Another day, another episode in the ongoing Corbin Fishergate scandal. If you’re just joining the party, catch up here:
Good? Good. A UB reader sent us another ridiculous email from the porn company, telling us “This is an e-mail Corbin Fisher sent me when I told him my feelings about his current actions that could cause teen suicides.”
“Thank you for taking the time to write. We appreciate your concern over the issue at hand. The well-being of gay teens is an important issue to us, and one we take seriously enough to contribute significant amounts of money, time, resources and energy to non-profit organizations dedicated to anti-bullying and safe-schools campaigns, support groups and systems for gay teens, gay civil rights campaigns and efforts, and more.
Your concern is precisely why we’re disappointed that this issue has been manipulated and misdirected by bloggers who have chosen to create controversy where there is none. Who stands to gain from tying the serious issue of gay teen suicide to a company’s attempt to protect its content? The company itself? Or a blog that can now use a powerful brand name in conjunction with a hot-button issue to generate attention and traffic for themselves?
Um. We’re going to go with “The company itself,” seeing as how you’re the ones blackmailing people into give you $1900 to avoid being sued. Unicorn Booty doesn’t need the “cache” of being associated with a gay porn studio, thanks. We’re already one of the top gay blogs in the world, a trusted source of gay news, and followed by 40,000 people on Facebook. Check your hubris. We inform the gay community about news affecting them. You make porn.
When this issue first arose, we consulted with experts to determine if any risk actually existed to to closeted gay teens. After speaking to a number of mental health professionals, including a nationally-known expert on sexuality, sexual health, and mental health, we were assured of several things, including:
A) “Independent events” are virtually never responsible for suicides. Suicides take place when long-term conditions and suffering (in 90% of cases, combined with a mental health issue such as severe depression or mental illness) exist.
B) “Being outed” more often than not, serves to actually RELIEVE individuals of the stresses, anxieties, and fears that might contribute to someone’s being at risk.
It is the proverbial Closet that is toxic, not the process of coming out of it. Among our gay employees are many stories of individuals who greatly feared disastrous consequences if they were outed. Regardless of the circumstances behind their coming out, (which, in some cases were quite unpleasant or involuntary), it proved to be a fully liberating, reaffirming moment and changed their lives for the better. This is an aspect of coming out that the blogs have chosen not to focus on.
Correct. We are choosing to instead focus on the fact that you are threatening lawsuits and blackmail upon people; including at-risk gay teens, closeted gays, and straight women falsely accused of stealing your content because IP addresses are not a legal or accurate identifier. The fact that you are spinning your company’s PR catastrophe as a “liberating, reaffirming” experience for the people you are suing does little to change our focus. Jeez.
Of course, it is not our role or duty to out anyone. It is our duty to protect our content and ensure that the material we produce is protected. That protection extends beyond simple piracy. It is our duty to keep our content out of the hands of minors. Piracy takes that ability away from us. Corbin Fisher goes out of its way to ensure that no underage individual can access its content legally. We employ numerous age-verification solutions and technologies to make sure that any individual who accesses our material legally is an adult. If not for the illegal reproduction and distribution of our videos – the precise crimes being committed by those 40,000 targets of our suit – not a single underage, closeted individual could possibly be at risk.
Hi. Me again. Just a straight up “no” to all that rubbish. While it’s nice to see the company admit it’s putting underage, closeted individuals at risk, if Corbin Fisher wanted to truly eliminate that risk, they would simply enhance the security measures employed to keep content from being shared. Like say, watermarking digital copies of their films with each individual downloader’s account number or name. They would then know exactly who is sharing what, and would be able to put the kibosh on that practice immediately.
Perhaps the title of these blog entries should be, “Do content thieves and those stealing and illegally distributing adult material put closeted, gay teenagers at risk?” That you wrote to us is evidence of your concern for the plight of closeted young people everywhere. We appreciate your concern and hope our response alleviates that concern. We are quite confident in saying that there is no cause for such concern in this particular situation. We wonder if the bloggers who are manipulating peoples’ sensitivities and stirring up controversy where the facts, statistics and evidence quite clearly state there is none, can say the same.
All the best, and regards, The employees of Corbin Fisher
Let’s just get right into this. I would argue that file-sharing is not what’s putting teens at risk here. I think I’ve belabored the point now that it is predominantly those without access to credit cards or checking accounts that appear most likely to get their porn from file-sharing. Likewise, file-sharing also allows underage users to skirt around adding gay porn url’s to the browsing history of shared family computers that mom and pop may check. A torrent can be safely downloaded to a USB drive without ever setting off “child protection” alarms many parents employ.
Like it or not, the torrents that are already out there and are being passed around on the internet are there forever. There’s no taking something back from the internet. Corbin Fisher will bankrupt itself through legal counsel bills before it successfully eliminates the sharing of its films that are already available online.
This isn’t “blog controversy.” This is simply acknowledgement of the digital age we live in. With that said, it’s remarkable that Corbin Fisher is painting gay blogs and file-sharers as the assailants draining the company of profits, rather than the overwhelming amount of free porn available on the internet. “Amateur” porn is the most viewed and searched for type in the industry. The days of porn studio juggernauts peaked long ago. The fact that we are witnessing these lawsuits is proof. If the company were still making money hand-over-fist like it used to, there would be little need to begin prosecuting file-sharers.
Lawsuits are time consuming, a drain on resources, and clearly subject to massive criticism that companies are unable to spin in their own favor. Suing your fans in order to meet financial projections is hardly the route a company prefers to go. It’s like blowing up entire mountains in order to access dirty coal inside when all of the easy to access oil has been drilled out of the ground already. Corbin Fisher isn’t suing users because they want to stay on top. The golden age of porn has already ended and they just don’t realize it yet.
But hey, at least they are using a PR-friendly form response and have stopped cursing at their concerned fans. Progress is a process, I hear.
For what it’s worth, the reader who sent us this email wasn’t buying it either.
It’s nice that he will be “liberating” these teens, right?
My biggest issue is with this is he doesn’t take into account that MANY gay teenagers are already suffering from depression and many already have suicidal thoughts. All they need is something…oh…like a lawsuit to push them over the edge.
This is no ordinary outing. This is an outting with a lawsuit. Even the most liberal parent will not react calmly.