Obscene Profits: The Entrepreneurs of Pornography in the Cyber Age

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Sex sells. Already a ten-billion-dollar industry, most sex businesses require relatively low start-up costs and minimal equipment. No wonder retired porn stars, homemakers, college students, and entrepreneurs of every stripe are eager to jump on the smut bandwagon. Following the money trail, or in this case, the telecom routes, the author reveals how some big phone companies are cashing in too. Obscene Profits offers a startling and entertaining new look at this very old business, and shows why pornography, in all of its variations–videos, magazines, phone-sex, spy cameras, etc.– is one of the most profitable and popular new careers to come out of the electronic age.”


Lane provides a timely case study of the business and economics of pornography. What makes this an interesting study is that with the advent of VCRs and the Internet, barriers to pornography’s market entry were effectively bulldozed….The book is written in such a way that parallels can be made to other Internet enterprises. Recommended for general and business collections. — ASteven Silkunas, Library Journal

Lane looks back on the history of pornography for fun and profit, from early fetishes found in archaeological digs to Ben Franklin’s little-known contributions to current video games that titillate with sex and violence. He examines legislative efforts and court rulings to control and restrict trafficking in pornography. But the economic opportunities in pornography, Lane concludes, invite entrepreneurs to become the electronic equivalents of Hugh Hefner and Larry Flynt. — Vanessa Bush, Booklist