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Allison Vivas: ‘Culture of free’ means sex doesn’t sell any more

Spend your weekend with advertiser Blue Coyote and their Memorial weekend special,

from – Sex sells. Or at least, it used to.

For years, the adult entertainment industry was on the vanguard of technological innovation. Companies in the pornography sector have for years used the latest technologies to distribute their content, beginning with VHS tapes in the 1980s and evolving with the birth of the Internet in the 1990s. However, in many ways, the adult entertainment industry is facing many of the same problems as the music and movie industries.

Now that all media content can be digitized, reduced to a series of ones and zeroes and transferred instantly over the Internet, issues of piracy and falling revenue streams are beginning to hamper the pornography business.

“It’s hard to sell a product [porn] that a lot of people don’t think they should have to pay for any more,” Allison Vivas, chief executive of Arizona-based adult entertainment company Pink Visual, told a panel discussion at the Mesh technology conference here Wednesday.

Just as the music industry was forced to confront the rising threat of Napster and other peer-to-peer file sharing networks and the movie industry is wrestling with the rise of BitTorrent technology, the adult entertainment industry is fighting its own war against piracy.

In addition to BitTorrent, adult entertainment companies also are forced to deal with a growing number of porn-themed YouTube clones -dubbed “Tubes” sites -that provide free access to pirate content, without content producers receiving any revenue.

Ms. Vivas said that unlike the music and movie industries, the adult entertainment industry hasn’t done enough to force consequences on those who violate copyrights on pornography content. Most adult companies have been too concerned with their own legal issues to employ lawyers dedicated to pursuing copyright infringers, she said.

“The culture of free is not something you can turn back,” said Patchen Barss, author of The Erotic Engine, and one of the panelists.

Of course, new technologies haven’t been all bad for the adult industry. In addition to social media, the adult industry is already looking to new technologies such as 3D tablets and Microsoft Corp.’s Kinect interactive gaming system as possible platforms for new kinds of content.


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