Tech giants Google and Yahoo are among the worst offending ad networks that help financially fund major film and music pirating sites around the world, according to a new report by USC’s Annenberg Innovation Lab.
Intentional or not, the worst offenders are:
- Google (including Double Click)
- Yahoo (including Right Media)
- Media Shakers
Google, however, is not taking the accusation at face value. A spokesperson told Marketing Land:
“We have not seen a copy of this report and don’t know the methodology, but to the extent it suggests that Google ads are a major source of funds for major pirate sites, we believe it is mistaken. Over the past several years, we’ve taken a leadership role in this fight, partnering with industry organizations to cut off the flow of money to piracy sites, as well as investing significant time and money to keep copyright-infringing content out of our network. The complexity of online advertising has led some to conclude, incorrectly, that the mere presence of any Google code on a site means financial support from Google.”
Yahoo has been silent, thus far.
USC is deeply ingrained in Hollywood culture and the report, which will be updated monthly, is helmed by Jonathan Taplin. The former film exec became a particularly vocal anti-piracy advocate when SOPA — which he noted was a “fatally flawed piece of legislation” — was brought in front of Congress.
When talking to the LA Times, Taplin implied that this monthly list will be a service to ad networks.
“Whenever we talk to a brand about the fact that their ads are all over the pirate sites, they’re like, ‘Oh, how did that happen?’” Taplin said. “We thought it would be easier if they knew what ad networks were putting ads on pirate sites — so they could avoid them.”