Lawmakers push advertisers to stop supporting pirate sites

Members of the Congressional International Anti-Piracy Caucus are asking online ad networks to do more to keep advertisements off websites that promote online piracy.

"Only through proactive efforts will the harms associated with ad-supported piracy be mitigated," the caucus wrote in identical letters to the Interactive Advertising Bureau, the American Association of Advertising Agencies and the Association of National Advertisers.

ADVERTISEMENT
The caucus is led by House Judiciary Chairman Bob GoodlatteRobert (Bob) William GoodlatteTrump: GOP needs Dem votes for immigration bills, complains Dems 'won't vote for anything' House GOP leaders push immigration vote to next week GOP lawmaker calls on Trump to fire Stephen Miller MORE (R-Va.), Rep. Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffSchiff: Nielsen privately said family separations could resume Stone defends meeting, says FBI sought to entrap him Hillicon Valley: New FTC chief eyes shake up of tech regulation | Lawmakers target Google, Huawei partnership | Microsoft employees voice anger over ICE contract MORE (D-Calif.), Sen. Sheldon WhitehouseSheldon WhitehouseLive coverage: FBI chief, Justice IG testify on critical report GAO to look into Trump's reduction of carbon social costs Overnight Energy: Pruitt used security detail to run errands | Dems want probe into Pruitt's Chick-fil-A dealings | Yellowstone superintendent says he was forced out MORE (D-R.I.) and Sen. Orrin HatchOrrin Grant HatchOn The Money — Sponsored by Prudential — Senators hammers Ross on Trump tariffs | EU levies tariffs on US goods | Senate rejects Trump plan to claw back spending Senators hammer Ross over Trump tariffs Top Finance Dem wants panel to investigate Trump Foundation MORE (R-Utah).

Over the past two years, the ad networks have developed and updated best practices to keep copyright-infringing sites from hosting — and thereby profiting from — the advertising of legitimate brands.

"We support these steps, but note that much remains to be done to operationalize the commitments made and to make them effective in preventing the appearance of legitimate ads on pirate sites, rather than simply responding once they are placed," the caucus wrote.

The group of lawmakers called on the ad networks to develop "greater specificity" around steps to prevent legitimate ads from ever appearing on pirate sites, as well as ways to measure how effective those steps are.

"Until recently the technological tools needed to carry out such preventive measures were not available," the letter said "But marketplace solutions are emerging, and the time is ripe for stakeholders to come together with a renewed focus on developing and implementing a more effective preventive regime that can harness those new technological developments."

The caucus also asked the ad networks to consider ways to address mobile advertisements, "which represents a significant and growing share of online advertising revenues, both for legitimate and pirate sites."