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February 2, 2011 1:22 PM   Subscribe

Today a California appeals court ruled that free online porn is not unfair competition to pay sites.
posted by Faint of Butt (73 comments total) 16 users marked this as a favorite

 
My pants just breathed a sigh of relief.
posted by quadog at 1:23 PM on February 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


There are sites where you have to pay for pornography on the internet?
posted by The Card Cheat at 1:24 PM on February 2, 2011 [7 favorites]


I can't wait until next week when they rule on Hookers v. Sluts.
posted by Ufez Jones at 1:25 PM on February 2, 2011 [29 favorites]


*retires to chambers, gavel in hand*
posted by benzenedream at 1:25 PM on February 2, 2011 [13 favorites]


They say justice is blind. Now we know how it got that way.
posted by Joe Beese at 1:26 PM on February 2, 2011 [79 favorites]


Damn, only five minutes in and all the good lines are already taken.
posted by Curious Artificer at 1:27 PM on February 2, 2011 [4 favorites]


You'd hear applause, but everybody's hands are otherwise occupied.
posted by jonmc at 1:28 PM on February 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


Survival of the fittest, I say. The pay sites have to differentiate themselves and do a better job of policing unauthorized snippets of their content on free sites.
posted by reenum at 1:29 PM on February 2, 2011


Don't most pay sites just fill up the free sites with trailers and advertisements?

I mean, that's what I've heard around the way...
posted by muddgirl at 1:31 PM on February 2, 2011 [5 favorites]


I knew the industry was in trouble when I started seeing Ron Jeremy on banner ads for penis pills.
posted by KokuRyu at 1:31 PM on February 2, 2011


*fap*
*fap*
*fap*
*fap*
*SLAPP*
*fa- Uh oh.
Court: Carry On.
*whew!*
*fap*
*fap*
*fap*
*fap*
*fap*
posted by zarq at 1:32 PM on February 2, 2011 [13 favorites]


Damn, only five minutes in and all the good lines are already taken.

That's what she said (on set at the porno).
posted by 2bucksplus at 1:32 PM on February 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


it's a blue toshiba
posted by phaedon at 1:32 PM on February 2, 2011 [5 favorites]


Thank you, God!
posted by Mister Fabulous at 1:33 PM on February 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


Wow, this should be the go to example of the Streisand effect.

how many of you had heard of redtube.com prior to this?

*creates a new bookmark*
posted by utsutsu at 1:33 PM on February 2, 2011


utsutsu: " how many of you had heard of redtube.com prior to this?"

Interestingly enough....
posted by zarq at 1:35 PM on February 2, 2011


Survival of the fittest, I say. The pay sites have to differentiate themselves and do a better job of policing unauthorized snippets of their content on free sites.

It's not so easy with sites like XHamster and XVideos, which appear to be hosted in jurisdictions outside of the US and Europe. And even when videos are taken down, there are clones (and clones of the clones).

Probably the only way "legimate" paysites can survive (well, 3 ways) would be to:

1) promote their quality (HD, respectful treatment of actors, etc)
2) safety (no viruses, secure credit card info)
3) create more unique (ie, kinky) content

A lot of the paysites feature crappy content. If you go to a Tube site, you can find anything you want.
posted by KokuRyu at 1:36 PM on February 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


Related. xTube, mentioned in this article, really does seem to have a selection of truly-homemade porn (alongside the snippets of commercial stuff). It's of varying quality, of course, but seems to feature real people doing real things, if you're into that sort of thing.
posted by uncleozzy at 1:38 PM on February 2, 2011


It's not so easy with sites like XHamster

Please, tell me this isn't what I think it is.
posted by tommasz at 1:38 PM on February 2, 2011 [8 favorites]


New York Magazine article on The Explosion Free Porn Online

What is interesting is in Brazzers was listed as a codefendant in the CA suit, but now is a major owner of a lot of free sites.

This is all about, I think, is the school pornographers like Vivid and Wicked fighting for their turf. The pay sites that own free sites see it as a way to get more subscribers. But their costs are lower than the big porn studios with their story-based higher budget productions with well-paid "contract stars" so they have to get fewer subscribers to get a positive ROI from giving shit away.

Like reenum says, rather than a team of lawyers go after the free sites for unfair competition, they should be defending their copyright on the free sites. Some companies like Hustler go after torrent sites (which in many cases are ignored just like TBP ignores take down notices from mainstream studios).

A hulu or netflix for porn will be the outcome of all this. Is netfux.com available?
posted by birdherder at 1:41 PM on February 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


It's not so easy with sites like XHamster

Please, tell me this isn't what I think it is.
posted by tommasz at 3:38 PM on February 2 [+] [!]


Yeah, it pretty much is. It's the old hamster dance website, except instead of requesting .gifs over http, you establish a remote session with their X11 server.
posted by Jpfed at 1:44 PM on February 2, 2011 [40 favorites]


nymag.com article on the growth of free porn.
posted by cjorgensen at 1:45 PM on February 2, 2011


" how many of you had heard of redtube.com prior to this?"

I heard about it here. Or was it here?
posted by MtDewd at 1:52 PM on February 2, 2011


On a tangent to legal issues and porntube websites... if you're ever looked at their amateur sections a lot of those videos seem to be legal nightmares (mostly boyfriends or hackers posting private videos that they've put online as an act of revenge, or have stolen from hard drives). Apart from the fact that there's no consent of the featured people, there's also no age statement. I'm surprised that this isn't a major issue being blasted around the cable news sphere 24/7. The closest we've really seen is sexting, but that's not the same thing.
posted by codacorolla at 1:52 PM on February 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


...they received notice of a lawsuit against them in the mail.

That is so 1980s.
posted by Splunge at 2:01 PM on February 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


The ubiquitous distribution of free adult videos through redtube.com has had a massive negative impact on the business model of adult website proprietors,” charged the complaint against Redtube owner Bright Imperial Limited of Hong Kong. “Now that consumers have the ability to watch high quality adult videos for free on redtube.com, fewer are making the choice to pay other adult website proprietors for the same content.

What, did Redtube pay someone to write this suit against them?
posted by Bobicus at 2:02 PM on February 2, 2011 [15 favorites]


New York Magazine article on The Explosion Free Porn Online

I'll have you know it's all explosion-free, thank you very much.
posted by explosion at 2:02 PM on February 2, 2011 [6 favorites]


I should like to take this opportunity to publicly disambiguate.
posted by Tube at 2:05 PM on February 2, 2011 [12 favorites]


The ubiquitous distribution of free adult videos through redtube.com has had a massive negative impact on the business model of adult website proprietors,” charged the complaint against Redtube owner Bright Imperial Limited of Hong Kong. “Now that consumers have the ability to watch high quality adult videos for free on redtube.com, fewer are making the choice to pay other adult website proprietors for the same content.

This reads like the second paragraph of an Onion article.
posted by PlusDistance at 2:09 PM on February 2, 2011 [3 favorites]


I realize that we're here to make masturbation jokes, but is everybody else appalled that giving away something for free could be considered to be "unfair competition" to someone else that wants to make money off of it? Jesus! (Literally. That loaves and fishes business probably bankrupted some local merchants.)

posted by Stagger Lee at 2:11 PM on February 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


I realize that we're here to make masturbation jokes, but is everybody else appalled that giving away something for free could be considered to be "unfair competition" to someone else that wants to make money off of it? Jesus! (Literally. That loaves and fishes business probably bankrupted some local merchants.)

Nevada prostitutes to sue wives, girlfriends, fiancées, FWBs, mistresses, homosexual men, bisexual men and any other parties who will offer sex to heterosexual males due to unfair competition with their business model.
posted by Mister Fabulous at 2:15 PM on February 2, 2011 [4 favorites]


Give a person a wank, and you've briefly got a wanker. Teach a person to wank, and you've got a wanker for life.

That's the kind of ancient wisdom you learn from school pornographers.
posted by chavenet at 2:17 PM on February 2, 2011


that giving away something for free could be considered to be "unfair competition" to someone else that wants to make money off of it?

Yeah, I was wondering about that, too. Wouldn't Barnes and Noble or Amazon have sued the Gutenberg Project by now if all free stuff were anticompetitive?
posted by Mister Moofoo at 2:21 PM on February 2, 2011


Well, I guess it was just me that hadn't heard of it. I guess I can't complain to be an internet porn expert anymore...

I'm not sure if that's a good or bad thing.
posted by utsutsu at 2:21 PM on February 2, 2011


Nevada prostitutes to sue wives, girlfriends, fiancées, FWBs, mistresses, homosexual men, bisexual men and any other parties who will offer sex to heterosexual males due to unfair competition with their business model

Home fucking is killing prostitution.
posted by acb at 2:23 PM on February 2, 2011 [4 favorites]


how many of you had heard of redtube.com prior to this?

Um, just about everyone who has ever googled porn videos, utsutsu. It's perhaps the most popular x-rated vid site on the web, AFAICT.

--


I realize that we're here to make masturbation jokes, but is everybody else appalled that giving away something for free could be considered to be "unfair competition" to someone else that wants to make money off of it?


Jokes aside, Stagger Lee, that is a gross oversimplification of the case. They don't just give it away for free; they \use that free enticement to garner clicks, which they sell to advertisers.

IOW, they're less like Jesus, and more like the 700 Club.

The lawsuit wasn't entirely without merit, at least in theory, but the plaintiffs failed to show that there was intent to drive them out of business... In effect, the defendents were giving away something below market price, because that simply wasn't what they were in the business of selling.

Imagine a fast-food joint, giving away their used grease to biodiesel drivers, being sued by Monsanto for "unfair competition in sales of vegetable oil". If this suit had prevailed, I could imagine that suit also prevailing. Stupidly.
posted by IAmBroom at 2:25 PM on February 2, 2011


New York Magazine article on The Explosion Free Porn Online

I am totally going to move to California and start a company making explosionful porn.

How it'll work is every porno will be set at a gun range. "Attractive" people will show up, already a bit scantily clad, and begin shooting firearms and perhaps masturbating if they have a free hand. Then there will be some pouty who-farted looks, and everyone will get naked and then shoot some more. Ideally on full-auto to promote boob-jiggling and suchlike.

And then, the couple or whatever will start doin' it in the usual porn fashion, while in the background a series of remote-controlled cars drive around, crash into each other, and periodically explode. The soundtrack will consist entirely of various versions of I'M PUH-ROUD TA BE AN AMERICAN modified for the various sex acts being portrayed or cars being destroyed.

I'm going to be soooooooo rich.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 2:28 PM on February 2, 2011 [5 favorites]


I agree with the ruling, but wonder if the free model helps preserve some of the exploitative aspects of the business. Sex workers deserve a living wage.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 2:28 PM on February 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


This lawsuit brings a new meaning to the term "disintermediation."
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 2:28 PM on February 2, 2011


Though, more seriously, this raises the question of whether a market for pornography is something that naturally exists or whether a pornography industry is itself the unnatural result of a failure to connect abundant populations of exhibitionists and voyeurs (perhaps caused by various forms of prohibition).

The parallels to recorded music (another commodity whose market value has been plummeting from an arguably artificially high level) are hard to ignore.
posted by acb at 2:29 PM on February 2, 2011


[I]s everybody else appalled that giving away something for free could be considered to be "unfair competition" to someone else that wants to make money off of it?

That depends. Is the person trying to make money American? Is the person giving the stuff away some sort of shifty not-American? Are you some kind of commie? Your government would like to talk to you about predatory pricing. (Unless it's cotton subsidies, in which case, shut up.)
posted by The Bellman at 2:30 PM on February 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


Extraneous "\".
posted by IAmBroom at 2:33 PM on February 2, 2011


Cory Doctorrow said that porn stars should give away their porn as ways to promote their lecture tours.
posted by meadowlark lime at 2:36 PM on February 2, 2011 [9 favorites]


I agree with the ruling, but wonder if the free model helps preserve some of the exploitative aspects of the business. Sex workers deserve a living wage.

Blazecock Pileon: no more so than giving away excess garden veggies at the office promotes the exploitive aspects of farm labor. Many of the amateur vids are truly amateur; turns out a lot of us are exhibitionist, at some point in our lives, and that often coincides with youth and a lack of restraint.

Granted, a lot of the vids are stolen from pay sites, but that's a different lawsuit & crime altogether.
posted by IAmBroom at 2:37 PM on February 2, 2011


Though, more seriously, this raises the question of whether a market for pornography is something that naturally exists or whether a pornography industry is itself the unnatural result of a failure to connect abundant populations of exhibitionists and voyeurs....

Jesus, you're supposed to making stupid masturbation jokes, not writing comments that could be a jumping off point for a successful academic career in gender or media studies. Get with the program, acb.
posted by miyabo at 2:38 PM on February 2, 2011


In the same ruling, the court did say that it was, however, unfair competition to wives and girlfriends.
posted by inturnaround at 2:47 PM on February 2, 2011


Sex workers deserve a living wage.

I cannot wait for the thread that combines a discussion of women's rights, labor unionization, the Internet and porn. The damn thing would be big enough to have its own atmosphere.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 2:53 PM on February 2, 2011 [4 favorites]


In the same ruling, the court did say that it was, however, unfair competition to wives and girlfriends.

Jeez, another antiquated dinosaur business model trying to obtain special protection. Perhaps wives and girlfriends need to lift their game to compete with the free market.

Hamburger
posted by acb at 3:00 PM on February 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


This is just a different flavor of:
* Would free music by artists be in competition to major label artists?
* Is free / open source software unfair competition to Microsoft or other software manufacturers?

Just cause it's pr0n, it always gets the attention-click.
posted by xtine at 3:15 PM on February 2, 2011


The soundtrack will consist entirely of various versions of I'M PUH-ROUD TA BE AN AMERICAN

I'd gladly stand up.
posted by namespan at 3:24 PM on February 2, 2011


The soundtrack will consist entirely of various versions of I'M PUH-ROUD TA BE AN AMERICAN

I'd gladly stand up.


I will too, but, uh... later.
posted by Errant at 3:34 PM on February 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


This lawsuit brings a new meaning to the term "disintermediation."

The invisible handjob of the market?
posted by sebastienbailard at 3:43 PM on February 2, 2011 [5 favorites]


Cory Doctorrow said that porn stars should give away their porn as ways to promote their lecture tours.

Actually a lot of porn stars do go on tour to strip clubs.
posted by delmoi at 3:44 PM on February 2, 2011


* Would free music by artists be in competition to major label artists?
* Is free / open source software unfair competition to Microsoft or other software manufacturers?


Well, no, because these Tube sites are actually usually hosting content created by someone else.
posted by KokuRyu at 3:49 PM on February 2, 2011


Me: Hey Incredible Hulk! Did you here about the new court ruling on free online Porn??!!

Incredible Hulk: Ruling?! Hulk love getting Free ONLINE PORN!! HULK SMASH VILLAINS WHO WANT TAKE HIS FREE ONLINE PORN AWAY!!!

Me: No worries, bro!! The court said it's all good, yo!! Free online porn is free for everyone forever and ever!!! Whadda ya think of that Hulk bro?!!

Incredible Hulk: Hulk think -- HO HO HO-- GREEN GIANT!!!!
posted by Skygazer at 3:50 PM on February 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


....people will show up, already a bit scantily clad, and begin shooting firearms and perhaps masturbating if they have a free hand.

I'm sure the NRA will be behind this 110% seeing as to how committed they are to putting guns in the hands of everyone who wants one, including people who aren't sexually repressed.

It raises some interesting points. Can a "gun culture" exist in a nation that's not all sorts of repressed sexually??

/File under: Tooth Fairy, and related....
posted by Skygazer at 4:00 PM on February 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


Who needs pornography when we have the "Sekrit MetaFilter Swingers Sex Klub?" Ooops. Perhaps I've said too much.
posted by ColdChef at 4:52 PM on February 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


Also: please do not favorite my comment above if you are in the Sekrit Klub. If it existed, which it doesn't, we'd want to keep our membership secret. Which we don't have to because it doesn't exist. As far as you know.
posted by ColdChef at 4:54 PM on February 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


eponysterical. kinda.
posted by sweetkid at 5:07 PM on February 2, 2011


ixnay on the ecretsay exsay lubkay, k?
posted by Skygazer at 5:16 PM on February 2, 2011


Kay... ay.
posted by NMcCoy at 5:35 PM on February 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


There's one major player for paysites that I'm aware of, their model seems to be that they provide the backend (no pun intended) infrastructure, deal with the studios, etc... Then different companies can apparently set up an account/license with this company (aebn, in case anyone was wondering) and basically theme a site to their liking with their brandname on it.

The advantages of a pay site such as this is a large variety of films from a large selection of publishers, and you can provide high quality. They have pay-per-minute, and "rental" (why would you rent a complete movie, I don't know... it seems that porn these days is made to be vignettes and clips, not full movies like the old days -- the ADD-ification of our society).

Each type of site has various features that can provide different functionality depending on the need of the user at a given time. That's my take.

Speaking of porn. Is there a female version of "gonzo"? That is to say, most "gonzo" porn is produced with the camera "in the action" so to speak, from the male perspective, or a combination of outside camera shots, and handheld (by men) in-the-action shots. But I have never heard of porn where the WOMAN holds the camera. I think that idea seems odd, in the sense that this "gonzo" style seems more male oriented in production, so serves male purposes, but you'd think there'd be some sort of market for the inverse?

And, I think I just admitted WAY more than I should have about my exposure to various things regarding porn.
posted by symbioid at 6:05 PM on February 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


Well, no, because these Tube sites are actually usually hosting content created by someone else.

If you read the article: "The undisputed evidence showed that Bright obtains most of the videos it shows on Redtube free of charge from advertisers who pay Bright to display their videos containing their ads."

It would be an entirely different thing if they actually just ripping videos and hosting those for free, and then I would have a problem with it. But it does not seem like the case.
posted by xtine at 6:31 PM on February 2, 2011


But I have never heard of porn where the WOMAN holds the camera.

It exists and from fairly "mainstream" studios, but it's basically a woman (and in the stuff I've seen, a semi-retired pornstar herself) shooting from the same male perspective.

As to what I think you were getting at: Women shooting gonzo porn that caters to a woman's interest with men as the subject? Not my kink so I don't really know.

I've dated more than one woman who had what to any straight guy would be considered a gay male porn stash. Basically, for the same reason a lot of guys are into girl-girl stuff. "Twice as much of what I'm watching this for in the first place." Considering how far reaching Rule 34 is, I can't imagine what you posit doesn't exist somewhere. But, again, not my kink so I'll trust someone else to do the research.
posted by Cyrano at 7:47 PM on February 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


Is there a female version of "gonzo"?

Camilla porn?
posted by ODiV at 10:44 PM on February 2, 2011 [5 favorites]


Is there a female version of "gonzo"?

No. Gonzo fucked chickens, as far as I can tell.
posted by benzenedream at 11:16 PM on February 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


It raises some interesting points. Can a "gun culture" exist in a nation that's not all sorts of repressed sexually??

It can exist for one reason: A woman firing an assault rifle turns me on.
posted by Mister Fabulous at 11:19 PM on February 2, 2011


Isn't the stereotypical female equivalent of hetero girl-on-girl porn Harry Potter slash fiction and the like?
posted by acb at 12:14 AM on February 3, 2011


Masturbation jokes aside, this ruling is good news for users of free SW, wikis and the like. I seem to remember SW vendors talking about "unfair competition" from the open source/free SW field earlier, but can't seem to find a cite. This ruling serves to bury that notion even deeper.
posted by Harald74 at 1:13 AM on February 3, 2011


It's not so easy with sites like XHamster

Please, tell me this isn't what I think it is.


No, you're thinking of XGerbil
posted by klausness at 5:22 AM on February 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


Wait... there's pornography on the internet?
posted by Decani at 5:53 AM on February 3, 2011


If there were a PornFilter (or Pr0nFilter), most of its posts would be SLYP, SLXT, SLRT or SLPH.

Which reminded me that we are probably lucky YouTube didn't go with the shorter name UTube (SLUT?)
posted by oneswellfoop at 9:40 AM on February 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


symbioid writes "why would you rent a complete movie, I don't know... it seems that porn these days is made to be vignettes and clips, not full movies like the old days -- the ADD-ification of our society"

I wish sex had the same impact on a movie's rating as violence. If a movie with a full on sex scene or two was capable of an R-Rating the world would be a better place.
posted by Mitheral at 4:35 AM on February 8, 2011


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