With the recent news about Flower Tucci coming about, having to file a lawsuit to get back her name, well the dot com version of it, a discussion between friends and well people I work with and I wanted to share my thoughts with you here.
Let me first say, if you own the dot com of a porn star and won’t give it back to them, you suck. Don’t sell it to them, GIVE IT TO THEM. Their name is their identity and you are a douche bag if you don’t at the very least offer to give it back to them for free. They may not always take it, like in the case with Meggan Malone, but in the very least you morally should make every effort to give them the name. So what is this Meggan Mallone story?
Well a few years ago AVN posted a press release that Vivid had just signed Meggan Malone to a 1 year contract (one L in her last name at that time) and low and behold, nobody secured the domain name prior to this. The person who bought the domain name immediately contacted a rep from Vivid and let them know about the error and offered the domain name back to Vivid or the girl for free. The official response was fuck that we’ll just change her name to Meggan Mallone (two LLs). This is a very unusual case, in most situations the girl is more established in her career and would no doubt jump at the chance to have her dot com back and to be clear, it is hers, not yours. Your name is your identity and even if she wasn’t smart enough or didn’t have smart enough people around her at the time to grab her dot com, it doesn’t make it right that you did.
You can argue all you want about how the biz works and how money makes the world go wrong and that’s all well in good but this isn’t about that. This is about morality, ethics and doing the right thing. These girls get shit on enough, do we really need to do it to them too? Seriously. You know I’m right in this. Give them their fucking name.com back already and stop being a little panty waste about it.
So all of that being said, now we get back to the common argument of money makes the world go around and without the business of sex, there wouldn’t really be much of a sex industry. These are all very valid points and ones I will address now.
I noticed in the Flower Tucci lawsuit she was going after some domain names that appeared to be domain names owned by affiliates. Now I am not privy to all the details of the Flower Tucci case, so I could be wrong in that which I speak of specifically about her case, but the basic principles apply to all porn stars, penthouse pets, playboy playmates, etc.
Some of the domain names in question include club-flowertucci.com, flowertuccipics.com, flowertuccivideos.com, and so on. And this is where I begin to have a problem.
Many years ago a lawyer representing a porn star, claimed that on her behalf she was contacting all of these adult webmasters who were showing images of her and threatening them with legal action. The only problem was, well many of these guys weren’t illegally displaying images these websites owners were “affiliates” of other websites like Vivid Cash and Mac and Bumble and they were rightfully and legally using “hosted galleries” of the porn star in question. This porn star was paid to take these photos or shoot these video scenes in question but now for whatever crazy reason felt it was HER name and HER likeness and nobody but HER on her own website should have the right to type out her name or display her images. So I asked the lawyer, how would one go about promoting her DVDs for sale if we can’t say her name. In return I got back a nasty letter in response that gave me ten days to cease and desist “or else”.
This girl was obviously insane and her lawyer half a retard to take the case in the first place but it brings up a very valid point and that is, how many of the girls truly understand how this business works? How many of the girls realize that without all these “annoying affiliates” as one star so nicely put it, there wouldn’t be the promotion for their movies, photo galleries or internet scenes so the companies who hire them for these jobs wouldn’t be making the money they are and in return wouldn’t be needing to hire them for more.
These affiliates are the marketing force behind your product. These sites are vital to the overall success of the industry and without these “annoying affiliates” your services would not be as in demand. Period.
Here is a wonderfully sad but true story that is going on right now. There is a very famous porn star, who I can’t even mention by name because the legal situation is still potentially ongoing but it is the perfect example.
So anyway there is this porn star who is very famous. She hired a pretty reputable company who does admittedly good design work to run her new website. An affiliate for the last 5 or 6 years has run a website dedicated to this porn star in question and the only images they use are those that they rightfully can such as the ones from her previous contract company, some from Penthouse as she was once a Penthouse Pet and some from Twistys. In all the site had about 250 photos.
So this new company contacts this affiliate and says that they need to start promoting the pornstar’s new official website and that they will give them even more photos to put up on their fan website, maybe even some free video clips too. Sounds good so far, right?
The affiliate (the person running the free porn star fan site) said that they appreciate the offer but in all fairness they need to contact her contract company first to make sure they don’t mind since it would be in direct competition with them and they were the ones for years that have been providing the site with all these free content.
The person asked for a day to make the phone call but this porn star’s person said no. No? WHAT??? He noticed the site had photo galleries up of her from Twistys so they are to remove those, and put up hers instead, those that promote her personal website. It’s like excuse me? Who the fuck are you to tell someone what they should or shouldn’t do with their website? And the guy responded that this porn star’s name is legally trademarked and if this webmaster in question didn’t do what he said, they would just sue them and keep them tied up in a very costly legal battle over trademark infringements.
Now this porn star in question was paid good money to take those photos for other sites and companies and in turn those companies pay affiliates to advertise them. Now we have girls going around saying don’t promote the companies who paid me good money, instead only promote my site? What the hell is wrong with this picture?
So this leads me back to my original point. If you own the dot com of a porn star’s name like FlowerTucci.com, give it back to her. There is nothing you can say to justify keeping it. If some porn star owes you money for work you did or whatever, fine. Sue her for that money but give her, her name back. It is hers. PERIOD.
And porn stars, if you enjoy the money you make when you go to a photoshoot, or to make a movie, remember that those companies pay good money to people to promote that and often times that is paid to 3rd parties, called “affiliates” and without them, nobody would need to hire you and pay you that good money. So for fuck sakes, start showing a little love and apprecition to the webmasters out there working their asses off to promote you and make sure that you get that call tomorrow and the next day to book another shoot.
Now all of that being said, I get having to take legal action again webmasters and websites who do illegal things like using your photos that you legally own without permission and the like but do keep in mind when it comes to the use of domain names and sites promoting your likeness. It helps to sell your movies when at the very least they can say your name. Yes I know you want to protect your trademark but there has to be a balance and you should always always always consider the fact that the reason people pay you to have sex is because someone is paying them to watch it and that is often thanks to those “annoying affiliates” out there creating fan type websites and blogs dedicated to you. As long as they keep it legal in terms what what kind of photos they display, is what they are doing really all that much of a bother?
A smart porn star might team up with those kind of websites, even one like this and use it to your advantage. I’m just saying …. something to consider.