Is running a porn site legal? What are the legal requirements?

Roboscripts
Roboscripts

Is running a porn site legal? What are the legal requirements for running a porn site? I get questions like these almost every day. Those questions are extremely hard to answer for me and you will soon learn why.

Starting a porn site comes with various legal requirements that differ from country to country. I cannot possibly know the laws from all the different countries my readers are coming from. According to Google Analytics, that are 102 (!) different countries.

Also, I am not allowed to give you legal advice for your specific situation. In the country I am living, only lawyers are allowed to do that.

What I can do is to provide you with some basic information.

In which countries is porn illegal?

Take a look at this map I found on Wikipedia:

pornography laws  around the world

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Pornography_laws.svg

Green = legal
Yellow = legal under some restrictions
Red = illegal
Grey = unknown

As you can see, the legal status of porn varies around the world. As if this wouldn’t be confusing enough, the situation changes constantly with new laws getting passed. Furthermore, green color does not mean that there aren’t any legal requirements and that every type of pornography is legal.

Next, I want to make you aware of some things you need to consider no matter which laws apply to you.

Copyright and 2257

You definitely need the rights to use the content or the owner of the rights can file charges against you. You can purchase these rights for money from various online stores, including my own store. I recommend that you only get content that comes with 2257 documentation, even if you are not from the US and laws related to 2257 normally would not apply to you.

The reason is that sometimes websites where you can upload content for promotion want to see the 2257 documents for a specific picture or video. If you don’t have any documents, your content will get deleted. Even more importantly, you have to know how old the models in your content are. Just imagine for a second that you spread content of underage girls all over the internet without knowing it. It’s not only morally wrong, but it could even get you into prison.

Sometimes it is also possible to get content of others for free, but usually the company wants something in exchange for that and has various requirements for using the content. A good example is a HostedTube by PimpRoll. They get videos from their partner companies and let us use them on a HostedTube. Read more about the concept here.

Youth protection

People under age need to protected from viewing porn. It is called adult entertainment for a reason! Therefore, in some countries, the visitor needs to be warned about the content of the website and has to state that they are 18 years or older before getting access to the site.

Legal pages on a porn site

Another concern are the legal pages on your website. The required pages differ. Some countries don’t have any requirements at all! Some examples of legal pages are disclaimer, terms of service, privacy policy, 2257 statement and DMCA info.

How to figure this all out?

Discuss the requirements of your country with a lawyer if possible.

Here are some lawyers who specialize in the adult industry:

Kindly note that this is not a recommendation for or against a specific lawyer, I am just presenting you a few options. Let me know if you know other lawyers that should be added to this list.

If you don’t have the funds for a lawyer, at least try to find reputable sources (e.g. online or in books). Don’t ignore the legal requirements just because you don’t have the funds!

Finally, I want to say that it’s actually not that hard to implement the legal requirements. Finding out what they are for your situation is the problem.

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