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The Pornographers vs. The Pirates 275

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the there-are-worse-leads-to-follow dept.
conq writes "BusinessWeek has a piece on how pornography is again leading the way and showing Holywood how to fight back against piracy. From the article: 'Some producers of porn are starting to share revenues from online movies with the distributors of their DVDs, who might otherwise feel endangered by digital distribution online. Bolder yet, one large studio is allowing fans who buy movies online to burn them from their computers onto DVDs, with some protections included, of course.'"
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The Pornographers vs. The Pirates

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  • by Svippy (876087) on Tuesday June 13, 2006 @07:27AM (#15522875) Homepage
    And you thought it was just pirates vs. ninjas?
  • The naked truth... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by jkrise (535370) on Tuesday June 13, 2006 @07:28AM (#15522880) Journal
    People who love porn would not mind DRM or any other restrictive technology - most porn lovers don't wish to have their names advertised, and a bit of money is not an issue.

    Not so with what the RIAA calls Pirates.
    • by BrynM (217883) *

      People who love porn would not mind DRM or any other restrictive technology

      I wouldn't go that far. Remember that there are quite a few porn sites that will happily embed a trojan (the malware not the condoms) into their website. The machines that I've cleaned for friends who like porn are some of the biggest messes I've seen. They all now know that if they want me to clean out their machine, I'll wipe the drives first thing unless they take precautions (anti-virus, firewall, rent their porn rather than d

      • by Trigun (685027)
        I've noticed that the more blatant you are about porn, the less likely you are to run into trouble. I know of one manager who loves porn, and is so blatant about it that he doesn't worry about going to the big names (playboy, penthouse, hustler, etc.). The other ones at that office are always so worried about it that they end up going to the out of the way corners of the Internet, and get infected.
    • People who love porn would not mind DRM or any other restrictive technology

      What?! But I thought most slashdotters were against DRM!
      • Quite the connundrum then. The vigilant distrust for all things DRM-related, or the satisfaction of midget on midget fetish porn, with ponies.

        Sometimes the Internet isn't all it was cracked up to be -- with moral decisions such as that. :)
    • by Hillie (63573) on Tuesday June 13, 2006 @10:12AM (#15523669) Homepage
      I'm sorry but I have to disagree, whether it be porn or anything else DRM leaves you feeling cheap and used.

      Now nevermind the thousands of inuendos and puns that statement may suggest. The fact is that no one wants to pay any amount of money per month on some site that lets you download content, if the content is going to stop working when you quit paying that site money.

      Whether that content is porn or music. There are millions of people who would pay a $3.95 trial to buy the ONE song they've been lookin for but unable to find elsewhere or that video they got spammed with that peaked their interest.

      With the DRM ripoff schemes of RIAA and some porn sites this is not possible. So let's say you were a member of any music/porn site that used DRM on their files. Restrictive DRM.. you paid a total of maybe $200 to them and you decide you don't want the service anymore, but you do like what you've gotten so far. You quit you're screwed.. so you're telling me I gotta keep paying to keep what I ALREADY PAID FOR?

      No thanks. *gives RIAA the finger*
      • whether it be porn or anything else DRM leaves you feeling cheap and used.

        Well, I for one do not care about feeling used by Jeena Haze even if it is by a CD where she is =o). Imagine being able to brag to your friends "hey lads, I was used by Jeena Jameson"
    • People who love porn would not mind DRM or any other restrictive technology - most porn lovers don't wish to have their names advertised, and a bit of money is not an issue.

      I dispute the premise that shame is a bigger driver than good old customer satisfaction, unless you are talking about unusual proclivities [penny-arcade.com]. Going by observable evidence, I perceive that embarrassment about mainstream porn is relatively low. Yes, there are some demographic and geographic areas where this is untrue, but blue-staters under

    • People who love porn would not mind DRM or any other restrictive technology

      Hardly, "discrete brown packaging" and "dial-home DRM" are mutually exclusive. Most pr0n fans prefer anonyminity. Would you want DRM Barnyard Antics showing up on your account as a daily viewing?

  • by demongeek (977698) on Tuesday June 13, 2006 @07:29AM (#15522884)
    The Pornographers versus The Pirates!

    Pirate: Arr! Bend over me matey while I prepare the long guns to pilage that booty!
    Porn Star: Oh! Don't pilage MY booty, at least not until my sorority girlfriends come over to help me repel borders! Oh!
  • It isn't needed. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Lave (958216) on Tuesday June 13, 2006 @07:31AM (#15522889)
    I doubt there is anything with a higher pirated/legit ratio than porn.

    I know no-one who has bought porn - but everyone has watched it.

    Why hasn't porn gone bust like the movie and music industries say will happen to them?

    If a legitimate market can keep porn afloat an inherently embarrassing purchase - then everything else doesn't need to worry

    • by vinsanity1 (978226)
      > I know no-one who has bought porn yeah, but i know no-one who has masturbated. "there are those who do, and there's those who lie about it".
    • by LoonyMike (917095) on Tuesday June 13, 2006 @07:39AM (#15522922)
      SPAM also has a low clicks/emails rate (I think), but the few clicks are enough to make it profitable.
      Low-budget porn movies might also need a relatively small number of sales to make money, even if they are massively pirated.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 13, 2006 @07:46AM (#15522942)
      Do you think your father will openly tell you that just last week he purchased a subscription to this fantastic bondage porno site? Do you think your boss will tell you that ten minutes ago, between meetings with clients, he spent $19.95 for the "Girls Gone Crazy: Kansas City!" and "Eugenia's Booby Paradise" video combo he saw advertised on TV last night? Do you think that the Republican senator who just rallied against sexuality in video games, and who also just bought some photos of girls fellating horses, will let you know? Probably not.

      Then again, you likely don't understand the true size of the market. Even if they have a 99% piracy rate, that 1% of sales is so much that they're all very well off.

    • Re:It isn't needed. (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Jakob777 (322558) on Tuesday June 13, 2006 @07:48AM (#15522948)
      I happen to run "Adult Book Stores" (porn shacks) and I have seen only a increase in sales due to the Internet, they bait them with a 10 second clip maybe the get a membership to the site then they are in my store buying up all of that actress that makes there mind go wild and POW I have cash in hand. The same works for the most part with me and my friends, we get the cams of new movies or the new album, and we are out buying it or sitting in a cola covered seat with that crying baby to go see the real thing.

      I think this will make all the profit margins for the adult industry go up, and the RIAA should look into not being such raging pricks but nice calm porn CEO's :)
    • I'm surprised no one has brought this us even. The Porn industry is one of the richest in this country, and they are also the most heavily pirated. Kind of destroys the "Piracy hurts record sales" argument.
    • by Eivind (15695) <eivindorama@gmail.com> on Tuesday June 13, 2006 @07:55AM (#15522972) Homepage
      You mean you know noone who will admit to having bougth porn.... Not the same thing.

      Besides, porn movies are embarassingly low-budget. What counts as a "high budget" porn-movie doesn't even show up on the radar for budgeting normal movies. And some of the low-budget porn-movies have budgets down in the 4-digits range.

      You don't need to sell an awful lot to make a profit if your total budget is less than a years salary.

      • by oliverthered (187439) <oliverthered.hotmail@com> on Tuesday June 13, 2006 @08:16AM (#15523062) Journal
        I'll quite happly wath the low budget films from the 70s so why are modern movie budgets so high? Maybe the movie industry should sort out their cost problems first if the're having problems making a profit.
        • Unions makes things extremely hard. Try firing a teacher at a public school to save money. Try to get anything accomplished involving labour in the automotive manufacturing industry. Hollywood has been infested by unions (actors, camera workers, directors, grips, etc. etc.). These make big cost problems that you can't really do anything about (try to get a fair director and actors with a budget less then 5 million - it will only happen if you have an extremely small cast or your entire cast is straight
          • The bigger issue is the fraudulent way they report profits vs costs.

            They get to say "we made x amount" to the public, but when it comes to taxes they get to say "oh but it cost this much" then next week when the profit went up, "oh it really cost this much"

      • Not only that but look at all the free sites offering porn (sublimedirectory, elephantlist, thehun, etc, etc, etc). Porno sites want you to see their stuff and then get you more and more interested to buy. I *have* bought porn, looked at plenty of free porn, and even use empornium to get more porn.

        Looks like that tactic worked for me.
      • Don't forget that amature porn is often done entirely at the expense of the porn stars themselves, with no cost in overhead. so while there are a lot of 'free' porn sites, and few people will admit to 'having bought porn' I know quite a few people who won't admit to it who have bought porn. and even more who've rented it.

        As for major films that were done 'on a budget' clerks and the blair witch project come to mind. They show the low budget nature, but they're still good movie storylines. which is why un
    • Probably because porn stars don't rake in billions for crappy performance.

      Also, porn movies rarely need a good script. Then again, so do Hollywood movies.

      Maybe it is because they don't have to advertize and hype their movies like the "normal" movies. I mean, hey, with porn, you pretty much know what to expect. It doesn't need to be hyped simply because, well, people actually WANT to see it already.
    • by SlashDread (38969)
      "Why hasn't porn gone bust"

      Because people who buy porn dont tell you. But the amount of money spend on online porn is huge. Its a matter of ease of use, and the instant "gratification" (scuse the pun), and online downloads/streams WILL sell.
      Regular content industrie is just, uhm, backwards really.
    • by pedalman (958492)
      Why hasn't porn gone bust like the movie and music industries say will happen to them?
      Because porn; like booze, is one of those recession-proof products that never seems to lose demand. It doesn't matter what the economy is doing. It will always thrive.
    • Re:It isn't needed. (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Dread_ed (260158)
      "Why hasn't porn gone bust like the movie and music industries say will happen to them? "

      The main difference I see is that porn is an addictive substance. Don't you remember the playground pushers motto, "The first one is always free"?

      Many people would not buy porn their first time out. They have to "acquire the taste" first before they will go and spend cash on it. What better way to expose people to it than to make it free and obscenely easy to access?

      Most consumers of porn are feshitists of some kind.
      • Re:It isn't needed. (Score:5, Informative)

        by rtechie (244489) on Tuesday June 13, 2006 @11:58PM (#15529671)
        The main difference I see is that porn is an addictive substance. Don't you remember the playground pushers motto, "The first one is always free"?

        You have a pretty strange definition of "addictive". I'd call it "flamebait".

        Most consumers of porn are feshitists of some kind. They enjoy seeing activity "x" over seeing position "y", etc. This selectivity leads to the consumer model of porn. Cater to the individual tastes. Then, if you make it they will come. Sometimes on your face.

        A fetishist can't achieve orgasm without their particular fetish, a porn fetishist could ONLY climax when watching porn. What you're referring to is called "asthetics". Different people have different tastes in food, clothing, entertainment, and yes, in sex. Since "pornography", despite all the bullshit out there, is simply visual depictions of sexual activity, it shouldn't be suprising that it reflects a broad range of sexual interests. If you do a little research you'll find this has been the case since the beginning. The oldest artistic/religious artifacts discovered, over 100,000 years old, are sexual in nature.

        If you hate sex so much go join a monastary, start prostrating yourself, and leave the rest of us alone.

  • by dk-software-engineer (980441) * on Tuesday June 13, 2006 @07:31AM (#15522891)
    Downloading a paid product is not a new thing. It has worked for software in years. I don't see why it shouldn't work for other kinds of data like movieclips and images.

    Of course it's easier to share it with a few thousand closest friends on Internet when you don't have to rip it first. But is it really the ripping part that is hard? Isn't that the easiest part? Why is that so bold, as the summary says?
    • Of course paid downloading isn't new and I wouldn't exactly say porn is leading the way (though I would agree porn had done a lot for the internet as well as VHS). I've been using iTunes for some time now, and I've never owned an iPod. It's such a convienance, with one gripe, only 30 secs of a song can be previewed. Anyways, I just spent $5 on iTunes a weekago. I had 5 singles I enjoyed listening too and I downloaded them, burned them to a CD, ripped them back into MP3, put them on my PSP to work out wi

  • by shellbeach (610559) on Tuesday June 13, 2006 @07:34AM (#15522901)
    with some protections included, of course

    Well, it's good to see the pr0n industry finally taking safe sex seriously ...
    • Re:Protections? (Score:2, Interesting)

      by blank101 (862789)
      As "funny" as that may be, I'd bet the porn industry was wary of sexually transmitted disease and unwanted pregnancy far before the general public. I imagine it was a much more immediate matter of survival for them, in addition to being a more rapidly obvious problem.
  • by ikejam (821818) on Tuesday June 13, 2006 @07:38AM (#15522917)
    I think it has more to do with the fact that since no politican can afford to be seen lobbied by a porn cartel, they have to come up with fairer solutions...
    • by dsgitl (922908)
      Quite a few politicians -- on both sides -- receive money from whomever it is that owns SpectraVision and other hotel services. While Congressmen might not get contributions directly from porn, they do receive monies, ha ha, on the back end.

      If you're looking for a source, I can offer you the Al Franken show. That's where I heard this information. He was ralling against John McCain for taking contributions from the porn, but that seemed to be a bit of a, ha ha gain, stretch.
    • Political cartel and a porn cartel are both in the bussiness of screwing people. The only difference is that porn cartel want to have the screwing recorded on video.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 13, 2006 @07:42AM (#15522930)
    ...is that porn movies are better acted, the dialog is more natural and they feature less contrived and often more thought provoking plots than most over-hyped 'blockbusters'. That and more titty ;-)
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 13, 2006 @07:42AM (#15522931)
    Submitter forgot to include link to article http://www.digg.com/movies/The_Pornographers_vs._T he_Pirates [digg.com]
  • Coming to a XXX shop near you. :)
  • Holywood? (Score:2, Funny)

    by obli (650741)
    "Holywood" - is that some sort of nasty pun aiming at a profitable male porn star or just a typo?
  • by telchine (719345) on Tuesday June 13, 2006 @07:48AM (#15522950)
    Do people intentionally buy porn? I assumed the whole industry was funded by IE users accidentally installing premium rate dialers. I guess now that broadband is so popular the porographers need to find another revenue stream.
  • Bigger Business (Score:5, Insightful)

    by pianoman113 (204449) on Tuesday June 13, 2006 @07:50AM (#15522959) Homepage
    Pornography has always been a huge business, and they have always been on the bleeding edge of technology. Look at the internet. Long before their was the World Wide Web there were dial-in BBS's where people could download pornography. When VCRs came out, pornography was almost immediately available on video cassettes.
    The pornography business' profit margin is much higher and that allows them much more freedom to innovate in their distribution. That, and they have no doubt that people will continue to consume their product.
    I doubt they'll ever eliminate the pirates, but they will lead the way technologically for flexible video distribution.
    • Re:Bigger Business (Score:4, Interesting)

      by PhiltheeG (688063) on Tuesday June 13, 2006 @08:28AM (#15523115)
      Add to the above the fact that pornographic material is easily reusable and can be repackaged numerous ways at a low cost. Pornography also lends itself very well to the type of on-demand, pick-what-you-want Internet mentality. Theoretically a studio can sign a group of performers to a contract to shoot a set number of scenes, distribute those scenes in DVD format in full-length movies, repackage the scenes later as a "best-of performer" then redistrbute, slice and repackage the individual scenes the redistribute them by genre, etc. etc. It is still all the same stuff, simply packaged differently and offered in a way a consumer would like. Also, think of the possibilities for repackaging "classic" movies and redistributing of billions of hours of material.
    • Re:Bigger Business (Score:3, Insightful)

      by dajak (662256)
      I don't think so. It's a cottage industry. Look up reports and numbers for publicly listed porn empires like Private or Beate Uhse. Income is low compared to the normal media, profit margins are in the normal range, and the retailers keep most of the money. The more likely explanation is that these companies have few 'intangible assets' in the form of goodwill, lobbying power in politics, or longterm relationships with partners in related industries anyway, and therefore have little reason to try to resist
  • World peace (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Roy van Rijn (919696) on Tuesday June 13, 2006 @07:53AM (#15522963) Homepage
    The biggest advances in internet technology are made because of porn, file-sharing, P2P, search engines, image formats (more porn per mb), movie encryption etc.

    But there is one thing I don't believe, Porn isn't going to stop piracy, it created it! (One of the best things on the web!)
    If porn proves to be the key in stopping piracy, then I truly think porn will create world peace...

    And... why burn on DVD for personal use...???
    Isn't porn something you only watch once, you know the whole story and get bored? Isn't that the whole reason we watch porn, because the same woman every night bores us!?
    • If porn proves to be the key in stopping piracy, then I truly think porn will create world peace...

      Well, if more people were at home beating off to porn, there'd be fewer people fighting.

      Much like a porn star, if you give me an opening like that ...

    • Re:World peace (Score:4, Interesting)

      by frickendevil (977786) on Tuesday June 13, 2006 @08:14AM (#15523051)
      You cant stop piracy, period. You can however slow it down, and the porn industry has taken the first step towards this. I believe you missed the point that porn dvds are being sold on the web and being delivered via digital means instead of buying a hard copy, this tactic has worked brilliantly with mp3 downloads, as long as they are reasonably priced, people will pay for the convenience. If the movie industry followed suit of the porn industry, they too will be able to "keep on top" of piracy (for lack of a better saying, pun intended)

      As for burning it onto a DVD, there are thousands of reasons. Including:
      1. Getting tips from a pro - If you watch a world cup soccer match, it doesnt make you a world cup soccer player. But it can give you ideas on how to better yourself, and if you watch it over and over, you understand how it works, then you can just go practice it.

      2. Some full length porn features are really long, especially the ones without stories. So it could take you a while to get through it, having convenience on DVD.

      3. Save space on your computer.

      4. Easier to put a DVD into a dvd player then it is to drag a laptop or a monitor over towards your bed to watch it with your girl/boy/trannyfriend.

      5. Label it family photos and the kids will never touch it.

      6. Easier to share with friends.

      7. A particular porn star might just tickle your fancy, so you watch it for them, instead of the movie itself.

      8. Being able to give a physical size to your collection, giving you bragging rights "Mine is bigger then yours!"

      9. If your computer breaks down, and you need to take it to a techie, they wont find your stash after you have already burnt and deleted it.

      10. Same reason anyone buys any movies on DVD or VHS for that matter, after 5 years you forgotten the nitty gritty parts and you can rewatch and learn.

      BTW just because you don't share your porn with a kinky significant other (if you have one that is) doesn't mean other people don't. I would prefer my porn in DVD format.
      • 1. Getting tips from a pro - If you watch a world cup soccer match, it doesnt make you a world cup soccer player. But it can give you ideas on how to better yourself, and if you watch it over and over, you understand how it works, then you can just go practice it.
        Claiming to have learned useful sex techniques from a porn movie:
        On Slashdot: +4 interesting.
        For the nice girl at the party: -1 not even funny.
  • by Raindeer (104129) on Tuesday June 13, 2006 @07:54AM (#15522966) Homepage Journal
    Guy I know used to have a well known server with free illegit porn. This server got to be quite well known around the world. One of the reasons he stopped was that a Yugoslav guy with some Yugo-mob connections came to his door to politely request the removal of content that the Yugo considered to be his copyrighted works.

    Now the RIAA and MPAA have done some nefarious things to convince people to stop sharing music and movies, but getting the mob involved.. I haven't heard that one yet. Even when they get Uncle Sam involved, there is a chance of due course.

  • `buy movies online to burn them from their computers onto DVDs, with some protections included, of course.'

    I need to use protection for (ahem) solo-sex now? Oh god! What if it's too late?
  • I Don't Get It (Score:2, Redundant)

    by wickedj (652189)
    "Bolder yet, one large studio is allowing fans who buy movies online to burn them from their computers onto DVDs, with some protections included, of course." Why would you need condoms with your porn???
  • I learned my lesson. (Score:5, Informative)

    by Killshot (724273) on Tuesday June 13, 2006 @08:21AM (#15523083) Homepage
    When I first got into the adult industry, I fought really hard to "protect" my copyrights. Any time I found my photos elsewhere on the internet I would have my lawyer send out threatening letters, I would try to sue people. I would get peoples websites shut down.. it cost a lot of time and money and mostly I just pissed people off.

    Eventually I figured out that in most cases when people copied my photos and shared them.. it increased revenue because people would come to my site looking for more. I then restricted any lawsuits to people who would charge money to access content they stole from me.

    I think the music and movie industry could learn the same lesson.
  • by forgotten_my_nick (802929) on Tuesday June 13, 2006 @08:24AM (#15523091)
    when all our advances in technology can be linked to porn or the military?
  • by l0rd (52169) on Tuesday June 13, 2006 @09:17AM (#15523348)
    What are these people bitching about? It's ridiculous to see 100% of pircacy as lost revenue.

    Newsflash: Most people don't pay for porn. Most people don't need that much porn. Most people aren't your target market.

    The way I see this is that a (relative) minority of people actually pay for porn. Everyone else just gets it from P2P and that ain't gonna change.
    • Newsflash: Most people don't pay for porn. Most people don't need that much porn. Most people aren't your target market.

      The way I see this is that a (relative) minority of people actually pay for porn. Everyone else just gets it from P2P and that ain't gonna change.


      There is a flaw in your logic. I had a similar discussion with some frinends in University, I started saying something like:

      "Those people who BUY porn are surely really bad [crazy], I would never get into the point of PAYING for porn"

      To what a fr
  • "Bolder yet, one large studio is allowing fans who buy movies online to burn them from their computers onto DVDs, with some protections included, of course." ...for someone to crack the protections on a blockbuster DVD and redistribiute that file on teh internet? The whole online copyright debate has always been about getting shit for free and forcing content creators to look elsewhere for money because consumers are no longer a good source. All it takes is one person to whine that the donloadable version
  • by TempeTerra (83076) on Tuesday June 13, 2006 @09:19AM (#15523368)
    This is terrible news! If Pirates are now fighting Pornographers as well as their age-old enemies the Ninjas global temperatures will be sure to rise even further! My advice: buy land in Alaska.

    Furthermore, Pornographers are well known for their ability to quickly subvert any new technology for pornographic ends. This suggests that the Robots will soon be enslaved, forming a fearsome Robot Ninja Pornographer alliance! What hope is there now for the noble Pirates? The monkeys certainly won't be any help. How could a mere monkey hope to oppose a Robot Ninja Pornographer?
  • ...is in the form of customer approval. They will approve of easy and affordable methods of obtaining licensed content, and will thereby protect the bottom lines of the content providers. They will shun pirated media in favor of supporting the people who give them the good stuff, they way they like it, pr0n or otherwise.

    I bet you thought I would say something else about "protection." I thought about it, but you know...
  • So, like, they don't know about USENET, right?
  • The demand for the products that the pr0n industry produces far dwarfs the demand for the crap that the (MP|RI)AA -- (Note how cool it is that I used a RegEx and actually used MORE characters instead of less to say the same thing. I am 1337, bow down.) put out. Basically if you've got everyone chomping at the bit for your product and you know they're going to sell hard and fast, then you're not going to be averse to letting a little product slip through your fingers. Especially if youre product is cheap.

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