Online Advertisement: A Key Financial Support for Pirate Websites

“A casual observer of the existing online ad market can only marvel at the Wild West aspect of the business.” – Annenberg Innovation Lab

An institute based at the University of Southern California has begun an ongoing series of reports on which online ad servers are providing essential financial support for web-based piracy.    The reports provide a fascinating look at the money flows that generate revenue for online copyright infringers.    Readers can find the ongoing series reports on the Annenberg Innovation Lab (AIL) website: .

The most recent (February) report notes that some ad servers are “disconnecting” pirate websites.  The report says “both Google’s various networks and Open X have significantly reduced the number of infringing sites they are placing ads on. In contrast, Yahoo’s Right Media continues to be a major provider of ads to infringing sites.”    AIL also says “the other interesting note in this report is that, which appears to be a prostitution service, has become a large advertiser on Pirate sites. This may mean that major brands are fleeing the pirate sites and leaving the inventory to the traditional bottom feeders in the porn industry.”

Readers can download the February report here