[A2k] BBC: Tech firms target ads on pirate websites

Thiru Balasubramaniam thiru at keionline.org
Wed Jul 17 01:02:28 PDT 2013


*http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-23325627*

16 July 2013 Last updated at 10:13 GMT

*Tech firms target ads on pirate websites*

Alleged pirate sites could see ads pulled as a result of the initiative.

*Websites that profit from piracy are being targeted by an initiative that
aims to cut off the cash they get from adverts.*

The initiative could mean ads being withdrawn from sites pirating music and
movies or selling fake goods.

Many such sites only survive because cash generated by ads helps them pay
their high bandwidth bills.

Tech firms such as Google, Microsoft and Yahoo that pipe adverts to sites
have signed up to the initiative.

Before now, many rights holders have tried to deal with sites that infringe
copyright with take-down notices that seek to get copyrighted content
removed from the web.

The new scheme gives them another avenue as they can now target adverts
that run on webpages found to be offering counterfeit goods or pirated
media. Under the scheme, they will be able to inform an ad network that
their adverts are appearing on a pirate site. It will then be up to the ad
network to investigate and pull the ads if they agree the site is engaged
in copyright theft.

Sites accused of piracy are also allowed to file evidence in their defence
if they believe the accusation is wrong.

The scheme takes the form of a series of "*best practice
guidelines*<http://www.2013ippractices.com/bestpracticesguidelinesforadnetworkstoaddresspiracyandcounterfeiting.html>"
that those who supply ads have agreed to uphold. The initiative was
brokered by the *US government's Intellectual Property Enforcement
Co-ordinator*<http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2013/07/15/coming-together-combat-online-piracy-and-counterfeiting>
.

"Ultimately, we want to create and maintain a healthy online space, promote
innovation, and protect intellectual property," said Linda Covington,
Yahoo's IP policy head, in a statement.

Yahoo, AOL, Microsoft, Google, 24/7 Media, Adtegrity, Conde Nast and
SpotXchange have all pledged to back the guidelines.

The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) was critical of the scheme
and said it that it would not make much difference.

*In a statement*<http://www.mpaa.org/resources/940d1f85-1adc-401d-93da-da8b50d4faf9.pdf>,
Chris Dodd, head of the MPAA, said it was an "incremental step forward that
addresses only a narrow subset of the problem and places a disproportionate
amount of the burden on rights holders."

It is also not clear how much effect it will have on bigger sites that
generally use ad networks that have not signed up to the initiative. *None
of the top 10 ad firms that supply the
majority*<http://www.annenberglab.com/sites/default/files/uploads/USCAnnenbergLab_AdReport_May2013.pdf>of
adverts to illicit file-sharing sites is involved with the scheme.



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