The SOPA Anti Piracy Bill Effect on Ad Verification Tools
By Kerry Guard
€œDraconian.€ €¦ €œCensorship.€ €¦ €œUn-American.€
These are a small sampling of the adjectives that the likes of Google€™s Eric Schmidt, Facebook representatives and social gaming powerhouse Zynga have used to describe the SOPA anti-piracy bill that will be voted on in congress tomorrow.
Tools like the aforementioned thrive on finding, blocking and reporting on inappropriate content such as drugs, alcohol, sex and €¦ you guessed it €¦ copyrighted content.
How Big is the Media Piracy Problem?
According to the RIAA, legal music sales have dropped by more than 47%, or the equivalent of $7+ billion dollars, since peer-to-peer file sharing / illegal downloading began in 1999.
On a global scale, music piracy equates to over $12.5 billion worth of economic losses every year.
Still wondering if there€™s a problem?
What Does This Have to do with Ad Verification?
One simple word: inventory.
Sites like isohunt and the pirate bay run banner ads across their entire network, sourcing the inventory through exchanges and fooling ad verification tools into thinking that the inventory is related to music, television or movie content.
If SOPA is passed in congress tomorrow, any URL€™s associated with illegal copyrighted content will literally be erased off the face of the internet.
Is There Enough Inappropriate Content Left on the Web?
Suppose that the SOPA bill goes through tomorrow €¦ One of the pillars of ad verification, illegal / copyrighted content, would be taken apart.
So the next question becomes €” is there enough inappropriate content left on the web? Can all steamy love movies, drug photos and alcohol sold to underage children support ad verification tools for years to come?
Only time will tell €¦