Movie and music piracy thrives online in part because crafty website operators receive advertising dollars from major companies like Comcast, Ford and McDonald's.
That's the conclusion of several recent reports that shed light on Internet piracy's funding sources.
Content thieves attract visitors with the promise of free downloads and streams of the latest hit movies, TV shows and songs. Then they profit by pulling in advertising from around the Internet, often concealing their illicit activities so advertising brands remain unaware.
Pirate websites run ads that are sometimes covered up by other graphics. They automatically launch legitimate-looking websites as pop-up...