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Who's placing ads on illegal download sites?

Rhian Jones
Piracy

A new study has exposed the top online advertising networks used to place ads on illegal filesharing sites.

The research comes from the Annenberg Innovation Lab at the University of South California, which has produced a list of ad networks "supporting the major pirate movie and music sites around the world".

The infringing websites themselves were complited using the domains with the most DMCA Takedown requests on the Google Transparency Report.

The top ten are as follows:

1. Openx, a US company backed by Accel Partners, Index Ventures and SAP Ventures that claims to serve more than 1 trillion ad impressions per year.
2. Google, including Double Click
3. Exoclick, a Barcelona-based firm that claims to serve around 2 billion ad impressions per day
4. Sumotorrent
5. Propeller Ads Media, a UK-based ad network that promises 'targeted reach and quality inventory'
6. Yahoo!, including Right Media
7. Quantcast, a US firm backed by Founders Fund, Cisco Systems, Polaris Venture Partners, Revolution Ventures and Allen & Company
8. Mediashakers, a Geneva-based ad network
9. Yesads, a Clicksor-owned ad network that claims to serve 900 million ad impressions each month
10. Infolinks, a US company that says its clients include 100,000 sites in 128 countries

Jonathan Taplin, director of the Annenberg Innovation Lab, said, “Large pirate sites distribute illegal content and continue to steal trademarked, copyrighted content and siphon millions of dollars away from the creative community, making it much harder for artists to make a living. 

"We do not believe that government regulation alone is the answer to the Piracy problem, but rather that the self-regulation of major sectors like the online advertising industry could make it harder for the Kim Dotcom’s of the world to unfairly exploit artists.  

"We look forward to working with advertising agencies and networks in the coming months to address this issue.”

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Tags: Google, Piracy, Advertising, Yahoo

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