Follow The Money: Piracy and Online Advertising

Michail Batikas, Jörg Claussen, Christian Peukert

    Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperResearchpeer-review


    Online copyright enforcement, in the form of either direct action against the supply- side (via website shutdowns) or the demand-side (via individual lawsuits against users), has not been very effective in reducing piracy. Regulators have therefore put forward the so called “follow the money" approach. Because the main source of revenue for infringing websites often comes from online advertising, the idea is that cutting access to advertisers could lower the financial incentives for website owners. In this paper, we aim to provide systematic evidence on the effectiveness of such a policy. We collect data on the advertising services associated with a large number of piracy websites and corresponding set of legitimate \placebo" websites before and after the _rst steps of a self-regulatory effort in the European Union went in place. Preliminary results suggest that advertising services indeed reduce their activities on piracy websites, however only those that are most likely to be directly affected by the regulation. We further provide evidence that some advertising services that did not cater to the piracy market before, start to do so { perhaps as a strategic response.
    Original languageEnglish
    Publication date2017
    Number of pages16
    Publication statusPublished - 2017
    Event28th European Regional Conference of the International Telecommunications Society. ITS 2017: Competition and Regulation in the Information Age - Passau, Germany
    Duration: 30 Jul 20172 Aug 2017
    Conference number: 28


    Conference28th European Regional Conference of the International Telecommunications Society. ITS 2017
    Internet address


    • Piracy
    • Copyright enforcement
    • Online advertising

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