Internet Sex Workers Suit by San Francisco Employment Lawyer Daniel Feder Says Striptease Broadcast Invaded Their Privacy

November 13, 1997

San Francisco's prostitutes have organized. Its strippers have unionized.

By Ilana DeBare, Chronicle Staff Writer
San Francisco Chronicle

Internet sex workers sued to protect their rights, using The Law Offices of Daniel Feder.  The lawsuit filed by Feder's offices alleged that their privacy was violated when their striptease performances were published on computer terminals co-workers in the same office who were aware of their names and addresses, thereby creating a risk for the women.

Additionally, the suit alleged that the video streams were published to many viewers at time, not just to the subscriber who was paying by the minute to watch the show.  According to the lawsuit, female employees were paid signficantly less than their male counterparts for performing the same striptease services, a violation of the Equal Pay Act.

The lawsuit was brought by five women who filed suit in San Francisco Superior Court yesterday.  The suit was brought against San Francisco-based Selective media Inc. and Interactive Live, Inc. and Los Angeles-based Larry Flynt Publishing Inc.

The workers were former employees of a video-conferencing service.  The customers paid about $7 per minute to watch them strip and perform sexual acts.  The suit alleged that the companies violating their rights in several ways.

"They were specifically told they'd be performing for an anonymous end-user," said their attorney Daniel Feder. "Then secret [computer] codes were given out to their co-workers and others, so they were in fact performing for dozens of people, including men who worked in accounting and marketing and finance in the same building."