By J. DeVoy
On Ephemeral Notebook, Ferdinand Bardamu – skilled writer and friend of the blog – writes that Kayden Kross’ takedown of pirates won’t make him stop stealing porn. While “stealing” is an emotionally charged word, and copyright infringement laws only affect uploaders on bittorrent, tubes and file locker sites (assuming, very generously, the latter two are DMCA compliant), that is ultimately what piracy of porn and anything else is about: Getting something for nothing.
I’m fond of Ferdinand, and his primary blog, In Mala Fide, is on our blogroll. He links to my posts when they’re interesting and not too legal, and I link to his if I think readers here might appreciate them. I’ve both written for his blog and written him in for the U.S. Senate. To the extent I call him on the carpet like this, as if our blogs were some rap battle mixtapes, it’s nothing personal – I end up having this discussion with everyone I consider a friend.
Why won’t you pay for porn? Or will you pay, but just for certain subsets of it?
I find that this attitude is common in men of our age. It is hard to justify paying for something when so much is available for free. But the shortcomings of these methods are readily apparent as people rave about discovering long-retired actresses whose content has just finally trickled onto some seedy overseas-based site.
What would it take to make you pay? Is there a technological breakthrough you can think of that would make porn a worthwhile investment? Or, if you were sued for copyright infringement, how much money would you have to pay before you’d never pirate again – $5,000? $15,000? Or would it be some other amount on the continuum between a harsh lesson and complete and utter financial ruin?
As a nihilist, it is not your duty to care about whether other people earn a living. You recognize the broad costs imposed by a coarsening of society. But, from a self-interested perspective, you can appreciate what the deluge of sex and pornography means for your personal life. By buying porn, you’re supporting the arts; under an extreme view, it could be like patronage for creators you particularly support, like the Medicis of Renaissance Italy. Just as Renaissance art was inextricably linked with culture, so too is pornography wrapped into the modern zeitgeist. Thanks to the lifetime oeuvre of, for example, John “Buttman” Stagliano – someone who risked a lengthy prison term to follow his principles – anal sex is not merely a reality for many men, but expected. Sure, Stagliano got wealthy in the process, but his work and that of those he influenced have ensured that north of 80% of girls in our age range are up for some greek – and I’m not talking about gyros. This is just one example of how what happens in porn affects real life, and, from my perspective, is worth preserving.
Again, FB, this isn’t an ax I have to grind with you; I’m not going to stop reading IMF or pull my links because we disagree. To the extent you deign to acknowledge this letter, I trust you’ll articulate a thoughtful explanation for your positions on the issue. As someone in the once-target demographic for porn, though, your thought process on this issue is important to understand – mostly because you’ll be able to state it so damn well.