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Major Advertiser Release Anti-Piracy Blacklist

Posted by: , 18:58 AEST, Tue June 14, 2011

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Major advertising buyer GroupM is producing a blacklist of websites that they say are carrying pirated content, but it includes legal websites such as

Major advertising buyer GroupM has released a list of websites that it deems inappropriate in an effort to combat online piracy, and will refuse to buy advertising on the more than 2,000 domain names listed in the blacklist. GroupM helps companies like Ford and AT&T buy advertising online.

Releasing the blacklist to TorrentFreak (which you can see below), GroupM iterated the company's desire to give web anti-piracy a private hand. "We're serious about combating piracy and protecting our clients' intellectual property as forcefully as we possibly can," said GroupM Interactive's global chief executive, Rob Norman.

Some of GroupM's own clients, such as Warner Bros and Universal Music, also helped the company to draft the blacklist, based on existing lists the companies had already compiled

However, going through the list, it appears perfectly legal websites, and many websites totally unrelated to web piracy, has been included in the 2,279 domain names listed. Websites such as, a non profit that has worked with the US Library of Congress and the Smithsonian Institute, was one of the first listed, while, the official website of the legal BitTorrent client, was also on the list. Even legal BitTorrent index websites, such as Mininova (which had to become legal due to a court ruling), were included. And even websites unrelated to pirated downloads, such as, which allows Wii gamers to upload their savegames for others to enjoy, are also on the list.

Regardless, GroupM feels this policy is a necessity and plan to continue updating the blacklist with more domain names. " ... we need to keep on top of the latest list of identified offenders as best as we possibly can," added Norman.

Do you think that private companies maintaining blacklists is the best way to fight piracy, or do you think it lacks the transparency and accountability to prevent mistakes that ban perfectly legal websites? Post your opinion in this news article's comments section, or in this forum thread:

The full blacklist is shown below:


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