White House, Google and Others Adopt Plan To Choke Off Ad Revenue From Pirate Sites

The White House is in league with top Internet advertising companies to rain on everyone’s free-software parade: a new industry standard has been adopted to remove ads from pirate websites in an attempt to choke off their revenue stream. The voluntary agreement says that companies will remove revenue sharing relationships with a website after users submit a complaint and an internal investigation confirms that the website, does, indeed, shower the world with the happiness that comes from–but is not limited to–pirated software, hollywood blockbusters, contraband, and illicit drugs.

“The Administration strongly supports voluntary efforts by the private sector to reduce infringement and we welcome the initiative brought forward by the companies to establish industry-wide standards to combat online piracy and counterfeiting by reducing financial incentives associated with infringement,” Victoria Espinel, the U.S. intellectual property enforcement coordinator in the Office of Management and Budget, said in a statement Monday.

The Internet’s beleaguered hall monitors/entertainment lobbies have been forced to try this voluntary standards route after global protests struck down the Stop Online Piracy Act. And, the most unproductive congress in history is unlikely to take up any anti-piracy legislation this year.

Senator-turned-entertainment-lobbyist, Chris Dodd, thinks the standards don’t go far enough, saying it’s “an incremental step forward that addresses only a narrow subset of the problem and places a disproportionate amount of the burden on rights holders is not sufficient.”

Right now, the participating ad networks are 24/7 Media, Adtegrity, AOL (TechCrunch’s parent company), Condé Nast, Google, Microsoft, SpotXchange and Yahoo, and has “the support of the Interactive Advertising Bureau,” according to Variety.

I’m sure tagging websites in violation of the standards will be a fun project for the summer interns at participating entertainment lobbies.

[Image Credit: Flickr User juhansonin]