“Tasha Reign, Nate Glass Shine in “Nightline” Piracy Story

At first the segment seems ominous: “Could Internet Piracy Kill Porn For Good?” The Nightline title follows Kill Porn For Good? Is it another one-sided, paternalistic, and concerned ratings grab?

Hatchet jobs on the porn business are often accomplished quite easily within the industry: scattered spokespeople, bad decisions, faulty grammar. But when it’s a mainstream news outlet doing the story (and, as in the case of AIDS Healthcare’s co-opting of the Los Angeles Times), the damage can be much worse, as the response from the porn industry gets so little press and is so often slipshod.

But a recent “Nightline” story on porn piracy featuring local hero Nate Glass (Founder of TakeDown Piracy), Tasha Reign, Paul Fishbein, Aaliyah Love, and Jenna J. Ross did a lot to explain the complexities of piracy in the porn world and to drive home the fact that, no matter how the MindGeek/PornHub family of sites launders its piracy network with the acquisition of studios like Digital Playground and Twistys, piracy is wrong no matter what side of the Hollywood Hills you earn your money in. The story managed to mix titillation with fairness.

The Nightline story was part of a welcome reverse in mainstream coverage of porn. A particularly sensational story from 2002 featured Belladonna on Diane Sawyer’s “Prime Time Live.” Belladonna later claimed that much of her interview was not aired and that she wasn’t allowed to complete her thoughts.

She did not classify the interview as a hit job, but there was something salacious and judgmental about the piece that left many pornographers themselves so eager for mainstream recognition wary of the outside media.

“I’ve heard of the hit jobs,” says Glass from his home in Las Vegas, but Nightline the producer, crew, and host (Cecilia Vega) were nothing but respectful.

At first Glass was worried.

When Vega asked him to define a porn tube site, Glass responded, “It’s like YouTube but with naked people.”

At that moment, Glass says, he turned to his girlfriend and said, “Just you watch: that’s the only thing they’ll use.”

But Glass gets a significant chunk of the 7-minute piece, as does AVN co-founder Paul Fishbein, Tasha Reign, Jenna J. Ross, and Aaliyah Love.

The segment provides a breakdown of some of MindGeek’s many properties (including PornHub, which uses more bandwidth than Netflix). While all the stars interviewed (and all of Porn Valley) hates piracy, the fact remains that MindGeek, since it owns Brazzers, Twistys, Digital Playground, and many other content creators, is also Porn Valley’s biggest employer.

Screening a copy of her movie on PornHub, Reign says, “Everything I worked so hard on is free.” Meanwhile Ross and Love refuse to talk about MindGeek because, Love says, “I can’t really say anything because I don’t want them to ban me.”

Shot on March 8 in Los Angeles, the Nightline story does tip its hat once or twice to what Glass calls the “Oh, it’s porn, ha ha ha” school of mainstream coverage of the adult industry. When the (delightful) Jenna J. Ross casually disrobes before host Vega, the pixelation is matched by footage of Vega’s embarrassment.

I would have liked for more viewers to see exactly how MindGeek makes money from pirated content, but lucky for you Glass outlines that scheme in this Porner’s Almanac from February.

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