Thursday, August 9, 2012

(Opinion) Porn Industry: How you don’t protect your product




There are many paths you can take to protect your product from illegal downloading and copyright infringement but harassing and bullying potential customers is definitely not the wisest path. For an industry that has trouble marketing itself due to its releases not being covered or advertised by most major publications, it doesn’t make sense for the industry to go after viewers who watch their movies albeit illegally[1].

According to the business insider, porn companies have targeted illegal viewers of their product and threatened to ‘out’ them if they didn’t settle ’anti-piracy’ cases against them[2]. Porn companies would initially sue viewers, whose identities are protected by their IP address, then subpoena Internet service providers for personal details then threaten to embarrass viewers by filing “a new lawsuit that uses their names if they don't pay settlements, typically ranging from $1,000 to $5,000”[3].

The porn industry doesn’t have many friends, so shaking down potential customers will add more people to its growing list of enemies. However, looking at the current state of the porn industry, its actions intended to protect their product aren’t exactly unjustified. The porn industry suffers, arguably more than music and movie industry, from the proliferation of user generated content (UGC) exacerbated by loopholes in the DMCA[4] .

UGC sites thrive from rules set by DMCA that allow “sites to claim DMCA compliance if they remove any infringing content upon demand”, which has ended up making porn studios play a tiresome game of whack-a-mole to protect their product as UGC sites will take down copyright infringing material only for it to be put up again within minutes[5].

In order to change the tedious state of affairs the porn industry finds itself in, it must realize factors that may influence people to illegally download their product; one of them lies in the reason why porn studios file lawsuits, anonymity. People are apprehensive to say the least to give their personal details to access porn movies not least because the fact that “In an age of rampant identity theft and global concerns over censorship, the importance of this factor shouldn’t be underestimated”[6].

This factor furthers the point that chasing potential customers away by upholding an industry crushing barrier to trade will always be bad for business. Porn companies already know this because if they didn’t, they wouldn’t threaten the anonymity of people accused of copyright infringement.

In sum, the porn industry is under threat due to proliferation of user generated content and the problems it poses to for the industry and beyond. However to target individuals and threatening them by taking away the only edge copyright infringing material has over a legitimate purchase, will only make the problem worse.

  






[1] IBN Live, 2012, How and why the porn industry embraced twitter, http://ibnlive.in.com/news/how-and-why-the-porn-industry-embraced-twitter/272639-11.html
[2] E. Fuchs, 2012, porno companies are alledgely bullying innocent people into paying to make anti piracy suits go away, http://www.businessinsider.com/porno-industry-anti-piracy-suits-2012-7
[3] Ibid
[4] S. Yagielowicz and R. Pardon, 2012, DMCA: the porn industry’s worst  nightmare, http://newswire.xbiz.com/view.php?id=151439
[5] Ibid
[6] Ibid

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