Custodian Of Records Lawyers

Custodian Of Records/18 U.S.C 2257

The record keeping requirements for adult content on web sites and other media are located at 18 U.S.C. 2257, also known as 18 United States Code Section 2257. They state that:

(a)Whoever produces any book, magazine, periodical, film, videotape, digital image, digitally- or computer-manipulated image of an actual human being, picture, or other matter which

(1) contains one or more visual depictions made after November 1, 1990 of actual sexually explicit conduct; and

(2) is produced in whole or in part with materials which have been mailed or shipped in interstate or foreign commerce, or is shipped or transported or is intended for shipment or transportation in interstate or foreign commerce; shall create and maintain individually identifiable records pertaining to every performer portrayed in such a visual depiction.

The statute is interpreted broadly to apply to what some would consider erotica and others would call porn or pornography.

(c) Any person to whom subsection (a) applies shall maintain the records required by this section at his business premises, or at such other place as the Attorney General may by regulation prescribe and shall make such records available to the Attorney General for inspection at all reasonable times.

(d) (1) No information or evidence obtained from records required to be created or maintained by this section shall, except as provided in this section, directly or indirectly, be used as evidence against any person with respect to any violation of law.

(2) Paragraph (1) of this subsection shall not preclude the use of such information or evidence in a prosecution or other action for a violation of this chapter or chapter 71, or for a violation of any applicable provision of law with respect to the furnishing of false information.

The custodian of records has specific requirements under 18 USC 2257. There are also requirements that relate to the person producing the adult material. The law requires notices to be affixed to the material. The statute states,

(e) (1) Any person to whom subsection (a) applies shall cause to be affixed to every copy of any matter described in paragraph (1) of subsection (a) of this section, in such manner and in such form as the Attorney General shall by regulations prescribe, a statement describing where the records required by this section with respect to all performers depicted in that copy of the matter may be located. In this paragraph, the term copy includes every page of a website on which matter described in subsection (a) appears. (2) If the person to whom subsection (a) of this section applies is an organization the statement required by this subsection shall include the name, title, and business address of the individual employed by such organization responsible for maintaining the records required by this section. (f) It shall be unlawful (1) for any person to whom subsection (a) applies to fail to create or maintain the records as required by subsections (a) and (c) or by any regulation promulgated under this section; (2) for any person to whom subsection (a) applies knowingly to make any false entry in or knowingly to fail to make an appropriate entry in, any record required by subsection (b) of this section or any regulation promulgated under this section; (3) for any person to whom subsection (a) applies knowingly to fail to comply with the provisions of subsection (e) or any regulation promulgated pursuant to that subsection.

The exceptions to 18 USC 2257 are:

(i) photo or film processing, including digitization of previously existing visual depictions, as part of a commercial enterprise, with no other commercial interest in the sexually explicit material, printing, and video duplication; (ii) distribution; (iii) any activity, other than those activities identified in subparagraph (A), that does not involve the hiring, contracting for, managing, or otherwise arranging for the participation of the depicted performers; (iv) the provision of a telecommunications service, or of an Internet access service or Internet information location tool (as those terms are defined in section 231 of the Communications Act of 1934 (47 U.S.C. 231)); or (v) the transmission, storage, retrieval, hosting, formatting, or translation (or any combination thereof) of a communication, without selection or alteration of the content of the communication, except that deletion of a particular communication or material made by another person in a manner consistent with section 230(c) of the Communications Act of 1934 (47 U.S.C. 230 (c)) shall not constitute such selection or alteration of the content of the communication; and (3) the term performer includes any person portrayed in a visual depiction engaging in, or assisting another person to engage in, sexually explicit conduct.

It should be stressed that 18 United States Code 2257 is different than COPA, the Child On Line Protection Act, a/k/a the Child Online Protection Act. That law is located at 47 United States Code 231 also known as 47 USC 231. It states in part,
(a) Whoever knowingly and with knowledge of the character of the material, in interstate or foreign commerce by means of the World Wide Web, makes any communication for commercial purposes that is available to any minor and that includes any material that is harmful to minors shall be fined not more than $50,000, imprisoned not more than 6 months, or both.

The penalties for violating 18 USC Section 2257 are as follows:
(i) Whoever violates this section shall be imprisoned for not more than 5 years, and fined in accordance with the provisions of this title, or both. Whoever violates this section after having been convicted of a violation punishable under this section shall be imprisoned for any period of years not more than 10 years but not less than 2 years, and fined in accordance with the provisions of this title, or both.

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