Authorized Contributors are national public agencies or government-approved private-sector bodies. These contributors upload lists of copyright-infringing URLs to the platform consisting of web locations determined to be copyright-infringing under their national criteria. The national agencies remain responsible for the accuracy of their lists, which consist entirely of public data; no personal data is ever collected or distributed. The decision to include or remove a URL from an Authorized Contributor’s list is a matter for contributing parties to decide at the national level. WIPO forwards any complaint received to a contact point at the agency concerned to allow for any applicable national review procedure to be carried out. By accepting data on the platform, WIPO does not determine that any particular site has infringed copyright, that being a matter for national authorities.Authorized Users consist of advertising entities such as advertisers, advertising agencies, publishers, and ad-tech intermediaries. These users have controlled access to the platform data and may select which lists to access as an aggregated feed and input them to their programmatic advertising algorithms in order to prevent advertisements from appearing on the specified sites. Utilization of the lists can be either be fully automated on the fly through an application programming interface (API), or users can download a spreadsheet and enter the data in their systems manually.
Parties interested in joining WIPO ALERT sign a Letter of Understanding (LoU) – if the request comes from a national agency seeking to become a contributor – or a User Agreement – if the request comes from an advertising entity wishing to become a user.
The system allows users to query the status of one or more domains, download the complete list of flagged sites, or choose the list of one or more contributing national agencies. It also enables users to see if the flagged domain is still live or not. If the domain is live, the platform shows whether it is re-directing traffic and, if so, where. WIPO continues to develop new functionalities for the platform, with the support of its industry partners Bright Data Limited and Scamadviser.
More information on the operating procedures used by Authorized Contributors in compiling their lists of copyright-infringing websites can be found here: Operating Procedures of Authorized Contributors. A search function on the WIPO ALERT public web page allows web operators to check whether a site has been listed on WIPO ALERT by entering the URL in a search box. These measures provide reassurance that any errors in the listing of sites can be corrected. This said, since the launch of WIPO ALERT in 2019, no complaints of mistaken listings have been received.
The advertising industry has a long and successful history of self-regulation. WIPO ALERT is a great example of a public-private partnership, bringing national authorities and the advertising industry together to protect brand integrity and to stem the flow of revenue to illicit websites, without the need for legislation or external regulation. Any national authority, advertiser, agency or ad tech provider interested in joining this free service is encouraged to contact WIPO ALERT.