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Adult Film/Filming adult films in the Pacific Northwest

Hello, I've been considering a job in adult film production, in the hopes of gaining experience to become an independent film maker at a later date. Anyway, I live in the Pacific Northwest, near Seattle, and would like to know, if possible, the legality of producing an adult film here?

Also, is there any legal "loopholes" that could minimize the risk of legal repercussions against myself and those involved in the project? For example, would a story driven production with artistic and plot elements not revolving around sexual activity be considered a non-pornagraphic or obscene film, even if it still included graphic sexual activity and/or intercourse?

Geoffry -

You ask two questions that just don't lend themselves very well to the limitations of this kind of format. They really involve personal advice in some depth.

With respect to the legality of adult films, the general answer is that adult films, even quite explicit films, are legal everywhere in the United States unless they are criminally obscene. The minimum definition of what is legally obscene is laid out by the US Supreme Court in several decisions. You can read more about it here. However, the test for criminal obscenity, in important part, does depend on local community standards. To that extent, the best way to judge it is past criminal verdicts and the unmolested availability of adult materials in that area. It would be best to consult with a local attorney who has honest experience handling obscenity cases in your area. That may be hard to locate.

Such things as plot and art are not loopholes. Nothing with serious literary value can be obscene by definition. But you need education in depth to understand this area. Start with the article I've linked. Feel free to contact me through the same website's contact information if you want some guidance in depth on a professional basis.



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J. D. Obenberger


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, the most comprehensive online legal resource concerning the law of adult entertainment online.


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 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.

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

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

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.

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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.

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

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