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Further proof that America is a sexy country

Jim McBride used to make nude-scene compilations "on VHS tapes as a hobby" before starting his successful Web site, MrSkin.com, we learned in yesterday's New York Times. The site gets blurbed in the recent Judd Apatow concoction Knocked Up. But here's the money shot, so to speak:

Given that Mr. Skin is in the business of selling access to copyrighted material without permission, it might seem logical that the company would be mired in legal challenges, but it is not. Mr. Skin bills itself as a movie-review site — though one that assesses only starlet nudity — so Mr. McBride argues that the clips can be shown under the fair-use doctrine, which permits excerpting copyrighted material for the purpose of criticism.

That legal defense turns out to be moot, though, because the movie studios not only tolerate Mr. McBride but also court him by sending advance screeners of DVD releases.

“The movie companies aren’t stupid,” Mr. McBride said. “I’m a guest on radio shows at least 300 times a year as the expert on celebrity nudity in film. If I’m on the radio talking about a movie like ‘Ask the Dust,’ and telling guys, ‘You’ve got to check it out: Salma Hayek has a full-frontal at the 33-minute mark,’ it’s going to make guys want to rent or buy the movie.”

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