Proposal: ban sale of porn, abolish commercial copyright on it, not touching distribution

UPDATE: on some thought, the measures should be tweaked to destroy the possibilities of getting around them, which are, as far as I can see, an advertisement-support model and a model whereby a purchaser of something else gets access to pornographic material. And yes they can seem paradoxical – destroying by encouraging distribution? Yet, hit the profit motive and money flows away from it…

I was thinking for some time about the debates around pornography. There are people, like radical feminists and social conservatives, who decry it because of its degrading nature and the rampant exploitation in the industry. And there are other people who stand vigilant against any censorship, including that of sexual expression.

I think I have an idea that might satisfy both sides to a reasonable extent, protect real people (mostly women) from exploitation and abuse, and yet pose no threat at all to other people who find pleasure in sexual expression for interested audiences. Moreover, if done in amy major jurisdiction (ideally the USA), it would hit the porn industry worldwide!

The proposal includes two measures.

(1)  A complete outright ban of SALE of pornographic material. The ban is on the act of sale (taking payment), with perhaps a light penalty for purchase (giving payment), but not on the act of production, distribution, or viewing – so no censorship concerns. In the USA, the ban could be federal, limited to sale across state or national boundaries, and relying on the constitutional provisions for regulation of interstate commerce.

(2) Abolition of copyright on material that becomes illegal to sell. Free distribution, thus, becomes legal, and the content provider has no legal recourse against unlimited copying. Thus, domestic producers who somehow route around the ban and all foreign producers get hit painfully, because all their work ends up available for easy-to-find free download and they can do nothing about it. In the USA, the Constitution authorizes Congress to create copyrights and patents, they are not common law rights; so removal of copyright will be constitutional.

I am surprised no anti-porn activists appear to have come up with the idea. It would face MUCH less opposition than any censorship system, while also hitting the sex industry where it hurts. In fact, any political opposition to it would look like total dirt.

I can just imagine that debate… Free expression? – what’s the problem, go ahead and express yourself, make your art or text or film or whatever and give it to the world and get a worldwide rabid following. The discussion would then shift to the commercial model of the sex industry, and who can defend that?

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