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VIDEO: Vivid’s Hirsch, AEBN’s Coffman Face Off Over Piracy

Nov 22, 2008 12:30 PM PST    Text size: 

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UNIVERSAL CITY, Calif. — With tube sites and file-sharing methods putting a dent in the revenue of adult companies, two of the industry’s top leaders tackled the familiar issue of content theft at the Free Speech Coalition’s piracy summit at the Universal Sheraton.

XBIZ TV presents the seminar, which was moderated by FSC board member Tom Hymes, in one 30-minute video chapter.

Panelists Steve Hirsch, founder and co-chairman of Vivid Entertainment, and Scott Coffman, founder and president of the Adult Entertainment Broadcast Network (AEBN), kicked off Tuesday afternoon’s FSC presentations with “Thinking Outside the Box.”

The pairing of Hirsch and Coffman was an interesting one, because the two recently were involved in copyright infringement litigation after Vivid sued AEBN alleging AEBN-owned tube site PornoTube.com was illegally hosting and sharing more than 30 excerpts from Vivid videos. Vivid later dropped its lawsuit, which sought about $4.5 million in damages.

PornoTube.com’s business model has recently changed, Coffman revealed at the summit. The site no longer allows user-uploaded content and only posts clips from approved content providers.

He also admitted that if he launched PornoTube today it wouldn’t be successful because there already is too much competition and that the site now limits the length of the clips because “you can’t upsell if you give too much away.”

The upshot of the dialogue was that tube site owners’ new-found revenue affects the bottom lines of original producers, including the top blue-chip American adult brand, Vivid.

“As a content producer that makes high-quality movies, how can I now sell something that is being given away for free?” Hirsch asked.

“Declining revenue hampers our ability to produce quality content. As content producers we have to protect and control our content.”

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