Porn-Apocalypse: The business of porn is going out of business - MyFoxAustin.com | KTBC Fox 7 | News, Weather, Sports

Porn-Apocalypse: The business of porn is going out of business

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

Southern California is considered by many to be the porn industry capitol of America, but it's on the brink of collapse.

Ron Jeremy starred in more than 2,500 adult movies, nearly all of them shot in LA's San Fernando Valley, the smut capital of America. He admits that was a long time ago.

"Los Angeles is, was, the capital of porn. It was the San Fernando Valley, the biggest providers of porn anywhere in the world…the business of porn is going out of business. How do you compete with free?," said Jeremy.

Love it, hate it or deny it, porn has become mainstream. Estimates said there are as many as 4 million Internet sites dedicated to porn.

One study said as many as 90 percent of young American men and 60 percent of young American women have watched porn. It is a multi-billion dollar industry. That's why people make it.

"I would prefer to call them adult films. Pornography. That's okay," said Steve Hirsch, president of Vivid Entertainment.

However, with small town Scorsese's giving it away for free on the Internet, Los Angeles based porn execs like Hirsch are trying to adjust.

"To compete against free you need to produce and distribute unique products, whether celebrity sex tape or our superhero parodies, or our swinger stuff that can't be found on free sites, so you have to be clever to survive," added Hirsch.

The grandfather of smut, Hustler Magazine founder Larry Flynt, preaches diversification.

"We got gaming. Casinos. We got a world-wide broadcasting content company. So we moved on because we seen that was the trend 20 years ago," said Flynt.

What was left of the porn film industry in LA has been decimated by Measure B, a law passed a year ago by voters requiring porn stars in La County to wear a condom on set.

"I'll give you an example. There were 600 adult film permits taken out two years ago. Last year. 3," said Hirsch.

"People don't like to watch movies where the actors are wearing condoms…we've done focus studies," added Flynt.

"So as it is now, we're going out of business because of the Internet and now we're not going to compete with the Asians, Scandinavians, and European films, so they're going to put us out of business. So now we're outsourcing porn," said Jeremy.

The porn industry is appealing the condom law in federal court, claiming it is a violation of free speech. However, Michael Weinstein of the Aids Healthcare Foundation who heavily backed the proposal said it's both a matter of public health and marketing.

"We want to protect the workers number one. We have a rate of STD's among the performers as we do among the general population. They're workers and we want to keep workers protected. And also we want to send a message that protection can be sexy too," said Weinstein.

"I just feel when it comes down to it, they're just putting laws on us so they can make more money. It's really what it comes down to. It has nothing to do with anybody over there caring about our safety or our industry surviving," said Joanna Angel, an adult film star.

The actresses said that adult porn stars in Los Angeles are regularly tested and HIV has not been contracted on a set in nearly a decade.

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