Absolutely Free Porn Site Probably Legal

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“I own an adult web site at http://[elided].com. It is held on an American server and managed from the UK. The laws on pornographic material are very vague and I just want to know what I can show and can’t. The site is more a contact database and also contains a wealth of useful information regarding sexual health, orientation and activities. It also has information on parties, clubs and sex holidays. Oh it’s 100% free too so is not an adult pay porn site. Is it legal?”

[NOTE: Articles and answers on DearEsq., while written and published by lawyers, do not constitute legal advice, and no attorney-client relationship is formed by your reading of this information. You should always consult with an attorney for any legal situations.]

As you note, the law regarding these matters is vague, and your situation is complicated by the fact that you are really operating cross-ocean, in two different countries.

Here in the United States, so long as you are operating above board, following all standard business requirements which apply to all businesses, adult or otherwise, are ensuring that your site is open only to those above eighteen years of age, and, perhaps above all, are abiding by the law which requires you to maintain records and document proof that all models appearing on your site are over the age of eighteen, you should have little problem here in the United States.

Generally speaking, so long as you are otherwise operating within the law, the United States will afford your adult business the same legal protection and respect as it does any other business. For example, you may find it of interest to note that the Sex.com case is back in the news, where a squatter stole the sex.com domain, and made millions of dollars off it, and he was required to repay the money he made, off the adult-themed website to the rightful owner.

As to the laws in the United Kingdom, you will need to consult a solicitor over there who is knowledgeable about both business laws generally, and the adult business law in the U.K..

One thing to note is that if you do run afoul of U.S. law, the fact that you are in the U.K. will not necessarily shield you from prosecution in the U.S., as the location of your server may constitute your having sufficient contacts for the U.S. to exercise jurisdiction, and request extradition.



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Author: Anne P. Mitchell, Esq.

Anne P. Mitchell, Esq. is a noted family law expert, Internet law expert, and Professor of Law at Lincoln Law School of San Jose. She is the author of "Surviving Divorce: the Single Father's Guide" and "The Email Deliverability Handbook"