2257 record keeping requirements

Under a federal law, 18 U.S.C. § 2257 and 18 U.S.C. § 2257A, producers of a "visual depiction of actual or simulated sexually explicit conduct" are required to keep records showing the ages of the models. So what does this mean for you the primary or secondary producer?

What Are Your Obligations

Section 2257 imposes four affirmative duties on primary and secondary producers of actual or simulated sexually explicit materials: (1) duty to inquire of a performer's name and age, (2) a duty to maintain records of the performers, (3) a duty to disclose where the records will be located, and (4) a duty to make the records available for inspection.

Duty to Inquire

The primary producer must ascertain the performer's name and date of birth by examining an identification document. Second, the producer must ascertain any name ever used by the performer including a maiden name, alias, nickname, stage, or professional name.

Duty to Maintain Records

The statute requires primary and secondary producers of sexually explicit material to create and maintain individually identifiable records pertaining to every performer portrayed in the sexually explicit conduct.
The records to be maintained include:
  • The legal name and date of birth of each performer
  • Any name, other than the performer's legal name (aliases)
  • A legible copy of the identification document examined
  • A copy of the depiction (the video or photos)
  • A copy of any URL associated with the depiction
  • A record of the date and title of the original production for each depiction
Then those records must be:
  • organized alphabetically, or numerically where appropriate, by the legal name of the performer (by last or family name, then first or given name.
  • The records shall be indexed or cross-referenced to each alias or other name used and to each title.
  • The records required to be maintained under this part shall be segregated from all other records, shall not contain any other records, and shall not be contained within any other records.

Duty to Disclose the Location of the Record

Both primary and secondary producers must affix a statement describing where the records may be located. This would be in your "18 U.S.C. 2257 Record-Keeping Requirements Compliance Statement." The location much be a real physical address. It cannot be an email address or a PO box. If this is your home address we suggest using our 3rd Party Custodian option instead of placing your address on a public website.

Duty to Make Records Available for Inspection

Finally, the statute requires that the primary and secondary producers of sexually explicit material to make the records available to the Attorney General for inspection during normal business hours which are defined as being from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. local time, Monday through Friday, or any other time during which the producer is actually conducting business.

Penalty for Violation

Section 2257 provides that it shall be unlawful for a primary or secondary producer to fail to create or maintain the records, to knowingly make any false entry in or knowingly fail to make an appropriate entry in any record, to fail to disclose the location where the records can be found, or for anyone to sell, or otherwise transfer any sexually explicit material that does not contain a statement disclosing the location of where the records can be found. Violation of these record keeping requirements is a criminal offenses punishable by a fine and/or imprisonment for not more than five years for a first offense and between two to ten years for subsequent offenses.

So What Does This All Mean

What this means to us is this is some complex and scary shit! We've studied this law forwards and back and there is no way around how difficult it can be to be in 100% compliance. We've created this tool to help you keep organized and allow for some piece of mind knowing you are doing it right. This is just a summary of the long and complex legal text. You can click here to read the full text of the law.

Ready to create an account or learn more about us?

Back To Top