Police go after pirate websites
Websites that have illegally hosting copyrighted content on them are being targeted by the police, specifically the City of London Police in an operation headed-up by the Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU).
61 websites have been identified and were asked to "correct their behaviour" and "operate legitimately". Those not playing ball with the authorities were passed to brands with a request that they stop advertising on the sites.
Trying to throttle their revenue is all well and good, but this rather polite enforcement won't deter pirates who will no doubt have worked out a way to avoid the long arm and stay in operation. For the time being, forty websites have now been suspended.
This operation is a partnership known as Operation Creative, which sees the police teaming up with advertising bodies and representatives of the music industries. However, you get the impression that trying to stop internet pirates is liking trying to catch rain in a butterfly net.
This pilot went on for three months and the PIPCU said the presence of advertising from brands went down by 12%. The kicker with that is famous brands were soon replaced by a sharp increase in adverts that showed explicit content or exposed users to malware.
"Operation Creative is being run... to really get to grips with a criminal industry that is making substantial profits by providing and actively promoting access to illegally obtained and copyrighted material," said Supt Bob Wishart. "However, if they refuse to comply we now have the means to persuade businesses to move their advertising to different platforms and, if offending continues, for registrars to suspend the websites."
The operation is looking to roll out fully in 2014.