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UK IP police promise to 'disrupt' advertising on 'illegal' websites

Copyright cops look to stop money going to 'pirate' sites
Wed Jun 25 2014, 14:34
Online Piracy

UK POLICE have committed to "disrupt" advertising revenue on pirate websites, welcoming a report from the prime minister's intellectual property adviser.

Mike Weartherly, IP advisor to David Cameron, published a report on Wednesday in which he puts forward a number of recommendations to tackle advertising revenue that goes to illegal websites.

These recommendations include: exploring how to set use advertising monitoring software; encouraging the use of the IWL tick at advertisers; and more funding for the Police Intellectual Crime Unit (PIPCU), which it hopes will work with the Intellectual Property Office (IPO) to consider what additional legislation is required.

Weatherly said, "Following the money is the key to shutting down the vast majority of websites that host illegal material. This report explores a number of issues surrounding the piracy debate and I hope that it will spur further discussion both in the UK and, given the international nature of this problem, in other countries across the world."

This news, unsurprisingly, has been welcomed by PIPCU, which has been quick to come out and say it welcomes Weatherly's report, and will step up in order to tackle the crime.

Steve Head, City of London Police Commander who oversees PIPCU said, "Intellectual property crime is costing the UK economy hundreds of millions of pounds each year, with up to 500 international organised crime gangs causing significant damage to industries that are producing legitimate, high quality, physical goods and online and digital content.

"Disrupting revenue to pirate websites is vital to combating online intellectual property piracy and I therefore welcome the recommendations in Mike Weatherley's report.

Head added that he believes PIPCU will make "truly significant inroads" into reducing this time of criminality, thanks to its previous expertise.

"PIPCU is already working with partners in both the advertising and creative industries to 'follow the money' through the work of Operation Creative," he added. "This unique initiative is designed to disrupt and prevent websites from providing unauthorised access to copyrighted content, using tactical options which divert funding away from criminals."

Since its launch in September PIPCU has already gone after a bunch of "illegal websites", and most recently shuttered, albeit briefly. µ


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