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BPI criticises Napster and Apple for advertising on 'pirate sites'

Written by James Delahunty (Google+) @ 14 Oct 2005 14:35 User comments (3)

BPI criticises Napster and Apple for advertising on 'pirate sites' The British Phonographic Industry (BPI) has criticised both Apple and Napster for advertising their legal music download services on websites that promote or assist with illegal music sharing. Other major services in the UK have been criticised in the past for this practice too, including Sky, o2, Barclays and BT Broadband. The BPI said that advertising legal music downloads on a site that offers pirated music for free is a "sick joke".
"We deplore the unauthorized distribution of music on Internet sites which prosper by selling advertising on the back of copyright theft. It is hugely ironic that iTunes and Napster, two companies which have done so much to encourage legal downloading, have been caught up in these sites. We urge all companies to be vigilant and put systems in place to ensure they do not advertise on such sites, even unwittingly." said Steve Redmond, BPI director of communications.

Some lawyers have warned that companies advertising on these sites could face litigation. "Copyright on the Internet is a very fast moving legal area. Any copyright owner or connected company advertising on an illegal download site is badly advised and taking big legal risks." said Susan Singleton, solicitor with e-commerce lawyers Singletons, and editor of IT Law Today. Online advertising is the fastest growing marketing medium in history with expenditure on ads in the UK expected to reach 1bn this year.

Sky Digital is one service being advertised on these websites. The ads for the service were found on a site that offers 20 Century Fox's Transporter 2 movie for download. Through the MPAA, 20 Century Fox amongst others has been trying to shut down these sites and force P2P networks to implement features that limit their networks to authorised sharing. Both Napster and Apple were disappointed to hear their advertisements had reached these sites and explained how it may have happened before promising that the ads would be removed.

Guardian Unlimited

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3 user comments

114.10.2005 17:54

lmao. pretty funny stuff but I suppose they unknowingly did so. btw where is everyone 2nite? i've been the first to post in all these latest news stories. I feel like the Internet is dead.

214.10.2005 18:39

You're not alone - I'm here. :) It seems like advertising music to music lovers is intelligent enough, but maybe that's just me.

39.12.2005 10:55

I think this is just another example of the short-sightedness of the music industry. What better place to advertise a legal download service than in the very place that is doing it illegally? If each advertisement even gets 1 person that was previously unaware of the legal downloads to switch then the music industry has been served well. To support the idea that advertising on these sites is harmful you would have to believe that people actually go to these sites to view the advertisements. Only 1p or so is made per click on an advertisement so the amount of revenue generated for a pirate site by a Napster ad would be negligable in the overall scheme of things since the people that know about legal downloads and choose to pirate anyway wouldn't bother clicking on the banners anyway. My advise would be to advertise on as many pirate sites as you can if you want to reach the audience that you really want. Kill two birds with one stone, reduce the number of piraters and gain more legal customers at the same time.

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