Recession, sharing videos hurting porn industry

Always thought of as an industry that can withstand a recession, the pornography business has seen a drop in sales in the past year as more people share their porn online as songs were once shared on Napster.

The piracy on "tube sites," which emulate YouTube, offer snippets of free porn from longer films or amateur footage, and the illegal and sometimes legally pirated video is hurting the business, according to a San Francisco Chronicle story.

DVD sales at Vivid Entertainment of Los Angeles dropped 30% in the past year, which founder Steven Hirsch attributes to the poor economy and the increase in free porn sites, according to the story. Hirsch sued a free porn site for illegally using his company's material.

"Between the DVD sales, the piracy, the free porn online and the economy, I've never seen it this bad in 25 years in the business," he said.

Hirsch said his company sends out 700 Digital Millennium Copyright Act take-down notices a month to sites that have pirated his content.

Kink.com, which has about 100 employees in its San Francisco offices, increased staff by 35% last year, but last month it laid off 13 employees and scaled back plans for new adult entertainment sites after business began to flatten.

Because of all of the free porn sites on the Internet, Kink has an employee whose job is either great, or a monotonous bore, depending on your outlook. One worker spends part of each day scanning the Internet for pirated versions of the company's productions.

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