Search engine firm Google and internet firm Yahoo are among firms accused of funding sites responsible for online piracy, according to a new report.
The University of Southern California (USC) Annenberg Lab Advertising Transparency Report reveals that Google and Yahoo were among ad networks that placed the most ads on sites that infringe music and film copyrights, and they have been placed in the second and sixth positions respectively.
The report funded by Google and PRS for Music on Brands, probed Ad Networks and their support of the major pirate movie and music sites globally and revealed that advertising financed about 86% of the peer-to-peer (P2P) search sites featuring illegal content.
USC Annenberg Innovation Lab director Jonathan Taplin said that large pirate sites distribute illegal content and continue to steal trademarked, copyrighted content, depriving the creative community of millions of dollars away, and, in turn, making it tougher for artists to subsist decently.
"We do not believe that government regulation alone is the answer to the piracy problem, but rather that the self-regulation of major sectors like the online advertising industry could make it harder for the "Kim Dotcom’s" of the world to unfairly exploit artists," Taplin said.
"We look forward to working with advertising agencies and networks in the coming months to address this issue."
The other accused ad networks placing the most ads to pirate sites include Openx, Exoclick, Sumotorrent, Propellerads, Quantcast, Media Shakers, Yesads and Infolinks.