AOL, Google, Microsoft, Yahoo agree on industry code to combat piracy, counterfeiting

AOL, Google, Microsoft, Yahoo agree on industry code to combat piracy, counterfeiting

Summary: The four major advertising giants have signed voluntary codes to help combat online nasties and to improve the integrity of online e-commerce.

TOPICS: Microsoft, Google

AOL, Google, Microsoft, and Yahoo are among a handful of major advertising companies that have signed a voluntary code of practice that aims to address piracy and counterfeiting.

The coalition-signed plan is designed to help reduce the flow of advertising revenue to sites that engage illicit and illegal trade of goods and services. The move was announced by the Office of Management and Budget on the White House blog.

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The pledge will include a "notice and take-down" system that will help reduce the number of illegal goods being sold online. These notices require copyright holders to point out and document specific instances of piracy or intellectual property theft in order to validate such requests.

The guidelines currently only apply to U.S. advertising networks and companies, but there are hopes across the industry that international partners may also get in on the deal.

By voluntarily signing up, it cuts out a legislative hurdle that companies and the Obama administration want to avoid. But also it's a win-win situation for both. The tech companies retain their hearty and healthy portions of the ad revenue they generate — billions of dollars per fiscal quarter — and the U.S. government reduces illegal counterfeiting and piracy.

Google said in a note on Monday online piracy and counterfeit goods "remains a challenge," noting that its YouTube Content ID system helps remove copyright material and other technologies that help remove pirate apps and games in Google Play, and other pirate sites in its search engine.

The search giant noted in 2012, it disabled ad serving to 46,000 sites, and shut down 82,000 accounts for serving counterfeit goods. And, 99 percent of its account suspension efforts were discovered in-house without third-party support.

Microsoft, another partner in the ad deal, said the signing of the guidelines will address infringement, while still "respecting critical values such as fair use, privacy, free speech and the freedom to innovate."

On the White House blog, U.S. intellectual property enforcement coordinator Victoria Espinel said: "Today's news is a good example of how the public and private sector can work to combat piracy and counterfeiting while protecting and, in fact, further encourage the innovation made possible by an open Internet."

Editor's note at 4:50 p.m. ET: An earlier version of this article had an unfortunately mistyped word. It has now been corrected to state "shut." As the author, I politely decline to state its previous form, but acknowledge that I stepped in a pile of it.

Topics: Microsoft, Google

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  • ZACK!!!

    You're bypassing the filters again!
    quote "The search giant noted in 2012, it disabled ad serving to 46,000 sites, and sh!t down 82,000 accounts for serving counterfeit goods." Hehehe!!
    • Very sorry, all

      Turns out my spellchecker is just as foul-mouthed as I am. My apologies -- total mistake. I've corrected the copy. Thanks for noticing, all!
      • The word you're looking for "potty-mouthed," Zack. (Just saying.)
      • It's fun to be human and even better to know you are human as well

        No offense taken.
      • I thought it was hilarious

        Also, I'm sure the people at Google would love to say they're sh***ing all over accounts that sell counterfeit goods.
      • You know...

        I kind of wish it remained. That was awesome.
  • Anti-illegality, ok, ...

    ... but not a squeak about aiding secret spying on your own customers. Can we have some independent and impartial balance?
    • If it points to Microsoft's spying on customers

      It will never run on ZDNet, ever. All versions of Windows have spyware built in , yet not a peep from ZDNet.
      Troll Hunter J
      • Intel too

        Intel microcode as well?
      • If you're inferring that our news coverage is anything less than neutral

        ...well, then you're full of it.

        So to speak.
        • Funny how you point out Apple, Google, etc.

          And consistently fail to report on Microsoft doing the same thing. ZDNet ran 2 weeks of "Locationgate" stories, yet not one on Microsoft actively tracking WP 7 users. You railed against Apple for an "on phone database", yet not one story about Microsoft keeping a database Ina remote server.
          Troll Hunter J
        • It's a game many here play

          called "Guess which troll blames MS first".

          We'd bet, but online gambling's illegal.
          William Farrel
          • being called a troll, by a troll

            Is not only ironic, but hypocritical.
            Troll Hunter J
          • Of course, online gambling is legal

            As long as you pay all your taxes and obtain all required permissions.
      • All versions of Linux kill...

        babies.What's your point?
    • Will be used to justify...

      ... spying that is already taking place. The only people who should be worried are all of us who pay for our content. Every time they say they're targeting pirates, we're the only ones who actually suffer from their efforts. The pirates aren't affected at all. History has shown this again and again.
      • Kind of like "Gun Control"

        Taking Law abiding citizens firearms away, will not stop the criminals from buying them from Eric Holder. Google Eric Holder, fast and furious. How can you allow Weapons to "Walk into Mexico" while claiming the Citizens should give up their firearms? How can Obama sit there and say "We just can't arm Al Queda willy nilly", then say US citizens should accept gun bans?
        Troll Hunter J
  • Anti-illegality

    watch out Roger - the No Such now wants your complete address in Buckinghamshire
  • LOL

    Anyone else notice he said "serving to 46,000 sites, and shit down 82,000 " lol
    • Yep I see "S" word..........

      The search giant noted in 2012, it disabled ad serving to 46,000 sites, and "shit" down 82,000 accounts for serving counterfeit goods. :-0 :-)