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The Internet's big brands are volunteering to try and withhold advertising dollars from piracy-related Web sites, and have linked arms with the White House's Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator to promote a no-ads-for-pirates scheme.

Microsoft, Yahoo!, AOL, 24/7 Media, Adtegrity, AOL, Condé Nast, Google, SpotXchange and the Internet Advertising Bureau have agreed to somehow prevent their advertisements from appearing on sites either “principally dedicated to selling counterfeit goods or engaging in copyright piracy”.

They will, in addition, make the “best practices guidelines” officially part of their terms and conditions, and maintain policies that “include language indicating that Websites should not engage in violations of law”.

A small bone is tossed to those that might wonder whether this is a good idea, because the advertising sites are also urged to maintain dialogue “with content creators, rights holders, consumer organisations, and free speech advocates.”

Under the scheme, rights holders would file “valid, reasonable and sufficiently detailed notices” with ad networks, which would then contact Websites with a warning to pull the infringing content. The guidelines say that an ad network “may” consider countervailing evidence from the site's owner if it believes the complaint is unfair.

The Motion Picture Association of America, however, is understandably upset that the arrangements don't go far enough, calling the arrangement an “incremental step forward that only addresses a narrow subset of the problem and places a disproportionate amount of the burden on rights holders”. ®

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