Some free websites primarily serve as portals by keeping up-to-date indexes of these smaller sampler sites.
This type of distribution was generally free (apart from fees for Internet access), and provided a great deal of anonymity.
The anonymity made it safe and easy to ignore copyright restrictions, as well as protecting the identity of uploaders and downloaders.
"Rimm's implication that he might be able to determine 'the percentage of all images available on the Usenet that are pornographic on any given day' was sheer fantasy" wrote Mike Godwin in Hot Wired. The invention of the World Wide Web spurred both commercial and non-commercial distribution of pornography.
The rise of pornography websites offering photos, video clips and streaming media including live webcam access allowed greater access to pornography.
A 1995 article in The Georgetown Law Journal titled "Marketing Pornography on the Information Superhighway: A Survey of 917,410 Images, Description, Short Stories and Animations Downloaded 8.5 Million Times by Consumers in Over 2000 Cities in Forty Countries, Provinces and Territories" by a Carnegie Mellon University graduate student claimed, among other things, that (as of 1994) 83.5% of the images on Usenet newsgroups where images were stored were pornographic in nature. The student changed his name and disappeared from public view.
Before publication, Philip Elmer-De Witt used the research in a Time Magazine article, "On a Screen Near You: Cyberporn." findings were attacked by journalists and civil liberties advocates who insisted the findings were seriously flawed. Godwin recounts the episode in "Fighting a Cyberporn Panic" in his book Cyber Rights: Defending Free Speech in the Digital Age.
These files could then be downloaded and then reassembled before being decoded back to an image.
Automated software such as Aub (Assemble Usenet Binaries) allowed the automatic download and assembly of the images from a newsgroup.
When a user purchases a subscription to a commercial site after clicking through from a free thumbnail gallery site, the commercial site makes a payment to the owner of the free site.
There are several forms of sites delivering adult content. The most common form of adult content is a categorized list (more often it's a table) of small pictures (called "thumbnails") linked to galleries.
There was a rapid growth in the number of posts in the early 1990s but image quality was restricted by the size of files that could be posted.