Follow the Money: Online Piracy and Self-Regulation in the Advertising Industry
32 Pages Posted: 30 Mar 2017 Last revised: 30 Jan 2018
Date Written: January 9, 2018
In this paper, we study the effects of a self-regulatory effort, orchestrated by the European Commission, that aims to reduce advertising revenues for publishers of copyright infringing content. Historical data lets us follow how the third-party advertising and tracking services associated with a large number of piracy websites and a corresponding set of legitimate “placebo” websites change after the agreement to self-regulate went in place. We find that larger EU-based advertisers comply with the initiative and reduce their connections with piracy websites. We do not find reductions for other non-advertising services that track consumers, which has potentially important implications for the efficiency of targeted advertising.
Keywords: Piracy, Copyright Enforcement, Online Advertising
JEL Classification: K4, L5, L8
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation