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Business News (more headlines) 06-14-2014

IAB Italy, FPM And FAPAV United In Preventing Advertising On Pirate Websites A Grey Market That Is Worth $227 Million USD

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The annual event with the Government bodies, promoted by IAB Italy, focused on the presentation of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the fight against piracy on the Internet, a self-regulatory initiative of IAB Italy, FPM and FAPAV that aims to block the advertising insertions on unauthorised platforms, their main source of funding.

Today, the fourth edition of IAB Events, the annual event with the Government agencies, promoted by IAB Italy, hosted a debate on the issue of the protection of legality on the Web as a fundamental element for the development of business and the growth of digital economy in Italy.

The event, which brought together in Rome the main players of government and parliament, of the Industry leaders and representatives of the Italian Communications Authority, represented the ideal opportunity to present the Memorandum of Understanding for the fight against online piracy, an initiative born from the collaboration between IAB Italy (Interactive advertising Bureau), FPM (Federation against Musical and Multimedia piracy) and FAPAV (Federation for the Protection of Audiovisual and Multimedia content) to effectively support the Institutions in the fight against online piracy, by acting to prevent advertisement on illegal web platforms.

The agreement sees, for the first time, the advertising industry and the content protection associations work together to oppose the development of websites that promote the exchange of unauthorized content or unlawful distribution of content protected by copyright. The MoU lays the foundation for a self-regulatory mechanism that aims to block advertising banners on illegal sites, cutting off one of their main sources of funding and thus protecting the creative industry, as well as the online advertising market, by offering new and concrete safeguards to investors. Along the lines of international best practices, the rights holders, the only parties in a position to identify and prove the infringements made by pirate sites, will report to a joint committee, soon to be established, thus triggering the mechanism of communication to agents and advertising investors.

"In a growing digital market, piracy is a huge obstacle: only a secure and ethical Web can enable the Digital Economy to continue to grow, making our country more attractive to investors and therefore creating new opportunities on the economic and employment fronts" stated Carlo Noseda, President of IAB Italy, at the opening the event. "By fighting advertising on pirate websites - continued Noseda - we eliminate one of the major sources of funding of this parallel market, which threatens the development of a healthy market and the legal drivers of competitiveness for the country system. The goal of this collaboration is to develop new models of governance of business practices in order to limit the illegality on the web, and to protect content owners, the operators of the advertising market, the investors and even the users. "

As a confirmation of the negative economic impact of advertising on illegal sites, Enzo Mazza, president of FPM, illustrated a presentation demonstrating how the torrent and linking sites attract a significant portion of advertising profits: the aggregate turnover of a sample of 596 sites is estimated at 226.7 million dollars with an average profit of 83%. Of these sites, 45 bigger ones, ie 7.6% of the total, account for 62.5% of revenues. The largest site generates about 3 million dollars, but there are dozens of sites that exceed 100 thousand dollars. (Source: Research Digital Citizens Alliance)

"The Memorandum, made possible thanks to the IAB's commitment, aims to promote a self-regulation, a coordinated strategy against the opportunities available to unauthorized websites, to obtain advertising investment," declared Enzo Mazza. "It is a black advertising market that yields significant profits to these criminal organizations. This agreement is an important step that combines the enforcement action carried out by Fiscal Police, and by the Agcom Authority at the administrative level, with a follow-the-money strategy to hamper illegal platforms. Today we need to work and support the legal online music business models, which already account for a third of the music market, and this agreement goes precisely in this direction."

"Today is an important day for the protection of creative content." affirmed Federico Bagnoli Rossi, FAPAV Secretary General. "FAPAV is pleased to be an active part of this agreement where the main goal is to target one of the main funding sources of pirate sites. The agreement with IAB represents a significant opportunity to deal effectively with the problem of audio-visual piracy and it complementary to what has recently been implemented in our country in terms of content protection through the launch of the AgCom regulations. Only with a comprehensive approach to the problem (enforcement, communication, awareness and cooperation between players) will it be possible to obtain concrete results and create the conditions for the development of a rich and competitive audiovisual legal offer."

A Round Table followed for a discussion of the contents of agreement with the involvement of Federico Bagnoli Rossi, Secretary General of FAPAV, Enzo Mazza, president FPM, Raffaele Cirullo, Counselor IAB Italy, and key speakers such as Mr. Paolo Gentiloni, Stefano Quintarelli, Antonio Palmieri, Fabio Del Giudice, Director of Confindustria Culture of Italy, the lawyer Guido Scorza, President of the Institute for Policy Innovation, and for a business perspective, Enrico Bellini, Policy Analyst at Google and Paolo Portioli, Marketing Director and Director of Seat PG IAB Italy.

Antonio Amendola, Advisor to Undersecretary Antonello Giacomelli, Ministry of Economic Development, underlined how the development of the digital sector and the full implementation of the Digital Agenda represent a priority for the Government.

The event was closed by Francesco Posteraro, AgCom Commissioner and Rapporteur of the Regulations for the protection of copyright on electronic communications networks: "The Memorandum of Understanding signed by IAB Italy, FAPAV and FPM shows how self-regulation can effectively contribute to Internet governance, and in particular to advance legality on the web. The Memorandum may represent a turning point in the fight against digital piracy because giving the possibility to operators to avoid having their ads placed on pirate sites means depriving pirate websites of the main resources that feed these criminal businesses."

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