A new online database has been created in hopes of steering advertising firms from displaying ads on websites that have been verified or are known to host illegal copyrighted material.
Advertising firms and third parties will have access to the Infringing Website List (IWL) which will be compiled of up-to-date verified infringing sites. It is aimed at being a cross reference list for firms prior to the authorization of serving ads on illegal sites.
Traditionally, brands will hire advertising firms or third parties to distribute hundreds of online ads all at one time. However, this process can lead to advertising firms accidentally displaying a brand’s campaign on sites known for promoting illegal content.
“If an advert from an established brand appears on an infringing website not only does it lend the site a look of legitimacy, but inadvertently the brand and advertiser are funding online crime,” said Detective Chief Inspector Andy Fyfe from the City of London Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit
“Therefore the IWL also serves as a safety tool, ensuring the reputation of advertisers and brands are not discredited through association with illegal websites.”
It has been estimated from groups such as the Digital Citizens Alliance that pirate sites can generate upwards of $227 million just from ad revenue.