Originally posted by Tom Koltai at 06:31AM (EST) on January 17, 2009
Hollywood is not the only casualty of P2P.
In 1998, Forrester Research published a report on the online “adult content” industry which speculated on an industry-wide aggregate figure of $8-10 billion
The prefix porno- is derived from the Greek term for a prostitute; hence, it may be argued that pornography is as old as the “world’s oldest profession”.
It has been a long held belief that sex drives technology and its depiction in various media formats has been a common tool in expressing resistance against authority. Be it Religious, legislative, societal norms, or well meaning parents.
Sculpture[i] and Painting from early cave man times often depicted acts of copulation and male and female genitalia.
With the advent of writing early scribes adorned their works with hand coloured caricatures that were often voluptuous and sometimes incongruously presented, e.g.: The Bible[ii]
The invention of the Gutenberg Press in 1440 made books, easier to produce and cheaper and it was no wonder that the sizeable market in books often including plates of damsels, elicited a predictable response from the Church; Pope Paul IV in 1563 listed erotic books in the Librorum Prohibitorum, a list of church prohibited literature.
Banning didn’t stop the trade in printed pornography. It just drove it underground and as all black markets function, made the content more expensive. The push to control or stop sexual content from being seen by people has continued through the ages and now we tend to accept that consumption of pornography equals aberrant behaviour… although there are plenty of other examples of content that is aberrant to societal ‘norms’ that are accepted by religious groups, governments and parents: such as the violent pornographic images of women and children being wounded or slaughtered in war zones around the world, seen on the evening news. These may not shock in the same way that violent porn may do, but nevertheless the impact is not dissimilar.
The Stereograph (the worlds first 3D media – 1840), The Radio (1920s), The Television(1950’s), VCR’s (1981), CD (1992), DVD’s (1997) and now the Internet were all widely adopted initially because they allowed the masses at home to view or listen or listen and view content “PRIVATELY” in their own home.
There is evidence that the Pornography industry has been solicited by the standards authorities and manufacturers of new forms of media for their views, opinions and suggestions about proposed formats.[iii]
In 1999 I was an ISP on two continents and I wrote an email about the quantity of Pornography that was transiting the internet at two locations in the US. Mae East and Mae West.
My claim derived from packet sniffing the peering backbone was that there was around 87% of content that was or could be pornography.
It appeared to me, that the availability of Pornographic images (since 1979 on BBS) and now multi-media content on the Internet was opening the flood gates to an aberrant future where the major questionable truism was the massive erosion of my profit margins (bandwidth – not porn).
But then Napster was born and the Porn web pages started to be re-organised by overly capable 15 year olds from web pages for their mates to Napster listed resources.
Because Geko (my ISP) was the global host to the worlds biggest Quake game my concentration was focused on adding more bandwidth for game players than worrying about the occasional user that downloaded porn.
But by 2000 I had started to notice a drop-off effect. Traffic was changing. Music files appeared to overtake Porn as the bandwidth hog.
Socially speaking that was probably a good thing, however, my bandwidth was still being eroded….
Fast Forward – January, 2009 – Sydney, a house in the suburbs…..
A quick poll of the milleniumite[iv] members of the household (both of them) confirmed to me that 3D action based games were a far higher priority in the minds of the male population of the house than naked forms gyrating in obviously posed and uncomfortable positions.
This was evident in the unanimous requirement that I install 802.11n equipment to replace the 802.11g that just didn’t cut mustard with the Ps2 (the 18yo) and Ps3 (the 22yo) interaction.
It would appear that today’s youth – do not want Porn. They want access to entertainment. Games, Movies and You-tube.
Empirical data from multiple cited sources[v] suggest that the high availability of Pornography has made its acquisition a much lower priority for milleniumites.
According to Ipoque, 22% of Internet users generate 76% of all internet traffic via Bit Torrent or emule downloading 38% movies, 25% Games 14% TV shows 9% music and only 1% porn.
In Summary, it would appear demographically, that net denizens of at least three years vintage and those of legal adulthood, move away from Porn as a primary interest and start using P2P for entertainment.
Thank-you Hollywood, the Music Industry and Microsoft – it seems that our littleuns are growing up without us having to look over their shoulders constantly – except to ensure they are not exceeding their monthly download bandwidth limitations.
Based on the foregoing, where are these continuing claims for porn originating from and why[vi] ?
In Australia, hyped media stories about the high volumes of Internet Porn have led to the Crimes Legislation Amendment (Telecommunications Offences and Other Measures) Act (No. 2) 2004 requiring ISP’s and Carriers to report illegal (juvenile orientated) pornographic materials on their networks and to the current attempts at instigating an Internet Filter[vii].
Lobbying of the Australian Government has been undertaken by such misinformed individuals as the Reverend the Hon. Dr GORDON MOYES requesting the NSW Parliament to be more active in banning Pornography even though his allegations about pornography inciting young males of both Indigenous and European origin to instigate predatory behaviour towards Juveniles is in direct contrast with all published academic works on the subject of non-indigenous attacks [specifically, citing the Meese Report;] “In none of the studies cited “has a measure of motivation such as ‘likelihood to rape’ ever changed as a result of exposure to pornography”]; and reference to Indigenous sexual miscreant behaviour refers to the 10,000 year old Aboriginal tradition of taking a bride at age 13. Specifically:
6.23 In Aboriginal customary law, marriages may be agreed between the prospective husband and the persons responsible for a young girl.20 This is a contract to which the child is not a party. The contract imposes material obligations on the prospective husband with respect to the child and her fa mily; and obligations on the parents and child with respect to the prospective husband.
6.24 Generally speaking, the child is expected to understand the nature of the contract when she reaches puberty (say 12 or 13).[viii]
Nevertheless, it is the authors contention that the Government is using such claims to instigate (initially in Australia) an http filter for ostensibly restricting access to child pornographic content, which once implemented will be easy to expand to include other “unspecified, inappropriate content”
When questioned about the unprecedented move for a Government to filter its citizens Internet, Senator Stephen Conroy replied that the UK, Sweden, Canada and New Zealand have already implemented similar filtering systems with no impact to performance.
Unfortunately for the Senator, Google isn’t included on the restricted sites yet and a series of google searches resulted in discovering that the UK Government is precluded from introducing online censorship by the Communications Act and BT does provide a parental “voluntary” clean feed to their customers “on request” In Canada eight ISP s run a “voluntary” parental control feed, again on request – there has been no Government intervention or legislation. A single ISP in Sweden runs an optional blacklist – by user request – Potential misuse of this voluntary system was highlighted recently when the Swedish Police threatened (unsuccessfully) to stop Torrent P2P by having the Pirate Bay “Blacklisted as a child Pornography site.” And in respect to New Zealand – what filter ?
So why against all this evidence and the public outcry does the Labour Government insist on installing the filter.
Well, one reason as pointed out in Stilgherian’s Blog Page on the subject tells us that 20,646 Church going Australians signed a dozen petitions to have the internet filtered. (Remember the good Reverend the Hon. Dr GORDON MOYES misquoting data ?)
So – is it about Petitions ? Because if so, Getup.org.au have collected nearly 95,0000 petitions for the other side of the argument.
But I don’t think the Government will listen to the Filter Nay-sayers. After all, Australia is a member of WIPO and they do want to show the US Government how clever they are.
It may well suit the Government to control what the public consume intellectually.
In that way, taxes are paid, public discussion and dissension are kept to a minimum and we are all good little sheep. (As in sheep to the slaughter….)
I think David Edwards[ix] in his 1992 article possibly said it the best:
“We are faced with the difficult question of balancing individual liberty against an externally enforced “security.” Freedom carries with it an inextricable element of danger. In order to eliminate the dangers associated with freedom, we would need to render freedom unrecognisable.”
I believe that this nation has been to war on a number of occasions – The First World War, The Second World War, the Korean War, Vietnam, Afghanistan, Kuwait, Iraq to defend this country against anti-democratic regimes, fascists and Dictators, but principally, to defend the free world against all forms of political or religious persecution and to defend the right of free speech.
I refuse to believe that the current Labour Party has forgotten about the Australian lives forfeited over the last hundred years in our attempts to preserve these freedoms, not only for ourselves but generously for others.
We all remember the famous quote “I’m mad as hell, and I’m not going to take it any more”
I love that quote…. If I wrote it today, I would make just a minor change
“I’m mad as hell, and I’m not going to take your bullshit about the filter any more”
Try saying it to yourself… sounds good doesn’t it. Now open the windows [Twitter, Digg, Facebook, Myspace – all your friends], lean out and shout……
[i] The “Venus of Willendorf” figurine, found in Austria, dates to as early as 24,000 B.C.
[iii] Pornography customers first to buy DVD technology Reuters Posted online: Monday, January 10, 2005 at 0150 hours IST http://www.expressindia.com/news/fullstory.php?newsid=40548
[iv] Born between 1982 and 2000, the Milleniumites were the first generation that grew up with the Internet that commenced global commercialization in 1994 just as the first milleniumites were reaching 12 years of age.
[v] Dolf Zillmann, Influence of unrestrained access to erotica on adolescents’ and young adults’ dispositions toward sexuality, Journal of Adolescent Health, Volume 27, Issue 2, Supplement 1, August 2000, Pages 41-44, ISSN 1054-139X, DOI: 10.1016/S1054-139X(00)00137-3.
[vi] http://stilgherrian.com/politics/petitions_drove_filtering_policy/ Retrieved 17 January, 2009
(Originally Sourced from Irene Graham’s http://libertus.net/censor/resources/studies.html)
[vii] Closed Environment Testing of ISP-Level Internet Content Filtering: Report to the Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy. June 2008.
http://www.acma.gov.au/webwr/_assets/main/lib310554/isp-level_internet_content_filtering_trial-report.pdf Retrieved 17 January, 2009
[viii] Committee of Inquiry: Aboriginal customary law Page 23-24
REPORT OF THE COMMITTEE OF INQUIRY INTO ABORIGINAL CUSTOMARY LAW – Recommendation 5. Published by the Northern Territory Law Reform Committee
http://www.nt.gov.au/justice/docs/lawmake/ntlrc_final_report.pdf Retrieved 17 January, 2009
[ix] David M. Edwards – Politics and Pornography A Comparison of the Findings of the President’s Commission and the Meese Commission and the Resulting Response – 1992 http://home.earthlink.net/~durangodave/html/writing/Censorship.htm Retrieved 16 January, 2009