Porn decides the fate of the universe

Written by Wil Harris

January 19, 2007 | 11:59

Tags: #digital-playground #hd-dvd #joone #porn

Companies: #blu-ray

There's been a lot of ruckus on the interweb this week about the role of pornography in the next-generation optical format war.

Rumblings began earlier this week when the founder of Digital Playground studios, a congenial chap called Joone, complained that he was having a hard time (snicker) getting his numerous releases (snicker) out on Blu-ray disc (snicker... oh wait.)

Mr Joone claimed that the Blu-ray Disc Association was refusing to allow adult material on the format at the behest of Sony, a move reminiscent of Sony's refusal to allow porn on Betamax, back in the VHS v Betamax days.

This, Joone pontificated, was leading him to adopt HD-DVD as his high-definition format of choice, leaving those expecting to enjoy the likes of Pirates, Island Fever and Jesse Jane: Sexual Freak on their PS3 thoroughly unsatisfied.

The problems are especially disappointing for the studio, given that previously announced its support for Blu-ray around this time last year.

However, the Blu-ray Disc Association has rolled out a spokesman to say it ain't so. Marty Gordon, Vice Chair of the Blu-ray Disc Association, reassured Gizmodo thus:

"There is not a prohibition against adult content,” said Gordon. “The BDA is an open organization that welcomes the participation of all companies interested in using and supporting the format, including those that represent the full spectrum of genres in the content industry.”

A bit of digging seems to reveal the problem. Whilst the BDA doesn't have a problem with adult content as such, Sony has a policy of not allowing adult content to be produced at disc duplication facilities that it controls. Given that most of the Blu-ray disc duplication facilities in the world, at this point, are controlled by Sony, this makes life rather awkward for anyone not in tune with Sony's policies, regardless of the theoretical rules of the BDA. We suspect that this situation will be alleviated in the coming year, as more and more Blu-ray creation facilities come on line.

Indeed, other adult filmmakers are not peturbed. Steve Hirsch, head honcho at Vivid Video, told DailyTech that he was continuing to back both Blu-ray and HD-DVD, in a bid, we suspect, to spread the love as widely as possible.

Much has been written in the technology press about the role of porn in the next-generation optical wars. We suspect that this is because porn is about the most exciting thing in the next-generation optical wars. Various theories have been postulated, the most popular being that whichever format porn adopts will end up being the high-def winner, given the industry's track record with Beta v VHS. There is also the theory that the next-gen optical war will decide the console war, given the PS3 + Blu-ray v Xbox + HD-DVD stand-off. I posited last year that this indirectly means that porn decides the console war, and today I will go further.

The console war will have a direct impact on the PC market, given that Microsoft is integrating Xbox with Windows gaming platforms, and Apple, Microsoft's main rival, is supporting Blu-ray and Sony. Further, the dominant gaming and OS architecture could decide the music wars of iPod v Zune, Microsoft v Apple, which could decide the fate of the music industry. The fate of the music industry, given the lobbying powers of the RIAA, could well have an impact on who receives the support of big business in the upcoming American Presidential election.

Given the power of America on the world stage, it's therefore fair to predict that the format you prefer to fap to could decide the fate of the free world.

We implore readers, therefore, to choose carefully. Think before you fap.

Thoughts, please, in the forums.
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