AUSTIN (KXAN) — The U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals voted in favor of Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton in a case surrounding age verification on pornography websites, according to an AG release Friday.
A group of pornography distributors filed the initial suit in an effort to prevent Texas from enacting a new law that would require pornography websites to verify the users are at least 18 years old. Per the release, the latest ruling “stayed a district court’s injunction against the law.”
The Texas Legislature passed House Bill 1181 earlier this year, with the legislation requiring adult content websites both verify a user’s age and incorporate a warning “describing the harmful medical and societal side effects of pornography consumption,” per the release. The owners or operators behind Pornhub, XVideos and XNXX filed a lawsuit in response to try and halt the law.
Under the Fifth Circuit’s stay of that injunction, any company determined to have violated the age verification mandate will face fines up to $10,000 per day, as well as an extra $10,000 per day “if the corporation illegally retains identifying information,” per the release. Violating companies will also face a $250,000 fine if a child is exposed to pornographic content as a result of failing to verify their age, the release added.
“Texas has a right to protect its children from the detrimental effects of pornographic content,” Attorney General Paxton said in the release. “As new technology makes harmful content more accessible than ever, we must make every effort to defend those who are most vulnerable.”