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18 U.S.C. § 2257 requirements on pornographic website operators for "tube sites" containing entirely user-submitted content.

Los Angeles, CA |

I am a U.S. Citizen in California interested in creating a so-called "tube site" (e.g. Redtube.com, Rockettube.com, xtube.com, youporn.com) that do not produce their own content. Instead, these sites feature only user-submitted content.

I've worked for subscription-based adult sites, & piracy was a huge problem. As peer-to-peer file sharing becomes more prevalent, paying members leave & just download our content for free. But "tube sites" are free & make their money by advertising instead of subscriptions.

All the tube sites I know of are located in Canada & are not subject to 18 U.S.C. § 2257. How can a U.S.-based tube site comply with 2257--would each user be required to post their home address in their profile? Or would a boilerplate "contact the user for 2257 records" be sufficient?

Attorney Answers 3


  1. This is a complicated legal issue that cannot properly be addressed in a Q & A forum like Avvo. Any adult porn site in the US must meet the requirments of 18 USC 2257 regardless of who is posting the content; you are the on making money off of it and administering it, you are the one responsible if underage content is located on the site or if all the proper paperwork is not in order. Getting involved in the adult industry without consulting and retaining a lawyer to map out all the applicable laws and regulations is like playing Russian Roulette. Ther are many qualified attorneys in your area who can assist you inthis; but if you can't locate one feel free to contact me .

    The answers given are informational only and do not constitute legal advice. Please feel free to contact me if you want to obtain legal advice from me.


  2. No, the boilerplate provisions will not work. Under the most recent revisions to the 2257 regulations, producers can retain third parties, including the original producers of the content to act as your custodian of records, however you would need an agreement with them to do so, and you still remain liable for their non-compliance.

    My firm regularly represents members of the adult entertainment industry, and I would be happy to discuss further with you.

    To schedule an appointment for an attorney-client privileged consultation, contact me at 908-698-0330, or visit our website at informationlaw.com. This response is not intended, nor should it be construed as legal advice. Any information provided is for educational purposes only. The exchange of communications through Avvo.com and similar social media does not establish an attorney-client relationship with me or my office. Thank you.


  3. Even though you are a US citizen; you would be wise to structure this business offshore to avoid numerous hassles. A porn tube site is not something you want to conduct in a transparent manner; we can help structure this if you are interested.

    This is not legal advice but a general comment on society based on a limited set of hypothetical circumstances. No one should act or refrain from acting based on these comments without seeking appropriately licensed legal or professional advice. The author disclaims all liability in respect to actions taken or not taken based on his comments.

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