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London police will target online piracy


By Nicole Kobie

Posted on 28 Jun 2013 at 11:05

The City of London Police have been handed £2.5 million from the government to target online piracy.

The funding, from the Intellectual Property Office, covers two years of operations, which will start in September.

The police force is based in the City of London, and is the "national lead" for fraud. It will be working alongside other European agencies and the US Department of Homeland Security, and will also target counterfeit goods.

Individual pirates aren't the target, however. The task force will be using its anti-fraud expertise to cut off the revenue earned by piracy websites, blocking payments and warning advertisers to stop working with such sites.

"This is not about targeting individual members of the public downloading music that might be illegal," Adrian Leppard, the commissioner of City of London Police, told the Financial Times. "Organised criminal gangs often outside this country... are making millions of pounds from this."

Leppard told the newspaper that he hopes that the music and film industry will help fund the anti-piracy unit in the future.

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User comments

Way to Prioritise

I can think of at least a dozen genuine physical crimes that could benefit from £2.5 million being used to tackle them.

But no. Spend that money on operating as the music industries private security firm, why don't you?

"Organised criminal gangs". Like the ones that charge £10.45 for a (2D) cinema ticket?

I'm so glad that my taxes are spent on protecting the vulnerable and needy, like large international corporates!

By cheysuli on 28 Jun 2013

@cheysuli - so, so wrong!

Content piracy is worth billions and billions. That represents uncollected taxes, high street stores closing down, musicians out of work. Need I go on?
As to saying the police will be acting as 'a private security firm', would you NOT have the police investigate multi million/billion business fraud or theft? Piracy is not a victimless crime - it directly affects a lot of ordinary people in the entertainment industry. I for one am happy to pay for my cinema ticket.

By WilliamW on 28 Jun 2013


I think a lot of people are sympathetic to the plight of struggling artists, but they are probably the last people who will ever see any benefit out of this money being spent.

The fact is, if your business relies on creating artificial scarcity of music and video files, trying to stop the Niagara Falls of duplicates that anyone else can make is as insane as Caligula declaring war on Neptune and sending his army to stab the sea with their swords.

If this money were being spent to combat the real crime that takes place in the "creative" industries, it would be to put a stop to Hollywood Accounting.

By revsorg on 28 Jun 2013


Amazon is probably doing a better job at shutting down high street stores than piracy.

Without going into detail, I think piracy is a mixed issue and isn't as black and white as the media industries think i.e. one download does not equal one lost sale and it does look bad since it's private companies that benefit from this in times when the government is cutting back elsewhere. Hell there are people in the media industries that think being able to rip CDs for personal use can destroy jobs.

Personally, only time I go to the cinema it's because I'm with people, wouldn't pay £10-15 otherwise, rather wait to rent it through lovefilm. If it was cheaper though like in the states, I would probably go more.

By tech3475 on 28 Jun 2013


I agree with your para 3, but the real problem is tax legislation and transparency (and therfeore, by implication, politicians). Even the smallest company will try to minimise profits if it suits them. But because accounting methods and standards may be at fault that does not mean piracy is OK. Two wrongs don't make a right....

By WilliamW on 28 Jun 2013


Piracy isn't just people downloading torrents from the internet, it is also large organised groups creating copies of CDs, DVDs, and branded trainers, hand bags, perfume and other items, and selling them cheap.

I agree, a download over a torrent doesn't always equal a lost sale, but the exploitation in producing hard goods and the sale of those goods on the cheap to unsuspecting people who think they are getting a bargain is.

The customers are often fooled - especially in small shops, where the products on the shelves look legit - and the actual mark owners of the pirated or counterfeited goods lose out too.

By big_D on 28 Jun 2013


So there are two quite distinct things - online piracy of digital content, which is actually copyright infringement, and there is selling pirated merchandise.

Nowadays I doubt whether duplicated CDs and DVDs are a serious business line for anyone who is trying to make illicit profit as people don't buy them in sufficient quantities. It is a marginal behaviour that is thrown into the debate to try and tie together different things.

My recollection of SOPA, PIPA and ACTA was that US politicians who are heavily funded by the MPAA and RIAA were doing their best to conflate these two very different areas of illicit behaviour because their sponsors were looking to increasingly criminalise the act of copyright infringement.

Shipping boatloads of fake Nike trainers from China and running a search engine for movie torrents are to my mind very different things. Certainly from the point of view of which laws are being broken (or in the case of copyright infringement, not broken, because it's a matter of civil law).

Someone with a better memory and understanding of the whole debacle can probably express this better and more accurately than I can.

By revsorg on 28 Jun 2013

***William W***

William W--High street stores don't need help to close down-HMV in south warwickshire charge insane eye watering prices that only a polatician would pay

By invalidscreenname on 30 Jun 2013

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