The Trichordist blog started pointing out the ad-supported piracy problem quite a while ago, so let's have a quick look to see how well the adtech business has done at cleaning up its act.
Should no longer be a story, right? The Internet solves problems on Internet time, after all.
Here's the plan. I'll spend one minute doing a basic check, then go work on something else. It's not as if there isn't enough broken stuff on the Internet I could be figuring out.
So I'll do a web search for
[Michael Jackson MP3]
I'll make it easy for them by picking a well-known non-Creative-Commons recording artist. I'm expecting to come up dry here. (After all, why would any sensible Internet company send me to a pirate site when they could make some money by sending me to a legit music download site, or sell me some tracks themselves?)
Ouch. Probably the most obvious copyrighted works in the world, and who's got their fingers in the pie?
- Google, Google, Google
But turn off your banner blindness for a minute, and check out that banner ad.
It's an ad for The American National Standards Institute (ANSI).
Why is ANSI running an ad on
questionable an infriging site, when it
could be buying ads on a legit site that covers
engineering and science? Spewing ads into the
web's less reputable corners just feeds the growing
impression that "technology" is a rent-seeking,
deluxe-bus-riding racket that's focused on diverting
value from others instead of creating new wealth.
So here are a few questions for ANSI.
How did your ad end up on an infringing site? Can you retrace its steps?
What agencies or other intermediaries did you work with to place the ad? Did they make any guarantees about what kind of site it would show up on?
Have you received a refund for ad impressions on problem sites?
If you don't have the information to answer the first three questions, what is broken about the way you buy advertising?
I'll keep you posted on what I come up with.Don Marti · #