Will you advocate for an Internet that respects creators?

From Creative America:

As you know, the problem of content theft involves a complex system of players that includes advertisers, advertising networks, payment processors, search engines, universities and others who, one way or another, are part of an online ecosystem that allows criminals to profit off others’ creative works.

This week, in a positive development, the content community and internet service providers (ISPs) officially launched the Copyright Alerts System, a collaborative effort to educate consumers about the importance of copyright protection and help them find better ways to enjoy digital content.

Call on CEOs to stop supporting advertising on illegal content websites now!

In addition, in recent weeks, more and more voices — the USC Annenberg Innovation Lab, bloggers like Vox Indie, Music Tech Policy, and The Trichordist to name a few — are shining a light on the ongoing problem of advertising networks funneling revenue to illegal, content-infringing websites.

The Copyright Alliance, an ally in protecting creators online, has launched a petition calling on CEOs of major corporations to stop tacitly supporting pirate sites by advertising on the networks that pay these websites.

Will you sign the Copyright Alliance’s petition asking advertisers to stop advertising on pirate sites?

Together, we can advocate for an Internet that works for everyone, including creators and makers who deserve to be protected from online theft.



Copyright Advocates

Stop advertising on pirate sites

“The rise of ad-supported pirate networks is a relatively new phenomena stemming from the birth of large peer to peer (P2P) Internet sites in 2001. In the last five years a huge number of new ad networks have sprung up to service the seemingly infinite ad inventory of the broadband era. Much of that inventory sits on the more than 150,000 pirate entertainment sites.” USC Annenberg Ad Transparency Report, February 14, 2013. 

Sign this letter to the CEOs of brands that appear on multiple occasions on infringing sites. Ask them to take a pledge to keep their ads off of illegal sites. Keep in mind that this list is not a comprehensive list of brands that appear on pirate sites.

An Open Letter to the CEOs of Brands Advertising on Infringing Sites:

We, the undersigned, are just a few of the millions of artists and creators living, working, and creating across the United States. It has come to our attention that your companies are advertising on websites that illegally host or distribute creative content. We want to make you aware of the harm your companies do to independent artists and small businesses when you advertise on these sites.


Advertising on these sites encourages others to exploit our work for economic gain without a return to us. It deprives us of the opportunity to build communities with fans when they visit illegal sites to obtain our work, rather than our sites. It also gives consumers a false sense of security by lending an air of legitimacy to these sites. And, it rewards activities that are illegal.

Advertising on these sites also damages your own brands by association.

We understand that it can be difficult to know where your companies’ ads might end up because of the complexity of online advertising. However, difficult does not mean impossible. It appears that other companies make ad buys in ways that don’t result in their brands being tarnished and our work being exploited.

We ask you to encourage your companies to do the same.


You are in the best position to employ high-quality control standards and to demand the same from the ad networks you use. We encourage your companies to uphold high ethical standards for advertising placement, just as you do in other areas of business.

Please ask your online advertising purchasers to adopt practices like those detailed in the Statement of Best Practices to Address Online Piracy and Counterfeiting, released last year by the Association of National Advertisers, the American Association of Advertising Agencies (4A’s), and the Interactive Advertising Bureau. The practices outlined here, if adopted by major companies like yours, would go a long way towards ensuring a free and fair online marketplace for artists and creators to thrive. A report released by the University of Southern California’s Annenberg Innovation Lab on February 14, 2013, under the direction of Jonathan Taplin, has identified the top ten Ad Networks placing ads on infringing sites. And, according to research and documentation by artists working in tandem with this project, your companies have been identified as brands that repeatedly advertise on infringing websites.

Now that this issue has been brought to your attention, we hope that you will take affirmative steps to address this problem.


We ask you to start by signing the following pledge here, which is also written below:

“I support the rights of artists, creators and innovators to be compensated for the fruits of their labor. I run my business ethically, and value my brand.  I pledge not to advertise on sites which illegally exploit the work of creators without their permission.”



Letter to be sent to CEOs and marketing directors of :

Adobe, ADT Security, Alaska Air, Amazon, American Express, AT&T, Audi, BMW, Boston Market, Boy Scouts, British Airways, Century 21, Charter, Citibank, Cox Communications, Crate & Barrel, DirectTV, Dish Network, ebay, Electronic Arts, Emirates Airline, Ferguson Showrooms, Ford Motor Company, GoPro, Google Chrome, Hertz, HP, Hilton Hotels, Hyatt Hotels, Hyundai, Jet Blue, Kayak, Kohler, LegalZoom, LG Electronics, Macy’s, Marvel Avengers Alliance, Mazda, MiniCooper, Musicians Friend, My M&M’s, Nationwide Insurance, Neiman Marcus, Netflix, Nissan USA, Priceline, Princess Cruises, Register.com, Rejuvenation Inc., Sheraton Hotels, Skype, Sprint, State Farm Insurance, Sweetwater Sound, Target, TuneCore, United Airlines, Urban Outfitters, Virgin Atlantic, Visa, VW, W Hotels, Weight Watchers, Wendy’s, Westin, Williams Sonoma, Yahoo

Sign the Petition here!