If you want to hurt pirates, target their ad money says David Lowery

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David Lowery is an entrepreneur, math whiz and the lead singer of the American rock band, Cracker. He thinks he has a way to curb the ongoing problem of music, movie and book piracy.

Speaking at a copyright event in New York this week, Lowery said the best approach is to hurt the pirates in the pocket book by cutting off their ad money. Specifically, he believes the creative industries should team up with legitimate distribution services like Pandora to name and shame the advertisers who let the pirates make a living.

“You’re never going to shut down the cyber locker sites altogether, so let’s make it hard for them to make money. It’s low-hanging fruit,” he said.

Lowery is not a copyright hardliner. He puts tracks of his band’s live performance on the internet and doesn’t mind when bands cover his songs and post them on YouTube. But he is exasperated by people helping themselves to his music on pirate sites, and accuses Fortune 500 companies of propping up these sites with ad money.

The singer says he has contacted companies like American Express to ask them to police their ad networks but none except Google have responded. He thinks it will take greater awareness of advertisers’ role in the piracy eco-system before the companies will act.

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