Tuesday, February 3, 2009

In the Zone

Well, here’s one business that seems to be surviving the economic downturn, not to mention the zoning laws of Miami.

The boys of Cocodorm — Snow Bunni, J Fizzo, et al — are staying put, after a federal judge ruled that the gay porn website has a right to film out of its Edgewater home.

Cocodorm.com features black and Hispanic men, known as ”dorm dudes,” who share a webcam-filled house together and have sex on schedule. For that they are paid at least $1,200 a month, plus free room and board.

Miami has tried to shut the house down, arguing it constitutes an adult business illegally operating in a residential area. The city’s Code Enforcement Board in 2007 agreed, but Cocodorm responded to the code enforcement proceedings by suing in federal court.

From the outside, the Cocodorm house looks like any other residence. Those who want to see Cocodorm’s ”hottest and horniest” do so via the Internet, with a credit card. Last week, U.S. Judge Marcia Cooke sided with Cocdorm, basing her ruling on a previous case involving the city of Tampa and another adult website, Voyeurdorm.com.

Like Miami, Tampa tried to use its adult-business zoning laws to close the ”dorm” in question, in this case occupied by women.

But an appeals court, ruling in the website’s favor, found that Voyeurdorm’s customers weren’t gathering at the Tampa home — or anywhere else in Tampa. ”As a practical matter, zoning restrictions are indelibly anchored in particular geographic locations,” the appeals court wrote. With Voyeurdorm, the court added, ‘the public offering occurs over the Internet in ‘virtual space.’ ”

Hm… Is that what all those “work from home” spam e-mails are selling?