Dirty Sexy Policy Conference

Video archive

Held on February 20-21, 2014 at the Pollock Theater on the campus of UC Santa Barbara, Dirty Sexy Policy brought together prominent scholars, attorneys, activists, regulators, and journalists to explore current challenges to media policy. Participants on three panels engaged in a lively discussion and debate through a moderated Q&A to explore content regulation of obscenity and indecency, structural regulation of broadband technologies, and the broader stakes that policy critics share.

Keynote Address by Nicholas Johnson


"Communications Evolution, Revolution, and the Role of the Academy" by Nicholas Johnson, former FCC Commissioner

Full text of Mr. Johnson's talk is available here.


Nicholas Johnson was born in Iowa and holds B.A. and law degrees from the University of Texas at Austin. He has served as co-director of a public health public policy institute; network television host and NPR commentator; congressional candidate; author of books, articles and a nationally syndicated column, FCC Commissioner; school board member; corporate attorney; U.S. Maritime Administrator; consumer advocate and chair of the National Citizens Committee for Broadcasting; and law clerk to Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black. He’s included in The Yale Biographical Dictionary of American Law as one of 700 "leading figures in the history of American law, from the colonial era to the present day." He attended IBM’s Executives Computer Concepts Course in 1967, and was a Presidential Advisor, White House Conference on Libraries and Information Services, 1979. He began law teaching at UC Berkeley and now teaches cyberlaw at Iowa. You can learn more about Mr. Johnson from his website and blog

 

Keynote Address by Des Freedman

Goldsmiths, University of London

"Media Policy Fetishism"

 

Des Freedman is the author of The Politics of Media Policy, co-author (with James Curran and Natalie Fenton) of Misunderstanding the Internet and co-editor (with Daya Thussu) of Media and Terrorism: Global Perspectives. He is interested in the relationship between media and power together with the political and economic contexts of media policymaking and regulation. He is an editor of the Sage journal Global Media and Communication and was previously on the management committee of the EU COST programme investigating 'The Impact of the Internet on the Mass Media in Europe'. He was a participant in the 'Spaces of the News' project in the Goldsmiths Leverhulme Media Research Centre, co-editor of the 'Universities and Capitalism' section of openDemocracy, a member of the National Council of the Campaign for Press and Broadcasting Freedom and is currently the chair of the Media Reform Coalition that campaigns for media accountability and democracy in the UK. He is writing a book on The Contradictions of Media Power for Bloomsbury (due 2014).

 

Panels 1: Obscenity and Indecency

Moderated by Constance Penley, UC Santa Barbara

Panelists:

  • Peter Alilunas, University of Michigan
  • Cynthia Chris, College of Staten Island, CUNY
  • Jeffrey J. Douglas, Board Chairman, Free Speech Coalition
  • Diane Duke, Executive Director, Free Speech Coalition
  • Mark KernesAdult Video News
  • Daniel Linz, University of California, Santa Barbara

Panel 2: The Politics of Infrastructure

Moderated by Jennifer Holt, UC Santa Barbara

Panelists:

  • Harold Feld, Public Knowledge
  • Zachary Katz, University of Southern California
  • Danny Kimball, University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • Becky Lentz, McGill University
  • Victor Pickard, University of Pennsylvania
  • Sharon Strover, University of Texas at Austin

 

Panel 3: Content and Conduits

Moderated by Karen Petruska, UC Santa Barbara

Panelists:

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Dirty Sexy Policy's organizers are Constance Penley, Jennifer Holt, and Karen Petruska.

Sponsors include the Department of Communication, the Department of Film and Media Studies, the Department of Feminist Studies, the Rick Rosen Television Studies Fund, the Center for Information Technology and Society, the Interdisciplinary Humanities Center and the College of Letters and Science. 

            

 

 

Participant Biographies 

 

Keynote Speakers

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Des Freedman
Des Freedman is the author of The Politics of Media Policy, co-author (with James Curran and Natalie Fenton) of Misunderstanding the Internet and co-editor (with Daya Thussu) of Media and Terrorism: Global Perspectives. He is interested in the relationship between media and power together with the political and economic contexts of media policymaking and regulation. He is an editor of the Sage journal Global Media and Communication and was previously on the management committee of the EU COST programme investigating 'The Impact of the Internet on the Mass Media in Europe'. He was a participant in the 'Spaces of the News' project in the Goldsmiths Leverhulme Media Research Centre, co-editor of the 'Universities and Capitalism' section of openDemocracy, a member of the National Council of the Campaign for Press and Broadcasting Freedom and is currently the chair of the Media Reform Coalition that campaigns for media accountability and democracy in the UK. He is writing a book on The Contradictions of Media Power for Bloomsbury (due 2014).

  

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Nicholas Johnson
Nicholas Johnson was born in Iowa and holds B.A. and law degrees from the University of Texas at Austin. He has served as co-director of a public health public policy institute; network television host and NPR commentator; congressional candidate; author of books, articles and a nationally syndicated column, FCC Commissioner; school board member; corporate attorney; U.S. Maritime Administrator; consumer advocate and chair of the National Citizens Committee for Broadcasting; and law clerk to Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black. He’s included in The Yale Biographical Dictionary of American Law as one of 700 "leading figures in the history of American law, from the colonial era to the present day." He attended IBM’s Executives Computer Concepts Course in 1967, and was a Presidential Advisor, White House Conference on Libraries and Information Services, 1979. He began law teaching at UC Berkeley and now teaches cyberlaw at Iowa. You can learn more about Mr. Johnson on his blog

  

Conference Panelists

Panel 1: Obscenity and Indecency

Alilunas
Peter Alilunas
Peter Alilunas is a 2013 PhD graduate in Screen Arts & Cultures at the University of Michigan. His dissertation, Smutty Little Movies: The Creation and Regulation of the Adult Video Industry, 1976-1986, traces the transformation of the adult film industry from celluloid to home video, paying particular attention to issues of regulation both inside and outside the industry. His work appears in Camera Obscura, Screening the Past, Men and Masculinities, and Media Fields, and is forthcoming in Creative Industries. He is currently a lecturer at the University of Michigan.

 

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Cynthia Chris
Cynthia Chris is Associate Professor in the Department of Media Culture at the College of Staten Island/City University of New York. She is the author of Watching Wildlife (Minnesota, 2006), and co-editor, with Sarah Banet-Weiser and Anthony Freitas, of Cable Visions: Television Beyond Broadcasting (NYU, 2007) and, with David A. Gerstner, Media Authorship(Routledge, 2013). Articles by Dr. Chris have appeared in Television & New MediaCommunication ReviewFeminist Media Studies, and Camera Obscura, among others. She is working on a book manuscript that challenges the logic of decency regulation given how we watch TV now.

 

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Jeffrey Douglas
Jeffrey J. Douglas is a leading adult industry attorney, focusing on criminal defense in state and Federal courts. Since 1982 he has advised all segments of the adult entertainment industry, from creation, manufacture, and distribution, through direct consumer sales. His clients include most of the prominent manufacturers, distributors and resellers of sexually explicit products and services, as well as hundreds of large and small internet companies. He is Chair of the Board of Directors of the Free Speech Coalition (FSC), the trade association of the adult industry. Mr. Douglas is Chairman Emeritus of the First Amendment Lawyers Association, as well as a Director of the A.C.L.U. Foundation of Southern California. A nationally recognized spokesperson for the adult industry, as well as an expert witness, Mr. Douglas appears regularly across the media, has testified before Congress and is the author of numerous articles. He has successfully represented clients in state and Federal obscenity cases and is regarded among the leading authorities on 18 U.S.C. § 2257.

 

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Diane Duke
Diane Duke is the Chief Executive Officer of the Free Speech Coalition (FSC), the trade association of the adult entertainment industry based in Los Angeles California. She received an MBA from the University of Oregon. Duke has a background of nearly 30 years of working with nonprofits, including the YMCA and the American Heart Association and Planned Parenthood. Her lists of community service efforts have included Fundraising Committee Chair and Board member for the Oregon Social Learning Center, United Way Women in Philanthropy Steering Committee Member, Eugene Human Rights Commissioner. In her position as CEO of FSC, Duke represents the pleasure products and adult entertainment industry to the media, government officials, and the broader business community. FSC works to support and enhance member businesses through value-added member benefits and serves as watchdog for the industry.

 

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Mark Kernes
Mark Kernes is the Senior Editor and Chief Legal Analyst for AVN Media Network, which publishes Adult Video News (AVN), the primary trade magazine of the adult entertainment industry, and avn.com, which reports daily on news affecting that industry. A graduate of New York University in 1972, Kernes worked as a freelance court reporter in and around the criminal and civil courts in the Philadelphia and Media, Pa. areas for 19 years before leaving that profession to work full-time for AVN. In the course of his employment, he has attended and reported on a number of obscenity and other free-speech-related court hearings, and has gone "undercover" to and reported on various religio-conservative events such as the Values Voter Summits and the Conservative Political Action Conferences. He is also a 3D photographer, and is currently working on a collection of his AVN articles for publication in book form.

 

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Daniel Linz
Daniel Linz received his Ph.D. in psychology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He shares a joint appointment in the Department of Communication and the Law and Society program at the University of California, Santa Barbara. His research involves empirically testing assumptions made by the law and legal actors in the area of the First Amendment. His research spans the topics of media violence, pornography and sexual depictions and pretrial publicity, news and race.  

 

Panel 2: The Politics of Infrastructure

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Harold Feld
Harold Feld is Senior Vice President of Public Knowledge. Before coming to Public Knowledge in 2009, Feld worked as Senior Vice President of Media Access Project, advocating for the public interest in media, telecommunications and technology policy for almost ten years.  Prior to joining MAP, Feld was an associate at Covington & Burling, and clerked for the D.C. Court of Appeals. Feld also writes Tales of the Sausage Factory, a progressive blog on media and telecom policy (available here).  In 2007, Illinois Senator Dick Durbin praised Feld and his blog for “[doing] a lot of great work helping people understand how FCC decisions affect people and communities on the ground.”

 

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Zachary Katz
Zachary Katz is a Senior Fellow at the University of Southern California's Annenberg Center on Communication Leadership & Policy. Mr. Katz most recently served as Chief of Staff of the Federal Communications Commission, overseeing its policymaking activities and operations on behalf of Chairman Julius Genachowski. He was previously Chief Counsel to the Chairman, leading a number of high-priority initiatives at the Commission including protecting Internet openness and creating the Connect America Fund. He joined the FCC in 2009 from the White House Counsel's Office and previously practiced law at Munger, Tolles & Olson in Los Angeles. Mr. Katz served as a law clerk for Judge Kim Wardlaw of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit after receiving his law degree from Yale, where he was Editor-in-Chief of The Yale Law Journal and a leader of the Jerome N. Frank Legal Services Organization. Before law school he worked with technology companies at a strategy consulting and investment firm in Silicon Valley.


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Danny Kimball
Danny Kimball is a PhD candidate of Media & Cultural Studies in the Communication Arts department at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. His research concentrates on media and telecommunications policy, digital media technologies, and the cultural politics of the Internet. He is particularly interested in the regulation of emergent media infrastructures and its influence on the shape of the public sphere. His dissertation— Policies, Pipes, and Publics: The Politics of Net Neutrality Regulation and Open Internet Infrastructures— explores network neutrality as principle, policy, and practice in the US with a focus on its implications for access and participation online. His work has been published in the anthology Regulating the Web and presented at international academic conferences.

 

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Becky Lentz
Becky Lentz is an Assistant Professor of Communication in the Department of Art History and Communication Studies at McGill University in Montreal. Her research and teaching focus on social change expertise: the nature and types of ‘necessary knowledge’ that activists and public interest advocates acquire, mobilize, and pass on in order to influence policymaking about communication and information technology and infrastructure. Her work has been featured inTelecommunications PolicyInfoThe Oxford Handbook of Civil Society, the Blackwell Handbook of Global Media and Communication Policy, the Sage Encyclopedia of Social Movement Media, Communication, Culture & Critique, and FlowTV. She has also co-edited special issues of The Information Society Journal and the Canadian Journal of Communication as well as the book, Inequity in the Technopolis: Race, Class, Gender, and the Digital Divide in Austin. Becky is currently writing a book manuscript introducing a comparative framework for the study of policy advocacy labor and its impact. 

 

Pickard
Victor Pickard
Victor Pickard is an Assistant Professor at the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania. His research explores the intersections of U.S. and global media activism and politics, the history and political economy of media institutions, and the normative foundations of media policy. Before coming to ASC, he was an assistant professor in the media, culture, and communication department at New York University. Previously he worked on media policy in Washington, D.C. as a senior research fellow at the media reform organization Free Press and the public policy think tank the New America Foundation, where he continues to advise their Open Technology and Media Policy Initiatives.  Pickard’s work has been published in numerous anthologies and scholarly journals. He co-edited Will the Last Reporter Please Turn out the Lights, and his book on 1940s media reform activism is being published next year with Cambridge University Press.

 

Strover
Sharon Strover

Sharon Strover, Philip G. Warner Regents Professor in Communication and former Chair of the Radio-TV-Film Department at the University of Texas, teaches communications and telecommunications courses and directs the Telecommunications and Information Policy Institute. Some of her research projects examine local and statewide networks and broadband services; the relationship between economic outcomes and investments in digital media programs in higher education; social media; the digital divide; rural broadband deployment; e-government; telecommunications infrastructure deployment and economic development in rural regions; and market structure and policy issues for international audio-visual industries. She worked in Washington, D.C. at the Dept. of Agriculture on some of the stimulus-funded broadband programs, and currently directs a five-year research and education development program for Portugal around various topics related to digital media.

  

Panel 3: Contents / Conduits

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Bill Kirkpatrick
Bill Kirkpatrick teaches Media Studies in the Communication Department at Denison University in Ohio. He is currently working on a book about cultural approaches to media policy in everyday life. His publications include articles in Radio Journal, Journal of Popular Culture, the Journal of the Society for American Music, Critical Studies in Media Communication, and several anthologies. His ongoing research and teaching interests include media history and cultural policy; impacts of popular culture on American public life; theories, practices, and future of citizen-produced media; and media and disability.

 

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Philip Napoli
Philip M. Napoli (Ph.D., Northwestern University) is Professor of Journalism & Media Studies in the School of Communication and Information at Rutgers University. He is also a Media Policy Fellow with the New America Foundation. His books include: Audience Evolution: New Technologies and the Transformation of Media Audiences (Columbia University Press, 2011); Audience Economics: Media Institutions and the Audience Marketplace (Columbia University Press, 2003); and Foundations of Communications Policy: Principles and Process in the Regulation of Electronic Media (Hampton Press, 2001).  He has provided formal and informal testimony on media policy issues to the U.S. Senate, the Federal Communications Commission, the Federal Trade Commission, the U.S. Government Accountability Office, and the Congressional Research Service. He has been featured in media outlets such as the NBC Nightly News, National Public Radio, the Los Angeles Times, Consumer Reports, Billboard,and Politico.

 

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Jackie Selby
Jaclyn Selby is a PhD candidate and Annenberg Fellow at the University of Southern California's Annenberg School. She conducts research at the intersection of technology policy and strategic management with interest in the interplay between innovation, regulatory shock, and competitive dynamics in the high tech and media industries. She is writing a book, The Internet Middlemen, on Internet intermediary platforms. Her work has been published in Communications & Strategies, Foreign Policy Digest and Intellibridge Asia Weekly. Prior to PhD life, Jaclyn worked as a marketing and tech strategist and held a senior research position at Imaging Science and Information Systems.

 

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Thomas Streeter
Thomas Streeter is Chair of Sociology at the University of Vermont. The Net Effect: Romanticism, Capitalism, and the Internet (NYU Press, 2011) is a study of the role of culture in the social construction of internet technology. His award-winning Selling the Air, a study of the cultural underpinnings of the creation of the US broadcast industry and its regulatory apparatus, was published in 1996. He edited, with Zephyr Teachout, a volume about the use of the internet in Howard Dean's run for President, called Mousepads, Shoe Leather, and Hope, published in 2007. Streeter's favorite quote about policy comes from Kjolseth: "When an issue is raised in society, the first (and often most momentous) move is the one which defines it as 'policy' or 'politics,' for once done, the rules of the game, including who can play, are set." 

 

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Jacob Sullum
Jacob Sullum is a senior editor at Reason magazine, a nationally syndicated columnist, and a drug policy blogger at Forbes. He is the author of Saying Yes: In Defense of Drug Use (Tarcher/Penguin) and For Your Own Good: The Anti-Smoking Crusade and the Tyranny of Public Health (Free Press). Sullum’s weekly syndicated column, distributed by Creators Syndicate, is carried by newspapers across the country, including the New York Post, the Omaha World-Herald, and the Las Vegas Review-Journal. His work also has appeared in Cigar AficionadoSeedNational ReviewThe Wall Street JournalThe New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, and many other publications. Sullum is a graduate of Cornell University, where he majored in economics and psychology.

  

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Stephen Yagielowicz
 Stephen Yagielowicz A working webmaster since 1994 with experience in both mainstream Internet marketing  and amateur niche adult websites, he has a diverse background in photography, video production and communications. He has been part of XBIZ since its inception and actively serves as an advocate and analyst covering the evolving business, political and social factors affecting today’s adult entertainment industry. Yagielowicz is an experienced seminar moderator, panelist and speaker, participating in numerous sessions, at events ranging from multiple XBIZ Digital Media Conferences and XBIZ Summit events, to past Internext Expo, Cybernet Expo, Mobile Adult Congress, Adult Entertainment Virtual Convention, and other adult and mainstream events. As a veteran operator and observer of the creation and evolution of the adult Internet, Yagielowicz represents a blend of old-school webmastering, forward-looking innovation, and social responsibility.

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