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City of London Police seize pirate websites

UK police have closed 40 alleged pirate website in an operation backed by the Federation Against Copyright Theft and the BPI

Called Operation Creative, the police swooped on the domains and had them suspended by domain name registrars.

The police have been working with movie and music firms to tackle the pirates. A list of 61 domains was drawn up and these sites were told by the authorities that they had to change their operations or face actions by the Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU).

Details of those failing to respond to this approach were then passed to a group of 60 brands, agencies and advertising technology businesses with a request to stop advertising on these websites.

The police said that adverts adverts from well-known brands decreased by 12 per cent as a result of the operation while adverts leading users to sites featuring explicit adult content or malware grew by 39 per cent.

The police said this malware increase was down to website owners struggling to maintain revenues when adverts from established brands were removed.

Following this domain name registrars hosting the sites were informed that these sites features copyrighted material and could be potentially breaching their terms and conditions.

Superintendent Bob Wishart, from PIPCU, said: “Operation Creative is being run by PIPCU and the digital and advertising sectors 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.

“Together we have created a process that first and foremost encourages offenders to change their behaviour so they are operating within the law. 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 success of Creative thus far is evidence of a growing international consensus that people should not be allowed to illegally profiteer from the honest endeavours of legitimate business enterprises.”

Image: fdecomite/Wikimedia/Flickr/Creative Commons

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