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Question
you shoot a girl and yourself having sex she signs a model release form and then wants to have the content taken off etc. what do you do? Also do you think porn performers have to be happy with themselves it seems so you know perform in light health bodies etc. would you say most performers are really happy and like themselves?

Answer
Bravo -

You ask some really tough questions!

Both of them are pretty impossible to answer - and I suspect you already know that, so I'll confirm it!

Here's why, without a copy of the release and tons of information (from the way the agreement was executed to ID to the circumstances and facts from which the video arose) this question can't even be approximately answered:

1. Not all model releases are created equal. I have no idea what the text says, and that's where the issue stops and starts if it isn't suited for this kind of content and the way you want to use it.

2. There are formation issues. Does the agreement call for compensation? Money. Was she paid? How do you prove that?

3. If so, exactly what videography does the release relate to? Imprecision here can lead to your model arguing that the document related to something else, not to this, and then any litigation can become a  crapshoot.

4. If all you have is a bare release and a performance, allegations can arise of intoxication or drugs or coercion. These are all issues that professional videographers know about when they deal with amateur models - and they make sure that there is enduring, convincing evidence to refute them. Such things would vitiate consent if believed by a court.

5. 2257 Compliance and age of majority issues. Can you prove that she was over 18 on the date of videography? She just might blackmail you into taking it down with the threat of false allegations that she was underage! You think that you can prove it from a date generated in the camera's metadata? That may not be the end of the inquiry because it depends on how the camera was set as to date and time. Again, the claim that a model was under 18, that the ID she showed was fake or borrowed, are common after models get the money, regret the video, and are angling to force the photographer to take the images down. Now, don't get surprised by this, but not all females are honest, they don't always tell the truth, and every now and then, one of them will lie to get something she wants, like having a scandalous video taken down that may unimpress her family, girlfriends and the man and jobs she sees in her future.

What separates professionals in the adult industry from amateurs is that they all know the ins and outs of these particular dangers - and others too lengthy to write about here - and they engineer their video creation well in advance to overcome all of these potential dangers and pitfalls that can force a takedown. They know, either from trial and error, or by learning from a lawyer experienced in this area, where the mines are buried and how to walk around them. Amateur models are notorious for changing their minds after they've spent the money.That's one of the reasons why the veteran producers tend to shoot experienced performers, even if their face isn't the newest and freshest face off the bus into the San Fernando Valley, Miami, or wherever the shooting is going on.

Then you want to ask me about happiness!

Bravo, you gotta get this straight: Football players, movie stars, singers, garage mechanics, and lawyers are all just people, and people aren't static, they are dynamic, with shifting moods, attitudes, goals, self-images and - well, you name it, and it changes broadly over time, and fluctuates day by day. Sometimes, in every life, hour by hour. Great joy can quickly come to a crashing halt. Stop by the funeral of any young person not expected to die and talk to the people there, and you'll get a flavor of that. Porn stars are people, too. I don't claim to know lots and lots of porn actresses - I don't - I'm a lawyer in Chicago - but I do meet them at shows and parties sometimes - and sometimes they become friends or clients. I've met some amazing people of both sexes involved in the adult industry - and some who are not so impressive, too. But guess what - they are really different from one another. They may also, in the main, be different from other kinds of people, but if they are, it's more a matter of degree than particular properties in most cases. Based on the limited knowledge in my possession, there just isn't any fair generalization that fits my sense of accuracy and honesty. I think that just maybe, possibly, you are looking to have me validate your speculation. Maybe, maybe not. Just keep in mind that what seems like common sense often turns out to be wildly inaccurate speculation. Ask any of the folks Galileo or Newton had to contend with about what "common sense" told them! Just a little bit of empirical research trumps endless days of speculating. And then, too, ask what the point is of such speculation. To feel superior to porn performers? To stigmatize them? To separate "them" from "us"? To what end? Better to ask how they came down a road that took them before that camera. I've taught my children that everyone they will meet possesses knowledge of something or another that is superior to their own. If knowledge is power, and indeed it is, they have power that is not yours. Make it a point to learn all you can from whoever you meet, and you will do no wrong, and perhaps advantage yourself greatly. When you start judging them as persons, even under the pretext of assessing their psychological makeup, is where all the trouble begins.

You have all of my very best wishes.

JD

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J. D. Obenberger

Expertise

Numerous trials, including jury trials, criminal and civil since 1979. Obscenity. Section 2257. Copyright. Trademark. Communications Decency Act Section 230. Right of Privacy/Right of Publicity. Defamation/Libel/Slander. Warning Pages. Adult Internet Sites. Strip Clubs/Gentlemen's clubs. Massage Parlors. Prostitution. I am the author and operator of http://www.xxxlaw.com, the most comprehensive online legal resource concerning the law of adult entertainment online.

Experience

I've been an attorney for 34 years, nearly 20 years as an attorney concentrating in adult entertainment law. Have spoken at 72 adult webmaster show legal seminars and forums in six nations, seven American states, and three provinces of Canada, have appeared on the O'Reilly factor concerning obscenity, have been published by Thompson-Gale. Full qualifications at xxxlaw.com. My firm, J.D. Obenberger and Associates has provided representation in both criminal and civil matters for adult content producers, the operators of adult online businesses, as well as brick and mortar adult operations for nearly twenty years. We provide legal strategy, forms, protocols, and guidance for every kind of adult operation. Our clients find us available 24/7/365 in every emergency. My background includes numerous jury trials including the defense of major drug case in federal court on the Mexican border at Brownsville, forgery, sexual assaults, gun offenses, aggravated kidnapping, and such civil matters as pharmaceutical malpractice, premises and construction liability, and personal injury. I have prosecuted cases in the name of the United States while serving as a Captain in the United States Army Judge Advocate General's Corps. I have represented and advised clients in every part of the United States and from Hong Kong to Budapest. I am a regular columnist for XBIZ World and have published numerous articles in AVN and AVN Online and for YNOT.

Organizations
First Amendment Lawyers' Association, Free Speech Coalition, National Rifle Association, American Legion.

Publications
AVN, XBIZ, YNOT, Online Pornography, published by Thompson-Gale.

Education/Credentials
Doctor of Law, 1979, University of Wisconsin Law School. Dean's List. Graduate, National Institute of Trial Advocacy. Guest Lecturer, John Marshall Law School. I have presented Continuing Legal Education for practicing attorneys. Undergrad BA, the University of Wisconsin, double major in Political Science and History. Graduate, 90th Basic Judge Advocate General's Course on the campus of the University of Virginia.

Awards and Honors
Army Commendation Medal awarded as a Captain, US Army Judge Advocate General's Corps, as the most requested criminal defense lawyer in the US Army, Europe.

Past/Present Clients
No legal issue too great or too hot to handle, no client too small to deserve zealous and effective representation.

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