice Department's Obscenity Prosecution Task Force (noted earlier by Vice Squad.) Here's the press release from DOJ, and here's an excerpt from the AVN article on the new task force:
It is clear from the DOJ's statement that the Obscenity Prosecution Task Force will play the key Justice Department role in obscenity prosecution, since it has been given the power to draw on the expertise of several other DOJ divisions, including the Organized Crime and Racketeering Section, the Asset Forfeiture and Money Laundering Section, the Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section, and CEOS’s High-Tech Investigative Unit.

Those last two notations suggest that adult material on the Internet will be one of the Task Force's top priorities, though the use of the Organized Crime and Racketeering and Asset Forfeiture and Money Laundering sections portend a full-scale assault on adult manufacturers and distributors. It is, after all, through those two divisions that the DOJ prosecutors will be attempting to pay for their efforts through both the Racketeer-Influenced Corrupt Organizations (RICO) and obscenity forfeiture provisions of the law.
AVN also offers information and a critical perspective on an anti-obscenity bill in Ohio and Michigan bills that are intended to strengthen the regulation of adult video games.

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