Blog

16 Jan
0

IN MEMORIAM: LARRY GARLAND, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE FREE SPEECH COALITION

The Free Speech Coalition mourns the passing of Larry Garland, founder of the Eldorado Trading Co, and past President and current Vice President of the Free Speech Coalition Board of Directors.

“Larry Garland was a longstanding member of the FSC board of directors, a committed industry leader, and a kind and caring person,” said Eric Paul Leue, Executive Director of the Free Speech Coalition, “He had a witty sense of humor and a beautifully optimistic take on life. His passing leaves us with great sadness. We offer our condolences to his family, loved ones, and his colleagues at Eldorado Trading. Rest In Peace Larry, you will be missed.”

Tim Valenti, the current President of the Board, said “I could not have been prouder to serve with him on the board. I knew him as a kind and generous man who gave so much of his time and effort to help make this community. He will be sorely missed.”

“He was an exemplar, both as a businessman and friend,” said Board Chair Jeffrey Douglas. “Everyone who had been at his place of business, and seen both the efficiency he created, and the loyalty he inspired in all of his workers could not fail to be impressed. His dedication to people was reflected in how he ran his business, how he conducted his relationships, as well as his dedication to the Free Speech Coalition. He served for years both as a director and an officer. He is irreplaceable both as a colleague and a friend. Our hearts go out to his family, coworkers, and colleagues.”

“Larry and I were friends for many many years,” said Lynn Swanson of Classic Erotica, who served with Larry on the FSC Board for over ten years. “We have been through so much together – so many good times and so many not so good times. He was such a genuinely good person, I will sorely miss one of my dearest friends.”

Larry Garland founded the Eldorado in 1974 as a distribution company for Native American jewelry, and later became a leader in the sexual wellness and pleasure product market. Larry was a past President and served as the current Vice President of the Free Speech Coalition. Larry received numerous prestigious awards for his achievements in the industry including induction to the AVN Hall of Fame, and the AVN “O” Lifetime Achievement Award. In 2013, he was inducted into the StorErotica Hall of Fame. Just last week, he was presented with the Pioneer Award at the 2017 Xbiz Awards.

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11 Jan
0

Free Speech Coalition to Host “Post Prop 60” Political Panel on Thursday

LOS ANGELES — The Free Speech Coalition will host a crucial all-industry roundtable on Thursday, Jan 12, to discuss the political and regulatory challenges facing the adult industry this year. The roundtable discussion is crucial for anyone doing business in the adult industry today.

“While we were able to defeat Prop 60, our biggest battles come later this year,” says Eric Paul Leue, Executive Director of the Free Speech Coalition. “From the Cal/OSHA hearings this month, to the prospect of renewed obscenity prosecutions, to mandatory porn blocking, to raids on service providers, we are seeing grave threats to the industry’s existence. We have not faced a more hostile government in nearly three decades, and we will need an active and informed industry in order to survive.”

The incoming Trump Administration has pledged to make obscenity prosecutions and regulation of adult content one of its top priorities. President-Elect Trump has stated that he does not believe that adult content is protected by the First Amendment; his Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, suggested at his confirmation hearing yesterday that he would revive the disbanded Obscenity Prosecution Task Force to go after adult producers.

The Republican Party plan, and many state GOP legislators, have called internet porn “a public health crisis.” Several states have proposed mandatory blocks on all computers, tablets and phones sold, and a bill drafted in Utah would allow private citizens to sue producers for “harm” that comes from viewing adult material.

At new Cal/OSHA hearings this spring, the AIDS Healthcare Foundation will once again seek to mandate condoms, as well as other barrier protection such as goggles and dental dams, in adult productions filmed in state.

“The prospect of aggressive prosecution is frightening, and we must remain vigilant” says Leue, “We will discuss strategies for survival, both for the industry as a whole, as well as for individual producers, performers and distributors who want to avoid triggering prosecutions.”

The Post Prop 60 Panel will be preceded by an FSC panel on site security, featuring leaders from the tech world, including Wired.com and the Center for Democracy and Technology.

“Past Prop 60”
Thursday, January 12, 1PM
Rooftop Ballroom
Andaz, West Hollywood

“HTTPS in Mainstream and Adult”
12PM
Rooftop Ballroom
Andaz, West Hollywood

CONTACT:
Mike Stabile
Media Relations, Free Speech Coalition
mike@freespeechcoalition.com
415.710.9184

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11 Jan
0

Wired.com, Mozilla, CDT Join FSC For Thursday Panel on Site Security

LOS ANGELES — Leading tech journalists and security experts will join the Free Speech Coalition on Thursday for a panel on the risks adult sites face from hacking, malware and other cyberattacks — as well as how to prevent them.

Representatives from Wired.com, the Mozilla Corporation and the Center for Democracy and Technology (CDT) will be on hand to discuss the importance of site security to adult webmasters, and to answer questions about how webmasters can better secure their sites with HTTPS protocol.

“This seminar is a must for everyone from CTOs to small business owners,” says Eric Paul Leue, Executive Director of the Free Speech Coalition. “It is an incredible opportunity for everyday adult business owners to have direct access to leaders in the field, including journalists who understand the unique nature of the adult industry.”

The Free Speech Coalition began working with the CDT and others last year, after a report showed that many adult sites were vulnerable to hacking. In the past several years, adult sites of all sizes have suffered security breaches that have resulted in pirated content, exposed user databases, and millions in lost income.

“The HTTPS protocol is something every webmaster should be moving toward,” says Leue. “It’s crucial to the survival of our business and, thanks to the resources from the CDT and others, the transition is much easier than many think.”

HTTPS in Mainstream and Adult
12PM-1PM
Rooftop Ballroom
Andaz, West Hollywood

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31 Dec
2

2017 Board Election Announced

LOS ANGELES —The Free Speech Coalition congratulates the newly elected members of the FSC Board: Kelly Holland of Penthouse and Adam Grayson of Evil Angel. Holland and Grayson will join re-elected incumbent board members First Amendment attorney Reed Lee, Peter Acworth (Kink.com), Mark Kernes (AVN), Joel Kaminsky (Good Vibrations) and Alec Helmy (Xbiz), as well as existing FSC Board members Mo Reese (Penthouse), Bob Christian (Adam and Eve), Mark Schechter (ATMLA), and current President of the Board Tim Valenti (NakedSword/AEBN), Vice President Larry Garland (El Dorado Trading Co.) and Board Chair Jeffrey Douglas, none of whose seats were up for re-election this year.

Holland and Grayson will replace seats vacated by Vivid’s Marci Hirsch and Classic Erotica’s Lynn Swanson, who had been a board member for over ten years.

“We are incredibly lucky to have such an experienced and varied board, representing so many sectors of our industry,” says Eric Paul Leue, Executive Director of the Free Speech Coalition. “I am thankful for the incredible service of both Marci Hirsch and Lynn Swanson, and their contribution to our success. I am excited to work with this new team on the battles ahead.”

Priorities for the coming year will include further regulatory battles with Cal/OSHA over mandatory condoms, legislation at the local and federal level meant to restrict adult speech and access, zoning restrictions meant to eliminate adult business, morals-based sales and regulatory hurdles for pleasure products, and the possibility of renewed obscenity prosecutions under a more conservative administration.

“The next few years will be ones of both challenge and opportunity. The industry and its performers will again fight threats to our right to create, produce, star in, distribute and buy adult material and pleasure products. But, after successful battles against 2257, Cal/OSHA and Prop 60, we are also at our strongest and most unified.”

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21 Dec
1

Statement on Nikki Benz

The following statement was sent to journalists yesterday.

The experience described by Nikki Benz, who says she was choked and stepped on by a director on an adult shoot, are unacceptable in every way. No worker, adult or otherwise, should ever be subjected to physical violence. We are working with the parties, as well as the performer group APAC, to determine what happened on the set, and how we should react as a community. We will update when we have more information.

Eric Paul Leue
Executive Director, Free Speech Coalition.

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