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Old 08-09-2002, 10:25 AM
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: Way down in Deep 13
Posts: 2,928
Legal difference between prostitution and pornography

Someone mused about this the other day on another forum: Why is prostitution illegal but pornography (well, making it) legal?

Prostitution is paying someone else for sex. Actors and actresses in a porno film are paid to have sex with each other (or whatever) on camera. Is there legal wording of the statutes (this of course will vary by state) that provide for this? Are the legal definitions written so as to provide for it? Has a case like this ever made it to court? Could videotaping a john and hooker be a defense (we were just making a porno)?

And just a disclaimer to satisfy the mods: No one here is looking for a way to break the law. Relevant legal terms and possible case law is what I'm after.
Old 08-09-2002, 10:34 AM
Join Date: May 2001
Location: In another castle
Posts: 18,988
Actors in a porn movie aren't being paid to have sex. They're being paid to act, and it just so happens that their parts involve sex scenes. It's a fine distinction, but that's what law is all about.
Old 08-09-2002, 12:12 PM
UDS UDS is offline
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Australia
Posts: 7,804
Actually, depending on where you live, paying somebody to have sex may not be an offence. The offence more usually consists of seeking payment for sex (soliciting) or pimping (brothel-keeping, living off immoral earnings).
Old 08-09-2002, 12:20 PM
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: KCMO
Posts: 11,126
In addition to ultrafilter's response, who's going to file a complaint? No law officer observed a quid pro quo exchange of money for sex. The actors can always claim that they did the sex part out of mutual consent for the fun of it, and only accepted money for other actions involved in acting. I don't see any grounds to file charges.

The hooker and john scenario you ask about is different. If there appears to be a clear sex-for-money exchange in a setting that isn't normally and/or obviously used for filming entertainment, I think it would be pretty hard to get the "making a video" defense to work.
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