Follow the money
”Follow the Money” strategy is based on the approach of cutting off from economic sources all services that distribute content without authorization of its right holders. At present this strategy has been indicated as the most effective tool to fight against illegal distribution of an audio-visual content online.
Pilot programs of the initiative have already been launched in many European countries.In Poland we realize this objective based on good practices created by an audiovisual market in cooperation with advertisers and payment intermediaries. Poland belongs to one of the first countries where mechanisms allowing for allocation of advertising budgets exclusively to law abiding services were developed and implemented. The activities undertaken by Sygnal Association and IAB Polska are now considered an example at a European scale.
As part of the ‘follow the money’ approach, Sygnał Association regularly monitors illegal websites, develop mechanisms and tools that promote conscious marketing spend on legally operating websites, participates in or initiates approach-oriented meetings.
In order to comprehensively follow the ‘follow the money’ approach guidelines, all participants of the advertising market must cooperate and the phenomenon must be monitored on an ongoing basis so as to better understand the nature of revenue flows to websites that operate without respect for the law.
Revenue generated from advertising online is one of the most important economic sources for websites infringing broadcasts rights and rights to audiovisual works. Therefore, in addition to the “Advertise Consciously. Initiative for Fair Advertising” campaign carried out by IAB Polska, Sygnał Association has decided to carry out a campaign targeted primarily at advertisers, media houses and other entities operating in the online advertising market
While identifying measures used by portals illegally obtaining content, Sygnał Association encourages market participants to support only the legal market and to allocate their advertising budgets to law-abiding portals. Decisions by advertisersand media houses not to place ads on websites illegally distributing content are crucial as they directly contribute to such websites being cut off from economic sources
More and more marketers specify principles of advertising brands on the Internet by defining the context in which the brand may be shown. Excluding pirate sites from media plans is one of the primary measures to ensure safety of the advertiser’s brand.
Table of Reported Violations
Advertisers and media houses are often unable to assess compliance of websites with the law, in particular because IPR infringers create false appearances of compliance with law by charging subscription fees or placing advertisements
Sygnał Association has details of websites that display video content without the consent of the rights holders and monitors ads displayed on them on a day- to-day basis. The Association also provides free-of-charge professional support and tools to help advertisers to make informed advertising spend decisions.
One of them is the Table of Reported Violations made by websites that distribute content without respect for the law. If you are concerned whether the website on which you post your ads operates legally, please contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
The European Commission considers actions based on the ‘follow the money’ approach as one of the most effective ways to combat illegal use of content for commercial purposes. Numerous documents developed by the Commission seek to facilitate the system implementation of tools reducing illegal use of content on the Internet.
On 1 July 2014, the European Commission adopted an “Action Plan to address infringements of intellectual property rights in the EU” communication. It specifically foresees :
- engaging in a dialogue with stakeholders (e.g. online advertising agencies and payment service providers) to reduce profits from commercial-scale infringements on the Internet;
- improving cooperation between Member States and facilitating exchanges of best practices;
- providing a comprehensive training programme for Member State authorities with a iew to achieving faster preventive actions against commercial scale IP-infringing activities across the EU and identification of barriers to cross-border cooperation.
The “follow the money” approach is also referred to in numerous Commission documents related to the Digital Single Market. The ‘follow the money’ approach is also considered as the most effective tool to fight against commercial distribution of illegal content online in the “Copyright enforcement online: policies and mechanisms” report published on 14 January 2016 by the European Audiovisual Observatory (EAO) operating at the Council of Europe. The report underlines the nature of the approach that does not consist in direct combating manifestations of piracy, but on blocking to websites financial flow deriving from piracy in cooperation with advertisers and providers of payment services, such as Visa, MasterCard and PayPal. Pilot programs of the initiative have already been launched in countries such as the UK, Spain and Italy.