Adult Industry Blog
Title 18, U.S.C. Section 2257 (“2257”) has long been a thorn in the side of content producers and webmasters in the adult industry, but now, the controversial statute is being utilized in ways never intended by the drafters of the legislation. Purportedly created as an effort designed to prevent the proliferation of child pornography, 2257 has historically been used by the federal government as a tool to enforce producer compliance with its onerous record-keeping and labeling obligations designed to verify the age of models appearing in sexually-explicit imagery. Some records inspections have occurred by the Attorney General’s office, although actual prosecutions under the law have been essentially non-existent. Recently, however, the statute is being adopted by litigants, industry participants, and governmental agencies as a sword wielded against adult businesses, instead of the protective shield it was meant to be.
A little over two years ago, the industry witnessed the first use of 2257 in a copyright battle between two adult businesses in federal court. In a lawsuit filed by Ventura Content, Ltd. (a.k.a. Pink Visual) against the tube site Motherless.com, the former alleged, among other claims, that Motherless failed to maintain performer records as dictated by 2257 and failed to post the mandated disclosure statement on its website. The requested relief? Ventura asked the court to shut down the tube site based, in part, on its failure to comply with 2257.
Although the ability to protect against copyright infringement is an essential goal in the adult industry, insiders using 2257 as a weapon to battle each other in court sets a dangerous and unsettling precedent. The DOJ’s enforcement of 2257 is intimidating enough, but the thought of a litigation strategy designed to shut down adult media for violations of the statute would add a layer of credibility to 2257 that threatens the industry’s challenges to the statute, and is ultimately self-defeating.
Much more recently, in November of 2013, a John Doe defendant asked a court to examine Malibu Media’s 2257 records in order to, essentially, invalidate their copyright infringement claims against him. Doe was accused of illegally torrenting 19 of Malibu Media’s copyright films and in turn, made the claim that if a film is not accompanied by adequate 2257 records, then it may not be validly protected under copyright. The case is currently still pending.
Although Doe’s attorney’s strategy may have been a bit of a long shot (as it would be impossible to know the status of plaintiff’s 2257 records short of inspecting them himself), the point is not necessarily whether these 2257 abuse tactics are working, the concern is that they are being employed at all. While these instances of using 2257 to buttress industry infighting are the most prominent, there have been others and the trend is disturbing.
The abuse of 2257 unfortunately doesn’t stop with adult industry participants and John Doe defendants, however. Recently, unconfirmed reports indicated that Cal/OSHA has been subpoenaing 2257 records for various adult content producers with an insidious and ulterior motive: busting the companies for violating the LA County ordinance colloquially known as Measure B, requiring condom usage in adults scenes shot within the county limits. According to these reports, Cal/OSHA obtained the 2257 records in order to ascertain dates and times of shoots – information that would necessarily be contained in the 2257 records. Thus, the County would be able to confirm whether the producers are complying with Measure B and pulling the required permits. If it finds out they are not, Cal/OSHA can impose heavy fines. CAL/OSHA records do confirm that the companies are being investigated.
It seems as though instead of simply maintaining records to ensure age verification, adult industry producers now need to worry about a slew of ancillary legal concerns relating to their 2257 compliance. Any problems with a producer’s compliance regime could prevent them from enforcing their copyrights or result in an unfair competition claim by a ‘holier than thou’ company who claims perfect compliance. The problem is: there is no perfect compliance. The byzantine regulatory scheme created by Congress and the DOJ poses risks of technical violations for even the most diligent producer. Any effort to give credence to an ill-conceived law like 2257 is, at a minimum, bad karma, and at most a tacit admission of the validity of the law. My humble recommendation; leave 2257 out of the industry infighting, and adopt a cohesive position regarding the unconstitutionality of the burdensome federal statutory abortion we know as 2257.
Regulators in the UK are creating an unprecedented wave of censorship that not only pushes for filters at the ISP level, but also criminal prosecution for consumers of what government officials consider “extreme porn.” I have had the pleasure to work with a group of anti-censorship activists in the UK who are standing strong to protect speech in the UK and curtail the crusade UK’s Prime Minister Cameron has waged against adult content. As is always the case, those who wish to control speech try to marginalize people and groups who stand up against censorship by labeling them extreme. That is why I felt compelled to ask Jerry Barnett – the founder of Sex and Censorship – to provide a brief overview of censorship in the UK. Jerry has been labeled as extreme because he refused to crawl into bed with UK regulators and instead consistently fights for the rights of content producers and all citizens of the UK. Thank you Jerry and your coalition of anti-censorship grassroots activists for your incredible work. – FSC CEO Diane Duke
From Jerry Barnett…
While we at Sex & Censorship are following – with increasing trepidation – the endless drift towards censorship in the UK, we’re sometimes reminded that many of our supporters can’t keep up with all the news and events. That’s hardly surprising: Britain is currently experiencing wave after wave of moral panic, and it seems that hardly a week goes by without more bad news for free expression.
So here is a brief round-up of some of the main issues comprising British censorship at present.
Of course, a short blog post can’t hope to explain everything that’s taking place. I’m currently documenting British censorship in a book, Porn Panic: please join our mailing list to be alerted when this is published.
- The Obscene Publications Act: the granddaddy of all censorship laws, outlawing the distribution of content that might “deprave and corrupt” its audience.
- Video Recordings Act: since 1984(!) the BBFC (a private organization) has had the right to censor videos and DVDs, and they seem to have a particular problem with pornography, making UK video among the most censored in Europe.
- Protection of Children Act: originally designed to criminalize images of child abuse, but sometimes misused, even to harass viewers of legitimate pornography.
- Dangerous Cartoons Act: yes, you can become a sex offender for possessing a sexual cartoon featuring a character that might appear to be under-age - such as seen in popular Japanese anime cartoons.
- Extreme Porn Law: three years in jail for possessing images of what the government considers to be “extreme pornography” – even if they are images of yourself participating in consensual sex with your own partner.
- Rape Porn: a planned extension to the extreme porn law whereby you can be jailed for possessing an image of a sexual act that appears to be non-consensual (whether it is actually consensual or not). Quick, delete those bondage photos!
- Gagging law: no, it’s not about blowjobs: it’s a serious attack on the rights of political campaigning organizations to speak freely, disguised as a law to regulate lobbying.
- Although they’ve never been mandated by Parliament or the British people to do so, Ofcom have consistently refused to allow hardcore sex on TV: even on adult channels at 3am. Almost all other EU countries, and the US, allow porn to be broadcast.
- A private body, ATVOD, has taken it upon itself to drive much of the online porn industry out of the country, or out of business, by mandating strict website guidelines that make profitable business effectively impossible. They claim an EU directive gives them this right, although strangely, none of the other 26 EU member states have taken this action, and erotic/sexual material continues to be sold legally elsewhere in Europe without such restrictions.
- Internet blocking: There were at least two attempts to introduce mandatory Internet censorship laws into Parliament last year; while these both failed, we expect similar laws to have more success in the near future.
- Mobile networks: since 2004, mobile operators have voluntarily censored Internet access from phones until the owner proves they are over 18. This censorship covers all sorts of material, and many adults as well as teenagers are denied access to much of the Internet from their mobile phones.
- Broadband filtering: since December, ISPs have voluntarily begun to offer “porn filters” to home-owners, under the pretext of “protecting children”. However, these filters block, not just porn, but dozens of categories of content for entire households, and offer the bill payer a means of restricting Internet access for others in the same household.
A raft of laws against “malicious communication” and “terrorism” have been used to jail people for speech alone. Increasingly, the important line between expression and action is becoming blurred in the eyes of the UK authorities. These days, writing can be considered terrorism, and jokes tweeted in poor taste can see you dragged into court.
There is a worrying trend towards increasing censorship within universities, which (one would have hoped) should be beacons of free expression, debate and discussion. For example, several student unions have banned the Sun newspaper, not for its dodgy news or political bias, but for displaying that most terrible thing, the female nipple. Atheist groups have also had material banned in case it offends religious groups.
Censored UK is a reality.
As 2013 closes and we look forward to a new year, I wanted to thank all of our members for their generosity and support. I would like to thank the members of our Board of directors for the countless volunteer hours and their tireless commitment. Finally, I would like to share just some of the projects on which your trade association worked.
Coordinate funding for Measure B Litigation
FSC helped bring together the litigation team that eventually sued LA County over Measure B, and coordinated the fundraising to fund the effort. We are almost to our goal and have been successful in raising over $200,000 so far from a number of different industry members so that no one company bears the brunt of the expense. Our lawsuit continues and the prospects are promising.
Pleasure Products anti-piracy/counterfeit pilot
Just as online piracy has slashed revenues for adult content, so has online counterfeit products cut into revenues for pleasure products. FSC partnered a top online anti-piracy company with two key pleasure products companies to create a pilot for closing down counterfeit products online. Results of this pilot will be announced at FSC’s Summit at the XBIZ conference in January.
Block AB 332 and AB 640
FSC worked extensively with industry members, lobbyist and coalition partners to kill California Assembly Bill 332 which would mandate barrier protection and many over-burdensome record-keeping, training and vaccine requirements for the adult production community. AB 332 died in the Assembly Appropriations Committee and AB 640 never made it to the floor in the Senate.
PASS (Performer Availability Screening Services)
FSC worked with its PASS testing facilities and Medical Advisory Board to ensure that performers received state-of-the-art testing and preventative care. This year three performers contracted HIV in their personal lives. Because of the protocols in place and the systems established, we were able to quickly identify and isolate the infections so that no transmission occurred on set. Our doctors monitored the situation and decisions were able to determine when and how to call and lift the industry moratorium based on solid medical principles.
We in the adult products and entertainment industry know that 2257 is overbroad and over-burdensome. That it requires “secondary producers” to keep records that in some cases are impossible with which to comply. This is FSC’s last opportunity to strike 2257 down and our attorneys are fighting a valiant and brilliant fight. We are in the appeal phase of the litigation and our case will go before an appellate panel that has ruled in our favor in the past. It is likely that this issue will be settled once and for all in 2014. We have fought a long and expensive battle and have taken on this case so that no one company will have to bear the burden.
On December 12th, the UK government’s internet oversight entity ATVOD (Authority for Television On Demand) is holding a conference entitled “For Adults Only-protecting children from online porn.” FSC was asked to be on a panel at that conference where we will present to UK policy makers. What is interesting about this conference is that it is obvious that the folks at ATVOD are using this this venue to promote the UK Prime Minister Cameron’s pro-censorship agenda. FSC has coordinated a PR campaign with UK adult industry members to inform Brits of about government censorship and build a base of opposition to unwarranted and overreaching government regulation.
COE (Code of Ethics)
A few years ago in with a great deal of feedback from the industry, FSC created a Code of Ethics (COE) for the Pleasure Products and adult entertainment industry. In January FSC will provide industry members with the opportunity to sign on to the COE and display the COE seal of excellence on their website, store and place of business. We know that our industry members have high standards and values—now it’s time to tell the rest of the world.
Working in conjunction with XBIZ, FSC coordinates the FSC Summit designed to educate pleasure products and adult content professionals on current events impacting their industries. Last year FSC brought lobbyist, PR professionals, and attorneys together with industry professionals to discuss…Measure B what now? This year we will have the CEO of Film LA, CalOSHA lobbyists, a Measure B attorney and more facilitating a discussion on the status of 2014 California Content Production. In addition, we will announce the results of a groundbreaking anti-online counterfeit pilot for pleasure products.
CalOSHA has paid visits to a number of content providers’ places of business—mostly due to bogus claims made by Mike Weinstein of AHF. FSC has assisted members who have been visited and helped them navigate what to do when CalOSHA comes calling. Additionally FSC has a CalOSHA lobbyist who is working to prevent restrictive regulations from moving forward and helps the industry organize around this complicated rule-making process.
Voice for the industry with media and elected officials
FSC has met with numerous state and federal lawmakers and regulators. We have organized editorial board meetings and interviewed with countless local national and international media. We have built relationships with coalition partners like the Valley Industry and Commerce Association and Electronic Freedom Foundation and have friends who are now willing to stand up for us in public. FSC is a voice for the industry, we will defend your rights and advocate for better business opportunities. We have your back.
Wishing you all a very Happy New Year!
If you don’t know who Hannah Montana is and what she has to do with the outrage over Miley Cyrus’ foam finger, then you are out of touch with the world around you.
Although I’m quoting yesterday’s old news as an example of being dated in a fast-paced world, any other example would likely be equally irrelevant by the time you get to read this post, so fickle and fast-changing are the tides of fashion.
There’s a brief line in one of my favorite songs, “A Merman I Should Turn to Be,” by Jimi Hendrix, echoing “We take our last look at the killing noise — of the out of style...”
Back then, a half century ago, the need to keep up with the latest style was paramount just as it is today; but to do so requires a youthful view of what is cool and what is not, influenced by a set of factors that changes with each passing generation.
While Jimi was no doubt cool in his day, he was the artist that today’s consumers’ grandparents rocked out to — and few kids will admit to digging gram-gram’s jams.
Let’s face it; if you’re old, then you just don’t “get it” — or so the kids think.
I’m sure that many of us can relate to having this feeling in our youth — while those of you that are still young may live long enough to understand the feeling of being on the other side of the equation.
It is with such cheerful thoughts that I viewed the family sitting at the next table while out to dinner the other night. Well, it wasn’t the family per se, it was the youngest girl at their table — a child who did not look quite old enough to be attending school yet.
She was feverishly typing, swiping and scrolling on a tablet, while waiting for her food to arrive. Once dinner was served and her mother made her put her tablet away the young lass continued on the sly — nimbly texting on an iPhone hidden under the table.
I felt terribly obsolete as I surveyed this scene.
Not only was this child beginning a life that I can’t relate to (and thus will have a hard time marketing to), but at some point, her and her peers will become my much more tech-savvy competition, immersed from birth in digital technology.
I know that I am not alone in feeling this — and that she is not alone, either. Indeed, a new generation of kid-friendly tablets and other devices are changing the way that future customers perceive media and the value of information — and marketers who are unable to keep pace with these changing expectations are certainly doomed to failure in today’s increasingly competitive marketplace.
Check out Wal-Mart (www.walmart.com/tp/tablets-for-kids) for an example of what I’m on about and how what we see as hi-tech today will be quaintly nostalgic tomorrow.
Keeping ahead of (or at least abreast of) the curve becomes vital.
There are many available barometers of pop culture, and in fact, a whole subset of the mainstream marketing world is devoted to this never-ending study of art becoming life.
For a crash course in what’s hot today, I’ll point to one of my lovely wife Dawn’s favorite media outlets, E! The company’s E! Online site (www.eonline.com/trends) offers a section devoted to the latest trends in beauty, fashion, food and living, which can point you in the right direction, whichever way the winds blow.
More useful from a strategic marketing standpoint is sites such as TrendHunter.com, which according to the site is “the world’s largest, most popular collection of cutting edge ideas [that] help creative people Find Better Ideas, Faster.”
There are many other outlets for helping you to keep in touch with the pulse of the modern marketplace and its changing demands. If you prefer to stagnate, however, then perhaps instead of Jimi Hendrix I might have earlier quoted The Who’s Roger Daltry, as he exclaimed, “Meet the new boss…”
Hopefully we’ll stay ahead of the game, instead of uttering that prophetic statement while wandering dazed through a maze of cubicles and wondering “what just happened?”
Enjoy 2014 but keep a close eye on the competition that is fast rearing up behind you — those kids are smarter than you think — and will want something you don’t yet have.
Learn what that is, and your future success will be assured.
The beginning of a new year in the adult entertainment industry is always filled with excitement, trade shows, and hopes for success in the year ahead. Now is also the time when the industry tries to identify upcoming trends in production and distribution of erotic content. Fresh in the minds of many performers and producers are the battles over condom laws, and production moratoria resulting from STD outbreaks. This, combined with advances in technology and plummeting DVD sales, has encouraged many performers to explore alternative forms of erotic entertainment to fill the gaps between shoots. Some choose escorting or headlining at strip clubs. But many others have turned to lucrative live webcam performances and custom video-production.
The effect of these erotic alternatives has been to cut out the middlemen; i.e., the talent agencies, producers, and photographers. All that’s required is a webcam, a good broadband connection, and a knack for turning on your target audience. Many webcam platforms and escort advertising networks allow the performer to take control of his or her content production and therefore, directly profit from the work. With a little creativity and work ethic, some performers have found that webcam performances or custom, amateur videos can be even more lucrative than professional porn shoots. The new middleman is the webcam platform provider or the clips sales studio.
Interestingly, as technology fosters a more one-on-one interaction, the tastes of typical erotica consumers have evolved as well. Why lust after the unattainable blonde bombshell, when that webcam performer with the ‘girl next door’ look might actually be the girl next door? The evolution of technology has allowed the performer to create, market, and distribute their material, all the while inviting customers into their reality. The average porn consumer now wants to know things like what their favorite performer had for breakfast, how they get dressed in the morning, and their plans for the evening. Call it a byproduct of a reality TV-obsessed culture, or just living in the age of social networking; all the world’s a stage and performers are more than willing to share the intimate details of their lives with customers. Ten years ago, an autographed DVD might have been a prized possession for a devoted fan. Now, last night’s panties are up for grabs – for the right price. Some performers may even go the extra mile and engage in intimate contact with fans on camera, as a promotional tool. The popularity of this type of interactive sex and performer/fan dynamic was even the focus of HBO’s premiere of SEX/NOW; the network’s reboot of Real Sex.
So what does this mean for the performer now turned producer of his or her own material? Most importantly, all of the legal obligations that used to be handled by the producer, photographer, talent agent or other intermediary now fall squarely on the performer. These legal concerns include Section 2257 records keeping compliance, content clearance, licensing of rights, copyright registration, fair use concerns and trademark issues. Can I show that painting in the background of my cam shot? Will the RIAA come after me if I play music during my cam show? Just because technology allows a seamless transition from performer to producer, does not necessarily mean that the law does the same.
Most cam performers are unaccustomed to dealing with these technical issues and mundane legal obligations – particularly if they have relied on professional producers to handle such matters in the past. In some ways, we’re all in the same boat. Anyone who posts a comment on Facebook, or a review on Amazon, is a worldwide publisher. Anyone who uploads a picture to a blog or forum is a media producer. That power triggers significant legal obligations. Issues like defamation, fair use, and commercial exploitation used to be the exclusive province of powerful media stakeholders like the New York Times or NBC. Now, these issues impact anyone with a smart phone or social networking account. Add on the additional layer of legal regulation imposed on erotic content, and performers can often become overwhelmed with compliance issues. With industry-specific devices and applications expressly designed to simplify the process of production and publication, technology can help ease the burden, but only to an extent. Autonomy requires proactive measures. If performers wish to capitalize on self-production trends and continue forging virtual relationships with their fan base, the keys to success are education and preventative solutions. The performer turned producer must learn to recognize the legal issues before they become legal problems.
Lawrence G. Walters heads up Walters Law Group which has advocated for the adult entertainment industry and Free Speech issues for 25 years. Nothing contained in this post is intended as legal advice.
As most of us in North America have noticed, "Climate Change" has come down like a hammer on most of the US and Canada this winter with snowstorms, ice storms and temperatures dipping below ZERO in most parts of our realm the past couple of months.
Being a stats geek, I took a look at how this might be effecting surfers looking for porn (rather than scraping ice off of the driveway, or running into a tree to go buy milk).
My cue to do this was the result of the US Federal Government Shutdown a few months ago that resulted in a 1500% increase of porn search traffic coming in from Northern Virginia, Washington DC and Maryland that appeared to have a few hundred thousand government workers sitting at home waiting to go back to work.
I've also noted this shifting pattern for almost 10 years when the Unemployment Rate goes up and down, the Stock Market fluctuates, the USA declares war on a camel in a tent, and other mainstream market variables come into play that result in folks sitting on their cans at home either bored and looking for porn, or scared to death of the economy and deciding to clean out the basement rather than get tempted by a gal in fishnets in Bulgaria wanting some live video sex chat at $4 a minute. But wait!
As much as I think Google Analytics (and Google in general) is some spawn of Satan that sucks down surfer's personal info, that really is the go-to place for most sites on the web to go see what is happening as our dear surfers wander around the interwebs. Ergo, this is the place that I had to look.....
GOOGLE ANALYTICS: WEATHER EFFECTS PORN SURFING PATTERNS!
Okay, let's take a look......
During the horrible storms that swept through Texas and the East Coast a few weeks ago, there was indeed a 1000% increase in surfer traffic from effected states. Oddly enough, they bought things.
Hmmm. Maybe time to go inside and surf for Porn?
During the "Cold Snap" that Canada sent our way (thanks, Canada. You suck. Again.), same thing. 1000% increase in porn surfer traffic coming from the Midwest and the Northeast. Oddly enough, they also bought things.
The other interesting stat to note is that in areas with major power failures that cause laptops and desktops to stop working if the power is out at home, mobile traffic shot up off the grid. Nature abhors a vacuum, and apparently if home-bound surfers have no electricity, they move over to their mobile devices that still work (maybe in the car?) for a bit of naughty entertainment.
Also of interest is that California and the Western States that did not have any horrid "weather events" occur the past two months, they remain at their usual traffic and purchase levels, but any time in the past there is a massive brush fire, earthquake or some other ground shaking West Coast event, the traffic goes up there as well.
It's kind of obvious that when hit by ice and snow storms, or it is so cold outside, most folks have the good sense to stay inside. And surf for porn for a bit of enjoyment! And buy things!
Bring it on, Mother Nature! Online porn needs all the help it can get!
Visit Colin at Wasteland.com
Having been around Adult for about 20 years now, one thing I have noticed sort of bugs me.
Where did all the Holiday Gifts go from program owners, hosting companies, ad brokers, and all the other folks that should give a little gift during the XMas, Kwanza, Hannukah and other Winter Solstice holidays to follk they bill or benefit from?
At Wasteland / Spicecash. we continue to send a half gallon of Vermont Maple Syrup, an NFL-Branded toaster for a favorite team, and so on. But I have noticed that the flow of holiday gifts seem to have fallen off the annual schedule for lots of folks in "austerity mode".
Sure, Netbilling continues to send leather bomber jackets and crystal clocks. Good for Mitch! But from what I can see, most everyone else has tossed holiday giving into the ditch.
Not wanting to sound preachy, but these little gifts to your best employees, vendors and clients are what make us a little human for a few weeks of the year. A $10 gift certificate at Barnes and Nobles for someone that has done great biz for you in the last year is a no brainer for building loyalty.
And, an obscure old British holiday song for ya....
"Christmas is coming, the goose is getting fat;
Please put a penny in the old man's hat.
If you haven't got a penny, a ha-penny will do;
If you haven't got a ha-penny then God Bless You!"
Merry XMas, Kwanza, etc...
Go shopping, gang! Ten bucks at a time will set you apart as a "good guy"
If you are an average consumer, watch the news, or are involved in the tech field, you no doubt are aware of the growing concerns about today’s technology increasingly encroaching on personal privacy.
We often think about online privacy in terms of the web forms we fill out, and the marketable data that we reveal about ourselves, but the issue of online privacy protection is becoming “internal.”
Having turned 50 this year, my doctor advised me that it was time for a colonoscopy, as a means of preventative screening. We all hear about the “Pink Ribbon” campaign against breast cancer, which has an excellent record of accomplishment in encouraging women to have breast exams and mammograms, because early detection results in higher survivability.
Consider this post to be the start of my informal “Brown Ribbon” campaign to encourage men to do likewise and have a colonoscopy when they hit 50, as it could save their life — but I digress, as this is not about how I lost my anal virginity, but of the privacy implications presented by the process.
When I arrived at the endoscopy center for the procedure, the cute young girl at the counter asked if I had read and understood their privacy practices, despite seeing my signature and initials in the spots where they were required.
“Miss, I came here to have a camera shoved up my ass,” I told her. “I didn’t expect much ‘privacy.’”
She blushed and had to leave the counter to go giggle with her co-worker over that one, while my lovely wife stood there rolling her eyes and telling me to behave.
The whole situation is absurd and shows just how far (especially in California) the push for privacy is going to extreme lengths. Are the steps making consumers safer by protecting their privacy? I doubt it.
Now, there is a small collection of images revealing a far more detailed view of the inside of my ass than I ever hoped to see. They are accompanied by a map of my plumbing, with little “X’s” to mark the spots where each photo was taken, and I now assume that this document is stored online somewhere, which means that security systems nonetheless, it is “available” to others.
I cannot think of a more invasive technology or a more insecure media to store the results.
Well, maybe I can, since these images were at one time and place; but another medical technology may be even more intrusive and less secure: the UP24.
According to its maker, the UP wristband communicates with the UP app on a user’s smartphone to reveal personal performance metrics, helping you “understand how you sleep, move and eat so you can make smarter choices.”
Think of it as a “black box” recorder for your body — one that lets others know when you are awake and available to receive their advertisements, for example.
Given these developments, it is clear that the issue of online privacy will persist into the near future, bringing with it evolving legislation and consumer attitudes. When dealing with something as personal as porn consumption, privacy protection will become an ever more important factor to sales, making it an action item in any adult website’s business and marketing plan.
Okay, I gotta admit something. I'm sure by this point of reading my blog, you've figured out that I really like toys. A LOT. As in adult toys but I do admit that I have quite a few assorted non-adult toys lying around my house because they give me happiness to see them and I occasionally play with them, too.
Now we're upon the Christmas season where toys are bestowed upon youngsters with wild abandon - screw that January MasterCard bill! Parents flock to Toys R Us as if the apocalypse is going to break loose on December 25 and their kid has to have every toy on their wish list. But why do those kids have to have all the fun?
When I meet someone, especially someone who has dating, or, more appropriately, fucking on their mind, they jokingly say to me "I bet you have crates of sex toys" and I respond with a completely straight face "yes, I do." I DO have at least a dozen big Rubbermaid containers of adult toys stacked in my garage, so full they oftentimes threaten to pop off the lids. There's sex toys that are common, sex toys that are hard to find, sex toys that have been discontinued long ago, sex toys in their box, sex toys out of their box, sex toys that are my favorites that I keep saying I have to take out of the crates in the garage and deposit them into my bedroom chest of drawers so I can have them at the ready but using them in my garage is just so much more fun and nasty.
I just love toys, that's all I can say.
So why is it that when we get a toy as a kid, our faces light up, we jump up and down, we squeal in delight and think there's absolutely nothing else better in the world in that moment? When we get an adult toy in a store, many times people sheepishly walk in, make their purchase (praying to God that it's in an opaque bag that no one can see what they bought), and slink away in their car, feeling shameful and perhaps guilty that they bought something to use themselves or spring on their lover that night. Maybe the neighbors will think "Hey, what's 'a matter? Ya ain't getting any?" or that they need lubricant because they're not turned on enough. Maybe they feel guilty because they're buying something their girlfriend was too nervous to get or didn't want their name and address associated with buying something on the web. Maybe they just don't want to admit they like buying sex toys and would feel much more relieved if Toys R Us had an adult section, which actually would be a pretty good idea!
One of my fondest Christmas mornings was sharing it with a lover who decided to surprise me with an adult version of "The Twelve Days of Christmas." Unbeknownst to me, he had 12 unwrapped, battery-filled sex toys under the bed, and with each passing refrain of "On the Twelve Days of Christmas, my true love gave to me...." and voila! Another sex toy appeared! I anxiously tried each one as it was unveiled and I'm glad that I didn't keep stuffing them into myself as the refrains keep repeating themselves. It was one of the best grown up Christmases I ever had!
I say let's take back the fun and pride in buying a toy that will make us feel good! If you work in an adult store, try sharing the enthusiasm like a kid on a candy high, letting the customer know that getting an adult toy they really want to have for themselves or wrap up and put under a tree is as good as it gets.
And don't forget to play! With your toys, with role playing, with sex. Play with your toys like kids do only this time, it'll a lot more fun and Mom doesn't need to pick up after you.
Happy holidaze and toy shopping!
And now, the Joke of the Blog?
Q. What's the difference between deer nuts and beer nuts?
A. Beer nuts are about $1.49 and deer nuts are under a buck.
Q. What were you before you were Mama's little baby?
A. Daddy's little squirt.
On the twelve days of Christmas... see ya on the next blog!
Last month, another distasteful use of your personal information by Google came to light: The company now will attach your name and likeness to advertisements delivered across its products without your permission. Including pornsites that you were silly enough to look at while you were logged in to your GMail account. You too can now have your smiling Google+ photo and real name right next to the rich text snippet for some porn site you accidentally visited from a deceptive google link.
OUCH! As happens every time the search giant does something scary, evil or stupid, Google's plan to turn its users into unwitting endorsers has inspired a new round of jabs at Google's famous slogan "Don't be evil." While Google has deemphasized the motto over time, it remains prominent in the company's corporate code of conduct, and, as a cornerstone of its 2004 Founder's IPO Letter, the motto has become an inescapable component of the company's legacy. Famous though the slogan might be, its meaning has never been clear. In the 2004 IPO letter, founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin clarify that Google will be "a company that does good things for the world even if we forgo some short term gains." But what counts as "good things," and who constitutes "the world?"
The slogan's significance has likely changed over time, but today it seems clear that we're misunderstanding what "evil" means to the company. For today's Google, evil isn't tied to malevolence or moral corruption, the customary senses of the term. Rather, it's better to understand Google's sense of evil as the disruption of its brand of (computational) progress. Of course, Google doesn't say so in as many words; the company never defines "evil" directly.
But, now that over the past years Google has gone from a nice, offbeat little company (with a really nice employee vegan-friendly cafeteria) that simply wants to make our lives better, to what, for lack of a better way to describe it, "A New World Order", we seem to be seeing more and more evil coming down the cyper-pike just about weekly now. Want free, stolen porn? Just hop on Google, grab your stick and double click and a whole world of stolen porn on Tubes, Torrents and File Sharing sites are presented to you (after the first 3 pages of Wikipedia, Redbook and Ladies Home Journal results), and just before the traditional legitimate adult industry websites (read paysites) even come up.
Same goes for pirated software. Google search "Photoshop" and after the obligatory Wikipedia articles, the first one that comes up are links to Youtube videos that show you, step by step, how to go steal a copy of it from a torrent, and then how to disable its security so it can't "call home" for detection by Adobe as being on your computer. But, how are they making money from promoting piracy, other than becoming a first-stop destination for anyone looking for just about anything, and the more you go there, the more data they harvest about your wants, needs and desires? Harvard Business School professor Ben Edelman — a product of Harvard’s college, law school, and economics PhD program — believes that Google has done a nice job of rope-a-doping the legal community that has been trying to hold it accountable. In his report, he says,
"Last week, Google's 10-Q disclosed a $500 million charge "in connection with a potential resolution of an investigation by the US Department of Justice into the use of Google advertising by certain advertisers." Google initially declined to say more, but a Wall Street Journal report revealed that the charge resulted from Google's sale of advertising to online pharmacies that break US laws. While Google has certainly profited from selling advertisements to rogue pharmacies, that's just one of many areas where Google sells unlawful advertisements. Here are six other areas where I've also seen widespread unlawful AdWords advertisements:
- Advertisements charging for something that's actually free. I've documented scores of AdWords advertisements that attempt to trick users into paying for software that's widely available for free -- charging for RealPlayer, Skype, WinZip, and more.
- Advertisements promising "free" service but actually imposing a charge. I have also flagged dozens of advertisements promising "100% complimentary" "free" "no obligation" service that actually comes with a monthly charge, typically $9.99/month or more. Promising "free" ringtones, these services rarely ask users for their credit card numbers. Instead, they post charges straight onto users' mobile phone bills -- combining carrier-direct billing with deceptive advertising claims in order to strengthen the illusion of "free" service.
- Copyright infringement - advertisements touting tools for infringing audio and video downloads. For example, media companies uncovered Google selling advertisements to various download sites, typically folks charging for Bittorrent clients. These programs helped users download movies without permission from the corresponding rights-holders, which is a double-whammy to copyright holders: Not only did labels, studios, artists, and filmmakers get no share of users' payments, but users' payments flowed to those making tools to facilitate infringement.
- Copyright infringement - advertisements touting counterfeit software. For example, Rosetta Stone in six months notified Google of more than 200 instances in which AdWords advertisers offered counterfeit Rosetta Stone software.
- Advertisements for programs that bundle spyware/adware. At the peak of the spyware and adware mess a few years ago, distributors of unsavory software used AdWords to distribute their wares. For example, a user searching for "screensavers" would receive a mix of advertisements -- some promoting software that worked as advertised; others bundling screensavers with advertising and/or tracking software, with or without disclosure.
- Mortgage modification offers. Consumers seeking mortgage modifications often receive AdWords advertisements making deceptive claims. A recent Consumer Watchdog study found AdWords advertisers falsely claiming to be affiliated with the US government, requiring consumers to buy credit reports before receiving advice or help (yielding immediate referral fees to the corresponding sites), and even presenting fake certification logos. One prominent AdWords advertiser had previously faced FTC litigation for telemarketing fraud, while another faced FTC litigation for falsely presenting itself as affiliated with the US government. Other advertisers suffer unsatisfactory BBB ratings, and some advertisers falsely claim to have 501(c)(3) non-profit status.
In a related story this week, CNN Money jumped on the fashionable bandwagon, blaming what they decry as the meldown of corporate tech infrastructure on..... You Guess It! PORN! In REALLY BIG HEADLINE FONTS, CNN announced:
Want to stop nasty worms from spreading on corporate networks? It would help if bosses stopped going to porn sites.The CNN photo editor stayed up all night making this little clever gem. A little more solid journalism might have been a better use of resources? Nice Apple Keyboard though!According to a recent survey by software firm ThreatTrack Security, 40% of tech support employees admit they've had to clean an executive's corporate device after the boss visited an infected porn website.The survey, conducted in October, shows that while it's generally gotten easier for companies to defend themselves from outside attacks, bosses' bad habits make it difficult to keep up. Here are some other mistakes executives make:
- 56% got malware from clicking on a bad link or getting duped by a fake "phishing" email.
- 47% attached an infected device, like a thumb drive or smartphone, to their PC.
- 45% got a virus when they let a family member use a company computer.
- 33% installed a malicious app on their company device.
Cisco reports 36% of viruses and malware come from search engines. Online Video at 22% but not porn videos. Social Networks @ 20%. Where's all this evil porn? Ummm... Excuse Me, CNN? The four bullet points you list have nothing to do with porn! It's a well documented fact that the vast majority of viruses and malware come not from pornsites, but high traffic mainstream ones. Tech Republic and Cisco published some interesting findings on this. Read it and please then shut up about the "porn problem".
We more or less expect this sort of shoddy Yellow Journalism from Fox, and most recently Time Magazine, but come on! CNN was sort of the last vestige of liberal and more-or-less accurate, inflammatory mainstream media. It's almost time to pull the plug, only read The New Yorker, listen to National Public Radio and get a new rolodex for all of my data archiving needs. As part of my job at a porn company, I probably visit several hundred porn sites per week to ferret out our movies that have been stolen and are being promoted by Google links.
Never ONCE in 12 years have I ever gotten a virus. But then, I know enough not to download shit from the internet, porn or not! Viral payloads typically come with special offers for ringtones, screensavers, free software and apps to database your DVD collection on your GameBoy. Not Pornsites, you dummy. Pornsites want you to come back again and again so maybe they can sell you something. Not infect your computer. So, 56% got malware from clicking on a bad link that was probably on Google to a Pharma company, 47% got it from sticking a thumb drive in their laptop that they borrowed from their uncle Lenny who is into some strange guns and ammo lifestyle, 45% got if from letting their kid use their computer to surf for gaming cheats, and the remaining 33% got if from a "malicious app" that they most likely got for FREE from the Google Play app store (which is a notorious cesspool of infected Android games, cookbooks and flyfishing apps).
This now begs the question, "What does Google define as Evil?"
In an NPR interview earlier this year, former Google CEO and executive chairman Eric Schmidt explained the Google policy of "Don't Be Evil" with some paradigmatic dodge-and-parry double-speak, saying "So what happens is, I'm sitting in this meeting, and we're having this debate about an advertising product. And one of the engineers pounds his fists on the table and says, that's evil. And then the whole conversation stops, everyone goes into conniptions, and eventually we stopped the project. So it did work." NPR then goes on to say,
Schmidt admits that he thought it was "the stupidest rule ever" upon his arrival at the company, "because there's no book about evil except maybe, you know, the Bible or something." The contrast between the holy scripture and the engineer's fist is almost allegorical: in place of a broadly construed set of sociocultural values, Google relies instead on the edict of the engineer. That Schmidt doesn't bother describing the purportedly evil project in question only further emphasizes the matter: Whatever the product did or didn't do is irrelevant; all that matters is that Google passed judgement upon it. The system worked. But on whose behalf? Buchheit had explained that early Googlers felt that their competitors were exploiting users, but, exploitation is relative. Even back in the pre-IPO salad days of 2003, Schmidt explained "Don't be evil" via its founders' whim: "Evil is what Sergey says is evil.
And, in the "strange but true" section, Google "barges right in" with yet another odd development.
In the meantime, when everyone was blinded by Panda, Penguin, Hummingbird, Google getting hacked by the NSA and other annoying things that people were complaining about (including Google), the news broke that Google now has FLOATING BARGES in San Francisco and Portland, Maine. Tech reporters have been suspiciously been eyeballing these floating fortresses for a while now, but the mystery is officially over. The odd structures in San Francisco Bay and Portland Harbor are indeed owned by Google, who has fessed up ownership of the project and vociferously denies that these are data centers. The company issued the following statement: “Google Barge … A floating data center? A wild party boat? A barge housing the last remaining dinosaur? Sadly, none of the above. Although it’s still early days and things may change, we’re exploring using the barge as an interactive space where
people can learn about new technology.” Although Google’s statement has both dampened down and ignited some of the speculation regarding the project, the secrecy with which the barges were constructed still raises some eyebrows. Building on water rather than land meant that the company could avoid filing public permits, and US Coast Guard officials who inspected the barges signed non-disclosure agreements. Plus, as the barges are probably soundproofed inside with a lining of hundred dollar bills, nobody can even hear what might be going on in there. But, I sort of have to call "B.S." on their explanation (as much good as THAT will do anything). "An interactive space where people can learn about new technology."
Really? I can almost buy that for San Francisco Bay if there weren't TWO of them there. But Portland, Maine? Not exactly the place to spend a boatload of money (pun intended) to build an interactive space for the unemployed toothless fishermen of Maine to go learn all about Google Glasses.
I'm almost hoping that they are building robotic dinosaurs in there and, as their last flip of the google-bird to the world as they finally get taken down, hit the BIG RED BUTTON on the barges, unleashing Google Godzillas as some over-the-top form of revenge on everyone that just got fed up with their greedy, unethical antics. It might just be my imagination, but has anyone else noticed that Google is looking more and more like a classic "Bond Villain"?
Maybe the French will fix it all. The US and most other countries seem pretty incapable of controlling this modern-day Jurassic marrow and soul sucking Beast from Hell. Yet, as usual, I digress, so in a last ditch attempt to salvage this article from sounding like James Joyce on Guinness, let me offer some final thoughts that might pull this all together. THE TAKE-AWAY
- Google is not your friend. Yes, the Chrome browser works a TON better than Firefox, Safari or that evil piece of junk, Internet Explorer and I highly recommend it if you can manage to download it and set it up in a safe way that Google doesn't suck down your browsing history, personal information and blood type (if Google takes over the Obamacare websites tech)
- Anything you read on the internet from "mainstream media" about porn or adult entertainment is now simply horse hockey. Yes, we had a nice recess from abuse from "Fifty Shades Of Grey" (mainstream media made a LOT of money off of that), but just realize anything you read now about porn from a mainstream media website or news source is going to try to make you feel afraid of it. Or disgusted by it. Or think Hitler invented it. It's their way of boosting readership by blaming every ill of society and the net on porn. Don't believe it.
- Porn surfing and consumption is, and has been, created as a very safe experience for you by all of us in the responsible adult industry. We have worked hard for 20 years to gain your trust and patronage. Don't let mainstream scare you. We are on your side to bring joy to your panties and get a reasonable amount of money from you to pay the actors and operating expenses. Yeah, go watch a free vid on a tube once in a while, but realize the good stuff is over at the paysites, DVD stores and other places that charge a bit of money. Fair is fair, and we aim to please!
Article Originally Published At EroticScribes.com