Hugh Hefner Battles For His Porn Peddling Legacy

Bunny for sale?

We’ve all seen those movies where the man who built a company fights to keep it against a tide of back stabbing board members and stockholders giddy to sell out for a quick buck, legacy be damned. Well, there couldn’t be a sexier vehicle to reprise the theme than what’s unfolding now in real life, because the pioneer of porn peddlers wants his smut back.

Playboy long ago went public and goo-goo-eyed centerfold godfather Hugh Hefner this week offered a 40 percent premium over Friday’s closing price for any shares that aren’t already in his fat wallet. His main competition? Archrival Penthouse. That magazine, whose catch phrase isn’t the bunny-eseque “tastefully done,” said it is going to issue a counteroffer.

The internet age, and all the porn producing competition it has spawned, has not been kind to Hef. Playboy’s stock price, which hit a high of $52+ in 1999, has been trading in the $2 to $5 range in recent years. Porn isn’t even the company’s bread and butter anymore. The legacy of porn is. Merchandising is where Playboy is cashing in now. Bunny shirts and panties, licensing and the like, are the main streams of cash that keep Hef awash in pajamas and surgically enhanced, Viagra-fearing trophy pieces these days.

Hef thinks the brand is well-suited for the digital age, and he’s willing to pay to keep his legacy his.

A Realm Of Porn; Agency Considers XXX Suffix

This would definitely be a porn address

Pornography has a hero’s place in the history of the internet and some day it may have its very own realm there, too.

ICANN, the agency that manages web domains, is considering adding .xxx to choices of web address suffixes. If approved, the addition would not only give porn sites a fitting, marketable suffix, but ease parental and organizational efforts to block porn from certain computers and places like libraries.

Critics arguing against the .xxx addition say it will help porn peddlers increase their already abundant web presence, while promoters say it will only increase ability to police nudie viewing. However, even if .xxx is added, porn sites apparently won’t be forced to use it. It’s unclear why not.

Despite some peoples’ hatred of pornography, it’s viewed by many as the reason the internet exists today in its society-altering form.

When the internet first expanded from a collegiate information sharing system, it seemed doomed to failure. There was considerable expense to build and maintain the system, but virtually no money was being made for all this effort. That’s when porn illuminated the rest of the business world as to the promise of web commerce. Money was rolling in for porn peddlers and fortunes were made by new people every day. Legend has it, the web was thereby saved and porn is the reason we live as we do today.

Whether porn’s role in the internet’s existence is exaggerated is a matter for historians to decide, but it’s clear that it had an important impact on the web’s development. It should have its own realm, but I’d like to hear the reasoning why porn sites wouldn’t have to use a new .xxx suffix.