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Getting Involved: Putting the "Industry" into Industry Associations

By: Stephen Yagielowicz, www.xbiz.com
Posted: 07/14/2009

We all know that times are tight for many businesses and individuals, including those in the adult entertainment industry — and this has led to an across-the-board decline in charitable spending overall as well as the donations received by a variety of member-supported organizations ranging from Public Television to the Red Cross — and within our own industry's ranks, to the Free Speech Coalition (FSC) and Association of Sites Advocating Child Protection (ASACP).

"The work of FSC and ASACP is not ancillary to the success of the industry," ASACP CEO Joan Irvine said. "Without these two associations, the industry would be more heavily taxed and regulated. This would make it more difficult for people to be in this industry which would severely limit your company's revenue."

Irvine went beyond the good that is done by these groups to put the economic savings these associations enable into perspective; citing the recent defeat of California's proposed 20 percent "porn tax" — a defeat due in large part to the efforts of the FSC lobbyist in Sacramento.

"If you are a California company, FSC just saved you 20 percent: how much did this save your company and help your bottom line?" Irvine asks. "Why not consider contributing at least one percent of what FSC saved your company so they can continue their good work on your behalf?"

OrbitalPay CEO Steve Bryson echoed Irvine's sentiments.

"The success of the industry and the success of ASACP are tied-together, which is why OrbitalPay is an ongoing supporter of ASACP as a sponsor," Bryson said. "Protecting children by utilizing ASACP's Best Practices, Code of Ethics, and the Restricted To Adults (RTA) website label is more than a preventative measure against government regulation, it's the right thing to do!"

"By supporting ASACP the industry as a whole demonstrates social and corporate responsibility, the value of this cannot be underestimated," Bryson added.

Bryson and Orbital Pay join a long line of industry supporters of ASACP, including some of its original supporters that continue to help the association and the industry as a whole: companies like ARS, EPOCH, Livesex.com and MaxCash.

Irvine emphasizes that the benefits of ASACP's Best Practices and Code of Ethics, which it created and provides free of charge to the industry, offers tangible benefits to operators.

"As important as lobbying is, the foundation for avoiding legal problems or legislation is the advice ASACP can offer in how a company operates," Irvine said. "We all know that most regulation is under the umbrella of child protection. While its intent may be to actually protect children, most times it is an attack against adult content."

"If everyone in the industry followed ASACP Best Practices and our Code of Ethics and labeled with RTA we [would be] laying the groundwork to avoid further regulation and companies can possibly protect themselves against future legal headaches," Irvine added. "An ounce of prevention is better than a pound of problem."

By offering these services to members, ASACP is able to eliminate the guesswork for new and existing companies while maximizing their efforts to protect children.

"Being a part of the adult industry, on any level, you have to ask yourself 'what can I do to protect children, as well as what can I do to legally protect myself and my business?'" Irvine asked. "With input from the industry and legal experts, ASACP provides this foundation via its Best Practices and a Code of Ethics."

"Of course, they are not a replacement for legal representation and common sense," Irvine concluded. "But they are a guideline and serve as a successful example of the international adult industry's ability to self regulate and demonstrate to lawmakers and the public that there is no need for increased government regulation."

Now, more than ever, your support is needed to enable the good work that these two groups continuously perform on our behalf and on behalf of society.

If you haven't already done so, please lend your support to FSC and ASACP — together, they not only make your business possible, but profitable — but they can only do so with the support and involvement of the industry they serve.