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Open Letter to Everyone Involved in Distribution and Monetization of Web Content

We address to everyone who is involved in the distribution and monetization of Internet content with request to dismiss financing for those websites that infringe intellectual property rights and disrupt development of fair competition in the Ukrainian content market.

Today in Ukraine we have a threatening situation when hundreds of websites function beyond the legal field, being in fact business ‘pirates’. Such resources upload copyright protected content without permission of copyright holders and profit from the advertising being demonstrated to the content viewers.

These websites break the law, violate intellectual property rights and actually carry out their activity outside the legal framework. When copyright holders and even law enforcement authorities request them to remove certain content the exclusive rights for which belong to copyright holders, most of such sites simply ignore the requests. And for so doing, they in fact bear no responsibility.

Many entities, including reputable Ukrainian and international companies, have their advertising placed on ‘pirates’ websites. For online advertising often is placed by intermediary services, sometimes advertisers are simply unaware of the fact that their ad appeared on a so called ‘pirate’ website or overlook such sites in their media plans.

One of the main reasons why the ‘pirate’ websites show up in many media plans is the low price for advertising they charge, since such resources incur zero cost either on production or acquisition of the content.

Furthermore, advertisers may not know whether the website is a fair market player or it constantly receives claims as for legality of the content’s use from the copyright holders. To this extent, only copyright holders are in the position to confirm if the content is uploaded on a specific website lawfully or identify such website as one that violates intellectual property rights.

In the view of the above, we see two main ways that would turn the situation around.

The first is that copyright holders should provide the advertisers with the information which websites infringe intellectual property rights by uploading their content illegally.

The second is that advertisers should take responsible decisions of placing their ads only with those websites which use the content legally, upon an agreement with the copyright holders, even if the advertising rates of the ‘pirates’ are more attractive.

We appeal to all participants involved.

We are asking for help to build a civilized market that would function based on fair competition principles, in which intellectual property rights will indeed be protected, giving rise to successful development of our national economy. Let the Ukrainian origin content grow, therefore stop financing websites that ignore the requirements of the law and frequently infringe copyright holders rights.

We suggest that:

  • Copyright holders and their representatives publish the lists of the websites that violated the copyrights with regard to their content, or that constantly are the recipients of the claims concerning legality of such content’s upload from the copyrights holders, at ‘Websites with Illegal Content’ section: http://legalcontentua.com/en/archives/category/nelegalnyi-content.
  • State authorities, non-governmental organizations, and other interested parties regularly check on the information which websites use or upload the content illegally, without an agreement with the copyright holders, at http://legalcontentua.com/en/
  • Advertisers use the section ‘Sites with Illegal Content’ at http://legalcontentua.com/en/archives/category/nelegalnyi-content to verify if copyright violations are discovered at the specific advertising media. Subject to existence of such facts (and especially if the copyright holders discover them systematically), we suggest you to reconsider using the website or advertising media until the later resolves the disputes with the copyright holders.
  • The websites that use legal content only become partners of the ‘Clear Sky’ initiative at http://legalcontentua.com/en/sajty-partnery for the advertisers to have a list of the websites where ad placement will be deemed socially responsible and safe for brand reputation.
  • All parties (websites, advertisers, others) participate in the promotion of this media initiative by recording and/or placing a video calling to stop supporting the ‘pirates’.

This is an open letter addressed to all responsible parties concerned with civilized development of the Ukrainian Internet.

You can find the list of market players which have already accepted and supported this letter at http://legalcontentua.com/en/.

  

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