September 24, 2001 10:25am
Entertainment Network, Inc. Says U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Decision on VoyeurDorm Preserves Jobs
Source: Entertainment Network, Inc.
by: Company Press Release
(TAMPA, FL) -- The operators of the popular Website VoyeurDorm.com say a decision by the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that allows the site to stay in a Tampa neighborhood will help preserve the jobs of 180 people in Tampa.
By a unanimous 3-0 ruling on Friday the appeals court rejected a three-year attempt by the City of Tampa to close the dorm, where six coeds earn their college tuition by allowing Web cameras to record their every movement, 24 hours a day seven days a week. In the process, the appeals court overturned a Federal District Court ruling that had affirmed the city contention that VoyeurDorm.com is an adult use, saying, "The public offering occurs over the Internet in 'virtual space.'"
"The appeals court has made exactly the right decision," according to David Marshlack, chief executive of Entertainment Network, Inc., which operates VoyeurDorm.com. "This site has been the driving force behind the expansion of our company and the creation of 180 jobs in Tampa, which are now secure. At a very difficult economic period in our community and the country, the city of Tampa should be supporting job retention rather than spending untold sums trying to close a business that employs so many people and doesn't harm a single soul."
Mr. Marshlack also noted that the ruling is a victory for Website operators everywhere who conduct businesses from their homes. "The ruling affirms that as long as a business doesn't impact on the neighborhood city regulators should keep their hands off," he said.
Circuit Judge Joel F. Dubina, writing last Friday for the appeals court, said, "the audience or consumers of the adult entertainment do not go to (the dorm) or congregate anywhere else in Tampa to enjoy the entertainment. Indeed, the public offering occurs over the internet in 'virtual space.'" He added that since "the public does not, indeed cannot, physically attend" activities at the dorm and thus it "does not fall within the purview of Tampa's zoning ordinance."
Attorneys for ENI, Mark Dolan and Luke Lirot, said the appeals court decision is a "huge victory for the Internet and the First Amendment." VoyeurDorm coeds also expressed delight with the ruling: "We are so relieved that we get to stay in a home we've come to love and to continue our relationships with the thousands of members of the VoyeurDorm.com Website," said Ashley, one of the residents.
Tampa-based Entertainment Network, Inc. is a leading supplier of content for the Internet. In addition to Websites that reach consumers directly, ENI operates Web hosting and development companies, including Neutelligent, Inc. and Yseek, Inc. (OTCBB: YSEK). Along with VoyeurDorm.com, ENI operates DudeDorm.com and VoyeurCasa.com.
Contact for more information or interviews with David Marshlack, attorneys and Ashley: Ellie Reeve, 860-927-4237 (through Sunday) 212-338-0050
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