Friday, October 22, 2010

There's still lots of money in sex online

And they say that sex doesn't sell anymore on the internet? Tell that to the mysterious company that is paying $13 million for the domain name That's a huge outlay just for the name, so whoever is buying it must think there's still a ton of money to be made from sex online despite rampant piracy of porn.

The company that bought the domain, Clover Holdings, is registered in the Caribbean island of Saint Vincent, which means that it must be totally on the up and up (I say that with sarcasm). The domain name actually has a long and checkered history and was even the subject of .

To make a long story short, it was first registered by Gary Kremen, the same guy who started, in 1994. A rather shady fellow named Stephen Cohen managed to actually steal the domain from Kremen by lying to the registrar, which kicked off a monumental court battle that ended with Cohen fleeing to Mexico. Anyhow, the domain was eventually transferred to Escom LLC, a similarly mysterious company based in California. Escom went bankrupt and has now sold the domain to Clover, subject to court approval.

The sale would be one of the richest in internet history. PC World has a list of some of the other most expensive domains - interestingly, is near the top at $9.5 million.

In related news, a number of big adult companies have banded together in an effort to force tube and torrent tracking sites, such as Pirate Bay and Isohunt, to adopt filtering technology that would prevent their content from being pirated.

"While there is nothing new about adult companies gathering to discuss content piracy and what can be done about it, what happened at the CPR went beyond mere discussion," Pink Visual president Allison Vivas told adult news site Xbiz. "Attendees didn’t talk about what could be done; they talked about what they will do and made commitments to follow through on those things."

That's actually quite surprising. Porn companies like to present themselves as the progressive vanguard of new technology, so it's odd to see them adopting such an old-school attitude. Going after piracy has not worked at all for record labels and Hollywood, so there's no reason to expect the adult companies will have any better luck.

The solution for porn will be the same as it is for mainstream entertainment: the old models of doing business need to be discarded and replaced by innovative new ones, which can only be arrived at through experimentation, not lawsuits.


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