It was an eventuality you knew was coming:
Like YouTube, people can upload their own homemade videos. Like YouTube, these video uploads get watched, rated, categorized, and reviewed. Like YouTube, categories include "New Videos," "Top Rated" and "Most Viewed." The oldest video I came across dates back to Saturday, August 26, 2006.
There is, however, one small but crucial difference between YouTube and YouPorn: The latter is all porn all the time. There seems to be a burgeoning number of people — "Amateurs" in industry parlance — who have been getting busy videotaping themselves, well, getting busy.
This represents an interesting reversal: For most of the internet’s history, Porn was a driving force behind many of the technological advances we have come to take for granted: Streaming media, P2P, online credit card processing, associate programs, micropayments, all found their start (or got a healthy push) from commerical internet porn. This is one of the few instances I can recall where Porn is imitating a mainstream innovation, rather than vice versa (titles of Porn films notwithstanding).
Three legal issues are likely to dog the YouPorn site: First, the name is close enough to YouTube that a trademark issue may arise; Google does’t seem to shy away from enforcing their IP. Second, there is enough commercially produced XXX material on the site that the standard copyright infringement issues which are causing problems for YouTube are likely to be similarly problematic.
The potentially stickiest problem I can foresee is the ages of the performers. There seems to be an inordinate amount of very young players here (late teens early/20s) — and given the explicit nature of the uploaded videos, they may run into a child pornography problem. I would imagine that verifying the ages of all the anonymous performers on YouPorn is an administrative challenge of the highest order.
Related story: About 7 years ago, I was working on a research project involving Scour
— a P2P video version of Napster. At the time, the MPAA and RIAA was
threatening litigation against them. Despite an investment from Michael
Eisner, the lawsuits eventually sent them belly up. I never bothered to publish the piece. But the MPAA’s participation in the
litigation surprised me, since ~90% of Scour’s traffic was
triple-X rated. Too bad I never published the piece (working title: "Defenders of the Porn!") — it made the MPAA look foolish.
Ever since that project, very little in the porn industry surprises me.
Which brings me back to YouPorn: The post-Gen Y crowd has a penchant for chronicling their entire lives for all to see online. And as many are learning to their chagrin, digital media is even harder to erase than tattoos; both are likely to be a source of embarrassment in the future. It may even have professional repurcussions ("Miss Jones, we were about to hire you for the research position, but based on this video that surfaced, your skill set is obviously more suitable for sales").
You Porn takes the wages of bad judgement to another level entirely.
UPDATE: March 9, 2007 6:05am
One final note: Would someone please explain to me what parents — and which plastic surgeons — are giving 16 year olds breast implants? What is the I thought process (or lack thereof) at work here? I have to admit to being totally stumped. Then again, I don’t understand the million dollar sweet 16s.
Any father considering getting his teenage daughter implants would do well to watch this video ("Sexy teen webcam strip") prior to making the purchase. This is what you are setting yourself up for: Creepy boyfriends with video cameras, and permament records of her bad judgment — and yours.
UPDATE: March 23, 2007 7:05am
Here’s a variation for you fans of Japanese animated porn: YouHentai