Google Joins New Coalition to Stop Ad Revenue to Pirate Sites

An announcement later this week will confirm Google as a member of a new coalition to cut off "pirate" sites from their ad revenue. Following similar initiatives in the U.S. and UK, a Memorandum of Understanding between the online advertising industry and the music and movie industries in Italy will signal a creation of a central body to tackle the piracy issue.

google-bayThere is a theory in the entertainment industries that if running torrent, file-sharing or streaming sites makes no commercial sense to their operators, then they will soon wither and die.

Every week there are often aggressive opinions published on why cutting off revenue is perhaps the most powerful weapon in the online piracy war. This crescendo has already grown into notable action in both the United States and United Kingdom.

Later this week a new initiative will be presented to the public, and the fact that Google is onboard will no doubt help to promote the completeness of the effort. Continuing the European effort after the UK, this Thursday in Rome, Italy, a coalition of key advertising players plus the main anti-piracy groups of the music and movie industries will announce the signing of a new Memorandum of Understanding.

The announcement, taking place at the Interactive Advertising Bureau’s IAB Events 2014 conference, will see the IAB, music industry anti-piracy group FPM and Fapav (the Italian MPAA) announce a new coalition to deprive revenue from pirate sites.

Speaking with TorrentFreak, Enzo Mazza, chief at music industry group Federazione Industria Musicale Italiana (FIMI), explains how the initiative will work.

“IAB Italia, the local branch of Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) has been very active in discussing with music and movie associations a self-regulation approach to promote an effective action to prevent advertisers from posting ads on rogue sites,” Mazza explains.

“IAB already educates marketers, agencies, media companies and the wider business community about the value of interactive advertising. In our goal the agreement should promote a cooperation in order to implement effective measures to prevent ads being placed on rogue sites and to quickly remove any ads that are found to have been so placed.”

Having Google on board is also a plus, Mazza says.

“Google is already doing a lot of efforts in this area and the company promoted a strategy so-called ‘follow the money’ which we consider part of a general strategy based on enforcement on one side, self-regulation and legal offer on the other side.”

Mazza says that a joint committee compromised of MoU signatories will be created to oversee the technical implementation of the project, with consideration given to how similar schemes are operating elsewhere. This will include the auditing of advertising companies and networks for compliance with a code of conduct respectful of intellectual property rights.

On a day-to-day basis the committee will receive complaints from rights holders detailing the appearance of advertising on “rogue sites” and take action on these with brokers and the advertisers themselves. Whether they will be able to cut through the complex and labrynthine mechanisms often employed by such sites will remain to be seen.

The Memorandum of Understanding has been passed to the Italian competition authority for approval and while the project is clearly in the early stages, momentum is clearly there.

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