Internet Ad Networks, such as Google Adwords, are one of several revenue streams for file lockers. Increasingly cyber lockers are turning to advertising as a source of income as it becomes more difficult to find payment processing arrangements.
Google has an extensive terms of service when it comes to where it is appropriate to place Adsense ads and most file lockers are in breach of these terms.
AdSense publishers may not display Google ads on webpages with content protected by copyright law unless they have the necessary legal rights to display that content. This includes sites that display copyrighted material, sites hosting copyrighted files, or sites that provide links driving traffic to sites that contain copyrighted material.
Beginning the first week of November this year, we will begin a concerted campaign to have Google Adwords ads removed from file lockers and hopefully have Adsense accounts cancelled, thereby depriving these sites from this income stream.
Let’s look at some examples of file lockers using Adsense to display advertising.
On the front page of UltraMegabit there are two ad regions displaying Adsense ads. UltraMegabit has been featured on this blog before for it’s repeat copyright infringement and the paying of people to upload copyright infringing content.
MegaShares offers an Adsense ad right at the top of every download page.
The position of this ad is in a highly clickable position. There is no relevant content displayed for the ad and this is also breaching Google’s guidelines for Adsense.
Adsense appearing on sites distributing copyright infringing content is not a new phenomenon. In fact Jonathan Bailey of Plagiarism Today wrote in 2010 about the frustration of rights-holders when it came to having Google enforce their own policies.
As a result of this problem we have formulated a different approach, whereby we will be in contact with advertisers directly to inform them of where their ads are appearing. We shall also be sending physical mail letters directly to Google’s legal counsel with each detection of Adsense on piracy sites that we find.
We have also developed a toolkit for rights-holders to easily and efficiently inform Google about ads appearing on sites that are infringing on their copyrights.
With a renewed push and the backup of hundreds of rights-holders it will be difficult for Google to ignore this problem any longer and we will be successful in depriving the pirates of additional income.