A new study, by researchers at the Annenberg Innovation Laboratory at the University of Southern California, claims that Google and Yahoo are making profits from piracy websites.
Google and Yahoo both have advertising networks that let third-party sites, including piracy sites, use their code to generate profits off individual page views and clicks, reports the Los Angeles Times.
Other companies included in the study are Openx and Quantcast, a traffic metering service, which works with large media corporations.
The study used customized software to find out which advertising networks were used most often to finance piracy sites.
Google spokesperson told the Los Angeles Times: “To the extent [the study] suggests that Google ads are a major source of funds for major pirate sites, we believe it is mistaken. Over the past several years, we’ve taken a leadership role in this fight. The complexity of online advertising has led some to conclude, incorrectly, that the mere presence of any Google code on a site means financial support from Google."