They- especially —have invested in the development of digital watermarking technology to prevent the unauthorized use of online images.And they have led the way in Internet videoconferencing—a technology sure to have more and more importance in the business world, where telephone Conference calls are now utterly routine.These, according to a government report on obscenity, “served as a catalyst for the rental or purchase of movie projectors, screens, cameras, and other equipment.” Porn was, for the first time, demonstrably helping sell a new technology. Thus, as cable TV moved into people’s homes, formerly illicit fare moved in with it.But not until the arrival of the videocassette recorder and the video camera was that fare a prime force behind technology’s spread.Porn consumers would help both establish a market and build familiarity and expertise with the new technology.Then a bigger, more mainstream market would follow, whether for VHS movies, DVDs, or the World Wide Web, and the pioneering role of sex would diminish.Sex has become one of the forces shaping information technology.Every new information technology since the printing press has spawned pornography.
Sexually explicit videotapes hit the stores in 1977, a year regular Hollywood releases, and over the next few years, more than half of all recorded tapes sold were X-rated.
(“They say they’re actresses,” he quotes one retailer as saying, “but I don’t know any actresses who could plunk down 0 cash for the newest and the best.”) But by the 1990s, the sex industry was actually building the telephone infrastructure for some nations. Commercial phone sex was born in 1982 when the Federal Communications Commission, in a deregulatory move, ruled that the phone company could no longer have a monopoly on recorded messages.
That meant the phone company could no longer keep recorded messages clean, and once there were dirty recorded messages there were bound to be dirty live ones too.
In the early years, between a third and a half of all Minitel traffic was sexual; the product’s use expanded, and the importance of those pathbreakers declined.
On the Internet, pornographers have done more than just get there first- though they have certainly done that, especially in terms of online retailing. They have been behind some of the systems that are used to verify online financial transactions.