This type of distribution was generally free (apart from fees for Internet access), and provided a great deal of anonymity.
The anonymity made it safe and easy to ignore copyright restrictions, as well as protecting the identity of uploaders and downloaders.
When a user purchases a subscription to a commercial site after clicking through from a free thumbnail gallery site, the commercial site makes a payment to the owner of the free site.
There are several forms of sites delivering adult content.
The con presented a keynote by culture theorist Mark Dery and published a reader about the subject.
A 1995 article written in The Georgetown Law Journal titled "Marketing Pornography on the Information Superhighway: A Survey of 917,410 Images, Description, Short Stories and Animations Downloaded 8.5 Million Times by Consumers in Over 2000 Cities in Forty Countries, Provinces and Territories" by Martin Rimm, a Carnegie Mellon University graduate student, claimed that (as of 1994) 83.5% of the images on Usenet newsgroups where images were stored were pornographic in nature.
Before publication, Philip Elmer-De Witt used the research in a Time magazine article, "On a Screen Near You: Cyberporn." Godwin recounts the episode in "Fighting a Cyberporn Panic" in his book Cyber Rights: Defending Free Speech in the Digital Age.
Around this time frame, pornography was also distributed via pornographic Bulletin Board Systems such as Rusty n Edie's.
These BBSes could charge users for access, leading to the first commercial online pornography.
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