THE CITY OF LONDON POLICE is asking advertisers to stop hawking their wares on what are viewed as "illegal websites".
These adverts are ones for legitimate services that appear on websites that rightsholders and the police do not favour.
The City of London Police said that it has a list of illegal websites operating globally that it would rather not see supported by well-known brands.
The Infringing Website List (IWL) is the first of its kind, according to the Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU) and was created by its Operation Creative initiative.
Operation Creative looks to be a spanner in the unlawful monetisation of copyright protected content, and sees the police force look to align itself with the creative and advertising industries.
The list is drawn up by the creative industries and given the nod of approval by the City of London Police and the government. Rightsholder groups claimed that so-called 'piracy' websites earned £200m from advertising in 2013.
"If an advert from an established brand appears on an infringing website not only does it lend the site a look of legitimacy, but inadvertently the brand and advertiser are funding online crime," said detective chief inspector Andy Fyfe, head of PIPCU.
"Therefore the IWL also serves as a safety tool, ensuring the reputation of advertisers and brands are not discredited through association with illegal websites."
UK creative industries minister Ed Vaizey is pleased with the list and the backing that it will give the creative industries that created it.
"It is essential we protect our creative industries from people ripping off their content online. Disrupting the money unlawful websites make from advertising could make a real difference to the fight against copyright infringement," he said.
"It is an excellent example of what can be achieved through industry, government and law enforcement working together." µ