Abbywinters.com

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Abby Winters
Abbywinters logo.jpg
Web addressAbbywinters.com
Type of sitePornographic Paysite
Registrationmonthly fee
OwnerGarion Hall
Launched8 October 2000 (13 years ago) (2000-10-08)
Alexa ranknegative increase 31,364 (December 2013)[1]
Current statusactive
 
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Abby Winters
Abbywinters logo.jpg
Web addressAbbywinters.com
Type of sitePornographic Paysite
Registrationmonthly fee
OwnerGarion Hall
Launched8 October 2000 (13 years ago) (2000-10-08)
Alexa ranknegative increase 31,364 (December 2013)[1]
Current statusactive

Abbywinters.com (or simply Abby Winters) is a pornographic paysite largely revolving around nude modelling pictorials and lesbian and solo sex acts by female models. It claims all-female shooting crews[2][3] and prides itself on being at the forefront of the "natural", reality-based porn market. The site was launched in the year 2000[4] and has since been split into three "mini-sites" known as 'Solo', 'Girl-Girl', and 'Intimate Moments' (masturbation).

Abby Winters originated as an Australian site with Australian participants and employees, and until very recently was based there. Today it is based in Amsterdam and intermixes its extensive Australia material with new material shot since its move. In addition to pictures and videos of erotic modelling and sex acts, the site also features a range of both scripted and unscripted 'real world'-type situations, especially in video, such as naked yoga, aerobics, video game playing, swimming, car washing, and so on.

The site is noted among fans for its skilful mix of both its professional-model "core" — of which it only has a few — alongside a massive trove of genuinely amateur models, most of whom had never worked in erotic modelling or video before coming to the company.[4][5] All material is captured with particularly high-quality camera-work (usually using high-definition video and photography, especially from 2009, together with somewhat atypical "signature" capture angles) and has no models with surgically enhanced breasts.[4][5][6] Models wear very little make-up[4][6] and most of them also often have a full patch of pubic hair;[5] in addition the website claims that the photos themselves, once shot, are not retouched in any way.[7]

Abbywinters.com is in the top 10,000 visited websites in the world according to Alexa traffic rankings, and in January 2008 had about 30,000 subscribers.[6][8] Despite its history as an Australian site and its enduringly close association with that country, 65% of Abby Winters subscribers are in the United States.[5]

In 2010, amidst a shifting political climate in the Australian government on the question of pornography's acceptability in the country, the company's offices were unilaterally moved to the Netherlands. Prior to that official relocation, the site's web servers had already been based in the Netherlands and also the United States for quite some time.[2]

Description of content[edit]

The website features female models typically between the ages 18 to 25.[5] With the exception of those who are long-time employees of the organisation, of which there is only a small number, almost all Abby Winters models are completely new arrivals to pornography.[4][5] In photo-based shoots the women usually begin wearing their own clothes and underwear, which they gradually shed, and are photographed in their own homes and bedrooms and/or in outdoor settings. In videos, there may also be a similar candid-interview type situation, but videos on the site involving groups usually have a theme or (at least implied) back-story to them, such as beginning a yoga class in full yoga clothes and gradually shedding them as the yoga session progresses.[9] As of 2009 there were 1200 models featured on the site, with more than 370,000 images and almost 4000 videos,[8] with new content uploaded twice daily.[5]

Wired.com writer Regina Lynn claims that the site portrays sex more realistically than most pornography.[4] Customers are able to suggest scenarios on the site's forum which are sometimes filmed.[4] After establishing a rough scenario for each shoot the production team then lets the performers decide how fast the scene progresses, and which sex acts they will perform.[4][5] All scenes are filmed by women, some of whom have previously modelled for the site.[5][10] Models are paid approximately $800 for a solo masturbation scene, and $1,400 for a sex scene with another model.[5]

In 2003/04 Abbywinters.com deviated from featuring only girl/girl sex by filming 6 boy/girl scenes. All scenes were portrayed as being real couples as, like all the females, none of the males were professionals. The site featured a boy/girl scene in May 2011 and since Dec 2011 has featured one boy/girl release per month.

Company Status[edit]

In its initial public relations, the company, its products, its employees and many of its models often attempted to portray "Abby Winters" as an actual person[11][citation needed]. Several news articles, discussion threads and other written materials around the web say that in early interviews with both CEO/Founder Garion Hall and many people employed with and/or modelling for the company, Abby Winters was spoken of as if she was an actual woman personally overseeing, filming, and/or photographing the vast majority of Abbywinters.com shoots. The actual status of Abby Winters as a real person was in doubt by many commentators from the beginning, but it was only around 2007 that Garion Hall's staff (and eventually Garion Hall himself) admitted that Abby Winters is an alias for Garion Hall and that "her" story as an empowered and powerful sex-positive female pornographer is completely fictional. The revelation also did its part to prove the suspicion among web commentators that Abby Winters models and employees had received 'coaching' and/or 'training' instructions on how to convincingly insist to interviewers, and even events (such as pornographic conferences), the status of Abby Winters as an actually existing person.

Today, both on their website and in their other materials, the formerly prominent Abby Winters "backstory" has been completely retired. Garion Hall is openly acknowledged to be both the founder and CEO of Abbywinters.com, and also to be the founder and CEO of the company's interrelated companies such as GMBill, which is the site's payment service. The company, having been moved out of Australian borders and its servers being located mostly in the Netherlands, submits that its abbywinters.com website is owned and operated by Dutch company Abbywinters.com BV. On 1 June 2010, Hall announced that G Media was selling the business to his new Dutch company, and would be moving its operations to Amsterdam, Netherlands because of recent legal issues in Australia (see below for details).[12] The company was based in the Melbourne suburb of Fitzroy before their move; the company now operates from an office in central Amsterdam.

[13] In late 2007 the company had also briefly opened a second office in Sydney. In late 2007 the site partnered with Wicked Pictures as the exclusive distributor for Abbywinters.com DVDs.[6][14]

The company claims to have regularly donated $1,000 a week[10] to various organisations including Samba, ASACP, and various other open source projects, as well as health aid organisations.[15] Consequently, Abby Winters is a Sustaining Contributor on the Free Software Foundation's Thank GNUs 2007,[16] and on the OpenBSD's donations list.[17] It also made a A$78,000 donation to the Black Saturday bushfires appeal.[15]

Criticism by former model Liandra Dahl[edit]

In 2007 ex-Abby Winters model Liandra Dahl wrote on her blog about privacy problems concerning G-Media sites, which was picked up by the Herald Sun.[18][19] Dahl was concerned that Abby Winters fails to inform young and inexperienced models that content may be available outside of the confines of the paysite, on file sharing networks, and how their involvement in pornography might revisit them inhibiting their future choices.[20] However, following the raid on G-Media, Liandra reopened her blog to make clear that the Herald sun had "misquoted her" and that she didn't support the new laws against pornography in Australia.[21]

Police raid on G Media[edit]

On 16 June 2009, G Media offices in Melbourne were raided by Victoria Police as part of a wider "Operation Refuge".[8] The Herald Sun article gave two grounds for the raid: that G-Media may have filmed an under-age model, and that G-Media's DVD productions may have contravened Victoria's film classification laws.[8] The report states that CEO Garion Hall was arrested but released later the same day, and claims that the raid was made in response to information provided by the paper. G Media later released a statement stating that nothing had been seized in the raid, and that the police were polite and amiable throughout.[22][23] In December 2009 CEO Garion Hall was charged by Victoria Police with 54 counts of making objectionable films for gain, and possessing a commercial quantity of objectionable films.[24] According to a post by Hall on the site, the charges against him were eventually dropped and two charges were filed against the company itself. A judge then fined the company $6,000 on 28 May 2010. This combination of legal issues, law enforcement encounters, financial penalties, and a new decline of Australia as an easy place to film and shoot pornography proved to be too much for the Abbywinters offices and their employees, and so Hall decided to move the company out of Australia altogether and relocate it to Amsterdam.[25]

Censorship[edit]

Abbywinters.com is included on a list published on Wikileaks, on 19 March 2009, alleged to be the ACMA (Australian Communications and Media Authority) blacklist of websites to be prohibited in Australia under the proposed Australian Firewall.[26]

Awards[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Abbywinters.com Site Info". Alexa Internet. Retrieved 2013-12-01. 
  2. ^ a b "About the Site". Abbywinters.com. Retrieved 2009-11-17. 
  3. ^ "Abbywinters.com Upgrades to Become ASACPs Newest Title Sponsor". ASACP. Archived from the original on 11 September 2007. Retrieved 2007-08-28. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h Lynn, Regina (2 January 2008). "Real Sex Tantalizes as Processed Porn Gets Boring". Wired. Archived from the original on 7 December 2009. Retrieved 2009-11-16. 
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "Australian Girls with Pubic Hair Reclaim Amateur Porn". The Village Voice. Archived from the original on 5 October 2009. Retrieved 2009-11-17. 
  6. ^ a b c d Brown, Joe (11 January 2008). "It's porn, it's business, it's legit". Las Vegas Sun. Archived from the original on 15 November 2009. Retrieved 2009-11-16. 
  7. ^ "What do you do to these images, anyway?". Abbywinters.com. Retrieved 2009-11-17. 
  8. ^ a b c d Moor, Keith (16 June 2009). "Director quizzed over production of graphic movies". Herald Sun. www.news.com.au. Retrieved 2009-06-16. 
  9. ^ http://www.abbywinters.com/shoot/yoga_girls
  10. ^ a b "Preaching to the Perverted". homepagedaily.com. Archived from the original on 25 September 2009. Retrieved 2009-09-25. 
  11. ^ "Who is Abby Winters?". Retrieved 2013-08-24. 
  12. ^ "big changes at abbywinters.com". Archived from the original on 4 June 2010. Retrieved 2010-06-03. 
  13. ^ "Abby Winters Contact Information". Retrieved 2009-11-16. 
  14. ^ "Abbywinters.com and Wicked Pictures establish exclusive distribution deal" (.doc). 18 December 2007. Retrieved 2009-11-16. [dead link]
  15. ^ a b "So, you donate to charities?". Abbywinters.com. Retrieved 2009-09-25. 
  16. ^ "Thank GNUs 2007". Retrieved 2009-11-17. 
  17. ^ "donations". OpenBSD. Retrieved 2009-11-17. 
  18. ^ Keith Moor (3 December 2007). "Merchants of Porn". Herald Sun. www.news.com.au. Archived from the original on 19 June 2009. Retrieved 2009-06-16. 
  19. ^ Keith Moor (3 December 2007). "Porn exploiters attacked". Herald Sun. www.news.com.au. Retrieved 2009-06-16. 
  20. ^ "Liandra Dahl Lets Loose". 16 June 2007. Archived from the original on 6 December 2007. Retrieved 2009-11-16. 
  21. ^ "Clearing my name". 16 June 2009. Archived from the original on 24 June 2009. Retrieved 2009-06-24. 
  22. ^ "Abby Winters owner Garion Hall issues statement". somebodythinkofthechildren.com. 16 June 2009. Archived from the original on 20 June 2009. Retrieved 2009-06-21. 
  23. ^ Duncan, Edward. "Abby Winters' Hall Issues Statement on Police Raid". AVN. Archived from the original on 20 June 2009. Retrieved 2009-06-23. 
  24. ^ Keith Moor (29 December 2009). "Alleged child pornography and objectionable films seized from sex site boss Garion Hall". Herald Sun. www.heraldsun.com.au. Retrieved 2009-12-29. 
  25. ^ "Post by Garion Hall". 1 June 2010. Archived from the original on 21 August 2010. Retrieved 2010-08-22. 
  26. ^ "Legal adult websites blacklisted: AbbyWinters and The Hun banned – Somebody Think Of The Children". somebodythinkofthechildren.com. Archived from the original on 17 June 2009. Retrieved 2009-06-16. 
  27. ^ a b "Abby Winters press information". Abbywinters.com. Archived from the original on 29 December 2007. Retrieved 2008-01-15. 
  28. ^ "Abby Winters won AVN Award 2008". Press Release. Abbywinters.com. 23 May 2008. Retrieved 2009-11-17. 
  29. ^ "AVN Announces the Winners of the 2011 AVN Awards". AVN. 9 January 2011. Retrieved 2013-01-12. 
  30. ^ "2012 XBIZ Award Winners Announced". XBIZ. 12 January 2012. Retrieved 2013-01-12. 
  31. ^ "2013 XBIZ Award Winners Announced". XBIZ. 11 January 2013. Retrieved 12 January 2013. 

External links[edit]