Five reasons you should pay for your porn

Five reasons you should pay for your porn

Summary: Why should you pay for your porn instead of downloading it illegally? Because the consequences of doing so could be costly.

SHARE:
TOPICS: Legal
0

Was that you who was named as a defendant by Raw Films for downloading Bareback Street Gang using Bittorrent?

Chances are, if you download enough free porn, you'll eventually become one of the 220,000 (and counting) defendants in piracy lawsuits filed by porn publishers. These plaintiffs have had mixed success enlisting the courts to compel ISPs to disclose names of customers based on their IP addresses.

If you live in the Eastern District of New York and Magistrate Judge Gary Brown catches the case, you're in good shape: he recently slapped down an attempt to sue multiple anonymous porn pirates.

You're out of luck, though, if you live in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, where U.S. District Court Judge Mary A. McLaughlin ruled that "A Doe defendant who has allegedly used the Internet to unlawfully download and disseminate copyrighted material does not have a significant expectation of privacy." Same story if you try it in London.

In the end, I think a combination of the legal system, public opinion and corporate self preservation will shut down these lawsuits. We saw the same pattern with pirated music: by 2008 the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) formally announced an end to its pursuit of individual users.

In the meantime, though, I love the excuses defendants in these porn cases come up with:

  • It wasn't me. Someone else must have been using my wireless network.
  • I wasn't home at the time.
  • I'm too old to watch porn.

These are the cross examinations lawyers wait their whole careers for.

For now, those excuses have a pretty good chance of working, so as your legal advisor my suggestion if you get named as a defendant in one of these lawsuits is that you use a hard-to-disprove excuse (or three), and stick to it no matter how lame it is, because some judge may believe you ... or at least think it's not going to be possible to disprove you.

That being said, there are five good reasons you should pay for your porn instead of downloading it illegally:

1. To avoid embarrassment

You may not have to pay any money, but if you're publicly named as a defendant in a lawsuit people will find out: your spouse, your employer, your neighbors, your kids. That you ultimately prevail on the legal issues can only do so much to repair perceptions. It's bad enough to have everyone thinking you download porn, but if you're one of the Bareback Street Gang defendants and people look the film up on IMDB they're going to learn that every cast member is male.

2. There's plenty of free porn available online

It may not be the best porn, but you can visit a gazillion different free porn tube sites if you don't want to pay for porn and don't want to be doing anything illegal. As long as you don't mind the popup windows and low resolution, you're all set. If you want higher resolution and fewer sales pitches, just pay for it.

3. Porn is cheap

As an alternative to illegally downloading Bareback Street Gang, bear in mind that Bi Now, Gay Later #4 is only $16.99 from Adult DVD Empire. Even if you work at McDonald's you can probably earn more than $16.99 in the time it takes to deal with managing Bittorrent downloads with Vuze.

4. Porn stars need to make a living

Being a porn star is a tough job. Yes, it's true that even the most obscure porn actors get to be called stars, but beyond that it's an exhausting way to pay the rent. Given how much effort these actors put into entertaining you, the least you can do is help support them.

5. If nobody pays for porn, it won't get made

This is the endgame if everybody copies porn instead of buying it: Nobody will produce it. Rather, the only available porn will be from amateurs who do it because they want to. So unless you want all porn to have the production values of Youtube guitar tutorials, and for all the actors to look like the people in those guitar tutorials, you should just pay for it.

About the author: Steven A. Shaw is a former litigator and is the Executive Director of the Society for Culinary Arts & Letters.

Topic: Legal

Steven Shaw

About Steven Shaw

Steven Shaw used to be a litigation attorney at Cravath, Swaine &gMoore, a New York law firm, and is now the online community managergfor eGullet.org and the Director of New Media Studies at thegInternational Culinary Center.

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Talkback

0 comments
Log in or register to start the discussion