Internet Porn: How One Sleazy, Law-Breaking Company [Manwin] Owns All Of It On the Web

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from www.policymic.com – Before the Internet came out, a Playboy stolen from an older sibling’s room was more valuable than gold. With the advent of URLs and downloadable images, people started to wander into the rabbit hole — far beyond limited-imagination sites like boobs.com and sex.com. Websites that aggregated lists of other porn sites were making a lot of money as well just through referrals. For a few minutes, the Internet was going to be the best thing to ever happen to pornography, an enormous wave of curious new explorers and instant audiences.

But just as Napster gutted the music industry by utilizing the MP3 innovation, the porn industry was also about to be spanked unmercifully by content pirates. Even as the warning signs started emerging, most companies were so blinded by high traffic they didn’t see the hidden dangers ahead.

I don’t know anyone these days that pays for their porn. It’s a sin we’re all guilty of, just like downloading the occasional movie. But whereas films and TV have been resisting a natural move to online streaming, and are only now coming around to the Hulu and Netflix world, porn was hijacked by business-savvy smut pirates utilizing a multitude of ethically questionable maneuvers.

The average modern porn viewer should at the very least be aware of “free, streaming tube” sites like YouPorn or RedTube. Clips, trailers and whole movies from a wide variety of fetish categories can be seen on these sites for free, and the Youtube culture of quick fix entertainment serves most people’s needs.

There are, however, the deep jungle explorers — those who spend hours on these sites, and are made curious by the offers of penis-enlarging sex pills or free cam “Livejasmin” shows. Once they’re enticed to enter the webcam world of “amateur” sex performers, they are inundated with thousands of women to choose from. It’s like viewing a building with a hundred windows, and in each one is a beautiful barely clad woman. After enjoying a little free entertainment, users learn they can have a solo viewing with the girl of their choice, where any perversion that comes to mind can be requested of the exhibitionist … if only they’ll pay the reasonable rate of $1.99 per minute.

But how did we get to this world of seemingly endless and available smut? Who was the Napster of porn, disrupting an industry that survived decades of transformative media? After porn production went online, how did a few large companies distributing all the “for-pay” content suddenly get swindled and lose 60-80% of their market share to one corporation?

The answer to all those questions is: Manwin.

By following the Youtube craze, several sites emerged in 2006 offering a huge selection of free adult tubes: PornoTube, RedTube and YouPorn. They kept users on their sites for insanely long periods of time, and sold banner ads. But the content they were streaming was either pirated, or bought from old porn producers who couldn’t fully grasp the value of the Internet.

Among those early day “innovators” were three friends: Matt Keezer, Ouissam Youssef, and Stephane Manos. They had met at Concordia University’s competitive foosball league, and had made a lot of money in the early days of the Internet referring people to other porn sites. From there, they went on to found Brazzers — a high-end brand of produced porn content, which earned them a lot of trust in the industry. Behind the scenes, however, they were financing and running some of the most successful tube sites, creating a two-pronged attack to soak up the produced content in California, and offer it for free through their sites.

These Mafia-like maneuverings have since been uncovered, and Manwin is considered the cancerous bane of a dying porn industry, though producers who wish to promote their brand are still regularly swindled into doing business with Manwin due to the extremely high user traffic they control.

The core of the business is keeping users online, tracking them, selling them ads, or ideally. hooking them into the endless tempest of live cam shows, which unlike recorded porn is utterly immune to piracy. Moreover, it’s exploding in popularity, and almost any man, woman or couple can create their own for profit “show.”

Just like Napster killed all the record stores, and introduced us to a world of diverse, instant, and available music, Manwin’s violent gutting of the porn industry has only left the fittest competitors alive. Moreover, it has brought out the exhibitionist performer in millions of average Joes and Janes. Some people even give their nudity away for free, simply enjoying the praise. One of reddit’s most popular subs is /r/Gonewild (NSFW), where average people submit naked pictures of themselves to be complemented by millions of casual voyeurs.

Manwin is still facing the same kind of legal and financial trouble Napster’s founder Sean Parker had to endure. The company is currently based out of a variety of countries for tax purposes, and the founders are frequently facing arrest for various reasons. The question of whether they were a necessary curtain pulling force to bring porn out in the open is still open to debate. Most people don’t see past Manwin’s cut-throat thirst for profit, but their moral indignation doesn’t stop them from turning on their “incognito window” and going exploring.

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