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Over the past year there has been a 64% decrease in advertising from the UK’s top advert-spending companies on copyright-infringing websites.
This is the finding of research, conducted by data company WhiteBullet, which was announced by the City of London’s Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU) on Thursday, March 2.
Back in 2013, PIPCU launched ‘Operation Creative’ and an ‘infringing website list’ to tackle the funding of illegal streaming websites.
Last year, the unit reported a 73% drop in advertising on copyright-infringing websites since the launch.
Advertising on illegal sites is a big problem: a report by the Digital Citizens Alliance estimated that in 2013 piracy websites generated $227 million from advertising.
Earlier this month, the unit revealed its officers have visited organisations found to be advertising on websites involved in digital piracy.
Commenting on the 64% drop, detective chief inspector Pete Ratcliffe, head of PIPCU, said: “This shows the great impact our work has on protecting the creative industries in the UK and across the world.”
He added: “In the coming year we will be stepping up our work in this area and these results not only show the great work of my team but also the great co-operation shown by brands and advertising agencies we work with.”
Jo Johnson, IP minister, explained that illegal streaming websites have a negative impact on the UK’s creative industries.
“The naming and shaming of infringing websites sends a clear message: criminal activity will not be tolerated,” said Johnson.
PIPCU, which was launched in September 2013, is funded by the UK Intellectual Property Office until at least 2017.