Written by Brandon Shalton


Mainstream's dirty little secret.

Convergence between TV and the Internet is already here. Convergence of mainstream content and porn content is now here… but that's not the dirty little secret.

Mainstream players are starting to see strong revenue potential from the Adult Industry in areas of digital media.

Companies like Real Networks have gotten themselves in bed with porn companies by chasing after business deals to stream adult content.

Real Networks currently handles Playboy's internet streaming content. Real Networks has also shown themselves at InterNext in Las Vegas (Jan 5-7), a porn industry convention that precedes CES by having a booth at the convention (interesting enough, they weren't listed in the Exhibitors Guide).

A Real Networks Product Manager was on hand to talk to digital media content websites to utilize Real's platform for distribution. He said that Real would have a PR person at CES and couldn't give any other info about Acacia and their position.

I made the point to him that if one of the big three companies (Microsoft, Real, Apple) were to step into this Acacia issue by supporting the current 11 defendants, it would probably make people switch to using that company's technology.

It's a very strange position that the second a company uses Real Networks software (or any other vendor) with content, that the company is infringing upon the Acacia patent and the company isn't doing anything to support their clients.

Websites that use streaming servers or digital formats like Real, Windows Media Server, Apple Quicktime, etc are targeted by Acacia for patent infringement that ties content with delivery of the audio/video program.

The large software companies have been quiet in their support for the current 11 porn defendants who look forward to their first day in court for the Markman Hearing on Feb 6th to defend against Acacia's patent claims.

The Adult Industry is not the only targets of Acacia's licensing program. 24/7 University, an e-learning company based out of Dallas, TX was recently named in an Acacia PR for signing a license. 24/7 University is a Tier 2 partner of Real Networks and when I asked the CEO of 24/7 if Real did anything to support him, he said NO.

There were other mainstream vendors having booths at InterNext this year, a telltale sign of mainstream acceptance of the Adult Industry marketplace. So much of mainstream is afraid of the stigma of being associated with porn and this is probably the reason why none of the big three companies have stepped in to help the current defendants.

But the secret is out! The stigma must not be so bad if Real Networks paid money to have a booth at a porn convention. The secret is out that mainstream wants to tap into the profitability of an industry that has survived the dot-bomb era. What's not a secret is the lack of support by the major players to support companies (mainstream or adult) who use their products and are targeted by a patent claim that so many feel is absurd.

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