Brand Supported Piracy Wall of Shame: Why is Spotify advertising on illegal sites that exploit Tom Waits?

Lyrics007 is one of the top illegal lyrics sites, but gets the blue chip advertisers like McDonalds as we have noted before (see their Google Adsense publisher code above–this is the code issued by Google so that they know what inventory is available to serve ads to and who to pay).

What’s interesting about Lyrics007 today is that in addition to the usual McDonalds ads and birth control drug banners tied to song lyrics like Tom Waits’ “Ice Cream Man,” the illegal site got a nice banner from Spotify to add just that additional air of legitimacy to induce users to infringe.  Isn’t there someone at Spotify who understands about illegal lyric reprints?  I simply cannot believe that Ellie Goulding knows that her name is being used by Spotify to rip off Tom Waits.

And then, of course, there’s this one with not one, not two, but three McDonald’s ads:

And, of course, my personal favorite: Google Play getting a nice home page placement on Lyrics007:

Isn’t there someone at Google Play who’s supposed to know all about music publishing?  Seems like they just spent a bunch of money to acquire that knowledge.

And yes, the ad was served by Google:

Just another day in larceny land with people who should know better robbing us blind and those who do know better doing nothing to stop them.

2 thoughts on “Brand Supported Piracy Wall of Shame: Why is Spotify advertising on illegal sites that exploit Tom Waits?

  1. Note: Spotify is most likely buying targeted inventory via an ad network for their online ads, and is not proactively choosing to advertise on illegal sites. Same with the other advertisers, like McDonalds, etc. Very few online ads/banners are actually negotiated with individual sites. It’s much more efficient to buy through a network or an exchange.


  2. Note: we are aware. We are also aware that Spotify needs to be aware. If they are not proactively choosing to be on illegal sites, then they are proactively choosing not to care whether they are or not, which to me is no different. They are still paying pirates with the artists’ money because they deduct the ads from the artist’s revenue. Meet the new boss, worse than the old boss.


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