Copyright holders and licensed distributors of entertainment content have long worked to identify and shut down illegal streaming sites and services. Now, they are also attempting to shrink pirate revenue by persuading advertising agencies and name-brands to refrain from advertising on pirate platforms.
Historically, a significant frustration for those fighting piracy is that name-brand advertisements appear on pirate sites and streaming platforms. These ads not only provide pirates with revenue, they lend an undeserved air of legitimacy to illegal services. An ad from a known brand or product can fool people into believing that a pirate’s service is reputable. And it’s that deception that both harms legitimate content providers and can put viewers at risk.
The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), an agency of the United Nations, is creating an international database of pirate websites and streaming services built with the cooperation of many of its 193 member states, and independent anti-piracy groups. It’s unclear exactly which countries contribute to the database although it’s known that Russia, Italy, Japan, Brazil, Spain, South Korea and Ukraine all participate.
The purpose of the WIPO database is to inform advertising agencies and brands as to which content providers are accused of offering pirated material. The hope among anti-piracy groups and rightsholders is that advertisers will then avoid working with identified providers.
In the past, anti-piracy groups have worked with online marketplaces to restrict the advertising and sale of piracy devices over the internet. The WIPO database is the latest step by the global entertainment industry and law enforcement to make the business of pirating as difficult as possible.