When DMCA Doesn’t Work: Attacking The Pirate’s Income
If you’re in the industry, you know that capped shows and pirated clips is a huge problem. DMCA is the first step to getting the stolen content removed. But unfortunately, there are some countries that don’t recognize USA intellectual property laws. Because of this, pirates with sites hosted in those countries don’t have to honor DMCA.
When DMCA doesn’t work, it’s time to get really creative. One way to do this is to attack their revenue. Pirates aren’t doing this to share porn with the world. They’re trying to make money off your stolen content. If the money disappears, there’s no purpose in stealing the content. In fact, they’d be losing money due to hosting and other expenses. Here’s how to attack their revenue.
First: How Are They Making Money?
All these pirate sites are making their money through affiliate marketing or selling their traffic to a traffic company. If you read the affiliate agreements, pretty much every network will prohibit illegal actions to send them traffic. This includes piracy. Not all these networks are good at vetting their publishers and following-up with reports, however. That doesn’t mean they won’t remove an affiliate/publisher if it’s brought to their attention.
Identifying How The Pirate Is Making Money
This is quite simple. Go to the site and see what ads are being displayed. Refreshing a page might display a different set of ads (due to an ad rotater). You’re going to need to look for the actual links associated with the ad types to determine whether it’s being sent to an ad network, or directly to an affiliate offer. For example, if the ads have the domain of “exosrv.com”, that means the pirate is sending traffic to ExoClick. If it’s going directly to a company-owned domain, the publisher is sending traffic directly to an affiliate offer.
Get Loud About The Publisher’s Breach Of Terms
Pretty much every affiliate program and traffic network states that they don’t allow publishers to send traffic through illegal means. This means that the pirates are blatantly breaking those terms. The problem is, not every company is proactive about vetting their publishers or acting when non-compliance gets brought up. Some companies are.
The first step is to reach out through the proper channels. Affiliate support / managers would be a great place to start. There’s also generic support and other decision-makers who might be applicable. Depending on how receptive the company is, they might act on it. There’s also the chance that you never even get a follow-up and not action is performed. If that’s the case, don’t get discouraged.
You can get loud on social media, you can inform the adult webmaster community about the lack of morals of said company (piracy impacts the entire industry, subsidizing piracy is definitely “taboo” to say the least) the possibilities are endless. By any means, you’re able to get loud, and companies understand the impacts of negative PR.
What If The Traffic Company / Affiliate Program Doesn’t Act?
The sad reality is; not every company is going to be receptive and remove shady publishers. Whether you’re just not hitting the right decision-makers, or the company blatantly doesn’t care, this is a reality. The good news is: There’s also receptive affiliate programs and traffic companies and when those individuals act, does help undermine the profitability of piracy.
Even if a company fails to act, if bad PR is continuously being enforced on the program / company, eventually someone will take notice and intervention will occur. At least one can hope that is the case.
Another Tactic: Fighting Piracy By Fighting Their Traffic Sources
Luckily there’s more ways than just one to take the fight to the pirates. If DMCA doesn’t work, and attacking the revenue streams doesn’t pan out, you can still attack their traffic sources. By targeting their traffic, you’re also generating more traffic for yourself, which will result in revenue. This makes it a double-win.
If you’re Googling or searching for yourself on social media, and you’re seeing a bunch of pirated content come up, this is something you should definitely be focusing on. That’s because other people are also searching for your content. You want them to find the web properties you own or control, or the content of legit promoters / affiliates. Not the stolen content.
If you’re taking your branded traffic back, your directly impacting the pirate’s bottom-line. As mentioned before, that traffic also becomes your traffic. Granted, it’s not going to take the content offline, and someone hell bent on finding said content probably will. It will at least make it harder for them to find it and less profitable for the pirate.
Best of all, you’re in control of this situation. You’re not relying on a successful DMCA takedown or a responsive company removing a pirate as a publisher. You simply need to go out and reclaim your traffic.
Learn More: Fighting Piracy Through Reclaiming Your Traffic