Since the global crisis started, students have had big problems finding temporary after-school jobs because companies have been laying off people and if they really do need part-timers, they will offer these jobs either to former employees or to their children. Among the companies which are hiring students on a continuous basis are videochat/livechat studios. Their banners and advertising boards can even be seen at the biggest public transportation intersection in Brno – at the main train station. According to a companies directory at the Seznam.cz portal there are about ten of them in Brno, and slightly more in Prague.
There are two interesting things about this type of business.
One, the form of advertising. The banners feature a smiling 20-something girl and a slogan along the lines of “Do you want to make your dreams come true and be independent?” I really do not think that any Czech woman dreams about dirty webcam talk with complete strangers in a foreign country. Evidently the whole concept of independence is based on possible earnings. Some employers claim to offer as much as CZK 50,000 per month (EUR 2,000).
Two, the employers try to convince job applicants that the servers are not accessible from the Czech Republic (e.g.: http://www.r-models.cz/index.php?page=koho_hledame&language=en), which means no friends, family members or neighbors will accidentally meet them during a videochat session. Of course, this can be true. However, videochat girls have their own discussion forum where they voice their concern about privacy, or lack thereof. Some employers often join the discussion and say that working for an American website means that foreign IP addresses are blocked. This issue is particularly important in the case of nude chats.
What the pornographers (not all of them are, let’s say many of them) do not say (and there have been several scandals in the Czech Republic when a certain starlet’s past got revealed this way) is that any session can be recorded and uploaded onto just any server where it can be found by a Czech porn lover. Just like when Czech porn stars work for a foreign producer who claims that the videos are only sold in the United States and not Europe. Of course, American customers like to grab videos from DVD’s or paysites and share them on the Internet with the rest of the world. Several Czech men who are somewhat famous (e.g. a BigBrother contestant or a son of the Mayor of a certain Czech town) found out the hard way because they had worked for a U.S. company and the videos eventually surfaced in the Czech Republic.
The Czech government has recently started amending Czech tax laws in an attempt to improve the state budget income from taxes and the legalization of prostitution was among the issues discussed. Some MP’s of the governing Civic Democrats support it, some don’t. They would like the taxes, but they do not want the state to be the pimp.