This week, the Trustworthy Accountability Group (TAG) announced that many of the world’s largest brand advertisers and agencies—including Copyright Alliance members Viacom, NBCUniversal, The Walt Disney Company, and 21st Century Fox, among others—have agreed to sign the TAG anti-piracy pledge, committing to take “commercially reasonable steps to minimize the inadvertent placement of digital advertising on websites or other media properties” that support piracy or counterfeit content by January 1, 2016. TAG also announced the first group of TAG-validated providers of anti-piracy services, which will help cut the flow of advertising revenue to sites profiting from pirated and counterfeited goods.
In order to help fight piracy, which is costing the digital advertising industry roughly $2.4 billion each year, TAG launched an anti-piracy program in February—known as the Brand Integrity Program Against Piracy—to help prevent ad placement on websites facilitating the distribution of pirated content and counterfeit goods. The program requires providers of anti-piracy tools and services to be certified by independent third-parties in coordination with TAG. Certified providers are validated as Digital Advertising Assurance Providers (DAAPs) by showing that they can provide other advertising companies with tools to limit their exposure to undesirable websites by effectively meeting one or more enumerated criteria, which show that they comply with TAG’s anti-piracy standards. Companies that use the anti-piracy services of a DAAP can be “Certified Against Piracy” by TAG.
Companies that have signed the TAG anti-piracy pledge can fulfill the pledge by, among other things, directly hiring a DAAP, using ad placement services that have been certified by TAG, or by doing business exclusively with ad agencies that have been certified by TAG.
TAG has been instrumental in “following the money” to help fight online piracy by cultivating a sustainable online ecosystem in which legitimate advertisers and others in the online supply chain commit to only serving sites that offer legitimate content. A few months ago, the global media investment management giant GroupM adopted TAG’s anti-piracy guidelines, marking a big win.
In order for creators to meaningfully contribute and see their contributions rewarded in the online marketplace, there must be appropriate mechanisms in place to ensure a healthy online ecosystem. The Copyright Alliance applauds all the companies that have signed the pledge and are committed to fighting online piracy, as well as TAG for helping to cultivate a sustainable environment so that legitimate advertisers, businesses, and creators, can thrive.
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