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Tag : Stephen Cohen

Times review of Sex.com

The Times has done a review of Sex.com. Short and sweet: “Sex.com By Kieren McCarthy Reviewed by Iain Finlayson Civil…

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Sunday Times article version two

You should read this blog post before you delve into this piece.

“The Internet? The Internet is for porn!” exclaimed one of the speakers last week [18 May 2007] as the Oxford Union debated the question “This House believes that the Internet is the greatest force for Democratisation in the World”.

Professor John Palfrey of Harvard University was speaking against the motion. And although his point was tongue-in-cheek he accurately reflected an enduring situation with real-world use of the Internet. The Internet is for many things, but one of the biggest is, undoubtedly, porn.

A quarter of all search-engine requests are for pornography, at least a fifth of adults online have accessed a porn site, and there are an estimated 400 million Web pages out there catering for the demand. The adult industry is worth $57 billion worldwide, and the United States –the world centre for pornography – claims $12 billion of it.

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Sunday Times article version one

To find out what on earth this is all about, please read this blog post.

“In all the years you’ve been chasing me, you have never got a single asset in my name. And you never will.”

That was how Stephen Michael Cohen made it plain to the man sitting opposite him – a man who had been on his trail for over a decade – that he would never admit defeat. The statement was all the more poignant given the fact that Cohen was wearing an orange jumpsuit, standard-issue to inmates at the Santa Clara correction facility. Even though he was in jail, with no date set for release, and the man he was addressing was his best route out of there, Cohen remained defiant.

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Sex.com book bigger and better

I have passed the deadline for my book on Sex.com and I estimate I am still three weeks to a month away from finishing.

How? How could I have miscalculated? And why is it taking so long? Well, there are several reasons:

  1. A book contains a hell of a lot of words and it is hard, relentless work getting them written
  2. I underestimated the depth of the story. I am *still* discovering new elements to the story. I suppose when you are talking about two characters like Gary Kremen and Stephen Cohen, it was never going to be simple. And they have been at it for 10 years now. I figure if I am going to write a book on the whole saga I have to do it as comprehensively as possible.
  3. It took me a month to escape from my news editor mentality. You really have to get into a whole different state of mind to write a book
  4. It just takes alot of time to read thousands upon thousands of pages, interview people and pull it all into a coherent mass
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Sex.com book is go! go! go!

The best, most exciting, most important story surrounding the formation of the Internet we know today is the incredible tale of Sex.com.

The domain was registered in the very early days of 1994 – when domains were free – by a Chicago geek called Gary Kremen. It was then stolen in 1995 but lifelong con-man Stephen Cohen who used it to build up an enormous multi-million-pound empire.

Sex.com book coverBut Kremen fought and fought and fought, using up his own personal fortune from the sale of dotcom boom shares, and after years of battles – in and out of the courts – finally won the domain back. As a result, he put domain names in their proper place in law for the first time.

But rather than pay the $65 million the judge ordered, Cohen fled across the Mexican border. Kremen has been chasing Cohen around the world, trying to get his money, using the proceeds from Sex.com to fund it. Finally, after years of chasing, Cohen was picked up in Tijuana late last year and transported across the US border.

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