Online piracy may come mostly through a seemingly neverending supply of torrent sites, but a new study is shining a light on the role mainstream online companies—namely, giants Google and Yahoo—have in supporting piracy. After all, even torrent sites need ads to survive, and many of their ads come from the biggest online ad providers—including Google and Yahoo, reports Vulture.
The report by the Annenberg Innovation Lab at the University of Southern California lists the top 10 ad networks for the piracy sites. Leading the way is OpenX, but Google was second and Yahoo sixth. Google requires agreement to its terms of service to participate in its advertising business, and those terms include a ban on copyright infringement. "But," writes Claude Brodesser-Akner on Vulture, "the onus has largely been on the copyright holders to object." Unsurprisingly, both Google and Yahoo denied supporting piracy sites, emphasizing the steps they've taken to fight copyright violators.