Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Washington Law Targets Adult Classified Ad Purveyors

LAS VEGAS, NV - AUGUST 30:  Washington Gov. Ch...LAS VEGAS, NV - AUGUST 30: Washington Gov. Christine Gregoire speaks during the National Clean Energy Summit 4.0 at the Aria Resort & Casino at CityCenter August 30, 2011 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Political and economic leaders are attending the summit to discuss a domestic policy agenda to advance alternative energy for the country's future. (Image credit: Getty Images via @daylife)Gov. Christine Gregoire (D.-Wash.) last week signed into law a measure exposing to criminal sanctions classified ad companies that don't use ID to verify the age of people in online or print adult ads.

As reported by the Associated Press, Village Voice Media-owned Backpage.com, which accepts classified ads for a variety of adult services, is braced to challenge the new law's constitutionality. The law accepts as an affirmative defense good-faith efforts by the classified ad company to verify the age of the advertised individual in a sex escort or adult-related ad.

Backpage.com is expected to claim immunity based on the provision of the Communications Decency Act of 1996, 47 U.S.C. sec. 230(c)(1) that states: "No provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be treated as the publisher or speaker of any information provided by another information content provider."
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