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A British IP crime unit has begun replacing brands’ adverts on websites that provide access to pirated content with official warnings.
Created by the Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU), the banners warn internet users that the sites are under criminal investigation and advise them to browse elsewhere.
The move forms part of Operation Creative, a PIPCU-led initiative designed to disrupt and prevent websites from providing unauthorised access to copyrighted content.
Head of PIPCU, detective chief inspector Andy Fyfe, said: “Copyright-infringing websites are making huge sums of money though advert placement, therefore disrupting advertising on these sites is crucial.”
Duncan Trigg, chief executive of Project Sunblock, the technology company working with PIPCU, added that advertisers are unwittingly allowing their brands to be associated with illegal sites and this happens more often than it should.
“But each time it does, brands are in effect putting money in the back pocket of criminals. As advertisers funnel more money into online spend, initiatives like this are crucial to safeguarding their brands as well as their budget,” he said.
PIPCU; Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit; piracy; adverts; Andy Fyfe