opinion

Porn Today: Is It Worth It? Part 1

Stephen Yagielowicz

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking lately about the online adult industry – where it’s been, where it is, and where it’s headed. The broad market trend, current events, and a few really insightful comments have left me wondering if it’s all worthwhile. If you’re just starting out in this business – and even if you’ve been around for awhile, you owe it to yourself to read this article!

Too Late for Newbies?
During the “Grumpy Old Bastards” roundtable at the recent Internext Expo, perennial seminar favorite and one of the most knowledgeable minds in the business, Wasteland’s Colin Rowntree asked for a show of hands of everyone in the audience who has been active in the online adult industry for less than a year. Responding to the numerous hands raised by hopeful newcomers with dollar signs in their gleaming eyes, Colin announced “You can all go home now – you missed the party…”

The long time Net porn guru was not being sarcastic when he made this statement, though many of those with raised hands doubtless thought he was. The truth of the matter is that the party has indeed been over for some time now, and at this late hour, ‘the pizza’s been eaten, and the keg tapped dry.’ Sure, you might still get lucky, but it will in all likelihood be with a ‘last-call’ leftover…

If you’re a newbie (someone who’s been in the biz for a year or less), then your head is probably swimming with an overload of information – mysterious questions, and even more mysterious answers. Even the most experienced industry veterans are scrambling these days, facing a daily barrage of new obstacles on a dynamic playing field that is a far cry from the salad days of old…

When the acknowledged ‘experts’ are having serious problems, how the heck can a newcomer succeed? Well, being innovative is one way, but I’m getting ahead of myself, so if you’re a newbie and looking for the short answer, then no, it’s not too late – but boy, do you have your work cut out for you – and we still haven’t answered the BIG question: is being in the online porn biz still worthwhile?

Got Money for Bail?
Sadly, some people in this industry – especially many of the younger newbies now entering this business – have a “Fuck it, anything goes and I can do whatever I want, and nobody can stop me!” attitude; evidenced by their willingness to disregard the pertinent laws, tax codes, and copyright statutes; stealing other folk’s content, bandwidth, and site designs, then spamming the world with hopes for ‘legitimate’ sales to hide the fraudulent sign-ups they use to rob their sponsors blind.

Using misleading domain names and META tags, and making no effort to keep minors away from potentially harmful materials, all while pandering to the lowest forms of depravity in a misguided attempt to make sales at any cost, these “Webmasters” are flirting with disaster, and will find no sympathy from me when it comes.

Just like Santa Claus, the Department of Justice is making a list, and checking it twice – and they already know who’s been naughty and who’s been nice. But instead of Christmas presents, they’ll be handing out subpoenas, and when the time comes to receive yours, will you be ready? More than likely, you’ll end up being Bubba’s bitch, ‘tossing salad’ for a pack of Lucky Strikes, and wishing you had paid more attention to me and my rants…

We’re under the microscope friends, and the attack won’t come the way you think. It won’t really be about ‘obscenity’ per se, it will be a knock at the door asking for your ‘2257 docs, and not just for your ‘content’ (which you won’t be able to produce, since you stole it), but for the model appearing in the ‘Young Sluts’ banner so proudly displayed on your home page. Later, after your hard drive has been scoured and your personal porn collection scrutinized, they’ll explain to you that anything “in plain view” is fair game, and you’ll be arrested for not being in full 18 USC ‘2257 compliance, as well as for having that resin-clogged bong sitting on your shelf…

An onslaught of legal perils is not the only hurdle aspiring Net porn mongers face these days either, there are a ton of other issues that need consideration as well. But there is always a silver lining in every cloud, even if you have to dodge a few thunderclaps to find it! Stay tuned for Part 2 ~ Stephen

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