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      This Porn Site Operator Issued a Bounty for Helping Catch the 'Fappening' Leaker

      September 2, 2014
      Mitchell Sunderland

      By Mitchell Sunderland

      Associate Editor

      Photo courtesy of Mike Kulich

      Mike Kulich would like to be known as one of the good pornographers. When "the Fappening" occurred on Saturday, it was still being called "Celebgate," and the nude photos of such celebrities as Jennifer Lawrence, McKayla Maroney, and Krysten Ritter were still being called "alleged nude photos." Before they could be authenticated, much of the internet rushed to masturbate rapturously, tweet dumb shit, and then make jokes. This time though, there was a louder-than-average outcry against the leaker who apparently exploited a security hole in Apple's iCloud in order to peak at the nipples of people who act in movies. 

      One seemingly unlikely condemnation is coming from the porn site SkweezMe.com. On Sunday, when the news of the leak was still fresh, they issued a press release stating not only that they "want this hacker brought to justice as much as the women who are the direct victims of this hack," but that there would be a "very generous cash reward to anyone who can provide us with any information on the perpetrator." 

      We caught up with SkweezMe.com Managing Partner Mike Kulich to find out what burns him up so much about leaked celebrity nudes, and to find out how to collect this reward.

      VICE: What made you decide to offer this cash reward?
      Mike Kulich: Consent is one of the keystones of the Adult Entertainment Business. Regardless of what anti-porn organizations claim—for instance, that we are all human traffickers and pimps—every girl that appears on film for any production company is there of her own free will. She is consenting to everything that happens on screen. The adult industry feels very strongly about consent, which is why it has been heavily involved in our support for legislation banning revenge porn, which has become illegal in a number of different states. 

      Jennifer Lawrence's pictures were meant to be private and whoever hacked her computer or phone had no right to ever see those pictures, let alone leak them to the world. We want this person brought to justice.

      How much is it and how will you fund it?
      We will fund it with revenue generated from SkweezMe.com. We have thousands of users who use our site. After our payouts to our studio partners, we will be taking the money out of our cut, and giving the reward to whoever provides us with the information leading to the apprehension of the party responsible. The reward will be based on the validity of the information and the coordination with law enforcement. We expect to get a number of inquiries because people see dollar signs, but we will only be rewarding someone who gives us pertinent information that is valid, and leads to an arrest.

      A screencap of some of the consenting performers on SkweezMe.com

      If the nude was sold instead of leaked, how much would it be worth? Millions?
      I don't think the pictures are worth anything in terms of monetary value. They have already been spread all over the internet, and the photos cannot be sold and marketed without Jennifer Lawrence's consent, which she obviously will never give.

      Is it wrong to jack off to a leaked photo?
      That is an interesting question. I am sure there's a fair share of internet users who have already busted their loads to Jennifer's leaked photos, but the bottom line is that they are jacking off to something that was distributed without Ms. Lawrence's consent. This coincides with piracy. One example of a performer who has expressed an opinion on this is Carter Cruise and the #PayForYourPorn campaign. Carter has stated "If I am willing to go on camera and do sexual acts for your enjoyment, the least you can do is pay for it. Watching pirated, stolen, and unauthorized content is the equivalent to being a peeping tom."

      Do free celebrity nude photos effect your business?
      No they don't. Celebrity nude photos are a flash in the pan. If you look at Kim Kardashian, she would never be where she is without her sex tape with Ray J. Obviously that formula hasn't worked for everyone else who has gone down that same path, but at the end of the day, I think these users look at the pictures, say "wow," and move on to something else.

      What's the difference between professional porn and amateur nudes?
      Professional porn stars make their living on what they do. If they are not getting work or shoots, they are not able to pay their bills. Amateur nudes are grainy photos with no makeup and, again, usually unauthorized photos which—every time you look at—you are violating that person's privacy. There's a reason so many of these revenge porn sites have been shut down, and so many states are creating legislation to make revenge porn a felony.

      Piracy affects porn a lot. Do you see similarities between the leaker and the porn industry's enemies?
      There are a number of similarities. In terms of piracy, there are people who have made it their full-time job to rip off legitimate production studios, and upload their content for free to tube and torrent sites. I think the leaker of the Lawrence photos is just flexing his muscle and trying to make a name for himself and hoping for some big payday.

      Some critics would say this is ironic—a porn company trying to catch the thief—but there's obviously a difference between 4Chan trolls and porn industry employees. Could you explain the difference?
      Porn industry employees are trying to make a living. We are a completely legal business that generates 5 billion dollars a year in the US economy alone. We employ so many different people from your next-door neighbor who handles lights, to editors, authors, directors, warehouse workers, and obviously the actors. I think this 4Chan troll is flexing his muscles and trying to make a name for himself. There is not one media outlet that will offer him any money for any of the celebrity nudes that he may have hacked, nor will the porn industry.

      How can we combat sexism, and also sexism in the porn industry?
      I think that in terms of sexism we have come such a long way over the last decade. When on a porn set, the only person that is in charge is the female talent. Not the studio owner, not the director. Everything that happens on camera is dictated by the female talent. I actually think the mainstream could take a cue from how we treat our performers, and how we have battled sexism in an industry that for years was portrayed as run by the mafioso guy wearing the big rings and gold jewelry.

      Is this part of your sites broader mission?
      Skweez's grand mission has always been to make a difference in the porn industry. I have said in past interviews that the Adult Business loses over $4 billion a year as a result of piracy. Our main goal has always been to sweep up 3 to 4 percent of that lost revenue, and bring it back to the production companies. That 20 years from now, people aren't on tube sites watching the same clips over and over, because there has been no new content produced. We want to set a positive example and be a voice for all the good that the Adult Industry brings to society.

      Thanks Mike. Good luck catching the culprit!

      If you've got information that could lead to the "Fappening" leaker being brought to justice, you can send it to Mike via the SkweezMe contact page, and they'll pass it along to law enforcement.

      Follow Mitchell Sunderland and Mike Pearl on Twitter. 

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      Topics: Mike Kulich, Mike Pearl, Mitchell Sunderland, Skweezme.com, porn, internet porn, The Fappening, The Jennifer Lawrence nude photo leak, jennifer lawrence, Bounties, Rewards, Jacking off to a leaked photo, consent, Unauthorized nudes, Celebrity nudes, Nipples, Professional porn vs. grainy amateur porn, peaking at celebrity boobs, The 2014 celebrity nude photo leak, 4chan trolls

      Comments

      Are you over 18?

      The stuff you're trying to look at is considered "naughty" by busybodies, legal types, and (probably) your mom, so we'd like to make sure you're of legal age before we let you see it.