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Google follows through on proposal to kill pirate sites by cutting off their cash


The Guardian reports that Google is acting on the proposal it made back in May to hit pirate sites where it hurts – their wallets – by depriving them of ad revenue.

Websites offering pirated content will be blocked from offering adverts from Google and other big web advertisers, in a US scheme intended to strangle illicit revenues.

The initiative will mean copyright holders from the music, film and other creative industries will be able to alert the big ad networks if their ads are appearing on sites offering links to pirated content or counterfeit goods … 

Google had previously argued that blocking the sites from search results was pointless, as new sites offering the same content would spring up on a daily basis. The solution, the company believes, is to cut off their source of revenue: advertising. Examples cited by The Guardian include The Pirate Bay being offered £65,000 ($100,000) per month to run casino ads, and Surfthechannel earning £35,000 ($53,000) a month from its ads.

Google said that allowing copyright owners to report Google ads on pirate sites would supplement the proactive actions it already took to identify these sites.

Google’s vice president of public policy and government relations, Susan Molinari, said: “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.”


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