Police block ads in anti-piracy war
City of London Police are ruining your daily download of pirated content by putting up big buzzkilling banner ads all over them, saying ‘THIS WEBSITE HAS BEEN REPORTED TO THE POLICE – please close the browser page containing this website.’
If they suspect a website is being run illegally, they’ve posted the ads to stop piracy sites making any money out of advertising.
It’s part of a (terribly named) project called ‘Operation Creative, which aims to block ads from well-known companies appearing on dodgy sites, alongside illegal content and porn.
‘When adverts from well known brands appear on illegal websites, they lend them a look of legitimacy and inadvertently fool consumers into thinking the site is authentic,’ said Detective Chief Inspector Andy Fyfe from the City of London Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit (Pipcu).
Operation Creative is using technology created by an equally terribly named private firm called Project Sunblock - which works on behalf of high street companies to have their ads removed from piracy sites, or porn sites called things like in-uranus.net.
It’s a strategy that might hit illegal sites hard – many of them rely on advertising to survive. But some critics have warned against over zealous blocking, amid fears that legal sites might die on their arse without advertising revenue.
Still, it’s better to be on the safe side. After all, you don’t want a back to school at BHS advert appearing on a hardcore bumming page, do you?