Lawmakers in the UK are looking for new ways to stop pirates in their tracks. Site blocking didn't work and going after pirates still doesn't work. In a bid to cut down on the amount of content downloaded illegally, the London Police Force is putting ads on pirate sites to deter content thieves.
The ads, taken out by the City of London's Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit, will occupy all ad space on pirate sites.
The ads prominently feature white and red text on a black background, and bear the words "THIS WEBSITE HAS BEEN REPORTED TO THE POLICE", followed by instructions to close the browser.
Unfortunately, the pirate warnings look a little bit like the old "You Wouldn't Download A Car" ads run by the Australian government back in the early-2000's.
For the most part, it's designed to scare part-time pirates away from popular torrent sites like The Pirate Bay.
The London Police is targeting these ads to users via the Sunblock ad targeting system, which features a blacklist of sites that shouldn't carry ads. Sunblock is designed to improve audience targeting and ad visibility so that messages don't appear on the wrong sites for advertisers. The London Police is almost using the technology in reverse by asking for the warnings to appear only on blacklisted torrent sites.