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The Internet Businesses

A Brief History of 'sex.com' 78

Posted by Zonk
from the truth-is-always-stranger-than-fiction dept.
linuxwrangler writes "Violet Blue's current 'Open Source Sex' column in SFGate covers the amusingly sordid history of sex.com. More graft and corruption than hanky-panky, the article details some of the exploits surrounding the much-desired URL, including an attempted assassination, drug smuggling, money laundering, and a bid to buy out Ceasar's Palace. From the article: 'It's estimated that Cohen made over $100 million off the URL in the years he had it, even making a 1999 bid to buy Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, and was only forced to give it back to Kremen when a San Jose court awarded the URL (and $65 million in damages) to Kremen in 2001. It had been a five-year struggle for Kremen, both in battling his speed addiction and in trying to raise funds for his own litigation. Even though his dot-com boom resume boasted typical startup-style impressive credentials, Kremen was only able to afford the court bills when bitter Sex.com porn industry rivals helped fund the case.'
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A Brief History of 'sex.com'

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  • by omeomi (675045) on Thursday December 21, 2006 @07:01PM (#17331262) Homepage
    The only thing missing from the Sex.com story is a dead stripper found with a rubber alligator lodged in her throat

    Well, that seems easy enough to fix...

    Now, where to find a rubber alligator...
    • by Xyrus (755017)
      If you put all the current tags together, you have the name of a good story:

      Corruption Internet Sex Business Bubble

      Well, either that or a strange new virtual sex device.

      ~X~
    • by vox_soli (990736)
      Rubber Alligator [gatorland.com]. They can't seem to decide whether it's a crocodile or an alligator, but apparently it's "irresitable".
  • Social engineering (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Life700MB (930032) on Thursday December 21, 2006 @07:02PM (#17331272)

    Ah, score another for the good old social engineering [wikipedia.org] that made it posible to obtain the domain without having the rigts to it.

    --
    Superb hosting [tinyurl.com] 200GB Storage, 2_TB_ bandwidth, php, mysql, ssh, $7.95
  • by filesiteguy (695431) <kai@perfectreign.com> on Thursday December 21, 2006 @07:26PM (#17331530) Homepage
    I find this all very interesting. However, I'm wondering if there's a similar tale behind the owners of whitehouse.gov - the other hot pr0n site on the internet.

  • by ObiWonKanblomi (320618) on Thursday December 21, 2006 @07:30PM (#17331572) Journal
    Did Cohen really share a cell with Michael Milken or did he stay at the same prison but at different times? I'd be more interested in reading about that if he did actually share the same cell.

    Also, this author's credentials sound like something that could only qualify someone for work in San Francisco:

    Violet Blue is author and editor of over a dozen sexual health books and erotica collections. She is a professional sex educator, lecturer, podcaster, video blogger, porn/erotica reviewer and machine artist. Violet is also a fetish model, a member of Survival Research Labs, an author at Metroblogging San Francisco; girl friday contributor at Fleshbot, a San Francisco native, and a pro blogger. For more information and links to Web sites discussed in Open Source Sex, go to Violet Blue's Web site, tinynibbles.com.

    Please tell me I live in a sane world when I say even Dvorak or Cringley has better credentials.
    • by Biff Stu (654099) on Thursday December 21, 2006 @08:06PM (#17331924)
      While I'm not a huge fan of her style, I must say that she writes a sex column; her crededentials are appropriate and well-suited for the job. On the other hand, the thought of associating Dvorak or Cringley with sex makes me run in terror.
      • by Skadet (528657)
        I must say that she writes a sex column; her crededentials are appropriate and well-suited for the job.
        Really? Being a sex columnist makes her well-suited to write a story that admits in the first paragraph that it has nothing at all to do with sex? How do you figure?
    • She is a professional sex educator, lecturer, podcaster, video blogger, porn/erotica reviewer and machine artist.
      As someone who is an experienced worker in the sex industry, can I be the first to ask... What on earth is a "machine artist"?
    • Please tell me I live in a sane world when I say even Dvorak or Cringley has better credentials.

      Better credentials for WHAT?

      Yes, I suppose if I were looking for someone to write a column about technology, one of those gentlemen would be the better choice. But if I were looking for someone to write a column about sex, you better believe John C. Dvorak would be at the very bottom of my list!
  • by Cr0w T. Trollbot (848674) on Thursday December 21, 2006 @07:32PM (#17331592)
    ..but Gary Kreman kept pounding, pounding away, thrusting again and again into the slippery corridors of justice. It was sweaty working penetrating the tight holes of legal precedence necessary for him to release his load of depositions, a sticky, exhausting process. But he prevailed! A model for us all...

    Crow T. Trollbot

  • by advocate_one (662832) on Thursday December 21, 2006 @07:45PM (#17331730)
    you type it right [sew.com]... oh see what you get for only being one letter out...
  • by Pedahzur (125926) on Thursday December 21, 2006 @07:49PM (#17331786) Homepage
    Am I the only one that finds these google ads at the bottom of that article to be apropos:

    Sex Offender Registry
    Search updated sex offender list Free service with maps, easy to use
    ----------------.org

    Registered Sex Offenders
    Protect your child. Find out now if a sex offender lives in your area.
    www.---------------------.com

    Instant Criminal Records
    Nationwide Criminal, Felony & Sex Offender Checks. Updated Regularly.
    www.--------.com
  • by Paladin144 (676391) on Thursday December 21, 2006 @07:59PM (#17331870) Homepage
    Come on people, quit the fussin' and the fightin'. Put aside your differences. It's clear, that sex.com belongs to all of us, like the environment or the national debt. You see, sex.com is part of our heritage. It's the domain that is connected to every single one of us -- after all, who among us would be here if our parents didn't have sex? (okay, Cowboy Neal is a test tube baby, but the rest of us were created during sex)

    Don't you see? Sex.com is our birthright! It's a national treasure. It is a god among TLDs. That's why I think we should make it public domain and put a wiki up there so we can all teach and share what we've learned about sex. Like the future, sex.com belongs to the children. The next time somebody mentions sex.com, think of the children!

    Uhh... wait a sec...

    • Re: (Score:1, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward
      ...after all, who among us would be here if our parents didn't have sex?


      Jesus Christ!

      (It's funny, laugh. Then try to gouge out your eyes before you realize it is mental imagery.)

    • by pipingguy (566974) *
      Uhh... wait a sec...

      No, no more secs, please figure out the ramifications of your words *before* you post.

      Why no, I'm not British, why do you ask?
  • Money (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Lord_Dweomer (648696) on Thursday December 21, 2006 @09:28PM (#17332612) Homepage
    Just out of curiosity, how is it that he made that much freaking money off of a domain name? I'm sure he had ads and affiliate stuff all over the place but how in the hell did he make THAT much, it seems WAAAY more than he should have been able to make.

    Can any adult webmasters weigh in on the amounts of money to be made in your business? How much would you say your "average" pr0n site pulls in? What amount of traffic is required for that?

    • Re: (Score:1, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Can any adult webmasters weigh in on the amounts of money to be made in your business? How much would you say your "average" pr0n site pulls in?

      I can't tell you as an adult webmaster, but as somebody who used to work for a company that was involved in the payment processing for some adult websites I can tell you that even relatively obscure sites, without a domain such as sex.com pull in a metric shitload of cash. It is the niche ones that do well, once had a conversation with a guy who was working minimum

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by owlnation (858981)
      It was easier to make lots of money in porn at the beginning of the web. For those of us who entered the marker later it's actually pretty tough, you need to do all the work that every other site is doing, adult or otherwise, to make money. And no, not even in that order of magnitude amount - if you are doing things legitimately an least - as I endeavor to do. Maybe if you are doing things illegally you can make much more, but that's not for me, I'd rather settle for a reasonable income and be able to sleep
      • I assume your website in your profile is beautifulassettes.com. Would you mind sharing some rough figures on traffic/revenue? Or if you'd like, you can email me at haltingpoint at gmail dot com. I started a babeblog briefly but ran into a lot of barriers and perhaps I can discuss those with you.

    • During that area, you could make 100M$ from nothing even WITHOUT any sexy domainname.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Top affiliate schemes these days pay $40-$60 per signup for a $3 trial. These convert at around 1:1000 for properly niched/setup sites.
      For some actual figures from legit guys - http://www.hoes.com/sponsors/ [hoes.com]
      This shows that traffic to the standard top programs will run at about 5c/hit today, which is about right. In 2004 it was more like 10c a hit. The market is flooded these days. Back in the sex.com battle days it was even more.

      sex.com falls in the top 1000 traffic sites overall, which you can imagi
  • by Krater76 (810350) on Thursday December 21, 2006 @09:50PM (#17332758) Journal
    ... if you could type it with one hand.
    • by Beached (52204)
      you could, most browsers will add in the .com for you and sex is all on the left
      • by Nimey (114278)
        and sex is all on the left


        So why is the birthrate increasing among all the religious nutters then?

        I kid, I kid.
      • by owlnation (858981)
        so those of us who are left handed would be better off with ilm.com? Perfect for Princess Leia in the gold bikini porn?
    • by D-Cypell (446534)
      ...Not really. Most normal folks would wait for the site to load before hand availability was an issue.
  • Assassinations? Oh my. Mother told me having sex was nothing but trouble, but did I listen?
  • This isn't even news anymore. The whole sordid saga of sex.com was reported on wired.com at least 5 years ago! Why is this making the rounds now?
    • by AceCaseOR (594637)

      This isn't even news anymore. The whole sordid saga of sex.com was reported on wired.com at least 5 years ago! Why is this making the rounds now?
      Because, it wasn't over 5 years ago. It's almost over now. Maybe.

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