Internet Law

Tale of 2 Cities: Tampa Porn Dorm Legal, But Miami's Isn't

A so-called porn dorm in Tampa, in which women live and participate in sexual activities that are videotaped and publicized over the Internet, is apparently legal. But that doesn’t mean that a comparable business—featuring buffed-up young men who are paid $1,200 plus room and board to live in a house for a month and have sex on schedule—is allowed in Miami.

Citing claimed differences between the two Florida cities’ municipal codes, Miami’s Code Enforcement Board ruled Monday that Flava Works has been illegally operating an adult entertainment business out of a single-family home zoned for residential use, reports the Miami Herald. Flava Works is an Internet porn production and distribution company operating out of an office elsewhere in the city.

An earlier effort to declare the home an illegal rooming house failed. However, the city showed a sufficient “link between the house on 27th Street and the Web site,”, which subscribers pay to see, to shut the business down, said Oscar Rodriguez Fonts, a board member. ”Miami’s adult entertainment ordinance encompasses Internet activity in a way the Tampa ordinance did not,” he added.

James Benjamin, the company’s lawyer, promised an appeal, saying that the contested activity is protected by the First Amendment. He also argues that business transactions are handled at the company’s office, rather than the 27th Street house. “No member of the public came to the location to view, buy, trade or obtain any adult entertainment,” he contends.

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