Wall of Shame May 2012

ISPs and Fortune 500 Advertising on Piracy Web Sites

This is a screen shot of the pirate website Kick Ass Torrents that shows a search for the latest Lucasfilm movie, Red Tails.  Note that on the date of this posting, May 2, the legal product will not be released until May 22 in the US.  On the right hand side of the page, you can see advertising from ISP AT&T.  These are targeted ads that are designed to show up on web sites used by frequent downloaders of illegal content.  If pirates were unable to sell advertising on these sites, they would not have the resources to operate these sites.  Rather than these ISPs being part of the solution, it appears to us that they are actually helping to drive the phenomenon by buying targeted advertising in these sites.

In our opinion, AT&T appears to be sponsoring the access to Lucasfilm product prior to the products’ release date.

This is a screen shot of the pirate website Demonoid.me that shows a search for rock band ZZ Top’s music.  On the right hand side of the page, you can see advertising from ISP Charter Communications.  These are targeted ads that are designed to show up on web sites used by frequent downloaders of illegal content.  If pirates were unable to sell advertising on these sites, they would not have the resources to operate these sites.  Rather than these ISPs being part of the solution, it appears to us that they are actually helping to drive the phenomenon by buying targeted advertising in these sites.

This is a screen shot of the pirate website Demonoid.me that shows a search for hip hop artist Tupac Shakur.  On the right hand side of the page, you can see advertising from ISP Time Warner Cable.  These are targeted ads that are designed to show up on web sites used by frequent downloaders of illegal content.  If pirates were unable to sell advertising on these sites, they would not have the resources to operate these sites.  Rather than these ISPs being part of the solution, it appears to us that they are actually helping to drive the phenomenon by buying targeted advertising in these sites.

This is a screen shot of the pirate website Demonoid.me that shows a search for hip hop artist Tupac Shakur.  On the right hand side of the page, you can see advertising from ISP Verizon.  These are targeted ads that are designed to show up on web sites used by frequent downloaders of illegal content.  If pirates were unable to sell advertising on these sites, they would not have the resources to operate these sites.  Rather than these ISPs being part of the solution, it appears to us that they are actually helping to drive the phenomenon by buying targeted advertising in these sites.

Imagine an article in Popular Mechanics on how to break into an ATM?  In our opinion, this article from Gizmodo is just as unethical.  Did you know that Adobe laid off 750 people in 2011?  We have counted more than 3,000,000 illegal downloads of just Adobe Photoshop on BitTorrent.  Promoting this behavior kills jobs and drives prices up for honest people.

 

Here is a screenshot of State Farm sponsoring the downloading of the entire Led Zeppelin discography on isohunt.com.

 

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  • http://www.fareplay.org Will Buckley

    Great site, that we look forward to sharing with our friends across the pond. The Pirate Propaganda Machine continues to keep the profitability of online piracy (for the site owners) out of the conversation. Posing as revolutionaries, they simpley want to justify behavior that has no justification; other than they can.

    Our organization, FarePlay, approaches the problem from the individuals perspective; working people just trying to earn a living.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003406241127 Dhicka

      @Dr1Canuckchuck Most of them didnt fly a skull and cross bones, that’s a common micpincestoon. Most flew plain black or red flags. Jolly Roger’ is an English bastardisation of Jolie Rouge’, French for Red Flag’. It has Templar origins.

  • freshp2

    would you send a memo and petition to stop supporting time warner, state farm and att? or are they to big for trial in the court of public opion?????? and wheres the outrage…….

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003406253886 Felipe

      I thought the same thing when I read that NY Times alrtcie on Rick Rubin. The only subscription service that will work is one that lets you download (as well as stream) all you want without restrictions. I’ve seen it in action and it works. The trick is, you have to constantly release new, quality content. It also doesn’t hurt to package in related services and discounts on physical products with that subscription.

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  • http://www.upscaleblues.com David Wells

    There must be some enterprising lawyers out there with the guts to take on those advertisers on behalf of say, Adobe, ASCAP, etc. After all, the tobacco industry looked invincible at one time. I understand that the pirate site may be out of jurisdiction and that the US government may be too intimidated by big tech and too paralyzed to act but a judge can set the tone and at least raise the level of debate. Any takers?

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  • Steve Bruns

    This is a “yes, but…” I’m completely in support of your efforts here, however citing George Lucas and (the ridiculously overpriced) Adobe Photoshop may not be the most sympathetic examples.

    Otherwise, carry on!

    • http://www.ethicalfan.com ethical fan

      1 – David Lowery makes a good case for how piracy hurts a broader range of artists here http://thetrichordist.wordpress.com/2012/06/18/letter-to-emily-white-at-npr-all-songs-considered/
      2 – We believe that Photoshop is now priced with the “piracy tax” built in. Torrent trackers show that more than 3,000,000 downloads of Photoshop have been completed, a gross loss of $3B in revenue to Adobe. Unfortunately, it seems that Adobe just tries to pass that loss onto the law abiding consumer.

      • Jesse the K

        Even without a “piracy tax,” $700 for Photoshop is a modest price for a sophisticated professional tool. Artists using Photoshop are people selling their work. As Photoshop obviated an entire pre-press technological ecosystem, it also brought the cost of graphic production way down. (I used to shoot those stats and half-tones and drop shadows with a room-sized camera.) A professional Photoshop user will easily bill US$20,000 in a year–surely they can afford $700! (Hobbyists can use Photoshop Elements; broke folks can use the GIMP.)

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003406231346 Tereza

        I’m worried about the liitms to anticircumvention tools’. How broadly do they mean that? For example, would programmers’ debuggers (which let a programmmer see exactly what a computer is doing), or packet-sniffers (which let a programmer know exactly what signals a computer is sending over the Internet) become illegal under this law?

  • robro

    If AT&T or TWC buy from networks they probably have no idea that their ads are on these torrent sites. I’ve seen Best Buy on the Pirate Bay – there’s no rhyme or reason for them to be on their when they sell CD’s and DVD’s, other than the fact that they had no idea…I’m guilty of illegally downloading. I used to buy CD’s – I want to support the artist – and peers looked at me like I was crazy. What was really crazy was when I had a friend who is an assistant engineer for a top 10 hip hop producer tell me he never buys music. When I was laid off I dabbled in illegal downloads. I buy tickets and go to shows. I don’t even torrent much anymore – maybe two albums a month.

  • dafuq?

    That’s hilarious! You see until today I had no idea that Demonoid and The Pirate Bay have ads. And I’ve had a Demonoid account for nearly a decade and have been making regular port calls at the bay just as long.

    Firefox and AdBlock+ are an awesome combo.
    But so is my DVR that let’s me strip out TV ads.
    DVDFab let’s me strip ads, previews and even the FBI warning from my bought DVDs.

    Seriously now.. who dafuq watches ads in the 21st century?

    I guess the only place you can’t beat them is at the cinema.. oh wait… cam rips.

  • Ellen Shipley

    Google provides “homes” for illegal free music downloading
    THey made 2.5 billion dollars in profit from the ad revenues they receive that are placed on these illegal sites.

    It is great to have the information that you provide. The problem is: artists are NOT taking to the streets in this country protesting the continued rape of their work, as they would in Italy or France or so many other nations where the very idea that the government would not enforce laws to protect the rights of their creative community woud be unimaginable what seems to be an obvious and completely disturbing fact concerning this issue, is that the United States Government is ignoring, not protecting, and not enforcing The Bill of Rights Amendment which states that all people are guaranteed the RIGHT to pursue and receive an income from the job/occupation of their CHOICE. ANd–the government will enforce that inalienable right —and may no one or nothing stand in the way of any individual pursuing their “happiness”. So—why is the creative community excluded from pursuing and receiving their rightful income? Why has NO ONE done anything? We can have Walls of Shame, blogs, documents written, facts brought to light–all with the best intentions of educating the public and the artists of this unacceptable thievery. BUT–if no one demands that the US government step in and protect the Constitutional rights of the creative community and the internet debacle, we will continue to lose more artists who cannot earn a living anymore –THe Pursuit Of Happiness excludes the artistic community..Why has no one sued the Government? Fear…