Weatherley Follows the Money


The Prime Minister’s IP Advisor Mike Weatherley has reiterated the importance of cutting off advertising revenue to pirate sites in a new discussion paper.

The new report is actually entitled ‘Follow The Money: Financial Options To Assist In The Battle Against Online IP Piracy’.

Whilst someone in Weatherley’s office may have been watching too much of The Wire, the beginning of the title actually conjures up images of disgraced MPs, porn movies, car parks and expense accounts. However, the report does suggest a number of actions- these include increasing funding for the Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU) and considering additional legislation to require pre-emptive action by advertisers and payment providers.

When asked whether he was Deep Throat, all the Prime Minister’s man would say was: “Following the money is the key to shutting down the vast majority of websites that host illegal material. It is paramount that we curb advertising revenue that is going to pirates who are, in turn, seriously damaging our creative industries”.

Head of economic crime at City of London Police Commander Steve Head said: “Disrupting revenue to pirate websites is vital to combating online intellectual property piracy and I therefore welcome the recommendations in Mike Weatherley’s report. We must take the profit out of this type of criminality and where legitimate companies, such as payment providers, are facilitating that profit they must be held to account if they fail to act”.

The Prime Minister commented: “Mike Weatherley’s ‘Follow the Money’ discussion paper is an interesting addition to this important area of work and the Government will look at it closely”.

Cameron added: “It is encouraging that creative industries are building a stronger relationship with our enforcement bodies, such as the new national Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit that the Government has established. Intellectual Property is an important property right that contributes enormously to our economy”.

As reported, PIPCU (not to be confused with Soho hipster Barbecue restaurant Pitt Cue) launched last year, receiving £2.56m in funding over two years from the Intellectual Property Office (IPO).

Find out more and read the report here.

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