California lawmakers have proposed a bill that would require all adult performers in the state to be licensed.

Under the Assembly Bill, brought in by Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego) and Christina Garcia (D-Bell Gardens), all adult performers including those appearing on webcam feeds and video streams, would be required to apply for a licence, which would follow a state-run training course and full ID check, which would including storage of fingerprints to a new database.

Details of the training, to be designed by the California Department of Industrial Relations (DIR) are still being worked out but would likely include modules on sexual trafficking, reporting workplace injuries and lots of the mundane stuff that the rest of spend our first day in a new job learning.

Under the current proposals, adult performers would have to pay for the training course themselves, before they could start work. Though that sounds rather harsh, it does mean that it will be more difficult for an unwilling participant to enroll, and anyone unlicensed will be a lot easier to identify as either a lawbreaker, or a victim.

Garcia claims that the bill was originally proposed by the International Entertainment Adult Union (IEAU), but it has far from universal support within its ranks. Most notably, the APAG – the sub-union for porn performers, has already stated it is opposed to the move – adding that it wasn’t directly consulted on the proposals at all.

The APAG took to Twitter to explain its concerns, pointing out that the new rules would only apply to over-21s (the legal age for appearing in pornography in most of the US is 18). It also added that where performers work mostly from home (such as webcam performers), it could mean that the address could be held on file, or even visited by regulators.

It’s not clear if, under the legislation, a back-door ban on under-21 performers is being proposed, as there are a number of contradictory paragraphs that are currently being redrafted.

The new rules would be overseen by a 10-member advisory board made up of two adult film actors, three dancers, two doctors, a therapist and a financial advisor. Although not specified, the proposing assembly members have stated that they would hope the training would be linked to some kind of accreditation.

Needless to say, a database of adult performers’ personal details isn’t really a very good idea from a personal safety standpoint.

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