This issue has recently come up during several conversations I have had with a few cam performers, both male and female. From these discussions, it appears that it is a rather common practice for two (or more) cam performers to get together to perform together on camera and then share the tips/tokens/revenue generated by that show.
While in theory this might sound like a great idea, however, it may not be. The “sharing” of revenue may actually be the payment of wages – which could make the performer paying the other performer an employer in that situation.
The definition of an employer from USLegal.com
An employer is a person or entity who hires another to performs service under an express or implied agreement and has control, or the right to control, over the manner and means of performing the services. An employer has the right to control an employee…
Other factors indicating an employee-employer relationship include payment of compensation on an hourly, salary, or commission basis, the employer’s maintainence of a place of business and supplying of tools and equipment, an indefinite time period for completion of services, and others.
Sharing tokens/tips/revenue from one performer’s account to another is actually a payment of commissions from one performer’s account to another performer’s account.
So in this instance, Performer 1 says to Performer 2, come to my apartment on Saturday at 8pm and we can do a camshow together and we will split the tokens we make. While that sounds reasonable, it in actually may create a legal relationship not intended.
Since Performer 1 is supplying the location, the camera and computer equipment to broadcast the show, has determined when the show (work) shall commence and end and how the work will be performed and will transfer tokens from his/her account to Performer 2, that begins to look like a traditional employer-employee relationship. Even though it is a commission based payment, it is still payment for services.
You may be asking, “so what?” Here is the larger issue with sharing tokens – as an employer – you have a legal responsibility to your employees – which varies state by state. In California, employers are required to have workers’ compensation insurance in case of an injury during employment. If Performer 2, completes the camshow and then falls and hits his/her head in the shower after the show, that very well could be a work related injury. Your homeowner’s or renter’s insurance may not cover such an accident. Which would then make Performer 1 liable for costly medical bills of Performer 2 while they seek treatment and recover from their injury.
Also, employers are usually responsible for paying employment taxes for their employees. Failure to do so can result in large tax bills for Performer 1 for penalties and interests for failing to pay such taxes. Tax liens can then be placed on someone’s assets for failure to pay such.
If you are Performer 1 and require Performer 2 to have an STD test in order to perform with you, then, as an employer, you may be required to pay for that pre-employment testing.
As an employer, you might also be required to use condoms or other barrier protection (dental dams) during the shoot to protect your employee(s) from contracting any STDs during the camshow. In California, failure to do so can result in very large fines by CalOSHA.
And finally, if you are located in any other state beside California or New Hampshire, the model release that you may be using for this shared camshow may not even be legal. Hardcore porn production (insertion/penetration of orifices) is only protected in those two states. In every other state, its illegal at worst and minimally protected at best.
However, no where is it allowed that the person paying for scene can also be the person engaging in the sex act during the scene – that is still considered prostitution. In this example, Performer 1, who is paying Performer 2 and performing in the scene would be guilty of the crime of solicitation of prostitution and Performer 2, who received the payment, would be guilty of the crime of prostitution – in every state.
Will you be arrested for doing a camshow with someone – probably not. However, the model release might not be valid. Contracts for illegal activities are not enforceable in court. Again you might be asking “so what?” The truth is that if Performer 2 gets a significant other 2 weeks after your camshow and they no longer want their images/video on your website, clipstore ect – they can demand that you take down the video and stop selling it. Without a valid, legal model release, you have no right to distribute the content.
Before you decide to “hire” other performers to perform, you really need to investigate the relationships created by such an arrangement and the payment of commissions.
Here are some other articles I have authored on related issues;