Alabama proposes hefty tax on sexual material
H.B. 39 would impose a 40 percent tax on “harmful to minors” material, with the exception of movies rated “R” or “NC-17” by MPAA. It would also impose a second 10 percent tax on sexually oriented material not limited to “harmful to minors,” and there is no exception for movies that have been rated.
A similar tax proposal was struck down by an Alabama court in 1980 in a challenge brought by Media Coalition.
Read more about H.B. 39 »
Massachusetts bill targets speech about crime
H.B. 1399 would require anyone who enters into a contract with someone who has been charged or convicted of a crime to report that contract to the state Attorney General and post a bond equal to the value of the contract.
Media Coalition sent letters to legislators reminding them that an identical bill was found unconstitutional by the Massachusetts Supreme Court in an advisory opinion in 2001.
Read more about H.B. 1399 »
New Louisiana law forces websites to ID visitors
Media Coalition opposed H.B. 153, which would require anyone in Louisiana who publishes “harmful to minors” material to make every visitor electronically “acknowledge and attest” to being 18 years old or older prior to accessing the material.
The law places a substantial burden on the First Amendment rights of adults and creates numerous practical problems for websites.
Read more about H.B. 153 »
MEDIA COALITION is an association that defends the First Amendment rights of producers and distributors of books, movies, magazines, recordings, home video, and video games, and defends the American public’s First Amendment right to have access to the broadest possible range of information, opinion and entertainment.
- .@fusion recounts anti-pornography feminists’ campaign in the 1980s: http://t.co/QxQ6Z01p2E #tbt
- Wyoming Supreme Court overturns order blocking publication of names of juvenile witnesses in murder trial: http://t.co/zJBKX0XLaz
- Several researchers are critical of APA’s findings on violent content and video games: http://t.co/9jYfheLVE1
Antigone Books v. Brnovich: Federal court permanently blocks enforcement of Arizona law
U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton signed an order permanently ordering Arizona prosecutors to halt enforcement of the state’s nude photo law. The order approved a joint final settlement between the booksellers, librarians, publishers and media organizations who challenged the law and the Arizona attorney general. The order resolved all the claims in the lawsuit and stated that the plaintiffs are entitled to attorneys’ fees.
Delaware S.B. 68: Bill would ban marketing of First Amendment-protected material to minors
Senate Bill 68 would bar websites directed to minors from advertising a range of products and services, as well as bar websites that has actual knowledge that a minor is on the website from advertising to that minor. Among the goods and services that may not be advertised is material that fits the three prongs of the Miller/Ginsberg test for “harmful to minors” material. However, the bill does not limit it to material with sexual content, which means that it could apply to content — such as violent material — fully protected by the First Amendment for both adults and minors.
California A.B. 538: Bill would require reporting of contracts for true crime stories
Assembly Bill 538 would require any person, organization or company that enters into a contract for “the sale of the story of a crime for which the offender was convicted” with a person convicted of specified crimes to report it to the Office of Survivor Rights and Services. Though this bill does not require that the profits from the story be given to the victims as so-called “Son of Sam” legislation does, it still places a financial burden on both the convicted individual and publishers and creators of true crime material. The bill would discourage publishers, authors, filmmakers and musicians from pursuing sensitive subjects.
Recent Legislation Updates
August 7, 2015: Gov. Jack Markell signed the bill into law.
The bill would bar the advertising to a minor of certain First Amendment-protected material. Websites directed to minors would be barred from advertising the material altogether.
August 3, 2015: The bill was referred to the House Committee on Ways and Means General Fund.
The bill would impose a 40 percent tax on “harmful to minors” material, with the exception of movies rated “R” or “NC-17.” It would also impose a 10 percent tax on sexually oriented material.
July 16, 2015: The Senate Committee on Judiciary recommended the bill be passed. The bill was referred to the Senate Committee on Appropriations.
The bill would require anyone that enters into a contract for “the sale of the story of a crime for which the offender was convicted” with a person convicted of specified crimes to report it to the Office of Survivor Rights and Services.
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