Addendum: according to at least two separate sources, this may not be the case. I am leaving the original post up, as I don’t have any personal knowledge.
Today I heard that fellow UK bondage producer Dave Simpson recently took his own life because of the collapse of his business due to piracy. Rob from Rope dreams posted:
This message from one of his models was posted on a forum:
“I was a close,close friend of Dave Simpson for several years. He was responsible for me being introduced to the wonderful world of bondage. Last year we lost touch, He drifted away from me and fell into a state of utter despair as a result of seeing his website business destroyed by the whole nature of the internet stealing everything he’d worked on. In the last months of knowing him I saw him slowly being torn apart by the thieves who thought it was OK to ruin his hard work.
Last week I got a call from his sister who told me he had taken his own life. ”
Nobody goes into the business of producing kink niche erotica for the money; any serious business-person would look at the potential market and go straight into mainstream porn instead. So you can guarantee that anyone running a little bondage website is doing it because it is their passion and their love. And that they are doing it as a tiny cottage industry on razor-thin margins. If there ever were days when bondage websites raked in millions, they’re VERY long gone.
The world has changed in the 15-ish years since Dave Simpson started his sites (and I started mine). Censorship is certainly a threat, but the threat of endless fucking piracy in one we’ve just had to get used to. As I posted recently in my cupcake analogy, stealing porn isn’t a victimless crime. And nor is watching stolen porn. If you like it, pay your fair share to the people who created it, so they can make some more, and pay the rent. And eat.
So thank you again to everyone who has been kind enough to support the community of small cottage industries across the world that is the online bondage community. It is you, the honest people who have made it all possible.
And the pirates? You can fuck right off. R.I.P Dave Simpson.