Piracy: Making it Harder to Steal Your Content

Peter Phinney

Site security is complex and I’ll deal with other aspects of it in future columns, but here I want to talk a little about how some sites make piracy more lucrative than others do. You want to be one of the sites that makes piracy pay less.

Are you aware that some prolific digital pirates make as much as $300,000+ a year selling your content? FilesMonster publishes stats for their top performing uploaders and often these guys make over $7,000 a month in affiliate payments — That’s on one cyberlocker. Many of them make that kind of money on multiple locker sites — like 4 or 5 of them. That can net $35 thousand a month, and you know what their expenses are? No cost of bandwidth, no cost of payment processing, no cost of production (performers, locations, etc.,) no hosting costs; They have virtually no costs at all. How many one-man adult websites would like to clear $35,000 a month after expenses — Raise your hands.

Are you aware that some prolific digital pirates make as much as $300,000+ a year selling your content?

Even if you believe that people who download free content would never pay for it (which is completely untrue - I have documentation to prove otherwise — topic for another column,) doesn’t it burn you that some pirates make considerably more than you do by stealing your stuff and selling it online themselves? Well some of you make it easy for them. And no surprise, they tend to steal more from the people who make it easy. Have you ever looked really closely at how pirates market your content to their audience? Most of the time, they use your collateral. They use your stills, and they use your plot synopsis and they even use your scene title.

So, how simple do you make it for them to get these materials? And how do you display them to the general public in your tour or in teasers on your site?

Here’s the way this generally works. The pirate hacks into one of your members’ accounts, or he downloads your scene as a torrent from one of a dozen torrent sites. Then he grabs your sales collateral and he uploads your scene to a locker, posts your collateral on a blog (or on a hundred blogs) and he includes a link to the content on the locker site, encoded with his affiliate ID. His audience sees the posting, downloads the clip and he gets paid. And, if they liked that content, his audience visits your site and takes the free tour, shopping for other scenes they might like …. Then, armed with your titles and performer names, they go back to the piracy blog, search for other stuff of yours they want “for free” and they grab more.

If you’ve designed your tour to promote “shopping,” please rethink that. Don’t name your electronic file the title of the scene, keep your important sales collateral in your members’ area, stop making it easy for the bad guys.

Peter Phinney runs Porn Guardian with business partner Dominic Ford. The company offers a full suite of anti-piracy services to the adult industry and currently represents more than 370 individual brands across all content niches.