We’ve been saying this for a long time.
The Pirate sites who like to portray themselves as altruistic freedom fighters giving away musician’s songs without paying for them because they believe in the freedom of the internet are funding themselves with ads and raking in the money advertising things like dating agencies and online casinos – very revolutionary!
They have even formed a political Party, the Pirate party to promote their freedom of the internet ideology but seem to have missed out the Ads bit…
This is a long way away from the old school freedom fighter who fought for, er, freedom. The 21st century version of a ‘freedom fighter’ seems to be someone who makes a big noise about giving everything away for free on the internet and then raking the money in on their sites. None of this money goes back to the bands and musicians who are expected to not complain about thousands of pounds worth of work being stolen and given away before been given a smug answer about how the pirate sites are doing them a favour.
In the old days the bad guys were apparently the record labels who would give bands an advance and pay for their recording/promotion and touring- the modern model the pirates are replacing this with is that the band spends all their money recording stuff and the pirates steal it and give it all away and make loads of money from the ads that litter their sites and give none of it to the musicians and then get to form a political party to tell everyone that they are freedom fighters.
These days, with the help of established ad networks such as Doubleclick and Adsense, pirate sites are not only displaying ads for gambling and dating companies, but also ads for multinationals, including McDonald’s, Hyatt Hotels, Netflix and Ticketmaster.
It’s capitalism at its most bullying – the rich steal from the poor and then get to pretend they are doing them a favour.
A more detailed article about this appears on the Guardian here