Ban the Pirates, Not Me
A funny thing happened as I was perusing the interwebs yesterday. I was checking out a site called FetishMovies. FetishMovies takes all sorts of content from producers (including SM content) and streams it to its customers. The site is pretty easy to navigate and, overall, I think they've done a pretty good job with the design and interface. And the concept is a good one.
As far as I can tell, there are a few options for distributing one's content. You can go the old fashioned way and just press a bunch of DVDs. Making DVDs isn't hard but getting good distribution is a real challenge. And even if you get the distribution, the middleman wants a big cut.
FetishMovies takes a huge cut, it seems to me. They also have an affiliate program which, they say, gives the producer an opportunity to make a lot more money. I don't know much about affiliate programs. That's how behind the times I am.
Another option is to start a website and sign up with a third party billing service. A lot of people go this route. The only problem with this for me is the pressure involved in constantly having to update your site with new content. You also pay for the server space and the bandwidth. You really need to have your shit together if you go this way.
Since I'm averse to stress, I like the idea of streaming or selling complete downloads or short clips. And that brings me back to what I started out with at the beginning of this post.
From FetishMovies I went over to a site called FetishClips. These two sites are owned by the same company. FetishClips just sells short clips of around five minutes. I can't recall if they're for download or streaming. They have a Flash animation doodad at the top of the page where small pictures of featured clips flow across the page from right to left.
Much to my surprise, I saw my movie, Cheap Thrills, featured in one of the pictures! For a second, I thought I was hallucinating. I clicked on the picture and that took me to an area of the site featuring clips from a company called Asian SM LLC.
At first I thought they'd just taken the short trailer I'd put up on PornHub and started selling it as if they were actually longer clips. Upon closer inspection I determined that someone had ripped the DVD. They had practically the whole move there. There were 12 clips in all.
Well, I contacted FetishClips and, I must say, they were extremely prompt and professional. They took down the clips after I made it clear that I was the legitimate copyright holder. I had directed and shot this video and paid every yen of the expenses involved.
The clips were put up in January 2009 so I doubt much money was earned by Asian SM LLC. Nevertheless, I want to find out about this "company". If anyone out there has any information, I'd appreciate it if you could let me know. There is a contact form on the sidebar on the left. I should mention that FetishClips contacted Asian SM LLC and, of course, the latter were unable to prove copyright ownership. They said they had obtained the rights from "someone" in China.
Speaking of taking stuff down, after many months and over 40,000 satisfied customers, YouTube sent me an email telling me that the video, Live Shibari in Tokyo, violated their Terms of Service and it had been removed. Gosh, that didn't take long.
I'm guessing they received two, count 'em, two complaints. The first one put the video behind the fence into the adults only ghetto. The second one got it removed.
Now here's the deal: YouTube can do what they want. They can have Terms of Service that make sense or ones that make no sense. They can leave videos up or they can take them down. They own the servers. They pay for the bandwidth. They make the rules. End of story.
Well, it was a nice run while it lasted.
A friend of mine traipses all over Asia. He is a writer, a collector and I don't know what else. He gets to Japan often and is an expert on both Hong Kong and Japanese cinema. We are both interested in movie posters. I am especially fond of those old posters from the 70s that feature hand paintings rather than photographs. Just love those things, especially the ones from such companies as Nikkatsu and Shin-Toho.
A little trivia: Shin-Toho broke off from Toho. "Shin" means "new", thus, New Toho.
Two great SM actresses from the 70s were Tani Naomi (no introduction needed) and Oka Naomi. Oka Naomi is not as well known but she was great in these movies also. I've seen quite a few of them, But I wasn't aware that the two Naomis had appeared in a move together. Well, the poster shown here proves that such was, indeed, the case.
Since both of these actresses were known primarily for their bondage roles, I'm surprised there is no rope shown in the poster. No matter. I want to see this movie. And I must have this poster!
Update: My friend has reported back: This film came out later in Ms. Tani's career, April 1977. It was directed by Hayashi Isao. The title is (秘) 温泉 岩風呂の情事 which, roughly translated would be, Maruhi Onsen: Iwaburo No Jyôji, or Hot Spring Secrets; Love Affair in Rock Bath. Not on DVD and unknown if it was ever released on VHS.
Update #2: I came across this site and found an old VHS tape of a movie starring Oka Naomi. It appears this site sells used tapes and DVDs. I saw this move a long time ago. It's quite good and it's only one in a series. This was the only one I could find on the site.