Porn Industry to Take on BitTorrent Sites

by Ernesto on September 10, 2007

Porn industry representatives gathered at an anti-piracy conference last week to discuss solutions to the ever growing amount of pirated porn that?s traded on BitTorrent sites and other P2P-networks.

Piracy is becoming a serious problem for the adult industry. It is estimated that 5% of all files being shared on public BitTorrent trackers are adult content, and most of these files are copyrighted. On top of that, sites such as Empornium, PureTnA and Cheggit solely focus on sharing porn and are among the most popular private BitTorrent trackers on the Internet.

In an attempt to stop these sites from spreading their content the porn industry organized an anti-piracy conference. AVN quotes Andrew Blake, one of the 65 adult industry representatives at the conference and director of Studio A Entertainment: ?What I?m getting out of this [conference] is that this is so pervasive, and we all kind of laughed when they came for the record industry ? ?Eh, couldn?t touch us? ? but here it is, a lot of people on the verge of extinction almost, from a business point of view.?

The adult industry representatives that took part in the three hour anti-piracy session estimated that they lose approximately $2 billion a year thanks to piracy, about 4% of their total income worldwide. The main consensus was that P2P networks, and BitTorrent in particular, posed the greatest threat to the porn industry.

Several countermeasures were discussed during the meeting. One of the suggestions was to create an MPAA/RIAA equivalent for the adult industry that helps to track down pirates and pursue legal action.

Greg Piccionelli, a Los Angeles based attorney with a professional interest in porn, explained the benefits of such an overarching organization: ?If a neutral party does it [suing pirates], then they?re the face. And it shields the various parties that are being damaged. We believe that there is a substantial amount of interest, especially now that what is finally beginning to happen is that virtually every producer of content now is feeling the pinch of this rampant piracy, and it?s only got to get immeasurably worse as the technology improves.?

There are also more amateuristic ideas to fight porn piracy. For example, Megan Stokes from Shane?s World announced that they are launching a forum where content owners can post screenshots of pirated content. Somehow Stokes thinks that these screenshots could be of great help in upcoming court cases: ?It?s for any kind of stolen content, because with the time-stamp and the screenshot, it?s something that we can start using as evidence in court cases.?

Stokes further stresses that the adult industry has to take action before it?s too late. ?I really think studio owners need to stop turning a blind eye,? Stokes said ?This isn?t going to go away, and just to sit and complain and do nothing doesn?t solve anything, and at this point, in five years, because of this, there?s a lot of people who are going to be disappearing from the business, if they don?t take a proactive stance.? Stokes is probably right, but taking screenshots of BitTorrent sites is the most clueless solution to the problem I?ve ever heard.