opinion

There Is a Tech Way Forward Against Piracy

There Is a Tech Way Forward Against Piracy
Eric Paul Leue

Our industry has always suffered from piracy and counterfeit products. But anyone who has been in the industry for the past decade knows that both adult film producers and pleasure product manufacturers are vulnerable in ways they never were before. New technologies have made it easier to share and access stolen content. New platforms have made it easier for counterfeiters to distribute.

Luckily, new technologies may also help us to finally regain our rights.

For many years, we’ve been playing defense against regulation and piracy. As we enter 2018, I want the FSC to not only defend the industry but to grow it.

Take tube sites. With millions of uploads and no real way to effectively monitor tube sites were commandeered early on by illegal uploads and producers were left with little recourse to protect their content.

In response, many producers left the industry, or began focusing on cams or customs. Others diverted energy from production to pursuing takedown notices and filing DMCA. Either way, most traditional producers have faced smaller and smaller margins.

While these new technologies made us more vulnerable, others may now help us protect our content. But in conversations with producers, I’ve discovered that many don’t know the tools that are available, or how to work with major platforms to prevent pirated content from being uploaded.

The most important solution for protecting adult content is digital fingerprinting. Many sites that allow user-uploaded content scan files and match their fingerprints against a database of copyrighted material. If it matches a fingerprint in a platform’s database, the file isn’t published, or pulled down.

And the best part of it is that registering — fingerprinting content — is often free for the producer. Still many content producers that I’ve spoken to haven’t fingerprinted their content, or have only registered their content occasionally, or with only one database. Many have gotten so used to dealing with pirated content that they’ve given up trying to fight it.

Even beyond the tube sites, new technology allows producers to easily track or hunt illegal uploads on pirate networks. In the past, this meant individually searching for content on network after network. But new solutions solely on smart software to find your content wherever it’s been uploaded. Others use actual people who scour the internet for you, or a combination of both.

But digital fingerprinting and tracking tech isn’t limited in use to adult film piracy. The same technology can also work to protect against counterfeit of pleasure products. These same watermarks and tracking sources can be used on advertising images and videos, helping to identify those selling your counterfeit products, and tracking down those who do.

There have also been innovations in the way trademarks, copyrights, patents for pleasure products, digital watermarks, digital rights management, download blocking and deploying HTTPS security can be used to protect your content and products.

By getting a better sense of what’s being sold (or given away) and where we also can better communicate amongst ourselves, and prevent price gouging or underselling. By working together to develop solutions that meet this new world, we can proactively prevent piracy and counterfeit from devaluing our work, be it entertainment or pleasure products.

FSC is currently working on a best practices guide for adult producers of both kinds to learn more in-depth about the different options and common-sense solutions that will allow you to retake your market, find providers who can help guide you to these solutions and legal counsel to consult with to help you better understand your rights.

For many years, we’ve been playing defense against regulation and piracy. As we enter 2018, I want the FSC to not only defend the industry but to grow it.

If you have other ideas or ways that we haven’t thought of, have questions, or if you want to help shape the best practices guide, get in touch with us at info@freespeechcoalition.com.

Eric Paul Leue is the executive director of the Free Speech Coalition.

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