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Recently, the gay blogosphere has been ablaze with the seeming controversy of Corbin Fisher v. Illegal Porn Downloaders.
Sites such as “Unicorn Booty” and “Queerty” have declared war on Corbin Fisher, claiming that by suing the illegal downloaders, they pose the risk of outing gay teens, who may then commit suicide.
When first reading on this case, I admit, it gave me pause. Allegations such as these must be taken seriously. Especially in the wake of last fall, where one would have had to live under a rock to have missed the mini-epidemic of teen suicide.
However, in all these articles I did find something missing. Namely, these articles felt as if the journalists viewed making a name for themselves as being more important than actually getting the story straight.
In an effort to do just that, I emailed Corbin Fisher’s lawyer, Marc J. Randazza. Within five minutes, my phone was ringing as he called to answer my questions and to give me the other side of the story.
Mr. Randazza painted the picture of a small business with only twenty five employees – both gay and straight. Employees who depend on their income to support themselves and their families.
While he admits these employees are unlikely to kill themselves if they have to lose their job, it can hardly be considered fair that they would be forced out of work due to some people who don’t want to pay for porn and are too good for free sites.
Mr. Randazza described the thought put into the decision to go after the illegal downloaders. They conducted various board meetings, as they weight the consequences of their actions. They hired a sex researcher, to estimate the probability of their actions having a negative effect. And they looked at the money lost – money that could have gone to their employees. Which, in today’s harsh economy, job security is a very important issue.
“One of our DVD’s only sold 800 copies, however we found over 11000 copies illegally downloaded on just one site!”
When asked how likely it was the lawsuits would out gay teens, Mr. Randazza replied that it was less likely than a parent checking the web history and seeing Unicorn Booty or other gay site come up.
So kids, remember – don’t pirate. And always clear your web history.