Challenge to Utah pornography law dismissed


SALT LAKE CITY (Legal Newsline) - Utah has claimed a victory in its continuing battle to stop the pornography industry from e-mailing or sending text messages to children.

A lawsuit that was filed by a coalition representing members of the pornography industry against the Utah Child Protection Registry has been dismissed by a federal judge, state Attorney General Mark Shurtleff has announced.

"The door is officially shut to anyone who wants to send porn to families and children in Utah," Shurtleff said.

"The registry actually helps business owners if they truly want adult-oriented material to only go to adults who are not registered with the state program."

The lawsuit challenged that state's Child Protection Registry, which is similar to a do-not-call list. Anyone can sign up for the registry, including children, which protects those who sign up from adult-oriented messages.

To date, more than 340,000 Utahns have signed up for the free address blocking registry and schools are utilizing the registry to stop inappropriate messages from reaching students.

Any business that sends adult-oriented messages is required to pay a nominal fee and remove any addresses present on the registry from their contact lists. Failure to do so can result in felony charges and substantial civil and criminal files.

The lawsuit was dismissed with prejudice by U.S. District Judge Clark Waddoups after both parties reached a stipulated agreement.

"My goal now is to take the registry nationwide," Shurtleff said. "This legal victory means other states will follow Utah's lead and stop pornographers from contacting children."

Other states have show interest in Utah's registry but were waiting for the outcome of this lawsuit. Michigan has already enacted a registry of its own.

Utah's Child Protection Registry Act has been in effect since July 1, 2005.

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