Do you feel guilty when you watch free porn?

I wax eloquent on the matter of creators’ rights every now and then, arguing sometimes that piracy is a social ill and sometimes that it helps creators in ways that might have been impossible at any other time in human history.

But then, recently, Shanti Dynamite accused Sunny Leone of stealing from her. Look it up. I laughed when I came by this news. Then I wondered why I found this funny. I would certainly not have laughed if it had been a novelist accusing another of plagiarism.

So let’s talk about pornography.

It’s creative work. It takes money and effort to produce. A playboy DVD is as much an entertainment product as a Twilight novel is. Perhaps more.

Why then, do I feel less guilty consuming pirated pornography? Why do we not spare a thought about the people who wrote, produced, acted in, and distributed these products?

I suppose this is partly because we think pornography is ‘bad’. So our brains justify it by telling us something like “It is okay to steal from thieves”.

In the US, where the brand of recreational sex championed by Hugh Hefner’s Playboy company became something of a legend in the final years of the twentieth century, it was possible for pornstars to become millionaires and live in mansions.

Lately however, there has been news of former porn superstars falling upon bad times. Some have even committed suicide after going bankrupt. Imagine a young pornstar finding that her life’s work is out on the web for free, effectively putting an end to her revenue stream. Without any skill set other than the one she used to become the fantasy of pre-pubescent boys the world over, no wonder she goes down the drain.

This is what free porn on the web has done. In a day and age when every single kink and perversion conceivable has its own veritable market with people filming themselves and putting clips up on the web for free consumption, no wonder I don’t think twice about the pornstar who has no money anymore.

#creative-work, #getting-paid, #piracy, #porn, #pornography