Directory of "Illegal Websites" Aims to Cut Off Pirates' Ad Revenue
March 31, 2014 12:38 PM
New effort looks to directly take away a top source of pirate booty
Top piracy websites like
The Pirate Bay
are often surprisingly savvy at monetizing their own product of sorts (stealing the products of others). That money has helped the sites secure competent legal representation,
good server support
, and find other ways to stifle enforcement efforts from content owners.
I. New Strategy to Fight Pirates -- Block Their Ads
Anti-piracy groups have focused much of their efforts on either
targeting customers who pirate with threat schemes
, or by looking to
force or cajole internet service providers into trying to filter/block popular piracy sites
. The former approach was largely a failure
due to the costs
the public backlash
. The latter approach proved largely ineffectual as well, given clever use of technologies such as proxy networks.
City of London Police
has come up with a clever new scheme to bleed the pirates dry. They call their creation "The Infringing Website List" (IWL), a directory that it described as an "up-to-date list of copyright infringing sites". They're dubbing the IWL effort "Project Creative".
The enforcement agency's goal is to provide the list to third-party advertisers like Google Inc. (
), Microsoft Corp. (
), and Apple, Inc. (
), pressuring them to ban the listed sites from advertising eligibility.
The project is currently tied intimately to London law enforcement, but if successful pcould be adopted by other groups and jurisidictions.
The City of London's
Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit
(PIPCU) is enthusiastic about the project. Detective Chief Inspector Andy Fyfe comments
in a press release
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. Therefore the IWL also serves as a safety tool, ensuring the reputation of advertisers and brands are not discredited through association with illegal websites
The police claim they will avoid the mistakes of past enforcement efforts by the RIAA and others by properly notifying sites if they make the list, to allow for appeal. Overzealous efforts have played a key role in scuttling past efforts, such as the backlash generated when the RIAA
sued a deceased elderly grandmother
back in 2005.
The IWL was tested in a pilot last year. It brought relatively few complaints, but only resulted in a 12 percent reduction in branded product ads on targeted websites. The question now becomes whether the police and private sector partners can convince more tech companies to refuse to advertise to priates.
But a bigger question, perhaps, is whether the police can prevent the effort from devolving into the
desparate, heavy-handed efforts
of days past (and present).
II. Piracy is Big Money Business, but Police Aren't Doing Themselves Favors With Secrecy
No one is questioning that some small artists have suffered from rampant digital piracy. While figures of piracy are often overestimated, exagerrated, or misunderstood, it's hard to believe that no artist big or small has lost revenue to pirates.
A UK affiliate of the
Recording Industry Association of America
(RIAA) -- the
Digital Citizens Alliance
(DCA) -- in
a recent study
suggested that piracy sites such pull in $227M USD in piracy revenue per year. In Q3 alone, large torrent sites (the highest earners) pulled in an estimated $23M USD. That survey claims that the top 30 bittorrent sites earn an average of $4.4M USD annually, while the top few (e.g.
The Pirate Bay
) can early $6M USD or more per year.
the London police
and DCA's promises of fairness seem questionable, given that they aren't even making their list public. A spokesperson admitted to TorrentFreak:
All sites on IWL are identified and evidenced as infringing by rights holders and then verified by PIPCU.
We are not making the IWL public.
The List will be ever changing as new sites appear and older sites comply.
That begs the question -- if this is supposed to be a public "hall of shame" to admonish pirates and is supposed to be an honest, lawful, transparent boycott effort against brazen theft, why make the decision of keeping the list secret?
London Police aren't exactly known for their friendliness to the public. [Image Source: China Daily]
Public support has always played a key role in fighting crime, as illustrated by the success of the "most wanted" list in the U.S. If law enforcement turns its back on public sentiment by refusing to share information on enforcement efforts on them, it raises fears of corruption and/or incompetence.
suggest, the lack of transparency is troubling as it raises the risk of innocent websites being misclassified and suffering financial damages. To that end the piracy lobby may once again fall victim to its
City of London Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU)
"You can bet that Sony built a long-term business plan about being successful in Japan and that business plan is crumbling." -- Peter Moore, 24 hours before his Microsoft resignation
The Pirate Bay Abandons Sweden, Sets up New Strongholds in Norway, Spain
February 26, 2013, 2:05 PM
Anti-Piracy "Mafia" in Finland Raid House, Confiscate Winnie the Pooh Laptop
November 23, 2012, 9:16 AM
Anonymous Knocks Down Virgin Media's Site Over Pirate Bay Takedown
May 9, 2012, 11:45 AM
The RIAA's Dream Turns to Nightmare -- Inside The Pirate Bay's Torrent Purge
February 14, 2012, 12:47 PM
Britain Blames Social Media For Class Riots, Looks to Censorship
August 12, 2011, 9:25 AM
Science & Environment
February 20, 2017, 6:37 AM
The USA’s newest weather satellite sends first photos.
January 24, 2017, 6:41 AM
Netflix took a decision to invest in original content
January 19, 2017, 7:00 AM
Amazon Airborne Fulfillment Center – Your Merchandise Drop-Shipped from the Clouds
December 29, 2016, 5:00 AM
Amazon is experimenting with a new kind of grocery stores, Amazon Go
December 8, 2016, 5:00 AM
Google has developed Deep Learning Algorithm to detect Diabetic Eye Disease
December 4, 2016, 5:00 AM
Most Popular Articles
Surface Pro 5 Rumors - New Release Date and Price
April 22, 2017, 6:45 AM
ASUS RT-AC5300 – Ultimate Game & 4K Streaming
April 18, 2017, 7:45 AM
Dell Inspiron 17 7000 – A Premium Laptop featuring 7th Gen Intel Core i7 in a 2-in-1 Frame.
April 19, 2017, 7:45 AM
Meet the Smartphone with four cameras - Alcatel Flashphone
April 5, 2017, 11:20 AM
Vivo V5 Plus – the Selfie Softlight is on You.
April 17, 2017, 7:05 AM
Latest Blog Posts
Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus – Lots of Glass that Breaks Easily
Apr 25, 2017, 7:20 AM
Samsung Galaxy S8 – Warning for Pet Owners
Apr 24, 2017, 5:59 AM
Sound Bars and the Costs?
Apr 23, 2017, 6:30 AM
Link your Brain to Your Computer – In Four Years…Maybe
Apr 22, 2017, 7:03 AM
Google Home can now identify users by their voice.
Apr 21, 2017, 7:15 AM
Amazon Lex – Now Available for Developers.
Apr 20, 2017, 6:58 AM
You can now use Instagram offline on your Android Smartphone
Apr 19, 2017, 8:00 AM
Now you can livestream to YouTube from your mobile device.
Apr 18, 2017, 8:05 AM
Google Home – Is It a Spy Device?
Apr 17, 2017, 7:30 AM
Apple added to self –driving test permit list
Apr 15, 2017, 6:21 AM
Project Scorpio – Coming on June 11
Apr 14, 2017, 6:20 AM
Looks Like Samsung Has Been Forgiven.
Apr 13, 2017, 6:50 AM
United Airlines - Blasted on China’s Social Network and the Stock Market
Apr 12, 2017, 6:50 AM
Amazon's Third-Party Sellers Hacked
Apr 11, 2017, 6:25 AM
Microsoft Surface Pro5 Details Revealed
Apr 9, 2017, 6:41 AM
Own An Android Phone? Then you could be hacked over Wi-FI
Apr 7, 2017, 6:47 AM
Apple confirms iOS 10.3 bug and its effect on iCloud Services
Apr 6, 2017, 6:30 AM
Apple Rolls Out New Version of Apple Music
Apr 5, 2017, 10:35 AM
Apple in the News
Apr 4, 2017, 9:03 AM
Apple iPhones Will Soon Feature Graphics Chips Designed BY Apple
Apr 3, 2017, 6:23 AM
AMD Ryzen Desktop Processors Performance
Apr 2, 2017, 6:30 AM
More Blog Posts
Copyright 2017 DailyTech LLC. -
Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information