GroupM, a leading ad firm who represents many high profile clients in the entertainment industry such as Universal Music, has published a blacklist of sites which the firm will ban the sale of ads to. The reason for the list is a new aggressive digital media strategy against online piracy.
Although the website blacklist in question is being propagated by GroupM, Universal Music along with other clients of GroupM have added their own blacklists to the mix which now tallies over 2,000 websites.
However many sites and blogs within the hip hop universe have been labeled pirates in this latest internet witch hunt against sites solely intended for the purpose of pirating copy-written material. Though the list contains mostly warez or torrent sites along with direct-to-download sites; sites dedicated to hip hop music and news such as Nahright.com (which made the list twice) have been banned by GroupM as well.
In the process, many sites that are fundamental for the promotion of the music which these companies seek to protect between production and consumer are being barred from advertisements produced by marketing firms such as GroupM. One of these sites, Vibe.com, was founded by esteemed musician and producer Quincy Jones.
As techdirt.com reported in an expose on the matter, Vibe.com produced a “50 Hottest Rap Blogs” list back in 2009. From their research they discovered that of the top 12 blogs listed seven were found in the GroupM blacklist.
While verifying this fact, the trend which techdirt.com alluded to became all to clear. Off the bat, the top six of these blogs are all found within the GroupM blacklist.
Though sites such as Kaynetothe.com focus their attention on the news of the day rather than publishing illegally obtained media, members of their site within the forum provided have started threads which include links to sites who’s intentions and purposes are considered by GroupM to be piracy.
Despite the fact that Kaynetothe.com does not officially condone nor condemn piracy of the music it seeks to discuss on the site, their toleration of piracy through their moderation of the forum may be the reason they have made the list.