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Pornography, videotape and the Internet

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1 Author(s)
J. Coopersmith ; Dept. of History, Texas A&M Univ., College Station, TX, USA

Pornography has had a significant role in the promotion and diffusion of new communication technologies. New technologies have also altered the nature of pornography in the last few decades. These technologies include VCRs, camcorders, Minitel, computers, and the Internet. Pornographic products have served to stimulate interest in these new technologies, despite their higher initial costs. The attractions include greater perceived privacy and easier access. As each of these technologies matures and prices drop, the importance of pornographic products diminishes relatively, but not absolutely. Another pattern is the elimination of the distinctions among producers, distributors, and consumers as do-it-yourself video and computers have permitted a “democratization” of pornography. At the risk of appearing indifferent to moral issues, the author focuses on pornography's importance in diffusing new technologies (VCRs, camcorders, Minitel, computers, and the Internet), and how these technologies have reshaped the nature of pornography. Driving this transformation have been the great capitalist engines of innovation and the quest for profits. Like war, pornography has served as an agent of change for both, and similarly benefitted greatly

Published in:

IEEE Technology and Society Magazine  (Volume:19 ,  Issue: 1 )