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Title 18 of the United States Code compiles the criminal laws of the federal government.
18 USC Section 2257, contained in the criminal code, regulates the creation of images of actual, explicit sex that are used or intended to be used in interstate commerce. The requirements of Section 2257 extend to all graphical representations and impose a series of duties on those who create the images related to data acquisition, record creation and maintenanance, notice of compliance, and inspection on government request. A first violation of Section 2257 (or its implementing regulations) can be punished by a term of up to five years imprisonment. These statutory provisions depend on definitions found in Section 2256.
Section 2257 charges the Attorney General with the responsibility of promulgating Regulations that specify compliance with greater particularity.
The Attorney General's regulations implimenting Section 2257 are found in Chapter I, Part 75 of the Code of Federal Regulations. Sections. The Table linked here sets out the current Regulations which became effective on January 20, 2009 in a redlined version that graphically shows, by underlining and strikethrough, where each addition or deletion was made at that time in the text of the prior regulations. Those prior regulations are set out in the left column of the table for historical reference. Also, those old, former regulations are coded with blue text to demonstrate how they had been changed from the original, 1995 Regulations.
This website contains a detailed historical article concerning Section 2257. It was written before the most recent rounds of statutory and regulatory changes and cannot be relied upon to state the present law. Revision of the article is planned.