Piracy is a for-profit criminal enterprise that puts hundreds of millions of dollars in the pockets of criminals and undermines our creative economy. By taking an active role and encouraging voluntary best practices, the creative community can advocate for policies and solutions that will reduce the flow of money to pirate site operators. Together, we can take the profit out of piracy. This requires increased cooperation from all responsible players that make up the internet ecosystem, including: advertisers, advertising agencies, online ad networks, credit card companies, internet service providers (ISPs), search engines, domain name registrars and registries, and universities.

CreativeFuture has taken an important first step in working with the Trustworthy Accountability Group (TAG) – a cross-industry accountability program created by the American Association of Advertising Agencies (4A’s), Association of National Advertisers (ANA), and Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB). We work with major brands to keep their good ads off bad sites. By collaborating with ad agencies and advertisers, we hope to divert a major source of revenue for criminal enterprises that illegitimately profit from other people’s creative work.

The good news is that we are making progress – and that’s good for the creative communities as well as the integrity of the advertising community. So far, this effort has attracted over thirty major brands that have pledged to keep their ads off pirate sites. They include American Express, Kellogg’s, Walmart, Johnson & Johnson, and Allstate. Over 20 advertising agencies have also taken the pledge. They include GroupM, OMD, and MediaVest.

If you would like to learn more about how advertising from major brands funds online piracy, watch the video below by the City of London Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU):