4/19/2014

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Offbeat

After condom law, porn film permits plummet

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The number of permits pulled to make porn films in Los Angeles County has declined an estimated 95 percent — from about 480 issued in 2012 to only 24 through the first nine months of this year — since a law requiring adult film actors to use condoms took effect, officials said Friday.

Film LA, a private nonprofit that issues permits for filming in Los Angeles County, cautioned that its 2012 figures were just an estimate because it did not specifically track porn films until the condom requirement took effect in March 2012.

Now that it does, the organization said only 24 permits were issued this year as of mid-September.

The adult film industry trade group, the Free Speech Coalition, said those numbers show the law adopted by voters is costing the county hundreds of thousands of dollars.

The group's executive director, Diane Duke, said a typical porn film permit costs about $1,000, meaning the county lost about $456,000.

"And if you think about the associated vendors and jobs that have gone elsewhere, I think that speaks volumes about what this is costing," she said.

Duke said some filmmakers went to neighboring counties, while others headed out of state.

Some smaller producers could also be forgoing permits to keep from drawing attention to themselves.

Larger filmmakers who make their movies on closed sets and not in private residences are exempt from the measure.

The law, championed by the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, was adopted by voters and took effect early last year. However, it wasn't enforced until the end of the year, and foundation officials have complained since then that county officials are making little effort to really carry it out.

The porn industry, meanwhile, is suing to overturn it.

The AIDS Healthcare Foundation says the condom requirement is needed to protect adult film actors and the public from sexually transmitted diseases.

The industry voluntarily shut down production twice this year after actors tested positive for HIV. It resumed after it was determined the infections did not occur during the making of a film.

The industry, which had required that actors be tested for sexually transmitted disease every 28 days, changed that requirement to every 14 days after the second outbreak.
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