Fight Internet Piracy


Advertisers want to protect their brands from damage that comes from association with illegal activity. Online advertisers face risks from sites that infringe on the rights of others by facilitating the distribution of pirated content and counterfeit products. Consumers may mistakenly believe that the sites’ offerings are authorized by well-known brands. Such misplaced advertising also harms content creators and legitimate content distributors by providing economic resources that fuel these illegal enterprises and putting enormous profits into their coffers. Many of these sites also use fraud or deceptive practices to avoid the standards set by the advertiser or its agency, driving revenue to those who steal copyrighted content or otherwise violate others’ trademarks.

TAG has launched its “Certified Against Piracy” Program to help advertisers and ad agencies avoid damage to their brands from ad placement on websites and other media properties that facilitate the distribution of pirated content and counterfeit products. This voluntary initiative helps marketers identify sites that present an unacceptable risk of misappropriating copyrighted content and selling counterfeit goods, and remove those sites from their advertising distribution chain. The program was supported at launch by leading organizations and companies in advertising, online publishing, adtech, media and consumer protection. Companies seeking to obtain the “Certified Against Piracy” Seal may find more information about the on-boarding process here.

Under the program, TAG works with authorized independent third-party validators, including the Alliance for Audited Media (AAM) and Ernst & Young, to certify advertising technology companies as Digital Advertising Assurance Providers (DAAPs). To be validated as a DAAP, companies must show they can provide other advertising companies with tools to limit their exposure to undesirable websites or other properties by effectively meeting one or more criteria. Validated DAAPs seeking to obtain the “Certified Against Piracy” Seal may find more information about the on-boarding process here.

Some companies may also elect to fill out a Self-Attestation Checklist to become a Self-Attested DAAP.  The Self-Attested DAAP Program Overview and Implementation Guidelines contain more information.

The criteria for DAAP validation (known as the Core Criteria for Effective Digital Advertising Assurance) include:

  • Identifying “Ad Risk Entities” (AREs): Assessing and identifying websites or other media properties that have a discernible risk of facilitating the unauthorized dissemination of copyrighted materials and/or the illegal dissemination of counterfeit goods.
  • Preventing Advertisements on Undesired Ad Risk Entities: Enabling advertisers and agencies to restrict the display of their advertising on undesirable sites or other media properties that do not meet each advertiser’s or agency’s standards.
  • Detecting, Preventing or Disrupting Fraudulent or Deceptive Transactions: Ensuring protocols and capabilities exist to find and limit ad placements on Ad Risk Entities that use fraud or deception to avoid the standards set by the advertiser or agency.
  • Monitoring and Assessing the Compliance of Ad Placements: Detecting and reporting on Ad Risk Entities that are not in compliance with advertiser or agency instructions to allow remedial action to be taken.
  • Eliminating Payments to Undesired Ad Risk Entities: Using technology and protocols to prevent payments to undesired sites and other media properties.

Companies that wish to apply for DAAP validation or to self-attest to compliance can learn more here.

TAG also invites all advertisers and agencies to take the Anti-Piracy Pledge by sending a one-line email to indicating that your company is taking the Pledge and therefore committed to fighting piracy.

Anti-Piracy Pledge Button

To view a list of companies that participate in TAG’s Anti-Piracy Program, visit our Participating Companies page.

TAG’s Anti-Piracy Working Group will build on these efforts to advance the industry’s progress in fighting piracy.