The Photography of h.butz

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 22, 2017 10:54 am 
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I have a legal question for you. Is it possible to be convicted of murder without actually killing someone? The answer is: Probably not. In this country, we generally need a murder weapon, motive, opportunity, and a dead body. The chances of actually being convicted of murder, of which you had absolutely no knowledge, is very slim.

Here's another legal question. If you are a photographer, can you be convicted of child pornography without actually photographing any children? The answer is: Very likely. At least according to the latest proposed changes to this country's child pornography laws.

Our government is at it again (see my previous rants about COPA - the Child Online Protection Act). Three attempts to shut down all adult websites in this country have been thwarted by the Supreme Court, citing First Amendment (Free Speech) violations aka Government Censorship. Rather than going for a fourth, pointless attempt at re-introducing COPA, the religious zealots are mucking about with Title 18 § 2257. This is a rather benign regulation which asserts that any explicit photography must be accompanied by records which assert the age of the model to be at least eighteen years old. Nobody violates this law. It's a good law. We need this law. The adult industry embraces this law and exceeds the record keeping requirements set forth.

Adult website operators typically entrust these records to their attorney's office. If there is an alleged violation, da Fed's can speak with the defendant's attorney and seize all records in one stop. Records are available during convenient hours for inspection. Everyone is happy. Well, no longer. Proposed changes specifically prohibit a "third party" (such as an attorney) from maintaining the records. Website owners need to keep the records themselves and provide regular business hours. This makes it a felony to run a website operating out of a PO Box or someone's livingroom. The website must keep archives for up to seven years - so, just in case da Fed's missed a violation, you can give them the rope from which they can hang you.

Records need to be kept in alphabetical order, separate from all other records, cross-indexed to every instance of an image in which the model appears. The penalty of the smallest infraction is up to ten years in jail per infraction and $10,000 in fines. So, even if you do keep regular business hours and do your best to maintain accurate records, 4 or 5 bookkeeping mistakes or typograpical errors equates to a life prison sentence.

Imagine doing life in prison for making five typographical errors. I know I'm dead already. How about you?

This does a good job of divide and conquer: Those who wish to comply with the law and those who cannot or will not comply. Those who comply open themselves up to potential heavy fines and prison sentences for failing to cross a 't' or dot an 'i'. If da Fed's come after you, chances are they could find a mistake in your record keeping. The smallest record keeping infraction will result in serious jail time.

Those who cannot or will not comply are equally open to serious jail time. If da Feds decide that you have taken an explicit photograph, even if the model was of legal age, even if you have collected and verified two forms of photo ID from the model, even if you are certain that there's not a snowball's chance in hell of you taking a photograph of a minor -> you can still go to jail for life on child pornography charges.

It's brilliant. It's insidious. Someone must have spent years thinking this one up. It's a pity that our government isn't going after rich people who stole millions of dollars in pension funds, or trying to provide healthcare for our citizens. Instead, they want to lock people away for life because they took a naughty photograph. wow.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 08, 2018 1:17 pm 
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Joined: Thu Mar 02, 2017 11:35 am
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It's difficult to believe this is America.


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 15, 2018 1:44 pm 
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Joined: Thu Mar 02, 2017 11:35 am
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Section 230 has died

It would seem our government has pushed free speech off-shore. We are no longer granted the protections of the first amendment to the Constitution. Following the seizure of backpage.com, yet more legislation was introduced by the "conservatives," whose philosophy is, "The role of government should be to provide people the freedom necessary to pursue their own goals and to empower the individual to solve problems." yet, they seem to have a lot to say about sex, nudity, and pornography.

Under the mantra of, "Protect the children," the fed's have burdened us with FOSTA-SESTA https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stop_Enabling_Sex_Traffickers_Act which overturns the legal immunity of common carriers https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Common_carrier stated in 47 U.S.C. §230(c)(1). Section 230 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Section_230_of_the_Communications_Decency_Act. (I'm using "Common Carrier" term loosely)

whew. What a mouthful. The "tl'dr" version of what this means to photographers is that the Internet which carries my photography has been damaged. If da fed's have issue with my photography, they can come knock on my door and tell me so. With FOSTA-SESTA, now, da fed's don't need to knock on MY door. They can go to ISP's (Internet Service Providers) and knock on THEIR door. If the ISP, such as Craigslist has 1 million classifieds ads on it, and maybe 1,000 of those ads have the potential to be posted by a criminal [photographer], then it makes sense for Craigslist to prune those ads by completely eliminating those few 1% to save the other 99%. The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few. - The Wrath of Kahn c/o Charles Dickens.

This is how the U.S. Government censors free speech, flying in the face of the Constitution of our country. Outwardly, it seems like a "no brain-er" to go after the owners of backpage.com for profiting by allowing others to engage in illegal activities. But, it would make far more sense to go after the criminals, not the ISP's.

Here's an example. I make a cell phone call to a hit man in New Jersey to "terminate with extreme prejudice" someone in New York. The hit goes as planned but da fed's investigate and discover all the grizzly details. Who goes to jail? Well, me, for starters. I conspired and am just as guilty as the hit man. He also goes to jail. That's two people. Any others?

What about the Uber driver who drove the hit man took to New York? Should the Uber driver go to jail although he knew nothing of the murder plot? He profited from the hit, so FOSTA-SESTA says we need to lock up the Uber driver as well. I made a phone call on the Sprint network. Should Sprint be seized for facilitating the hit? FOSTA-SESTA says yes, since Sprint profited by the hit as well. Let us shut down the network which allowed someone to be murdered by a man who used that service to find a hit man. The Uber drove across the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge to New York to make the hit. Certainly a bridge which facilitates murder should not be allowed to exist. We must tear down the bridge as well.

Am I being silly? Not at all. Law makers recognized that common services such as bridges, taxi's, Uber's, and telephones might be used to facilitate crime unwittingly but they serve the greater good - to the benefit of the other 99%. That is why Section 230 was introduced - to preserve our freedom of speech in this country by holding harmless the services which are abused on rare occasion.

This protection has been removed. We all suffer. Please visit and keep following the efforts of the EFF:

https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2018/06/eff-sues-invalidate-fosta-unconstitutional-internet-censorship-law

Amateur Modeling

I once used backpage.com and Craigslist to find amateur models. These websites replaced discussion forums which were popular in the 90's. The discussion forums replaced newsgroups which were popular in the late 80's. And, newsgroups replaced dial-up services such as CompuServe, AOL, and Prodigy. Thanks again to FOSTA-SESTA, personal ads and the solicitation of amateur models has been effectively silenced. The Internet has responded by pushing these services off-shore, such as switter.at, backpage.ly, and OneBackPage.com

In short time, I suspect the Internet will rebound as our government tries to reach out and destroy those sites as well. Previously they attacked the leaking of confidential information, publication of copyrighted music and video, and modifications to xbox to play unauthorized games https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xbox_modding

But, now the government is trying to shutdown unauthorized sex e.g. escorts, body rubs, car dates, happy ending massages. This to me seems a bit too George Orwell for my tastes. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nineteen_Eighty-Four If you haven't read this novel, please do.


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