A concept for making porn people want to own on DVD / Blu-Ray

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Oct 072012
 

I’d love to write a full rant about how the porn business and music business of years past set themselves up for failure with excessive greed and many bad choices – but perhaps I will write that up in a different post. I only have time to get the basics of this idea out today, hopefully with enough details for it to make sense and not get laughed at, maybe I will update this post with more details to reinforce the point later. For now, I saw a DVD set online today that made me remember my suggestions to those in music business years ago (that seemed to fall on deaf ears) – it is something I have seen some mainstream movie houses doing, and with porn more mainstream than ever, I think it is now possible for some in the industry to apply this model for consistent sales of series series if done right.

First it’s going to take top talent to produce movies with the hottest actors and actresses – it’s gotta look good in HD, and the movie itself has to match the cover. Secondly, the movie box and cover has got to have art value, something that you want to display on your shelf / DVD rack or whatever. It needs to be artistic and alluring. There are many things that can be done to make this better than what we see in most of the porn releases. Disney seems to make some great boxes and artwork that goes with their series – this could certainly be done with some of the porn series out there, and I would suggest two versions – an artcore pg-13 cover and more hardcore for those who live without kids or want to be risque like in a college dorm.

Sure this won’t work for massive sales, as not everyone will have the ability to display a huge porn collection in the living room, but I have some ideas for expanding upon that as well. Before I get into the porn chest locking art thing, we need more box sets to fit into it to make it worth adding to a room in the first place.

The movie that I saw today that made me think of this is the Voracious erotic vampire set from director John Stagliano.

I think whoever develops a line of hot art boxes will be able to make consistent sales to those who want to display erotic art at home, but often can not afford the good erotic art that is available, yet would feel they are getting a two-for-one by purchasing good porn and good art in one.

More on this later.

Porn biz desires for 2012

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Jan 042012
 

I have seen a lot of changes in the porn business over the years, and I still have some hopes for the future being brighter with a few changes. Sure, many of these may not happen, but I do think the porn business would benefit from making some adjustments in several areas. I’ve seen the change from the full length films in the theaters to the VHS tapes at, DVDs, the internet, blu-ray, some 3D and everything in between. There have been many great changes over the years, and there have been some big missteps as well.

Without rambling too long about the mistakes of the porn industry and getting into the great free porn and tube site debate, I’d like to mention a couple of big mistakes and then get on to the things that can make everything better for everyone in the future. The porn industry, just like the music industry got overly greedy some years back, and with porn sales going through the roof, rather than invest that money in establishing brands and customer loyalty, many producers and retails jumped onto the greed wagon and left a bad taste in consumer’s mouths. It’s no wonder that so many people flock to tube sites to find what they were looking for, when for years the industry made it a game to advertise girls on a cover that barely made an appearance in the film, and made big claims about “tons of anal and stars in never before seen footage” – only to be disappointing in seeing merely a glimpse of what they thought they were buying.

The music business engaged in much of a similar ploy when re-releasing tons of music on CD – and even though millions of consumers bought into the “digitally remastered” versions, and such as that – in the end people realizes they were paying too much to listen to the same music they had already purchased before. While distributors were raking in the dough without spending much to create new content or invest in branding good content for future sales. All of that greed from the producers to the distributors and retailers has come back to haunt those in the music and porn business. The past is what it is, but it should be a lesson for the future and I fear that many are not even aware of the reasoning for today’s lackluster sales – instead simply blaming others and complaining about tubes and other free porn sites.

If your company has been providing what content the customer wants and a price that is comfortable for them, then they would be coming back for more. It amazes me to see porn stores finally changing their appearance to be better lit and cleaner and nicer today, then they should of taking the money they were making before and investing in making it better in the first place. Unfortunately it is the reaction to losing sales that is forcing so many change, and now everyone is playing catch up, and doing it with less resources and against more fierce competition.

My main desires for 2012 in the porn biz is for everyone to get on their own page, get their branding together and stick with it, and help people to promote it. Let’s get real, take the resources you are spending on fighting about free porn sites, and create some free porn that is easy to promote and pushes your brand. I would like to see more from the likes of wicked and more ninn workx style videos coming to market, and with them coming promo materials that are easy to reinforce the brand. If you are producing hardcore gonzo, then stick with that, and make it easy for webmasters and retailers to promote your brand.

I see some producers out there making great content, and then failing when it comes to making it easy for webmasters to promote it. I see some companies trying to produce so many different types of porn under the same umbrella that people are not able to recognize if that brand is hardcore, softcore, low budget or feature film – I don’t even know what to expect when I see some logos out there.

For those of you out there that have people working against your affiliates and retailers in order to push up your bottom line, you are going to find yourself left without many of the best salespeople working for you. As the bigger names try to take over search results and threaten smaller guys with loss of revenue in order to “protect your brand” – what you are doing is failing to offer guidance for others to help promote your brand, and taking out the thousands of opportunities to have others working for you.

I see a lot of short sighted protectionist plays and conflicts of interest where companies are still looking at greed for to squeeze a few extra bucks out of the world, and all the while failing to see how they are losing the future to others who playing by the new rules. I’d love to elaborate on this more, and perhaps while in another blog post.

I would also like to see the business develop a new model to enhance porn performer’s careers and bottom lines, and it could be done in a way that helps to protect the producer’s brands as well. I know many will not do this, and for those who even consider it, it could be a serious pain to get the logistics in place, but perhaps a hybrid future model could blend this little fantasy into becoming a reality. What I am talking about is offering girls a slice of the rights. Before you write it off, call me crazy and start to flame and hate me, consider a new way to do it.

Let’s say rather than give an all out percentage, we were to include the performer as partial owner to the rights of the project and instead of divvying up a chunk of each and every sale, we put in performance bonuses to certain marks, like the first 1000 DVD sales, and 5,000 pay per view, stuff like that. Give them a portion of the copyright, and some of these girls will be able to help the production house in many ways.

For one, a performer having rights to a certain production would be able to seek out unauthorized videos on the net and file a dmca complaint herself – many of these girls have the time to do it. They would also be able to leverage their fan base in reporting the places that are showing unauthorized videos – something that the big labels will most likely never get to happen, a porn star would get fans to seek them out and report them 24 hours a day.

Having mile marker bonuses would also encourage girls to do things like DVD signings, either live or via the internet to increase sales. There are many other bonuses to setting things up this way – and it would be a very powerful alliance that would bridge the chain from producer to star to fans. It would get some of the girls to become a free pr department rather than a work for hire contact with no interest in the success of the final product. We would also see girls working harder to make good porn in the first place – and these would benefit everyone, as we see so few of the girls interested in making a well selling flick these days and we see girls who go through the motions to just to satisfy the requirements of getting paid for today’s shoot.

I am not talking about getting in an RIAA or BMI type of rights and royalties situation – I am just throwing an idea out there that could be a big one. If some places got into this in a way that is a healthy relationship for everyone it would make a great impact in many areas, and realistically it wouldn’t cost anything. Sure it’d be a pain in the ass to track and do stats and keep up with bonuses, but the increased sales and exposure would certainly make up for it.

I have several other great ideas for some better futures for all of us in the biz, but I will category those and make some more posts in those categories. There’s a couple of things to think about this year. More on this later.

Jenna Jameson Calls It Quits

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Jan 282008
 

Is this true?

[Gossip] Jenna Jameson Calls It Quits
Posted by Ashish on 01.14.2008

Porn queen retires…

Pornstar Jenna Jameson announced her retirement from the business at the AVN Awards in Las Vegas on Saturday.

“Honesty is key,” she said. “I will never ever ever spread my legs again in this industry. Ever!”

Classy.


From 411 Mania

Content Producer Group Forms Piracy Enforcement Company

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Jan 272008
 

Content Producer Group Forms Piracy Enforcement Company

Details To Be Provided at XBIZ Hollywood ’08 Industry Conference Piracy Roundtable Feb. 6
From Xbiz

By Ann Oui
Wednesday, Jan 23, 2008

HOLLYWOOD, Calif. — Building on a meeting last year in Los Angeles at which a large gathering of content producers and others met to discuss ways to protect their content from thieves, the core members of the group that organized that meeting have formed a piracy enforcement company.

The new company is called PAK Group, Inc., and is a Washington for-profit corporation. A website for the company is not live yet, but according to the principals www.pak-inc.com will soon launch.

Rob Apgood, an industry attorney involved with the new initiative, told XBIZ that the main purpose of the company is to enforce copyright laws and to pursue copyright infringers on behalf of copyright holders who utilize the services of the company.

The main principals of PAK Group will be speaking on the Piracy Roundtable and Meeting at the upcoming XBIZ Hollywood ’08 Industry Conference, where they will outline in detail how the company will work and how copyright holders and others in the industry can become involved with it.

Other than Apgood, PAK Group principals slated to speak are Falcon Foto’s Jason Tucker and Andrew Stoddard of Hush Hush Entertainment.

The Roundtable event will take place Feb. 6, from 2–3:30 pm, at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel. Unlike the piracy meeting, the Roundtable is not limited to content producers. Admission is open to anyone who is registered for the XBIZ Conference.

“This is a group that has come together to coordinate and direct its efforts on thwarting piracy,” Tucker said. “If you are a content producer, then you know that your hard work is being raped by people who don’t have a right to display it. If that frustrates you and upsets you, then this seminar will provide you a chance to join a group that will really do something about it.

“Remember, you can be part of this effort even if you are not a content producer. As a member of the community, you can help take a stand against those who cost all of us money.”

“We spent more than a year and a half investing in and building the infrastructure that allows us to document infringements with the push of a button,” Apgood said. “This business model capitalizes on our ability to quickly and efficiently document infringements, tie the infringements back to the producer’s content, identify and show the copyright registration(s) being infringed, and generate the complaint for a lawsuit virtually instantaneously — while the other guys are hunting and pecking to make their claims.”

Keeping costs down is one of the main goals of the new company, Apgood added.

“I’m excited to have a role in this initiative,” Stoddard said. “It’s time we stand up as a group and do something about a problem that isn’t going away by itself. I’m also looking forward to speaking on the Piracy Roundtable and hope to see a lot of faces there.”

XBIZ Publisher Tom Hymes said he is confident that word of mouth will add to the interest in both the new company and the Roundtable.

“I encourage anyone who has a vested interest in this problem — and that’s pretty much everyone — to grab a colleague and come find out what this company is all about and what it means to them,” Hymes said.

In addition to PAK speakers, the Piracy Roundtable also will feature Eros Association President Fiona Patten and Diane Duke, executive director of the Free Speech Coalition.

For press and general inquiries about either the XBIZ Hollywood ’08 Industry Conference or the XBIZ Awards, please contact Dusty Marie at dusty@xbiz.com.

DVDempire site charges piracy

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Jan 172008
 

From the pittsburg business times:
DVDempire site charges piracy
Pittsburgh Business Times – by Maria Guzzo

A Butler County-based Web site that sells adult entertainment DVDs has filed a federal copyright infringement lawsuit against a competing Ohio firm.

Right Ascension Inc., which does business at http://www.adultdvdempire.com, filed the lawsuit April 12 in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania against Eastlake, Ohio-based Action Software Inc. and Action-DVD.com Inc. and those firms’ operators, Alexander Belfer of Mentor, Ohio, and Minko Olegi of Eastlake, Ohio.

In the lawsuit, Right Ascension alleges that Action stole copyrighted material from the adultdvdempire.com Web site and placed it on Action’s site, http://www.action-dvd.com. The material included images, photographs and text including movie descriptions and biographical information about movie performers that Right Ascension had created or collected for its site.

Right Ascension requested a preliminary and a permanent injunction against Action, asking that the company stop the copyright infringement.

Right Ascension is asking for $150,000 in damages for each work that was copied from its Web site but does not indicate how many works the firm believes were stolen.

Right Ascension alleges that Action’s piracy is driven by the desire to attract Right Ascension customers to its site, so Action can gain profits.

The case has been assigned to Judge William Standish. A hearing date has not been set.

Porn filmmakers join fight against Internet piracy

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Jan 172008
 

from yahoo news / Reuters

Porn filmmakers join fight against Internet piracy

By Matthew Belloni Sun Jan 13, 4:51 PM ET

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) – What does Sumner Redstone have in common with Steve Hirsch, founder and president of the world’s largest producer of hard-core sex videos? More than the Viacom honcho might think.
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Hirsch’s Vivid Entertainment, the biggest name in the $12 billion-a-year adult video industry, filed a lawsuit last month against PornoTube, one of a handful of popular video-sharing sites styled as the dirtier cousins of YouTube, Redstone’s legal nemesis. Similar to the Google-owned video juggernaut, PornoTube has become a destination for free porn by letting anyone post sex videos without filtering out clips that might be copyrighted.

“In other words,” the lawsuit reads, PornoTube “deliberately and knowingly built a library of infringing works … enabling them to gain an enormous share of the Internet traffic, increase its businesses and earn vast amounts of revenues in the process.”

Redstone’s words, almost exactly. Vivid’s argument mirror’s Viacom’s $1 billion claim against YouTube, filed last March and just entering the discovery phase in New York. At issue in both cases is whether video-sharing sites are shielded from liability by the Digital Millennium Copyright Act if they take down videos once asked and don’t profit “directly” from the infringements. (Vivid also claims PornoTube violates a strict child-pornography law by not verifying the ages of the participants in videos posted on its site, though recently an appeals court ruled against that law on free speech grounds.)

The copyright infringement issue is unsettled, but the cases are piling up. Vivid joins Titan Media, a gay erotica publisher that sued the Michael Eisner-backed Veoh, as well as Viacom’s case and the plaintiffs in a class action also pending against YouTube in New York.

Hirsch believes PornoTube doesn’t do enough to keep his content off its site, and, like YouTube, it has leveraged the traffic it now delivers into marketing deals with other sex video producers. It has left Hirsch, a leader in an industry that has welcomed new technologies like the VCR and VOD much more than its Hollywood equivalents, with little choice but to sue the pants off the free sites.

“How do we survive?” Hirsch asks. “We don’t produce videos just because it’s fun. As DVD sales decrease, we need to look to other revenue streams.”

Domestic DVD spending for mainstream fare was off 3.6% in 2007, but Hirsch told Portfolio magazine recently that Vivid’s DVD sales are down 50% since 2004. VOD is the future, he says, but he can’t compete with free. PornoTube and its brethren YouPorn and XTube continue to draw mass amounts of traffic, and they don’t seem to care about monetizing the eyeballs.

North Carolina-based PornoTube didn’t respond to a request for comment. But Vivid’s critics, much like those criticizing Viacom in the YouTube case, argue that most of the porn on the sharing sites is created and distributed by amateurs. And what copyrighted stuff there is probably serves as valuable promotion for Vivid. Hirsch disputes both those arguments.

“Two or three minutes — that’s all you need,” Hirsch says. “After watching two or three minutes of hard-core sex, you’re not going to go and buy the full movie. And if you look on these sites, an overwhelming amount of content is copyrighted.”

Hirsch likens the porn industry’s perilous situation to the music business’ similar reliance on consumers paying for collections of product (albums) that can be enjoyed in bits and pieces — and often for free on the Internet. Total album sales slid 15% in 2007, the third consecutive year of decline.

Hirsch says he and his legal team are gearing up for a long fight. They could probably call Viacom’s lawyers for some tips.

Reuters/Hollywood Reporter