Industry News

Content Producers Vs. AdultFriendFinder

AFF grossed about $300 million last year. It’s sponsorship is important to the financial success of numerous piracy websites.

Evan Horowitz at XPays has had enough. He starts an important thread on GFY with this: “Post every torrent and file-sharing link you can find that requires the user to register with aff prior to accessing The Paris Hilton Sex Video in this thread.”

Spunkmister posts: “Why is it every time one of these issues comes up AFF sems to be the sponsor of choice? wonder which one of their stooges is gonna come in here and explain how it’s some rogue affiliate that they had no idea about.”

ADG posts:

If AFF can keep it’s affiliates free of the Paris video, they have the means and mechanisms to keep them free of everyone else’s pirated/stolen content as well.

If they can’t do this, then they should not be advertising with thieves, or allow such individuals/sites to be affiliates in the first place – it’s called due diligence and being a good corporate citizen…

BTW, I spent the better part of my mainstream career with companies that had thousands, and even tens of thousands of clients. We stayed in touch with each of them and visited all of their web sites on a regular basis to follow up on our marketing, co-op advertising, etc.

It’s not hard to do once you make the commitment and develop a systematic plan.

…Even when you throw money at ads, you follow up to see what produces the best ROI. If you see that the sites are posting illegal/stolen content, unless you want to be associated with it, you shut it down and fast.

AFF knows that they are being watched more closely than they were in the past, not just by the adult biz, but quite possibly by the government and other industry associations, as well.

Some in the adult biz might even adopt tactics like AFF.

If they, and the pirate sites they sponsor don’t care where there traffic/money comes from, then why should we care if the RIAA or the mainstream Motion Picture industry sues them for Contributory Infringement once we point them in the right direction. It doesn’t matter how the pirate sites are shut down, their nonsense has to be stopped.

Lars has been sued before by the music industry – he can probably already see what is coming next.

…I already posted a site that has child porn alongside an AFF ad in this thread. Just checked – OMG it’s still there (as if you or AFF honestly care).

Yup, it’s right next to the AFF fake profiles showing models whom I personally know, that live nowhere near where AFF’s ads say they reside.

Pirate Bay is another good example of how vigilant AFF really is…they did not dispute the post that indicated AFF ads are once again in place there.

Raw Alex posts: “Rowan, it also wouldn’t be hard for them to flag all sites with “torrent” “password” and “p2p” in the URL for manual review. But you miss the point: AFF is after traffic, they aren’t going to refuse it from anywhere unless they are taken to task, preferably with a lawyer.”

“Everything gets refered to the lawyers, and they have a standard policy of “prove to me it is illegal or our ads stay there”. It is the reason they are all over torrent sites.”

[email protected] posts: “Surely- it would be nice to get some real communication established so that our confidence in their intent is firmed up. Plain and simple, XPays is not asking for partial compliance. Any sponsor commercially competing unfairly with us for content that we have significant rights is expected to fully comply. It’s one title, albeit the best seller of the century and probably ever. AFF and others can leave the advertising of the video to the legal marketers. Baiting and switching the surfers is another thing that will be stopped in this issue as well.”

“ron levy i heard charges $20k per day to consult, maybe Mr. Andrew Conru should consider something like that. With all due respect. The adult industry is not a 9-5 tues-thurs gig.”

“I can hear faint whispers from datanks and j$tyle$ in my ears right now telling me to step away for a bit. i do not want to be a loose cannon and am sickened to my stomach and just plain disgusted right now as andrew conru is taking money from our clients’ collective pockets and baiting and switching and generally profiting off of misconduct and violations of his company’s own terms.”

Raw Alex posts:

The torrent / tube / P2P / filehost sites get traffic because they are filled with content that is “stolen” or “borrowed” from other sites and copyright holders without permission. They exist in larger numbers because they have discovered that they can get enough traffic and enough click outs to make a profit over the costs of bandwidth in running these sites.

Companies such as AFF, Adbrite, Etology, and (hopefully no longer) Fleshlight are the guys who convert this traffic to money for these sites. Without these companies (and companies like them) these sites would have no income, no way to sustain themselves, and they would pretty all disappear within a couple of days. Without income, only the hardest of the hardcore file sharing sites would be around.

Without the stolen content (ie, the good stuff) these sites wouldn’t get traffic and also wouldn’t be profitable.

You need to understand the idea of basic conspiracy theory. The public steals the stuff, gives it to the fence (p2p network, torrent site, tube, whatever) and the fence pushes the resulting traffic off to AFF to turn the whole effort into money.

Remove the money, and people would still steal the content but have less chance to distribute it, and that would change the dynamics of the situation.

There is no way that companies like AFF can justify doing buisness with websites that are enabling the distribution of copyright material. There is no way that anyone in the adult business should be able to justify continuing to send traffic to AFF, as it is clear they are financing the other side in a very strong war.

…The torrent sites hide in friendly jurisdictions and often behind multiple off shore blinds to avoid being servable. They work hard to be able to thumb their noses at people (see the legal comments and email answers on piratebay).

However, a company like AFF, knowing that a larger percentage (if not all) of the content listed on a torrent site is either ( a ) copyright violation, ( b ) CP, or ( c ) used without permission should have the brains to stop sending money for advertising on the site, especially when notified by the copyright holders. In my opinion, in a court of law, they would have a very hard time justifying NOT taking action to remove their ads from these sites. Further, if it is shown that company principals specifically pre-paid to be on sites, then they may be in double deep.

Remove the money, and most torrent sites will disappear over night. They aren’t a “social statment”, just another way for people to make money by stealing from others.

Evan Horowitz posts:

I have sent the following letter to AFF tonight for Mr. Bloom. Please keep in mind that this letter bears in mind that Mr. Bloom has received copies of our previous documentations per other AFF employees who let us know they were forwarded on to Mr. Bloom.

Subj: AFF sponsored Copyright Infringement Outbreak

Dear Mr. Bloom,

My name is Evan Horowitz from XPays Inc here in San Francisco. Hopefully you have had a chance to review the many emails containing varied and widespread misuse of The Paris Hilton Sex Video to sell AFF memberships. As you know, XPays has substantial rights to the video and also has been assigned the copyright for enforcement purposes as well – in writing.

Please assist us with making sure that our rights are clearly respected by your affiliates and any in-house traffic generation specialists. There are so many cases of AFF sponsored misuse of the video now that the most logical first step to resolving this problem is to clarify your terms and conditions posted on your site as they pertain to XPays, HotelHeiress and TrustFundGirls. I will add some sample text for a clarification to be sent to all of your affiliates with regards to respecting the rights of XPays, HotelHeiress and Trustfundgirls.com at the end of this email. You can craft the letter, but we would like to approve it prior to its mailing and/or posting.

Next, although on several of the notices we provided AFF on thursday and friday last week, AFF suspended the affiliate links of the content submitters- we provided specific examples of ways that our rights were still being abused in conjunction with the selling of new AFF memberships. We also provided banner codes in javascript for several of the sites, which AFF could easily disable more components of the site to totally eliminate the possibility that copyrighted content would be abused.

Also, we requested responses as to AFF’s actions taken for each case, accounting,and other details per my previous emails and faxes and posts. I am not a lawyer and should we need to make this a lawyers only conversation, XPays will have no choice but to change my opinion that AFF is sincerely is against the misuse of copyrighted content.

I look forward to working with you & establishing a protocol for future matters such as the events of recent so that we can maintain swift resolutions and the losses that XPays suffers will be minimized.

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