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YouPorn is a free pornographic video sharing website, similar in concept but not related to YouTube. Since starting in August 2006 it has become one of the most popular pornographic websites; in November 2007 it was reported to be the largest free pornographic website on the Internet.
YouPorn.com is a video sharing site designed to allow people to upload pornographic videos onto the site, which are then searchable by users to find preferred content as used on other video sites, it requires the browser plug-in Flash technology. Uploaded videos are usually available on the site after a few weeks. The content includes segments of commercial pornographic movies, advertising clips for pornographic websites and self-shot amateur videos.
YouPorn allows users to download the videos as Flash Video (.flv) files, which can then be converted to other formats using programs such as WinFF.
This web 2.0 (or porn 2.0) site differs from many other pornographic websites in that it is completely free and ad-supported; in May 2007 it generated a monthly ad revenue of $120,000. YouPorn also operates a chatroom, an online dating service and cam chat.
The domain name was registered by a company in December 2005. The site does not list any contact address, and journalists have speculated that the company is based in Germany. The site is run from a hosting service in Texas. The Terms of Service document explicitly refers to California law.
In October 2007 it was reported that Stephen Paul Jones, a Stanford MBA living in California, had contacted Vivid Entertainment and Adult Entertainment Broadcast Network in May 2007, claiming that he co-owned YouPorn with Zach Hong, a Malaysian living in Australia, and was willing to sell for $30 million. Jones later denied owning YouPorn, claiming instead that it was founded and is operated by a German.
PornoTube, an earlier pornographic video sharing site that started in July 2006 and generated some publicity, has since been overtaken in popularity by YouPorn, which started in August 2006. Indeed, as of October 2007, YouPorn is the highest-ranked adult website according to Alexa, ranging in the top 35 globally visited sites. Several other websites now use a similar concept; some serve only videos in a specific category. Several other sites collect and index links to the videos hosted on these sites.
Criticism and praiseEdit
While Porn 2.0 websites like PornoTube and YouPorn have garnered tremendous popularity and interest since their inception, they are not without their critics. Some concern has been raised about the copyright, privacy and legal ramifications of large quantities of free, user-generated, pornographic content on the internet.
YouPorn consumes more than three terabytes of bandwidth each day, which has caused the site to go down at times due to the sheer volume of users and the large file size of the videos. When the online version of a German newspaper reported on YouPorn in November 2006, the site could not deal with the traffic surge, went down temporarily, and asked its users for an unmetered service provider in Europe.
Concerns have also surfaced over the inability to verify the age of the persons depicted in the videos, the possibility of copyrighted videos being uploaded to the site, and the possibility of privacy violations when private sex tapes are uploaded without the consent of all involved parties.
YouPorn has been called "a good role model for the sexually naive", as many of its homemade videos depict ordinary couples having ordinary sex, as opposed to the often unreal scenarios of commercial porn. Similar sentiments have been voiced elsewhere.
German law does not allow hardcore pornography without an effective age verification system, and the German Bundesprüfstelle für jugendgefährdende Medien has listed YouPorn on its index. As a result, since April 2007, the German site of the Google search engine (
google.de) has eliminated YouPorn.com from its search results and replaced it with a link to Chilling Effects, claiming that "German regulatory body reported illegal material". Because the site itself was still accessible from Germany and the other Google versions in the German language (google.at - Austria; google.ch - Switzerland) still listed YouPorn.com, Google Germany's action was sarcastically commented upon in a large number of blogs.
Following a request by a competing pornography service, German provider Arcor started to block YouPorn and a few other porn sites at the routing level in September 2007, affecting over 2 million users. The company that requested the block, Kirchberg Logistik, had itself earlier been sued for distribution of pornography to minors. The German Piratenpartei (Pirate Party) promptly opened a proxy server so that Arcor customers could continue to access YouPorn.
Arcor lifted the block on September 17th because the IP address-based filter which had been set up for YouPorn also affected other sites. Kirchberg then sued, alleging that Arcor aided unfair competition by YouPorn, and on 19 October 2007 obtained a temporary injunction ordering Arcor to resume the block of YouPorn. On 23 October 2007, Arcor started to block access to YouPorn again, this time with a DNS-based approach that is easily circumvented, and successfully filed an appeal against the injunction.
Kirchberg has sent notices to 19 German ISPs demanding that YouPorn be blocked, but none have complied. Efforts by Kirchberg to obtain injuctions to block YouPorn against internet providers in Kiel and Düsseldorf were unsuccessful.
See also Edit
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