FSC Leadership Conference 2018

Free Speech Coalition, the national trade association for the adult industries, will be hosting its first annual Leadership Conference on January 18, 2018 in conjunction with XBIZ at the Andaz Hotel in West Hollywood. The intimate, one-day conference will be open to FSC members only.

“If we’re going to grow as an industry, we need places where leaders can engage with outside experts on key issues,” says Eric Paul Leue, FSC’s Executive Director “Last year, FSC was really fortunate to secure representatives from companies like Wired.com, Mozilla, and the Center for Democracy and Technology for our XBIZ panel discussion on HTTPS. The hall was packed, and we received a tremendous response, so we wanted to expand on that success this coming year. We are grateful that XBIZ is providing the space for these important discussions.”

“2018 is going to present challenges unlike anything we’ve faced before, issues that can impact everyone’s bottom line, whether you’re involved in online commerce or not,” says Alec Helmy, Publisher of XBIZ. “It’s imperative that we acquire authoritative information, discuss the risks and determine the best course of action for our businesses —  and FSC’s Leadership Conference will enable us to do just that.”

Representatives from the British Board of Classification (BBFC), Taylor Wessing, Baker Law, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), Center for Democracy and Technology (CDT) and others will be among the presenters and panelists at this year’s Leadership Conference.

UK Digital Economy Act – Age Verification

11am – 12:20pm

Starting in Spring 2018, the UK will require mandatory age-verification for any visitor to an adult site, using a third-party verifier. Sites that do not comply will be blocked in the UK, with potential fines of up to $250,000. If successful, the DEA is likely to become a template for age-verification elsewhere, including the US. We’ll talk with experts who will explain how to comply, and what your rights are. Murray Perkins is the Head of the DEA for the BBFC. He will give first hand insights into the regulations that are to come, how it works, how to comply, and how this could be beneficial to the industry.

Murray Perkins, Head of the DEA for BBFC

Murray Perkins is Head of the Digital Economy Act at the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC). He joined the BBFC as a Film and Video Examiner in 2000 and was Senior Examiner responsible for the 18 and R18 categories from 2005, regularly consulting with the Metropolitan police and Crown Prosecution Service on issues relating to pornography, and advising the UK’s adult industry on regulations. Prior to coming to the UK, Murray worked for New Zealand’s Office of Film and Literature Classification.

General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

12:30pm – 1:50pm

The Adult Entertainment Industry is a global industry that access markets all over the world via the internet. Keeping up with the ever-changing landscape of regulations and legislations is an important task to protect your businesses, customers, users, and affiliates.

Extensive new data privacy laws in the EU could result in millions of dollars in fines for adult companies, no matter where they reside. After four years of preparation and debate the GDPR was approved by the EU Parliament on 14 April 2016. It will enter in force 20 days after its publication in the EU Official Journal and will be directly application in all members states two years after this date. Enforcement date: 25 May 2018 – at which time those organizations in non-compliance will face heavy fines.

The EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) replaces the Data Protection Directive 95/46/EC and was designed to harmonize data privacy laws across Europe, to protect and empower all EU citizens data privacy and to reshape the way organizations across the region approach data privacy.

Companies who do not adequately protect user data, or alert users after data breaches, could face fines of up to 4% of revenue. Alan and Kai are experts on data protection in the US and the EU GDPR specifically. They will provide valuable insights, explain how to comply, and what to look out for.


Dr Kai Westerwelle, Partner at Taylor Wessing

Kai Westerwelle is joint Head of the Taylor Wessing office in Palo Alto / USA and joint coordinator of the international US Group for the USA. He specialises in the entire field of IT law, in particular outsourcing and cloud computing projects, national and international licence agreements as well as extensive advice on transactions. A further focus of his practice is national and international data protection law, particularly in the context of legal relations with the USA.

Alan L Friel, Partner at Baker Hostetler

Focusing his practice on intellectual property transactions, regulatory schemes, and privacy and consumer protection law, Alan Friel is a thought leader regarding convergence legal issues – the property, liability, and regulatory implications at the evolving intersections between media, marketing, technology, distribution, commerce, big data and communication brought about by the ongoing digital revolution.

Net Neutrality + SESTA

2pm – 3:20pm

Net neutrality is the principle that Internet providers should not control what we see or do online. More specifically, that providers should keep internet speeds the same for all sites, no matter the size or type. The rules prohibit Internet providers from blocking, throttling, and paid prioritization—”fast lanes” for sites that pay, and slow lanes for everyone else.  In 2015, startups, Internet freedom groups, and 3.7 million commenters won strong net neutrality rules from the US Federal Communication Commission (FCC).

After the federal election in 2016 FSC grew concerned that unlike in the past when the industry and its various expressions were tried to be censored under obscenity, 2017 would show a new approach of chipping away on our ability to do business.

The loss of net neutrality, coupled with challenges to the Communications Decency Act’s Section 230 (through the Senate’s SESTA bill) may be THE free speech battle for the 21st Century. Internet speeds for adult sites could be slowed or stopped by cable providers and other ISPs, and adult sites could be held liable for content uploaded to their sites. We’ll be talking with experts who will explain why Net Neutrality matters, how these changes will affect adult sites, how to fight back, and the importance of seeing other issues FSC has been working on, such as the “Porn is a Public Health Crisis” rhetoric, the HTPA, SESTA, FOSTA and more, in a larger context instead of just as singular issues.

Emma Llansó, Director, Free Expression Project CDT

Emma Llansó is the Director of CDT’s Free Expression Project, which works to promote law and policy that support users’ free expression rights in the United States and around the world. Emma leads CDT’s work in advancing speech-protective policies, which include legislative advocacy and amicus activity in the U.S. aimed at ensuring that online expression receives the highest level of protection under the First Amendment. Recognizing the crucial role played by Internet intermediaries in facilitating individuals’ expression, she works to preserve strong intermediary liability protections in the U.S. and to advance these key policies abroad.

Corey Doctorow, EFF Special Advisor

Cory Doctorow is a science fiction author, activist, journalist and blogger — the co-editor of Boing Boing and the author of young adult novels like HOMELAND, PIRATE CINEMA and LITTLE BROTHER and novels for adults like RAPTURE OF THE NERDS and MAKERS. He is the former European director of the Electronic Frontier Foundation and co-founded the UK Open Rights Group. Born in Toronto, Canada, he now lives in London.

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