Monday, June 23, 2008

You and YouPron Are Now Free to Make Porn

Hallelujah! Haul out your 8 MM, put on some lounge music, get your partner -- and maybe a gaffer, some stage hands, a caterer, a boom operator and your parents, who'll be so proud -- and get down! The 6th Circuit Court of Appeals has just ruled that you are free to make your own porn. Believe it or not, this is a major First Amendment ruling, one for which much praise is due.

The court struck down 18 U.S.C. 2257, a statute that Congress enacted in 1988 as part of an anti-child-porn law. It requires producers of "sexually-explicit" material (NSFW definition here) to maintain records on the ages and identities of their filmed performers.

If you're making a porno, that is, you've got to make photocopies of your stars' IDs and then keep diligent records of these documents, which are subject to inspection at any time by the government.

That might sound like a reasonable regulation of adult material. Trouble is, as the court points out, the law does not cover only traditional producers of adult material. The text of the statute defines a "producer" of porn as anyone who makes sexually explicit material -- even people who create images for themselves, without publishing or distributing them to anyone else.

Such a law clearly "chills" protected free speech, the court found:

To appreciate why speech would be chilled, consider the following. A couple wishes to take photographs of themselves engaging in sexual activity. To do so means compiling records, affixing statements, maintaining such records for at least five years, and opening their property up for visitation by government officials to inspect the records. It seems unlikely the couple would choose to speak when faced with such requirements, which if violated means being guilty of a felony punishable by up to five years in prison plus fines.

Until recently you might have been able to argue that such a law would not really chill much amateur conduct -- everybody knows that the government isn't interested in prosecuting normal people who are making videos to hide away in the liquor cabinet. It's only the producers of "real" porn -- commercial porn -- who needed to follow the law, while the rest of us could happily ignore it.

But these days you can't be so sure. For one thing, the government in charge has a hard-on about porn, so one can't really be sure that the folks in charge don't want to go after me and you and every amateur pornographer we know.

More important, though, is the big recent trend in porn: Web 2.0 social-networking amateur porn sites like YouPron, Prontube, and others are fast becoming the Web's best place to get your jollies.

Those links above go to sites that are not safe for work unless you work for Dov Charney.

If you've never gone to any of these sites -- sure you haven't -- think of them as exactly like YouTube, except instead of singing a Romanian pop song the Numa Numa kid would be doing a dirty sanchez (Google it). That is, normal people like you and me (well, not like me) put up videos of their own acts of lovemaking -- a very generous description -- for others to enjoy.

Performers in many of these videos are amateurs -- they're not making any money from their submissions. The porn sites, though, are commercial entities and are raking in ad dollars.

But neither the creators nor the sites keep records on the identities and ages of the performers. And if 18 U.S.C. 2257 were applied as broadly as it is written, the sites would face little choice but to shut down.

The court's ruling is thus a major victory for Web 2.0 porn.

The death of this law -- though it's not final; the government could appeal -- is sure to prompt calls from many anti-pornsters for Congress to draw up rules that would comport with the Constitution. The court implies that requiring only commercial producers of porn -- people who intend to make money from it -- to maintain records might not violate the First Amendment violation.

The rise of sites like YouPron could well cause an outcry for even further legislation. Because at the moment, the sites seem to operate with little oversight, and there's a lot there that many people -- even reasonable people not named John Ashcroft -- might object to.

For instance, there are lots of videos in which it's doubtful that the "performers" have even consented to being filmed, not to mention being put on display for the whole world.

Search for variants of "hidden cam" on one of these sites and you'll understand what I mean. Additionally you can find many copyright violations -- clips of longer porn movies, clips of non-porn movies, and songs that people like to use as a soundtrack to coitus.

In their terms of service, many of these sites restrict child porn and other "inappropriate" material. YouPron, for instance, requires people who submit videos to affirm that the material they're posting does not show people under the age of 18, that it does not violate anyone's copyright, and that everyone filmed has consented to the site's terms of service.

To enforce such restrictions, some of these sites include flagging mechanisms -- if someone does post child porn, viewers can flag it, and the site can track down the submitter.

But as I say, it's unclear if the enforcement mechanisms work very well; those hidden cam videos are still up there. As these sites gain more fans -- as surely they will -- you can bet people will want a law.

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Sunday, June 22, 2008 Dominates the Online Adult Industry

Since the introduction of the web 2.0 platform to the world wide web, We have seen a dramatic change in the way the online adult industry is doing business.

Since the video sharing website, has come into popularity, we have seen many websites come into existence following the same format is that of YouTube.

These websites, such as and have been catering the public by supplying free adult video content. The Popularity of these websites have exploded in recent months due to word of mouth. These websites
need spend little to no money on marketing once they are established due to the viral marketing method known as word of mouth.

Word of mouth, is a reference to the passing of information by verbal means, especially recommendations, but also general information, in an informal, person-to-person manner. Word of mouth is typically considered a face-to-face
spoken communication, although phone conversations, text messages sent via SMS and web dialogue, such as online profile pages, blog posts, message board threads, instant messages and emails are often now included in the definition of word of
mouth. There is some overlap in meaning between word of mouth and the following: rumour, gossip, innuendo, and hearsay; however word of mouth is more commonly used to describe positive information being spread rather than negative, although
this is not always the case.

Since started in August 2006 it has become one of the most popular pornographic websites; in November 2007 it was reported to be the largest free pornographic website on the Internet.

Some interesting stats to take into account is that is the 12th most viewed website in Italy and the 25th most viewed website in the United States, also with being the 33rd most viewed website in the US.
That surpassing the traffic views of the New York Times and Apple Computers.

The reason why these websites are now the most popular adult related websites on the internet reside at the fact that they are "FREE" and Large videos can be "Viewed Instantly" when viewed in flash format.

These free websites are putting huge pressure on the paid membership websites. Many of the most popular paid adult membership sites have reduced their membership fees significantly to combat the loss in paid member signups. But no matter what
the paid member sites are still losing out.

You may be asking yourself, how are they making money from these sites if they are free to view and how do the owners pay their huge bandwidth costs associated with running a video sharing website. The answer is advertising space.

If you visit one of these sites you may notice allot of advertising. This advertising is mostly for another web 2.0 medium known as social networking sites. These sites are based around their better known cousins, MySpace and Face book.
They are adult related sites where you can meet and maybe rondevu with a partner looking for the same thing. reportedly earns $120,000+ a month on this advertising alone.

With the ever changing face of the internet, sites will be born, grow then die. But to extend their lifespan they will have to adapt to abrupt changes and evolve with the trends. The future is looking very bleak for some adult sites but positive
for others. Only time will tell who survives.