The UK’s Intellectual Property Office has published a video which urges advertisers to boycott ‘pirate’ sites. The video claims that since torrent and similar sites facilitate “fraud, organized crime, and even terrorism”, advertisers should liaise with the Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit to gain access to a special advertising blacklist.
Underlying a multitude of strategies designed to limit traffic to pirate sites, there is a strong belief among copyright holders that operators only keep their sites online due to how profitable they are.
Since most portals don’t make their motivations public it’s unclear as to how many sites this applies. However, it can’t be denied that the largest sites are pulling in decent revenues via advertising so with this in mind there is an ongoing and concerted effort by authorities to “Follow the Money.”
Part of this strategy is ensuring that major brands and smaller companies refrain from placing their advertising on infringing sites. In addition to funding the sites in question, copyright holders insist that having “household name” branding appearing alongside pirate content suggests that sites are not only legitimate but somehow endorsed by their advertisers.
While the US has its own initiatives underway, the UK’s Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU) maintains the Infringing Website List (IWL), a database of sites that police and copyright holders have deemed to breach copyright law.
PIPCU earlier claimed to have placed warning ads on these domains to deter would-be downloaders and is now receiving help from the government to reach more advertisers.
In a new video published by the Intellectual Property Office (IPO), the Internet is described as the most powerful communication tool ever invented, noting that by 2020 the total Internet advertising spend will outstrip that of TV. But while reaching billions of consumers has its benefits, the IPO says that advertisers need to be aware of the problems being caused by IP crime.
Starting with an image of a presumably unlicensed pharmaceutical site, the video quickly moves on to the world of torrents, with an image of a fake website called “Super Torrent”.
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