Advertisers pledge not to support 'rogue' pirate sites

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The statement said copyright owners will likely notify companies if their advertisements are appearing on "rogue" pirate sites. But the companies themselves will ultimately decide if a website qualifies as rogue.

The advertising associations recommended that companies include conditions in their media contracts that require advertising placement companies to use "commercially reasonable measures" to ensure they do not place ads on rogue sites.

The advertising associations clarified that they are not imposing any duty to monitor rogue sites.  

The groups said they made the commitment because "we should not knowingly allow our businesses and brands to supply financial lifeblood or lend a veneer of legitimacy to fundamentally illicit business models that threaten the jobs of millions of Americans in the creative industries and, ultimately, our national economic welfare."

The entertainment industry argues that rogue sites, like the Pirate Bay, which are outside the reach of U.S. law, are killing industry profits and jobs. They pushed for tough anti-piracy legislation earlier this year to force Web companies to cut off access to the sites, but a public backlash forced Congress to drop the measures.  

Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) released a statement applauding the advertisers' announcement.

"The appearance of legitimate brands on rogue websites lends a false legitimacy that can fool an ordinary Internet user and the ad revenue realized by these sites provides an economic incentive to steal content owned by U.S. creators," Schiff said.

David Hirschmann, president of the Chamber of Commerce's Global Intellectual Property Center, said the advertisers' commitment "is an important step to ensure digital advertising does not unintentionally fund websites dedicated to selling counterfeit products and stolen content."

The Chamber was one of the leading groups lobbying for the now-abandoned Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and Protect Intellectual Property Act (PIPA). Schiff was a co-sponsor of SOPA.

But Web companies, including Google and Facebook, warned the bills would affect legitimate sites and stifle innovation.

--Updated at 2:30 p.m.