PIPCU Sunblocks Pirates


The Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU) has announced their next phase of ‘Operation Creative’, their not too subtly named attempt at preventing websites from providing unauthorised access to material protected under copyright.

In keeping with the recurring theme of following the money to combat piracy, the new measures will replace advertising on copyright infringing websites with police force banners. The banners will warn users that the infringing site is currently under criminal investigation and presumably cause them to take flight to the nearest legitimate source of accessing such content.

In accordance with the weather, the pop ups will be powered by content verification provider Project Sunblock.

Head of PIPCU, DCI Andy Fyfe said: “This new initiative is another step forward for the unit in tackling IP crime and disrupting criminal profits. Copyright infringing websites are making huge sums of money though advert placement, therefore disrupting advertising on these sites is crucial and this is why it is an integral part of Operation Creative”.

Fyfe continued: “This work also helps us to protect consumers. When adverts from well known brands appear on illegal websites, they lend them a look of legitimacy and inadvertently fool consumers into thinking the site is authentic”.

Operation Creative is being led by PIPCU partnership with the creative and advertising industries and rights holders will alert them to sites that are infringing copyright. The site owner is then contacted by PIPCU and offered the opportunity to engage with the police and operate legitimately. After their “20 seconds to comply” has expired, various measures can be used including seeking suspension of the site from the domain registrar, replacing adverts and disrupting ad revenue through the use of the Infringing Website List (IWL).

In related news, The Department of Justice has put forward recommendations to the House Judiciary Committee to make illegal streaming a felony in the US as reported in Music Week.

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