Recently, I went on yet another anti-piracy/”don’t watch free porn on the interwebs because the vast majority of it is stolen, and stealing hurts a lot of people” tirade (here)… except that I don’t really think it’s a “tirade;” and I feel very strongly that, under no circumstances, should anyone be watching pirated creative content online (porn or otherwise).
I was so happy to receive many nice comments (especially some along the “I had no idea… I will stop immediately!!” line) and helpful hints about additional dimensions that need to be considered when thinking about the impact piracy has on the people who work to create a commercial good – adult content.
I was particularly pleased to get this comment from Ms. B, a very well-respected and experienced member of the industry, that clarifies ways in which some more entrepreneurial and relatively free-agent performers are impacted by piracy… but I’ll just let her speak for herself – read on!!
“Your post explaining piracy was well done. One thing that does need to be stressed is, while it hurts everyone in the industry in various way, the [most direct, frontline] victims of piracy (those that the average consumer is usually worried about) are the solo girls and web-only content providers, including stars like Tanya Tate, Cytherea, and many other well-known [performers]. Many of them are ‘mom and pop,’ and they do work ONLY for what they make through content sales on their sites.
As an example, let’s say Cytherea puts three half hour videos of herself, that she shot herself for FREE, up on her website expecting to make money from the members who are paying to see them. But instead, a member (or two, or three) either signs up for the site and downloads all of her content or gives the account information to another person, who then downloads everything. Then, [these members] put all that content up on some tube or file sharing site so people can watch it for free. Cytherea makes no money from the extra views of her content and many times loses members who found it for free elsewhere.
The tragedy of this is that both responsible and criminal consumers have always pushed for downloadable content… yet what happens a lot of the time is someone signs up for one month of membership (from Cytherea’s site, for example), then goes online and rapes the content area of downloads, then turns around and gets their ten cents per 30 minutes of footage (or whatever) to upload them to an illegal tube site, or uploads them to a P2P[/peer-to-peer] site (depending on how smart the content thief is at making money).
Another thing that has to be stressed is that there are a few ‘legal’ tube sites out there – the problem is that even many of the ‘legal’ tube sites allow user uploads… and that’s where it gets sticky. AEBN runs [PornoTube.com], and it’s considered ‘legal;’ however, [PornoTube.com] still allows user uploads… which are often stolen content. Brazzers/Manwin own most of the rest of the tube sites based in North America, and they are not enforcing uploads of pirated content unless Nate [Glass of Takedown Piracy] or other of the DMCA experts keep on them.
Basically, the only entirely legal tube site (that which is definitely not allowing stolen content) is that which does not allow anonymous user uploads at all. Those are so hard to find that it is impossible for me to even name one.”
Thank you, Ms. B!!
Ms. B explains one many ways that piracy goes beyond basic (basic?) stealing. I was extremely interested in the point about both responsible and criminal consumers pushing for downloadable content. I have heard countless times, from countless people: “Why can’t I keep the scene I just bought?” and/or “I would buy it… if I could keep it!!” (or something like that).
This is a double-edged sword. On one hand, it makes perfect sense to want to keep the product you’ve purchased. On the other hand, if someone has to worry about 1 in every 100 (or even 1 in every million) downloaders spraying their product all over the internet, and thus devaluing it completely… well, it makes sense why content producers and providers hesitate to make this available.
Perhaps then what’s needed is something a kin to “iPorn,” the fictive iTunes of adult – you buy, you download, you keep… and sharing is extremely limited, if not impossible. Surely there’s a way that Tanya and Cytherea and everyone else could tag their content such that “iPorn” becomes the scenario… maybe? I’m sure there is more to this that just slapping some tag on the content, but I do know that this idea has been discussed endlessly by many many members of the industry.
Regardless, just like we’re all aware that pirating mainstream film and music content is stealing, we all need to realize that pirating adult content is no different. Well, it may actually be different in the sense that we’re not dealing with mainstream-comparable dollar amounts here (ie porn producers are not making Lars Ulrich or Steven Speilberg money, not by a long shot). That issue is addressed –> here.
I hate to say this, but piracy is actually an artifact of incredible ingenuity (because thinking up all these schemes and implementing computer ways to do them is certainly not easy) coupled somewhat ironically with a gross lack of artistic creativity/inability to produce something of one’s own. It’s conniving, calculated, and downright shady (#justsayin)
Imagine you made some type of craft good – a tricky nifty unique item that lots of people reeeally wanted (it could happen). You sold one to someone who seemed super into your stuff (I mean, they did come all the way to your booth at the craft fair, right?) But then, that very same person mass produces your good and gives a gazillion copies away for free; now no one wants to buy your craftiness… but not because they don’t want it. Because they can get it for free on the internet.
How is this ok? (it’s not)
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