HITTING ADVERTISING ON WEBSITES AND APPS THAT INFRINGE RIGHTS
Updated: Aug 7, 2019
An EU coodinated voluntary agreement between 28 companies and associations aims to reduce advertising on websites and apps that infringe copyright or sell counterfeit goods. What’s the plan and will it work?
This week 28 companies and associations representing advertisers, intermediaries, rights holders and other stakeholders signed a voluntary MoU aimed at reducing advertising on websites and apps that infringe copyright or offer counterfeit goods.
It’s been a slow process. The MoU is two years in the making and was almost ready to sign last summer. It complements an updated MoU on the sale of counterfeit goods on the internet. The EU Commission facilitated both MoUs as part of its drive to support industry-led initiatives combating the infringement of IPR and in particular its ‘follow the money’ approach.
It’s a big issue. Advertising on these websites and apps generates significant revenue, adds a veneer of legitimacy and impacts the integrity of well-known brands whose adverts appear where they ‘shouldn’t be’.
Will it work? It’s a voluntary initiative, it's not legally binding, it's limited to services within the EEA and trade association signatories do not bind their individual members. But...it’s another step in the right direction in limited advertising on these sites and apps and providing for the removal of advertising once signatories become aware. The MoU includes a commitment to assess its impact after 1 year and to report back to the Commission. We’ll see.