Ad Networks Agree on Industry Best Practices to Combat Piracy and Counterfeiting

Posted by Susan Molinari, Vice President, Public Policy and Government Relations

With more than 30 trillion individual pages on the web, online piracy and counterfeit remains a challenge. Google takes that challenge seriously. Using cutting-edge technology like YouTube’s Content ID and innovative copyright removal tools for Web Search, we develop and deploy antipiracy solutions with the support of hundreds of Google employees.  In addition to developing legitimate, innovative, and convenient content offerings (such as Google Play and YouTube, through which our partners together generate hundreds of millions of dollars), we continue to develop solutions to help fight piracy and counterfeit online. We think one of the most effective ways to do this is to cut off the money supply to rogue sites that specialize in piracy or counterfeiting. To that end, in 2012 we disabled ad serving to 46,000 sites for violating our policies on copyright infringing content and shut down more than 82,000 accounts for attempting to advertise counterfeit goods. Nearly 99% of our account suspensions were discovered through our own detection efforts and risk models.  

There's always more that can be done by the industry to starve these infringing sites of advertising revenues. Today, working with the White House’s Office of the U.S. Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator (IPEC), the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB), and other leading ad networks, we are pleased to participate in a set of voluntary Best Practices and Guidelines for Ad Networks to Address Piracy and Counterfeiting.  Under these best practices, Ad Networks will maintain and post policies prohibiting websites that are principally dedicated to selling counterfeit goods or engaging in copyright piracy from participating in the Ad Network’s advertising programs. By working across the industry, these best practices should help reduce the financial incentives for pirate sites by cutting off their revenue supply while maintaining a healthy Internet and promoting innovation.