Do Porn Studios and Hollywood Studios Follow the Same Antitrust Laws?

Besides law and medicine, there may be no other industry as heavily regulated as the sex industry. Porn studios often complain about ultra harsh rules & restrictions that they say keep them making a living. And for the most part, they have reason to complain. U.S. courts refuse to crack down on peer-to-peer file sharing and software piracy (which costs software companies over $50 billion per year). There are strict federal & state guidelines regulating the distribution of “explicit” content (mostly to prevent the sale of porn to minors). And there are a ton of other laws, regulations, rules and ordinances that affect porn studios, retailers, etc. that I don’t know about. This buffoon has an entire website dedicated to keeping pornographers out of prison.

However, it appears that porn companies finally have something to their advantage. Major porn companies like Adam & Eve, Digital Playground, Hustler Video, Vivid Entertainment, etc. all use long-term contracts with their top stars – giving that company exclusivity to that actor or actress. This is undoubtedly a good thing for the larger studioPirates xxxs, and probably a good thing for the consumer as well. Long-term contracts allow producers to take more risks knowing they have their performers already under contract. More risks usually means higher quality, higher budget films like Pirates, The 8th Day, and Fallen, among others.

Before the late 1940s, Hollywood directors and stars often held long-term contracts with the major studios like Warner Brothers, Paramount Pictures, and 20th-Century Fox. The studios owned the entire cinema chain, from production of movies to the actual movie theaters that played their films. This helped them manage costs and maintain quality of the entire film production process. In 1938, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) launched an investigation of the major film studios and charged five of them with conspiracy to restrain trade and monopolize the motion picture industry. The government argued long-term contracts allowed studios to monopolize talent and didn’t give independent and up-start studios a level playing field. In 1949, the Supreme Court forced seven studios to divest themselves of their theaters. The FTC claimed intervention would break up Hollywood oligopolies and result in more movies in production (from independents), more movie theaters, and lower costs for the price of movie tickets for the consumer. It hasn’t.

Digital Playground contract girls

Digital Playground contract girls Kayden Kross, Raven Alexis, Jesse Jane, and Riley Steele.

After all this, porn studios are still allowed to have contract actors. The broader sex industry is pretty fragmented, but most of the videos featured in major porn outlets are from a handful of producers. Also, the price of porn is outrageous, with many new releases costing upwards of $50 (Pirates was $70 at its release). I’m not advocating that the government should get even more involved in porn, but why no antitrust disputes from smaller studios? Hollywood pictures recorded $10.6 billion in ticket revenue in 2009; Forbes ran a story in 2001 saying porn was worth as much as $14 billion. It’s a bit comical that, during a recession, politicians do everything to dismantle a huge economic driver yet still complain about unemployment.

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