Thursday, July 16, 2015

Intellectual Property and Sex Workers

Sex work is an umbrella term that includes a wide variety of jobs in and around the sex industry. Though prostitution is one such job, most jobs that are considered “sex work” are completely legal such as exotic dancers, phone sex operators, adult film stars, etc.
Many, if not most, of these jobs (and most sex workers) depend heavily on the Internet for their job. Whether it’s how they promote themselves or simply where they work, the Internet has become a key component of most sex workers lives.
In that regard, sex workers are like all other creatives that work online. They build websites, publish photos, write blog posts, upload videos and so forth, all things that are protected by copyright. They also, most likely, have a domain name and/or a trade/business name that is potentially protected by trademark.

Exactly what kinds of intellectual property are involved depends heavily on the specific case. For example, someone who does webcam shows likely has a website, marketing content, promotional images, promotional videos, videos that are for sale/download, all of which are copyright protected. Meanwhile, an exotic dancer may a very small online presence and be much more concerned about their name and its (potential) trademark protection.
Still, every sex worker is, to some degree, a content creator and an intellectual property rightsholder. However, when it comes time to enforce those rights they face obstacles that most other creators don’t.

This article is so validating...because I sit down at the computer and struggle with this every day. i am so glad I live and work in a time where this is getting discussed in an intelligent manner.  Read more here.

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