Illegal downloaders, also known as pirates, have been under attack for years. The biggest blow to the biz came when the ultra-popular site The Pirate Bay was shut down due to legal pressure in May. Its creators were sued for roughly $4.2 million and sentenced to one year in prison, although the case is being appealed. Other prominent file-sharing programs, such as LimeWire, have also been demolished for copyright infringement, but peer-to-peer file-sharing isn’t going anywhere.
Most of these damaging lawsuits come from Hollywood, but now the Internet pornography industry, rallied by the “reality and gonzo” porn company Pink Visual, is throwing its weight behind the case—with a unique twist. Pink Visual’s band of crusaders hope the threat of public embarrassment will deter potential infringers from even looking at the download button.
The first shot is aimed at videos featuring “barely legal” 18-year-olds, or, more importantly, shemales. “It will be quite embarrassing for whichever user ends up in a lawsuit about using a popular shemale title,” Pink Visual’s president Allison Vivas said. “When it comes to private sexual fantasies and fetishes, going public is probably not worth the risk that these torrent and peer-to-peer users are taking.”
The irony, of course, is that these studios make shemale porn, supposedly (or optimistically) assuaging the stigma and shame of “alternative” sexual fetishes. Now pornographers are wielding their own products like wrecking balls, bent on demolishing suburban homes. Though P2P file-sharing is copyright infringement, and these studios are merely exercising their legal rights, this kind of threatening behavior not only reveals a vindictive nature, but also a lack of respect for sexual fetishism—the very butter on their bread.
If the content in question is downloaded primarily by individuals who have not disclosed their sexual preferences to their partners, that’s their bag of issues to sort through—not a matter in the hands of the distributors.
Reportedly, coalitions like Pink Visual might have leapfrogged the middleman and leaked documents to the Web, complete with names, addresses, and the titles of the pornographic films pirates were sharing. Over 5,300 Sky broadband users in the UK were affected by this violation of the Data Protection Act, and investigators are asking ACS: Law—a firm that specializes in crushing piracy and the compilers of the unleashed document—how this could have happened. And, perhaps, whether it was an inside job perpetrated by a porn-hating zealot.
Maybe there’s a plus side to this lubed-up chaos. Perhaps the backhanding and public exposure will motivate the silent into proclaiming their predilections, owning their “me time,” and shoving it back in the face of the spiteful. A sexual revolution, of sorts. We’re long overdue for one anyway.
And those no-download porn streaming sites may see a huge spike in visitors.