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GoDaddy user reviews : Great idea to pick GoDaddy?? Adult Site Question - Nevada or Netherlands?

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We have a client who is launching a site that will allow escorts (aka prostitutes) to create websites and schedule their appointments. Escorts will be uploading their own photos, so we have no way of verifying them and we won't be policing them.

Does anyone know if there would be anything that would cause us (the developers) or our client (the site /img/avatar8.jpg) to come under scrutiny from any government agency in the US?.

If so, does anyone have any suggestions for avoiding any problems (i.e.: forming a Nevada corporation or a Netherlands corporation/BV, or hosting the site in the Netherlands)?.

Thanks..

Comments (10)

You'd probably be better off in the Netherlands.

Read up on the 2257 laws http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Child_P...nforcement_Act.

-Steve..

Comment #1

Keep a low profile ... that's honestly the best way to avoid legal problems in the on-line adult business.

Most every on-line adult business is legally vulnerable - ie. local community standards has been used to shut some adult sites down; licensing, zoning (less of an issue for on-line, but not totally mute), etc.

While incorporating / webhosting off-shore may not offer much additional legal protection for U.S.-based people running the company, it likely will make the company and it's officers more difficult to find (law enforcement may not even bother pursuing any complaints regarding such a site thinking it's a totally offshore entity); security by obscurity has it's pitfalls, but is still often useful neverless.

P.s. On a related topic, 2257 or similar notices are likely a good idea even when operating offshore for a site targeting the U.S.; lack of such notices may raise a red-flag and invite further scrutiny - certainly research how similar sites to what you propose handle 2257, etc.

Ron..

Comment #2

You won't have any problems hosting the website in The Netherlands although not all hosting companies there accept adult websites, but setting up a BV will be very difficult.

A lot of Dutch companies do just the opposite and form a corporation abroad (like on Aruba, Cyprus or Panama) because taxes are crazy high (up to 52%) and the Dutch love bureaucracy (you'll get buried in paperwork).

That's why I'm in Spain as a Dutch citizen.

You can find adult hosting (if you can read Dutch) here: http://www.webhosters.nl/adultwebhosting.php..

Comment #3

Thanks for the info.

"...require producers of sexually explicit material to attain proof of age for every model they shoot, and keep those records on hand.".

If we don't shoot the photos, does this mean we're exempt? I really don't anticipate there being escorts under 18, but I also don't imagine that the industry expected Traci Lords to be under 18 either. I think it is going to be a lot of girls in their late 20's as well as 30's and 40's. We are simply providing the software that allows an escort to build their website. The escort will upload their own photos. We provide the hosting. I see this barely being considered porn.

If we hosted with a US company like The Planet (formerly EV1) or Server Beach, do you think we would run into any issues since we're not the owner of the photos... we would just be the hosting reseller?.

If you think the US is a definite problem, anyone that can suggest countries that don't care that would have cheap dedicated Windows servers would be wonderful. Western Europe seems to be a bit pricey for dedicated Windows servers. A good Windows host with plenty of web space would do as well...

Comment #4

I believe anyone who produces such materials such material is required to maintain proof of age. So if it is your website, you are required to have the documents. That is why many sites did shut down, it was not thier content and could not maintain the proper paperwork...

Comment #5

The disclaimer at met-art.com says that they are "EXEMPT from both the recordkeeping and labeling requirements of 18 U.S.C. 2257, because no images of "actual sexually explicit conduct" are contained within.".

It also has the name of a law office that might be able to help you with this...

Comment #6

Forming a Dutch B.V. is pretty costly - 18.000 for filing the documents and everything so I wouldn't go that route...

Comment #7

I imagine the main problem wouldn't be the images, though it definitely could be a possibility. The main issue will be that the site is being used to setup appointments for prositution. Essentially, your client would be acting as a "virtual pimp" and your company could be implicated in this as accessories.

As others have mentioned, even incorporating offshores does not absolve you of legal responsibility if you live in the US. You would still be participating in an activity that is illegal in the US.

Also I am not sure of the prostitution laws in Nevada, but I imagine that they have some strict legal requirements, one of those probably being that you have to be licensed and operate within Nevada. And by operate, I mean, the actual physical location where the "services" are being offered.

As for the hosting, I think you'd have to pick a country where prostitution is legal, because the legal makeup of this site differs entirely from your average adult site...

Comment #8

In fact anyone who edits OR uploads OR hosts OR embeds in a webpage an explicit photo is considered a secondary producer and must comply with the record keeping requirements. Even if you censor or cover up the explicit portion, or if the photograph is *non* explicit but comes from the same shoot as an explicit photo you have to keep records...

Comment #9

2257 is definitely going to be a problem. Whether you shoot the content yourself OR provide a platform for escorts to present themselves. Someone will have to have 2257 compliant records on hand and ready for inspection upon notice. Now, the recent 2257 changes are still a bit foggy to me, but I believe that even as secondary host, you now have to include 2257 compliant copies/statements on all sites that contain an image of sexual depiction - check that though, I might be seeing this too harsh.

IB..

Comment #10


This question was taken from a support group/message board and re-posted here so others can learn from it.

 

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