Seth Warshavsky

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Seth Warshavsky (born 1973) is an American pioneer in the Internet pornography industry and the founder of Internet Entertainment Group (IEG). During the dot-com boom years of the late 1990s, Warshavsky's welcome media attention made him the face of the online pornography industry to a public fascinated with what was then virtually the only segment of the dot-com industry operating at a profit.[1] On February 10, 1998, he testified at a hearing on Internet Indecency before the US Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation.[2]

Beginning in 1996, with the profits from a phone-sex operation he started while living in the Oregon building in Seattle, Washington, he had friends at AT&T who would find him sex-related numbers.[3]

Warshavsky converted a warehouse in Seattle into the studios of IEG's flagship website, The website used computer technology that was cutting edge for its day. The business model was similar to that of a live peep show. For a monthly membership fee plus an hourly charge, you could watch post card sized, low resolution images of women strip and touch themselves in real time. For more money, you could talk to the camgirls over the phone and direct them. If you liked the show, you could even tip them.[4]

Early Internet pornography scandals[edit]

Warshavsky was involved in many of the early Internet's porn-related media controversies, including:

IEG collapse[edit]

At IEG's peak, Warshavsky claimed to have 100,000 subscribers and $50 million annual revenue, although subsequent events cast doubt on the veracity of this earnings claim.

Anderson and Lee filed a $90 million copyright-infringement suit against IEG in 1998 to claim a share of the profits of the video of them. A U.S. district court judge dismissed the case, ruling that the duo gave up their rights when they agreed to let IEG webcast the footage. Following appeals, Anderson and Lee were awarded a $1.5 million judgment plus court costs and attorney fees in December 2002.[5]

Warshavksy fled the US in January 2001 to Bangkok, Thailand, leaving in his wake a number of unpaid creditors and former IEG employees.[10] He now manages Electronic Transaction Services Ltd., a rights management system and network of billing agreements that enables bill and collection for mobile applications and content.[citation needed]


  1. ^ Gimein, Mark (1999-12-01). "Sex sells, doesn't it?". Retrieved 2013-04-24. 
  2. ^
  3. ^ Jared Jacang Maher (2006-05-04). "Peter Knobel, Phone Home". Westword. Retrieved 2013-04-24. 
  4. ^ Rose, Frank. "Wired article". Wired. 
  5. ^ a b "Pam and Tommy:... - Pam and Tommy: accidental porn stars". Retrieved 2013-04-24. 
  6. ^ "Hoax". 2004-11-18. Archived from the original on 2004-11-18. Retrieved 2013-04-24. 
  7. ^ Goldberg, Michelle (1999-03-03). "Blondie: Behind the music -". Retrieved 2013-04-24. 
  8. ^ "Archdiocese of St. Louis, et al. v. Internet Entertainment Group, Inc. - Internet Library of Law and Court Decisions". 1999-02-12. Retrieved 2013-04-24. 
  9. ^ "Hillsborough: Voyeur site tests cyberlaw". 1999-04-26. Retrieved 2013-04-24. 
  10. ^ "Seattle Weekly - news clips: Snapshots". Archived from the original on 2004-02-24. Retrieved 2013-04-24.