stickam and Wataru Takahashi

Wow. I can’t make this stuff up.

On its Web site and in press reports, Stickam says that it is owned by Advanced Video Communications, or AVC, a three-year-old Los Angeles company that sells video conferencing and e-commerce services to businesses in Japan and other Asian countries.

But according to Alex Becker, a former vice president at Stickam, and internal company documents, Advanced Video Communications is managed and owned by Wataru Takahashi, a Japanese businessman who also owns and operates DTI Services, a vast network of Web sites offering live sex shows over Web cameras. Mr. Becker alleges that Stickam shares office space, employees and computer systems with the pornographic Web sites.

The sites, with names like DxLive, EXshot and JgirlParadise, use the same video technology as Stickam to link paying users with performers in one-on-one video chat sessions.

Mr. Becker recently left Stickam after four months there and said he was speaking out because the company was not doing enough to protect young users of its service.

Mr. Becker said he first learned of the extent of the pornography business last April, when Mr. Takahashi, who employees refer to as Mr. T, took him to dinner at a downtown sushi restaurant. Through translators he described some of his companies’ assets, which include at least 49 pornography sites, a pornographic film production company, nine restaurants in Japan and private planes, Mr. Becker said.

“I don’t think I discovered everything, but I learned more than enough to be able to say with certainty that they are not leaders in the video-conferencing business,” Mr. Becker said. “They are leaders in pushing porn via a Flash player and streaming porn from the United States to Japan.”



Mr. Becker said Mr. Takahashi told him that
he had based his sites in the United States because of Japan’s restrictions on explicit nudity.

I would bet that this news would scuttle any future growth for stickam, but I’ve been proven wrong many times in the past.

Accuser Says Web Site Has X-Rated Link [nytimes.com]