updated 09:24 pm EDT, Mon July 15, 2013
Agreement induced by US presidential executive order in February
Google and Microsoft Bing have both agreed to a voluntary code of conduct to start eliminating ads that promote piracy or counterfeit goods. The agreement is codified in the "Best Practices Guidelines for Ad Network to Address Piracy and Counterfeiting" and is one of the first tangible results from President Obama's executive order from February to respond to cybersecurity threats.
A post on the Google public policy blog praises the agreement, and says that "under these best practices, Ad Networks will maintain and post policies prohibiting websites that are principally dedicated to selling counterfeit goods or engaging in copyright piracy from participating in the Ad Network's advertising programs. By working across the industry, these best practices should help reduce the financial incentives for pirate sites by cutting off their revenue supply while maintaining a healthy Internet and promoting innovation."
Microsoft has similar views on the program, saying that the company "is pleased to be a part of this collective effort to combat piracy, and to help ensure a healthy advertising ecosystem. We applaud the Administration's leadership on intellectual property and innovation, as well as the public-private collaboration that made these Best Practices a reality."
The new guidelines include a "notice and takedown" program, but apply only on ad networks operating within the US. Google claims to have been in compliance with the new order since at least 2012, with ad service ceased to 46,000 for piracy claims, and 82,000 accounts shut down for promoting and selling counterfeit goods. Microsoft has not released figures on its shutdown efforts, but calls them similar to Google's numbers.