In The People v. Harold Freeman (1988), the Supreme Court of California in a 7-0 decision written by Justice Marcus Kaufman, held that:

“Undeniably, one cannot lawfully hire another to commit murder, rape or robbery for the purpose of photographing the act. Murder, rape and robbery and aiding and abetting intercourse with a minor for that matter, are crimes independent of and totally apart from any payment for the right to photograph the conduct.

By contrast, the acts of alleged ‘prostitution’ in this case were not crimes independent of and apart from payment for the right to photograph the performance. The determination that pandering and prostitution occurred here was entirely dependent on the payment for the right to photograph. Indeed, under the People’s theory the payment was used to establish not only the ‘hiring’ but also elements of both the ‘pandering’ (procuring) and the ‘prostitution’ (i.e., lewd acts ‘for money’). When considered aside from the payment of the acting fees, itself fully lawful otherwise, the sexual acts depicted in the motion picture here were completely lawful. The sexual conduct was between consenting adults and occurred in a place not open to the public.”

1988 - People v. Freeman