Prostitution Disclaimers – Do They Work ?

safetywrapOne of the issues I notice most about escort websites is that they are rarely reviewed by an attorney. Almost all of the porn websites are either reviewed by an attorney or at least the credit card processing company prior to launch, so they have some minimal legal /  compliance review. However, with escort sites, these are almost never reviewed for legal compliance issues. I have also heard some discussions about how escorts are taking legal advice from their webmasters. I would not recommend this. As an attorney, I do not provide coding advice, and webmasters and designers should not be providing legal advice.

Here is an example of an issue that I often see with escort websites. Many escorts and their website designers believe that a simple disclaimer that says, in essence, money paid is for time spent, not sexual services. First, depending on where you are located, that could be an admission of guilt. Many cities have escorting regulations that require “companionship for money” escorts to have a license to escort through a licensed escort agency. Admitting that you are merely spending time for money is an admission of guilt when it comes to breaking the escorting without a license laws.

I previously wrote about this issue here;

https://adultbizlaw.com/2018/04/16/prostitution-domming-escorting-without-a-license-and-escorting-with-a-license/

However, if your website has a disclaimer about prostitution and your website also links to a review site or a site well known for verifying an escorts, your disclaimer is beyond useless. This example is from an escorting website;

disclaimer

Obviously, this is almost comical. But even if the TER and P411 buttons are not directly below your disclaimer, just having them on your website will negate any disclaimer. Does anyone really believe that law enforcement would read this disclaimer, then see the links to TER and P411 and say to themselves, “this person isn’t engaging in prostitution, they have a disclaimer, nothing to see here, lets move on.”

This is only one issue of many that I see in regards to escort websites. There are others. I see many escort websites that have contact information where potential clients can submit their information for an appointment, but there is no Privacy Policy listed on the site. This is a violation of many state laws. Some escorts advertise to European clients but do not have a policy in regards to Cookies. EU law requires such.

Soon the EU will implement their new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) – is your website compliant with it ?

I wrote about that here – https://adultbizlaw.com/2018/01/03/the-eus-general-data-protection-regulation-gdpr-and-how-it-affects-you/

Also on the horizon is the UK’s new age verification law, which I also wrote about here;

https://adultbizlaw.com/2018/01/02/uks-age-verification-law-what-you-need-to-know-as-a-us-company-producer-or-performer/

And of course, depending on the content on your escort website, you may have to comply with a US federal law known as 18 U.S.C. 2257, well known to the adult entertainment industry but not to escorts;

https://adultbizlaw.com/2012/10/22/porn-101-18-u-s-c-2257-the-basics/

With any adult website client, and escort websites are adult, I highly recommend that you have your website reviewed by an attorney that understands all of the issues and can provide the proper legal advice. Why create additional criminal/civil issues for yourself when some are very easy to solve.

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