As a big step for the creative & advertising community, Infringing Website List is an initiative that aims to cut off advertising revenue flowing to major pirate websites.
Stopping money from going to the wrong hands
The Infringing Website List (IWL) program involves identifying a list of the most popular pirate websites in Malaysia, sharing the list with advertisers, and removing any advertisements found to be placed on those websites. The effect is to reduce the flow of advertising revenue to criminal operations, decreasing the operator’s ability to keep the website operable, and in turn reducing online copyright infringement and improving Malaysia’s digital ecosystem for all players.
Yap Chee Weng, the President of the Malaysian Media Specialist Association, said, “Piracy websites generated over USD$209 million (RM881 million) in advertising revenue alone. As an advertising community, we do not want to see money going into the hands of criminals. Neither do we want our quality brands associated in any way with illegal websites. We fully support the IWL initiative because it protects not only the rights of copyright holders but also our clients’ brand reputation and image”
Dato Norman Abdul Halim, the President of the Malaysian Film Producers Association, said, “These illegal websites are making a lot of money from advertisers who frequent the sites because of the high volume of infringing traffic. This revenue should be going to the filmmakers and legitimate right holders”.
“It is now rolling out in many countries in the Asia Pacific region. It’s great to see the advertising”, said Oliver Walsh, Director of Operations, Asia Pacific, Motion Picture Association (MPA).
The initiative follows a trend in the Asia Pacific region that takes the lead from the UK’s Operation Creative, a ground-breaking scheme led by the Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU), in 2014. Operation Creative program now lists over 2,000 pirate websites, and involves over 130 advertising associations and companies. Reports show a 73% fall in mainstream advertisements appearing on those pirate websites.
Transparency; a step forward
Datuk Ahmad Izham Omar, the Chairman of the Communications and Multimedia Content Forum (CMCF) said, “Initiatives like the Infringing Watch List (IWL) are critical to driving greater transparency for our industry.
The IWL event was preceded by a panel discussion entitled “An overview of Content Piracy in Asia Pacific and Beyond: Examples and How Economies Respond” organized by the Centre for Content Promotion. The discussion included presentations by the CCP’s Founding Director, Frank Rittman, along with the Vice Chairman of the Motion Picture Licensing Company and former IP advisor to British Prime Minister David Cameron, Mike Weatherley, and the President of the Local Film Producers’ Association, Dato Norman Abdul Halim.
With a collective list to better inform advertisers and the creative community, enforcement on pirated content is now easier.