The mass media has already highlighted the joining of Ukraine to the international platform WIPO Alert, aimed at combating the financing of online piracy.
In this note, we would like to briefly answer the most frequently asked questions about the WIPO Alert project, avoiding (as much as possible) boring legalese.
So, WIPO, what is it?
WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organization) is the oldest and most authoritative organization for the protection of intellectual property in the world.
Since 1974, WIPO has been a specialized agency of the United Nations on intellectual property issues.
More than 190 countries are WIPO members. The headquarters of the organization is located in Geneva (Switzerland).
WIPO’s main mission is to promote the protection of intellectual property (including copyright and related rights) throughout the world via international cooperation.
What is the WIPO Alert Database?
The WIPO Alert Database is a WIPO-administered secure online platform where Authorized Members can upload lists detailing websites (and mobile applications) that are reasonably suspected of infringing intellectual property rights.
In other words, the WIPO Alert Database is an international blacklist of pirated websites and mobile applications that can be used in more than 190 countries around the world.
As of March 2021, the WIPO Alert blacklist includes more than 6,000 domain names.
The official name of the project is “WIPO Database on Ensuring Respect for Intellectual Property”.
What is it aimed at?
The purpose of creating the platform is to reduce the income of the owners of pirate sites from placing legal advertisements on them.
It’s no secret that Internet piracy is a well-organized shadow business industry with a multimillion-dollar turnover.
One of the main goals of pirates is revenue from advertising.
Free access for viewers to their favorite series and novelties of the world cinema distribution is possible if they watch commercials with calls for “big wins”, “sports bets”, “free spins”, “credits under zero interest in one click”, etc.
At the same time, on resources with stolen content, there are advertisements of honest brands, whose representatives do not always know that their product or service is promoted by copyright violators, and their video is placed next to advertisements of casinos and totalizers.
This is often related to the peculiarities of “Programmatic” – the technology of placing online advertisements, which is built on the complex interaction of various platforms and services, involves the conduct of automated auctions and does not involve direct human intervention.
Since piracy is a business, a follow the money approach has been proposed by WIPO to reduce advertising revenue, as blacklists of sites can be taken into account in the automated purchase of advertising inventory.
The purpose of WIPO Alert is to inform both advertisers and the interactive advertising industry about questionable resources (in WIPO terminology, “Sites of Concern”) that may prove to be “toxic” to honest advertising brands and to stop advertising on such sites.
What resources are included in the WIPO Alert blacklist?
Sites of concern are entered into the WIPO Alert Database.
WIPO defined such a site as “an online web resource that is reasonably suspected by an Authorized Participant of willfully infringing or contributing to the infringement of copyright and related rights, regardless of whether this is done in the country of its origin or elsewhere.”
WIPO emphasizes that they are sites “which invariably act as gross intermediaries of copyright infringement.”
It should be noted that the inclusion of a pirated resource in the National List does not require a court decision establishing the fact of copyright or related rights infringement.
Pirate online cinemas are still included in the National List of Ukraine. Other countries also include pirated resources with access to music content, books, etc. in the WIPO Alert Database.
Who contributes pirated resources to WIPO Alert? Who are the Authorized Members of WIPO Alert?
Entry of information (submission of National Lists) into the WIPO Alert Database is carried out by Authorized Members.
Authorized members of WIPO Alert are the official departments of WIPO member states.
The authorized member from Ukraine, on the basis of the Memorandum concluded with WIPO on September 23, 2020, is the Ministry of Economy of Ukraine (hereinafter referred to as the Ministry of Economy), which directly posts the National Lists to the WIPO Alert platform.
The first web resources to which rights holders have claims have already been included in the National List by the Ministry of Economy. At the same time, the Ministry of Economy established effective working cooperation with the Public Union “Clean Sky Initiative”, which unites stakeholders of the Ukrainian media market in the fight against Internet piracy, and also acted as the main initiator of Ukraine’s joining the WIPO Alert project. The “Clean Sky Initiative” summarizes content owners’ proposals on the need to include infringing resources on the WIPO Alert blacklist and provides this information to the Ministry of Economy.
Who can access the WIPO Alert platform? What is required for that?
Access to National Lists of the WIPO Alert platform is provided to Authorized Users.
Authorized User status can be obtained by those representatives of the advertising industry who will use the platform to prevent the placement of advertisements on Websites of concern, or to evaluate the effectiveness of the systems used by advertisers to prevent the placement of advertisements on such sites.
To obtain the status of a user, it is necessary to sign a user agreement (User Agreement) between such a participant and WIPO. Access to the platform is free.
At the same time, the Ministry of Economy, as an Authorized Member, acts as a moderator and has the right to terminate (or restore) any Authorized User’s access to its National List (for example, in cases of abuse by Authorized Users).
It should be noted that with the assistance of Smartsolutions Law Group, one of the first in Ukraine, the status of Authorized User of WIPO Alert was obtained by our client – the company “1+1 Internet”.
The WIPO Alert working group studied information about the activities of a potential Authorized User, and a joint video conference was held with WIPO representatives. The project was accompanied by Smartsolutions Law Group partner Oleksandr Paputsia and lawyer Vitaliy Voloshyn.
In case of presence of additional questions related to the operation of the WIPO Alert platform, as well as obtaining the status of an Authorized User, you can contact the Smartsolutions Law Group and the “Clean Sky Initiative”.