Ad Networks Adopt Notice-and-Takedown for Ads on Pirate Sites

Bill Rosenblatt has an insightful piece on the problems with the White House brokered IAB “Best Practices” with online Advertising. We largely agree with Bill and will be following up with our own post.

Copyright and Technology

Eight top Internet advertising networks will participate in a scheme for reducing ads that they place on pirate sites — websites that exist primarily to attract traffic by offering infringing content as well as counterfeit goods.  The Best Practice Guidelines for Ad Networks to Address Piracy and Counterfeiting document, announced on July 15th, specifies a process modeled on the US copyright law’s notice-and-takedown regime, a/k/a DMCA 512: a copyright owner can send an ad network detailed information about websites on which it placed ads and that feature pirated material; then the ad network can decide to remove its ads from the site.

Although this scheme may result in some ads being pulled from obvious pirate sites, it has several major shortcomings.  First of all, because this is a voluntary scheme, ad networks don’t risk legal liability for failing to comply with takedown notices, as they do under the DMCA.


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