Combating Piracy

Stephen Yagielowicz
Recently, XBIZ World Magazine asked several industry players "Which do you think will be most effective in combating content piracy — taking legal action against pirates, a technological solution, or some combination of both?"

Here's what they had to say:

Who steals content in the first place? My opinion is that there are three kinds of people who do this: aware, unaware and arrogant. The aware know they are stealing but believe "everyone's doing it" or "who cares." The unaware believe ignorance is bliss. The final is the most dangerous in that he/she won't even acknowledge piracy is wrong and refuse to change even if they get caught. To combat this problem you first need to change the attitudes of those who steal. Currently we are faced with a new batch of webmasters/owners who simply weren't taught proper business ethics and learned on the street that you take what you need without care of anyone else's feelings or stuff.

— Robert "TheLegacy" Warren, Vice President of Operations, SexDateCash

I believe the current challenges of piracy and copyright infringement derive from a larger issue. The online adult industry has no governing body. Therefore, nobody feels an obligation to respect copyrights, just as nobody feels obligated to provide accurate financial reporting. There is no single solution, as the Internet's global nature does not permit copyright law to be enforced effectively. Engaging an entire industry to work together to stop piracy is utopian thinking. Advancements in the private sector will likely provide a solution that is applicable for our needs before coordinating a unanimous "buy in" between those who produce content.

— SilverCash Albert, Vice President of Business Development, SilverCash.com

Well, there will always be these bottom feeders in any business, and legal and technological strikes against them are a good start. I have been thinking about tube sites — there is good and bad here. I think the good is obvious, but the bad is not paying attention to the content or the file sizes or who they are in the first place. This is a major problem. If they are the new MGPs, they need to be responsible for at least what is uploaded to their network. Monetizing a tube site is not easy. I think the more you give away the less you sell, so as a company we see a shake-up soon of many of these sites going bye-bye.

— Mike Hawk, Co-Founder, SmashBucks.com

A technical solution won't work because it only takes one 12-year-old cracker to break the encryption and then share it everywhere. The answer, unfortunately, is legal action. You have to target the money flow — hosting providers, domain registrars, advertising companies, sponsor programs, etc. If you cut off the money flow, or the operational aspects of the site, then it will go back underground, where people traded for free amongst collectors. Content providers should watermark their content visibly with their URL, because some aspect of viral [marketing] could come their way, as well as using invisible watermarks to allow the programmatic searching of their content. Some are still trying to come up with DRM-like systems that involve the requirement for the user to download a player. It's not going to work; DRM failed.

— Brandon Shalton, Founder, T3Report.com