Assembly Bill 5 is starting to cause problems within camming / porn space
If you’re unfamiliar with Assembly Bill 5 or AB5 for short, check out How Assembly Bill 5 (AB5) Impacts Camming Models. In short, AB5 was created due to the complications facing Uber and Lyft “rideshare” drivers, who work as independent contractors rather than employees. These limitations to companies in hiring contractors has unintentionally applied to the camming community. More specifically, the section of AB5 called the “ABC” Test which helps a company to know if they should be can contract a worker, part B of the “ABC” Test states: The worker performs work that is outside the usual course of the hiring entity’s business. Since cam performers are performing work which is the usual course of the hiring entity’s business (Surprise! Cam sites are promoting live webcam porn, and the workers are creating live webcam porn) models in California where AB5 is being implemented in January of 2020 are facing the negative repercussions of this law.
Many sites are waiting for precedence to be established or not discussing their plans
Many sites have not come forward in regards to AB5, which leads models in California in a strange place of creating back up plans and hoping for the best. There is no telling what will happen to sites who ignore AB5 until it is implemented and a case happens which will establish precedence. While AB5 will certainly have heavy influence on webcam sites where the main purpose is providing webcam pornography, clip sites and fan club sites may be able to avoid these issues by stating their usual course of business is not ONLY pornography. Could this be why sites like ManyVids have been pushing for more Safe For Work content recently? Just because clip sites CAN fight it, does not necessarily mean that they will. Models in California should consider back up plans in case they are denied access to their cam sites AND their clip sites.
Cam site Streamate has contacted California models: they will not be able to stream under AB5
Streamate, a popular private based camming site, has plans to send out e-mails to their models in California stating that they will no longer be able to stream on the platform in January of 2020 unless they connect with a third party entity that will employ them. A Streamate representative sent the following email to a model based in California:
I hope this finds you well.
We are in the process of making preparations for the California “AB5” law that is scheduled to go into effect on 1/1/2020 and will impact all Streamate performers based in the state of California. I wanted to reach out in advance with a head’s up and some preliminary info since it appears that you are based out of California, and your account essentially will be affected by these changes.
(PLEASE NOTE: we haven’t sent any official correspondence to performers who are paid by Streamate just yet as we are still figuring out additional details, but you can expect to receive direct communication from Streamate as early as next week concerning this matter.)
Ultimately, after AB5 takes effect after the New Year, any model in California can no longer be considered Independent Contractors on Streamate. In order to reside in California and be a model on Streamate, you’ll need to be “employed” by a third-party company (business) that follows California state employment guidelines.
We are teaming up with one such third-party company that can/will offer both PT and FT employment opportunities to qualifying models in California. We will be reaching out with a notice containing some basic employment options (as early as next week), and if you wish to explore it more, you will be put in touch with the company who will manage these accounts and can answer your questions. Ultimately, models who choose to go this route as an employee will be eligible for benefits (medical/dental/vision), and have taxes deducted automatically (versus being issued a 1099 tax form). We know this isn’t ideal for everyone, but it’s also out of our hands.
You may be asking, “What will happen at the end of 2019?” Well, if a model is still a California resident and has not accepted employment either for the third-party company mentioned above, or another third-party entity working with Streamate, will have streaming disabled on their account until a solution has been found. We definitely want to help models stay on STreamate and are doing everything we can to do so. Streamate will continue to monitor California law, and we hope to directly offer streaming to California residents again in the future.
Again, please be on the lookout for correspondence from Streamate next week: this communication will be sent to your Streamate Model inbox. If you have any questions during the interim, please don’t hesitate to reach out and I will do my best to answer them.”
What should you do if you’re a Streamate model in California?
Look out for the contact in your model dashboard inbox next week, and look into the third party entities. They will more than likely be “studio-esque” type companies that will take a portion of the money you make in order to provide payout to you.
What should you do if you’re a cam model in California?
Contact the site that you cam for and ask them what their plans are when AB5 is implemented. Keep in mind that this new bill will penalize the SITE if they continue to contract California models, and the models will not be penalized. Prepare a back up plan, if camming and clip producing is your full time consider moving, registering your business out of state, or using the address of a relative or close friends out of state for your taxes. Keep in mind, California will likely be attempting to prevent people from finding the loopholes in this situation, so whatever your back up plan is, make sure you are able to cleanly execute it with proof of residence or business outside of California. Do not panic yet! Precedence has not been set in regards to this bill applying to the adult industry, there is a chance sites will be able to slide by without being impacted by the bill, and some sites may chose to ignore it. You should still have a back up plan, but keep in mind your whole life may not come crashing down on January 1st.