Will Sony's Apparent Anti-Porn Stance Doom Blu-Ray?

from the there'll-be-none-of-that-on-my-discs dept

The ridiculous fight over next-generation DVD formats rolls on, with companies trying to push dual-mode solutions that merely skirt around the issue, rather than resolving it. We'd sort of assumed in the past that whichever format the porn industry decided to support would emerge victorious, but studios said a little while back they weren't picking a side yet. However, it now looks like that decision's being made for them, as apparently Sony won't allow Blu-ray to be used for porn (via Techmeme). A porn director says that he'd wanted to use Blu-ray, but couldn't find a disc manufacturer willing to work with his company, apparently because they were afraid Sony would revoke their Blu-ray licenses because it doesn't want the format used for porn. If the story's true, it seems a bit short-sighted of Sony to close itself off from porn, given that industry's historical strength in supporting new technologies, and could tip things in favor of HD DVD. Of course, at the end of the day, both formats leave plenty to be desired. Update: Another story finds some other porn producers who prefer HD DVD for a number of other reasons as well.

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. identicon
    Matt Bennett, Jan 12th, 2007 @ 8:11am

    The answer is yes, probably.

    Seriously, Sony can't even get the obvious choices right lately.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 12th, 2007 @ 8:15am


    I am glad they are standing up for somthing. I will be buying an HD DVD player.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 12th, 2007 @ 8:15am


    I am glad they are standing up for somthing. I will be buying an HD DVD player.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. identicon
    AC, Jan 12th, 2007 @ 8:15am

    I hope so. I'm tired of Sony and thier proprietary media and mind set. I dont think sony is going to survive this one.

    Keep your fingers crossed.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 12th, 2007 @ 8:18am

    As much as I hate sony, I think it would be a shame if HD-DVD wins this war. The Blu-ray format seems to offer more if only sony would open it up a little bit.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. identicon
    StinkingKevin, Jan 12th, 2007 @ 8:37am

    those who don't learn history doomed to repeat...?

    It sounds exactly like betamax all over again. How could Sony have not learned its lesson? (Seriously -- is this a joke?)

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7. identicon
    Amerin, Jan 12th, 2007 @ 8:53am

    I dont understand.

    There are plenty of BlueRay Burners on the market, can't the porn guy buy a few and make his on blu-ray Porn DVD's?

    I thought thats how most the them "produced" them anyway?

    Hell I will start a company that will make them for whole dam industry!

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 12th, 2007 @ 9:07am

    "Officially" the BDA is not against porn.


    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9. identicon
    southsidesteve, Jan 12th, 2007 @ 9:10am

    Talk about 2 faced

    I guess its ok for Sony "artists" to talk about raping and shooting women and police, how stupid the governament and parents are, advocating drugs.... As long as we don't see a tit.
    Can you say 2 faced hipocritical money grubbers???

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10. identicon
    Tyshaun, Jan 12th, 2007 @ 9:21am

    The lesson to be learned...

    I was at a seminar a few years back and the speaker said something very interesting:

    "If you wan't to know what caused the internet to proliferate as fast as it has or who are the early adopters of most new technologies, look no further than the porn industry."

    After thinking about it a bit, the guy was spot on. The porn industry (for better or worse) have really been the driving force by pushing the boundaries of internet capacity and capability, and also latching on to a lot of technologies very early in the game. Why, as a business person, would you even consider alienating a community like this?

    Also, does Sony plan on censoring all the Blue Ray DVDs that can come out because if so, they aren't going to have many disks out there!

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11. identicon
    Rose, Jan 12th, 2007 @ 9:30am

    History Repeating

    I'm always a little astonished at so-called savvy business people making decisions like this without considering the financial impact "down the road."

    I'm beginning to think that these arbitrary decisions are set up just so the corporations can sue people, thereby winning big profits. Perhaps that's a good way of adding to the bottom line!

    Come to think of it the RIAA is doing the same... Hm.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 12th, 2007 @ 9:34am

    Another shining moment in Sony proprietary media format history. Right up there with Betamax and MiniDisc! Go Sony!

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13. identicon
    Michael "TheZorch" Haney, Jan 12th, 2007 @ 9:36am


    This very issue is what eventually lead to the downfall of Betamax. Betamax was a better technology but because Sony controlled the licensing and pricing of the technology the Porn Industry went with the cheaper open format that was VHS.

    I see a pattern here.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14. identicon
    Jeff, Jan 12th, 2007 @ 9:45am

    Re: The lesson to be learned...

    Tyshaun you are obviously a very intelligent and well informed person who speaks the truth as they understand it. I'm glad their are young people like you seeking the truth, it makes me feel good. I must differ with you on one point however. Pornography does not drive new technology.

    Technology is driven by clever people like you, with wonderful imaginations, and by people who believe they can do the impossible. We dont need pornography to drive anything. In fact Im thoroughly convinced we can all get along very well, even better without it. I dont know if SONY is acting on that, but whatever they are acting on, I am certain it shall benefit us all now and in the long run.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15. identicon
    JIM, Jan 12th, 2007 @ 10:01am

    I would disagree with Jeff because of the history of the VHS/Betamax. Because VHS was cheaper it became the standard of the porn industry's home video releases and considering how the amount of money the porn industry made dramatically increased because of this I would say Porn does have an effect. There are of course multiple factors but I would put money that lonely horny men with cash to spend will go for the product that lets them watch their favorite pornstar over then one that doesn't.

    In the end its all about money and what people will pay for. If people by HD DVD because it has porn and its cheaper even if Blue-Ray is better, HD DVD will be the format that will survive. The Market will determine this because there are two things people want low cost and sex.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16. icon
    Nick D (profile), Jan 12th, 2007 @ 10:09am

    Jeff is mistaken

    Jeff, the porn industry pushing technology is well documented, regadless of your moral position on it. Tyshaun is correct. It does not require your approval for this fact to be true. You or Tyshaun do not have to endorse porn as a consumer of porn for this to be true.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17. identicon
    Bumbling old fool, Jan 12th, 2007 @ 10:15am

    Re: Re: The lesson to be learned...

    Jeff, you are either an industry shill, or a very creepy moron.

    Either way: You scare me.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18. identicon
    Tyshaun, Jan 12th, 2007 @ 10:27am

    Re: Re: The lesson to be learned...


    Thanks for the compliment. As it was said already I wasn't endorsing pornography as a medium, just it's impact on the progress of technology. As an aside I find the proliferation of porn a bit scary at times and wonder how so many different porn sources can be profitable. I try not to be a hypocrite, and I believe everyones decision to partake or not in pornographic media is their own. Given the revenue and the ubiquitous nature of porn I would say plenty of people have chosen to partake.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19. identicon
    Jeff, Jan 12th, 2007 @ 10:35am

    Re: Re: Re: The lesson to be learned...

    Thanks for your opinion as a human being you are certainly entitled to it. Jeff
    PS your name isnt really bumbling old fool is it? Perhaps "concerned caring individual" would be a better moniker" Just a suggestion no offense intended.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  20. identicon
    jeff, Jan 12th, 2007 @ 10:38am

    Re: Re: Re: The lesson to be learned...

    Sharp young person, I knew I was right.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  21. identicon
    Lucky, Jan 12th, 2007 @ 10:41am

    wont matter

    I say it will not matter to sales one bit there are too many porn sites already

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  22. identicon
    Rick, Jan 12th, 2007 @ 10:59am

    This is only clouding the issue.....

    It sounds like the industries are forcing people to choose sides in the next-gen DVD format war. Please don't 'get behind' one just because you support porn or not. The real problem here is neither format is all that great for the consumer, you know, the people buying and using the products. I'll be staying with DVD's for the foreseeable future.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  23. identicon
    John Duncan Yoyo, Jan 12th, 2007 @ 11:03am

    Re: Re: The lesson to be learned...

    The problem here is the porn industry represents the wheel barrows full of cash to fund the development and prolifferate the players. Yeah the money could come from other sources but will it.

    SONY seems to have tried for another source of early adopters- gamers by including a BLU-RAY in the PS3. If they pull it off so much the better.

    If I understood what I heard on Security Now correctly SONY can retroactively disable liscences on both players and disks. If they really want to stop porn and cheese off users they can.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  24. identicon
    Mark, Jan 12th, 2007 @ 11:08am

    Blu-Ray and porn

    Honestly, is Sony trying to fail? With enemies like that, Microsoft has no need of friends.

    It's really a pretty simple equation:

    - Sony is pushing a new, expensive game console that includes a Blu-Ray drive.
    - Sony is counting on Japanese gamers to buy the PS3 in droves. If this doesn't happen, the PS3 fails.
    - Japanese game enthusiasts -- also known as otaku -- are infamously fond of sexually explicit material.
    - Ergo, Blu-Ray and porn go together like sushi and wasabi.

    When did Sony become filled with idiots? That used to be a pretty smart, savvy company.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  25. identicon
    Frank, Jan 12th, 2007 @ 11:12am

    Re: Re: Re: The lesson to be learned...

    Porn will not have the impact on this format war that it had int the past. The internet has given people lots of access to all the stuff they want. There's no need to run out and buy an hd-dvd player to get some porn. Thus people will be far more inclined to buy a high def player where they'll be able to watch movies- and that is blu-ray with far more studio support.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  26. identicon
    misanthropic humanist, Jan 12th, 2007 @ 11:22am

    control of production

    Let's move this debate on from pornography, because I don't think it is the issue. Sony are victimising this sector because it has a high emotional appeal, but this is really about control of the means of production.

    In the mid 1990s it was impossible to find a volume fabrication plant in the UK who would press discs from non PRS/MCPS members. They had no legal capacity or justification whatsoever to do this, but despite that they formed a closed shop with excessive barriers to the small producer. Ostensibly this was chalked up as "anti-piracy" measures. But even if you clearly owned the rights to the material and were prepared to sign an affidavit declaring your ownership that was not enough, they basically bullied you into joining their protection racket.

    In the end I found that it was only possible to get the services needed by going to Eastern Europe where the Hungarians or Czechs could offer you business, and then filling out lots of paperwork to make sure one didn't get highly taxed on your own product.

    If you are an independent movie or music maker do you think that you can just walk into a DVD manufacturing company with your masters and cover artwork and order 100,000 copies? No way. The disc manufacture business is sewn up tight by the same old monopolistic consortiums.

    This is one of the hidden and least discussed reasons behind the demise of the CD and the migration to online distribution. Smaller producers have been denied the right to access the raw physical media.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  27. identicon
    scate, Jan 12th, 2007 @ 11:44am

    Porn may just be an "indicator species"

    While much has been made of the idea that porn drives technology the actual situation may be more nuanced and people may be confusing correlation with causation.

    Pornography producers are often early adopters and the same market forces and economics that lead them to use certain technologies may also ring true for later adopters. So, it could well be the case that the technology porn producer's use is chosen for sound reasons and those reasons are borne out by the rest of the market.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  28. icon
    Nick D (profile), Jan 12th, 2007 @ 12:19pm

    scate's go it

    To expand on scate's riff, while public, big name media companies are not willing to take risks with new media models and are more likely to "wait and see," in think porn producers are more likely to take risks with new media ventures, and have a more entrepreneurial sprint than established media. And since fewer companies are involved in any one piece of porn product, there are not as many roadblocks as there are with big media.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  29. identicon
    EdB, Jan 12th, 2007 @ 12:47pm

    Re: Re: The lesson to be learned...

    um... follow the money. The adult industry (aka porn) doesn't develop anything technological, but they sure do sell a lot of high tech stuff. First it was video tapes, then dvds, and now it'll be hd dvds. The customers who want their products will buy the devices required to access those products, thus putting money into the technology.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  30. identicon
    ehrichweiss, Jan 12th, 2007 @ 12:59pm

    the main question is why do we even care?

    I'm guessing that no one remembers that in another few months there is going to be a drive released that uses removable media ranging from 300gb to 1.3TB in size. You'll then be able to store a library of video on one disk and that's how you'll likely buy it in the future, as a library, not a single movie and that's assuming that we decide to stick with physical media for movies; I suspect we'll abandon our televisions in a very few years and start using our computers as our media centers.

    So who cares...that proprietary crap isn't going to survive in a world where everything can be made available to us for almost free.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  31. identicon
    Wyndle, Jan 12th, 2007 @ 1:44pm

    Re: the main question is why do we even care?

    Are you referring to the defunct FMD-ROM or is there a NEW technology out that I have not heard of yet?

    'Tis truly sad that FMD-ROM didn't make it to market, it would have prevented this entire format war in a nanosecond.

    FMD-ROM {Google Search}

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  32. identicon
    The Bensonhurst Madman, Jan 12th, 2007 @ 3:41pm

    Sony death watch?

    When will someone start a countdown site for Sony's continued existence? All of these missteps and troubles. It is only a matter of time!

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  33. identicon
    ScytheNoire, Jan 13th, 2007 @ 12:38am

    screw SONY

    i've hated Sony for a long time, but i love how they keep screwing up more and more. they are truly their own greatest enemy. hopefully they'll go out of business soon.

    just in name alone, HD-DVD makes more sense than Blu-Ray, which is a lame name. but i think Sony will make sure that Blu-Ray fails.

    as for media, my computer is already the center of all my media, for television, movies, music, etc. of course, i still output content to televisions, but it's more about the internet being my preferred method of content delivery over any other form. screw other forms of delivery, the internet is king for media content, you can get it all there.

    now i just need faster broadband to start getting live streaming HD content and i'll be all set.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  34. identicon
    Mark Tibbert, Jan 13th, 2007 @ 8:59am

    Another whiff of gunsmoke and sore feet for Sony

    What are Sony playing at? did they learn NOTHING from their defeat with Betamax?

    VHS, tecnically an inferior product won the day rather than the better specification product - why? Simple, that was the format that most porn was on - by far.

    Early adopters have no hang-ups about buying / renting porn - just as they didn't have back in the days of the VHS / Betamax war.

    If all the porn is coming out on HD-DVD and nothing out on Blu-ray, then it would take an incredibly brave (or foolish) person now to think Blu-Ray stands a chance of becoming the standard.

    This decision by Sony I suspect will be seen - within days - to be pivotal to the sales of machines.


    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  35. identicon
    HP TV NUT, Jan 13th, 2007 @ 10:13pm

    Porn facts

    Porno DVD sales in 2005 = $4.28B
    Video Game sales in 2005 = $15B
    Do not underestimate the power of the porn industry. I may not be a huge fan of porn or consumer, but when I talk to people about my 65" HDTV, the first question they ask is "what does a porn movie look like on it?" I am willing to bet that with falling HDTV prices, those who do consume a lot of DVD porno (rental or purchase) will be lining up to grab HD DVD players for the newer porn releases.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  36. identicon
    cheese, Jan 13th, 2007 @ 10:15pm

    All I know is....I got a HD tv, and I want some HD PRON!

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  37. identicon
    ForeignUser, Jan 14th, 2007 @ 1:44am

    Blinde by blue rays

    Sony is like the BluRay Charles of economy. This new crusade might turn an actually good medium into the first huge economical debacle (right next to (c) GWBs Iraq Crusade) of this millenium.

    Nevertheless, sometimes instead of a format war with a clear winner, two formats survive. Like DVD-R and DVD
    R. It all depends on whether there will be cheap dual-format burners and stand-alone-players. And, most important, firmwares that remove all DRM from the drives. Then, and ONLY then, the formats could survive. The people in the top floors of Toshiba, Sony, etc. should hope and pray that some criminal nerd will hack their firmwares as soon as possible, because that would boost the sales of their formats/hardware.

    Porn and hacked firmwares are what actually decides format wars.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  38. identicon
    TeX, Jan 14th, 2007 @ 1:53am


    Sony is stupid. They have no right to block technlogy or censure content.


    I will never ever buy any Sony product in my life and will try my family and friends do the same.

    We much teach Sony that there are things that they are not allowed to do!!!

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  39. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 14th, 2007 @ 7:44am

    mmmm Hi-Def Cooter....

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  40. identicon
    Honest Liar, Jan 16th, 2007 @ 8:41am

    Re: Talk about 2 faced

    Good point. Its hard for big name companies to stand up for EVERYTHING. If they did, they'd be out of business. Mainstream movies and music glorifying violence and sex make up quite a bit of Sony's revenue. Perhaps supporting PORN was just "too far" for Sony. (Though the word "hypocracy" does seem to be too relevant for comfort in this case). Plus, Sony doesn't NEED the PORN industry to stay in business. Sony has music, other electronics and such to make it. So i can see why they would be able to take a stand against allowing porn to use their new Blu-Ray format.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  41. identicon
    Bob, Jan 23rd, 2007 @ 11:53am

    This really is a joke right?

    This has got to be the stupidest decision ever. What does it matter what market the disc is in? The generic consumer is going to burn all his/her porn on the disc at home as well. I mean are they really serious? Good God this is HILARIOUS. These financial geniuses went to grad school got MBAs and stuff and all those years of experience...and they do this. I guess if we have to refer to another stupid decision in the future we can always say "It's a sony" ;)

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  42. identicon
    Punkass, Apr 3rd, 2007 @ 4:08am

    Re: Porn facts

    If you have any Porno Spam please send it to me......

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  43. identicon
    BS, May 29th, 2007 @ 3:51pm

    To Punkass

    In a world increasingly dependent on "the net", the porn industry has become a moot point for format wars, since you can get more content on the net, and cheaper. What porn can you find on Blu-ray? Debbie Does Dallas? The format wars will be won on the net. And Microsoft will likely win it with it's WMV-HD technology. WMV-HD is really something. You can watch HD even if you don't have a HD player or an HDTV... just on your computer! You can watch it as soon as now. In less than a few years, all porn videos will be encoded with this codec, and as the codec is also used to distribute High Definition videos on standard DVDs, people will play back their clips on compatible DVD players (either blu-ray or HD-DVD players) and on their computers (with standard DVD players!). I already found some free HD clips to download and it's amazing. Just take a look by yourself. Free HD porn sample you will see by yourself what's all the fuss about HD.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  44. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 22nd, 2011 @ 11:16am

    I just wanted to make a quick comment to say Iím glad that I found your article .Thanks, A definite great readÖ blu-ray porn :)

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Save me a cookie
  • Note: A CRLF will be replaced by a break tag (<br>), all other allowable HTML will remain intact
  • Allowed HTML Tags: <b> <i> <a> <em> <br> <strong> <blockquote> <hr> <tt>
Follow Techdirt
Insider Shop - Show Your Support!

Hide this ad »
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Techdirt Insider Chat
Hide this ad »
Recent Stories
Advertisement - Amazon Prime Music
Hide this ad »


Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.