Wired News: Porn Strategy: Share and Snare: The porn industry is learning a lesson the music industry refuses to hear: Piracy doesn't have to be a dirty word. As recording industry officials sing dirges over a 2002 music-business sales slump and press ahead with lawsuits against file-sharing network platforms such as Kazaa, pornographers see an opening. "You can't beat them, so you ought to join them," said Exploit Systems CEO Scott Hunter. "These are your most valued customers, the people who come specifically into your arena and say they want X, Y and Z. This is the most inquisitive, most important community possibly in the history of business." Hunter's company has developed software that helps content providers put their legitimate versions of material being pirated onto the file-share networks in such a way that it overwhelms the pirated versions of the same material.
Well, leaving aside the technical issues for the moment, the plain fact is that there's comparatively little porn stuff out there that would be appropriate for using Kazaa and the like. It's not that there's none, you understand, but digitizing porn videos isn't as simple a process as sticking in a CD and telling the software to let 'er rip. As for still pictures, I can't imagine how that technology would actually work. Additionally most people don't use Kazaa and the like to find still images; it's simply not an effective way to use the technology.
(I do love the RIAA representative's response, though. Basically, it boils down to, "When people want to jerk off, they want to jerk off NOW, dammit!")
I think that "devotees of singers and bands" might pay ... although if you pay attention to what a lot of serial downloaders are saying, it really is the whole "free" concept that appeals to a lot of them. It might be instructive to find out how many mp3.com artists ever received payments through their sites. Certainly, some make quite a lot (or did under the old mp3.com payment terms), but I'd wager that relatively few artists ever got much in the way of donations per number of people downloading.Posted by iain at January 23, 2003 01:43 PM
I've never engaged in regular music (or porn!) downloading, if I did, it would be to sample things I don't want to gamble paying out good money for or wouldn't pay money for (that is, if it's free I might give it a listen, if not I won't).
Let's put it another way. I live in Poland which has a thriving pirate CD industry and I've bought a couple (CD's are horribly overpriced here). I don't think it's fair to call the few CD's I've bought 'losses' to the majors since I wouldn't have bought them in regular format anyway since they're so overpriced.
Even if I were living in the US I can't imagine there's much I would pay money for now. Almost all modern US music now bites the wax tadpole. What I'm interested in now would be finding old forgotten pop recordings from the 50's to the 70's. If the majors started making all their old catalogues active in a cheap pay-to-download format (their overhead would be super low) I'd probably spend a lot downloading for money from them. But they've got their heads of their asses, they're not intested in offering me anything I'd be interested to pay money for and they want to determine what format I'll buy in (and _use_ in, which is really arrogant), so screw 'em.
"It's not that there's none, you understand, but digitizing porn videos isn't as simple a process as sticking in a CD and telling the software to let 'er rip. "
Actually, it is just that simple. I can stick a DVD into my computer's player (ANY DVD, mind you) and, using a few freely available software programs, have a high-quality .avi file of the entire 'movie' Divx format ready to go in less than three hours weighing in at 300 MB or less. Want an .mpg for use in your home DVD player as a VCD? That's a 400MB-per-hour file. Play the tape from the VCR into your Replay TV component and you've got a high-quality perfect digital copy that you can then transfer directly to your PC. Even better, play it directly into your video card and onto your hard drive with you component-in connectors on the back of the card.
And if you don't think people will spend three hours ripping a DVD for the pure pleasure of having an ultra-compressed version ready for 'use' on their hard drive or for uploading onto a p2p network, you're naive. It's extremely easy and done constantly.
Not to mention, you can create low-quality, easily downloadable snippets of scenes from various movies and float them out there for people to enjoy. Some guys live for this stuff.Posted by Mike at January 24, 2003 03:39 PM
True enough. I was thinking of videotapes, for some reason, which are technically more problematic. Forgot about DVDs completely.Posted by iain at January 24, 2003 10:25 PM