We've all seen banner ads on websites that sell copyrighted products illegally or promote piracy in general. Today, Microsoft and Google have voluntarily pledged to go after these kinds of ads in a new joint agreement that was announced today.
The new agreement, which applies only to U.S. ad networks, was led by an effort from the White House to further combat online piracy and copyright issues. Microsoft and Google of have pledged to prohibit "websites that are principally dedicated to selling counterfeit goods or engaging in copyright piracy" from posting ads on their networks. There's also a new complaint process that all of the online ad companies have agreed to use so that these kinds of ads can be found and removed.
In a statement, Microsoft's Vice President for U.S. Government Affairs Fred Humphries said:
It’s been our experience that a notice-and-takedown mechanism like the one envisioned by these Best Practices can be an effective means to address online infringement. An appropriate notice-and-takedown system – that requires rights holders to identify specific instances of infringement and online services to respond promptly and appropriately to such notices – can address infringement while still respecting critical values such as fair use, privacy, free speech and the freedom to innovate.
Besides Microsoft and Google, other companies such as Yahoo and AOL have agreed to abide by these new guidelines for ad networks.