News Column

Porn Producer Vivid Sues to Block Condom Requirement

Jan. 12, 2013

Gregory J. Wilcox

porn producer, vivid, lawsuit, condom requirement

PORN PRODUCER SUES: Saying it is unconstitutional, an adult film company has filed a federal lawsuit to block the new Los Angeles County law that mandates actors wear condoms when participating in sex scenes.

Universal City-based Vivid Entertainment LLC claims that the Measure B condom requirement passed by voters last fall violates actors' rights to free speech and expression.

The suit was filed Thursday in federal court by a trio of law firms.

"It (Measure B) tells a person who is a filmmaker ... that you can't create (one) unless you pay a fee and obtain a permit and do it the way we say, which is all your people must wear condoms," said Paul Cambria, an attorney with Lipsitz Green Scime Cambria, which is representing Vivid.

Cambria, a veteran First Amendment attorney, maintains that regulating activity on adult film sets is the responsibility of the state's Division of Occupational Safety and Health and not the county.

He also said that the industry has a testing system in place for sexually transmitted diseases and that is a safety net for performers and the general population.

The other adult industry plaintiffs are performers Kayden Kross and Logan Pierce.

"Overturning this law is something I feel very passionate about. I believe the industry's current testing system works well," Steven Hirsch, founder and co-chairman of Vivid, said in a written statement.

"Since 2004 over 300,000 explicit scenes have been filmed

with zero HIV transmission. The new law makes no sense and it imposes a government licensing regime on making films that are protected by the Constitution."

Cambria said that it will also force companies out to other counties and countries where there are no restrictions on the industry.

The adult-film industry has been contemplating filing suit since last November's election.

Named as defendants are the County of Los Angeles, District Attorney Jackie Lacey and Dr. Jonathan Fielding, director of the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health.

"The county has not yet had a chance to review the lawsuit in any detail, so we won't have a comment or reaction at this time," county spokesman David Sommers said in an email Friday.

The push for Measure B was led by the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, which issued a statement Friday saying the measure is not directed at First Amendment rights but safety in a commercial enterprise.

"Their First Amendment claims will likely ring hollow with the court," Tom Myers, chief of public affairs and general counsel for the foundation, said in a statement.

"In non-adult films, we don't let people take chances that can harm themselves or others, with pyrotechnics, for example, just because they feel their creativity or expression would be stifled."

Cambria said he is now waiting for the county to respond to his clients' claims.

"We will try to bring this to a swift resolution and we hope in the next three to five months we can get a ruling on the merits," he said.


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