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Adult websites complying with new Utah warning label law

November 26, 2020 GMT

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Some adult entertainment websites have started to comply with a new Utah law requiring warning labels on pornographic material online.

The websites Pornhub, XTube and RedTube attached an opt-in notification for visitors stating that Utah believes pornographic materials can be harmful if viewed by minors, KSTU-TV reports.

Republican state Rep. Brady Brammer sponsored the bill seeking the online warning and said the law does not block adults from viewing online pornography.

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The legislation allows private civil actions to be brought in court against websites for displaying obscene materials, but requires a court order for material to be declared obscene.

Republican Gov. Gary Herbert allowed the bill to pass into law without his signature.

“It shows for a lot of businesses, they’re more concerned about their pocketbook than they are about being prosecuted,” Brammer said of the compliance with the law by the websites.

Brammer wants to expand the legislation to allow lawsuits against adult websites even if their owners are not immediately known.

The warning label has already alerted parents when children were redirected to adult sites from other websites and has educated them about parental filters, Brammer said.

The measure faced criticism and threats of lawsuits from the adult entertainment industry when it was introduced earlier this year. The adult site XHamster posted a parody warning on its site for Utah viewers.

Mike Stabile, a spokesman for the Free Speech Coalition, said the First Amendment restricts the government’s ability to compel speech regardless of the message. The trade group representing the adult entertainment industry has not advised members to comply with the law, he said.

“Individual companies may choose to comply because it’s easier than facing lawsuits or fines,” Stabile said in an email.