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Thursday, January 16, 2014

Muly Litvak, Israeli art patron operates major porn chat site

Muly Litvak

One of the world’s most popular porn chat sites is operated by a high-profile Israeli patron of the arts, according to a report that will air Thursday night on the Channel 2 investigative news program “Uvda.”

Imlive is one of several porn chat sites owned by Internet entrepreneur Muly Litvak, “Uvda” reports. The site charges customers by the minute to view a private strip show by one of the tens of thousands of young women listed on the site.

To use the site, customers must sign a complicated contract ensuring that 70% of the money earned by the stripper goes directly to Imlive, and that the site bears no legal responsibility for the strippers’ well-being or employment conditions. 

On sites like Imlive, the stripper may appear to be working out of her own home when she’s actually working out of a studio operated by agents working for the site.

Litvak entered the Internet industry at the end of the 1990s when he opened the short-lived matchmaking and job-finding site TargetMatch with his sister Anat Levy. Today, Litvak manages pornographic sites like Imlive and Porn Banana, which offers viewers interactive pornographic videos, and other sites that serve as feeders for the company’s bigger sites. He manages his sites through his company Coolvision.

When Litvak, a former piano teacher, opened his Litvak Gallery at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art in 2009, he began appearing at donor galas. He has been described in newspapers as an art collector and Internet entrepreneur, and has appeared in gossip sections dining with captains of industry.

It's hard to estimate the percentage of Litvak’s wealth that comes from his porn empire. In any case, video chat is the most profitable segment of the Internet porn industry today, and Litvak owns one of the 10 largest porn video chat sites in the world, based on user traffic.

One country that serves as a recruiting ground for Imlive is the Philippines. Even though sex chatting is illegal there, high unemployment has pushed more than 800,000 people to work in the sex industry, many of them minors.

While many of Imlive’s large competitors have closed shop in the country due to legal restrictions, Imlive is still there. “Uvda” reporter Naama Perry traveled to the Philippines and met women who have worked for these sites.

“It’s hard to work in the studio because you aren’t allowed to leave. You always have to stay inside. You have a day off once a month and then you stay in the studio for the entire month,” says Donna, who escaped from one of the studios. “I worked every day from 6 P.M. to 6 A.M. There were six of us girls in one room, with three computers.”

Donna tells “Uvda” the pay was 22 pesos ($0.20) per minute for 12-hour shifts every day of the week. She earned $130 per month, while the site earned $700 from the customers who viewed her during that time.

Imlive recruits agents to operate the studios and find young women to work as strippers; ads promise that the agents can earn between 30% and 100% of what the “hostesses” make. “They are called Muly’s agents,” says a former Coolvision employee.

According to “Uvda,” Imlive even tells its agents it does not get involved in how they pay the girls working in their studios. This gives them an incentive to skim money from wages as much as they like.

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