UK police explore cutting pirate sites’ revenue


UK police explore cutting pirate sites’ revenue

Photo: bloomua /

A system for cutting advertising from websites hosting pirated material is to be drawn up by the UK’s IP office and a specialist police force.

The idea is being explored by officers from the Police IP Crime Unit (PIPCU) and the UK IP Office (IPO), as well as the UK’s IP adviser, member of parliament Mike Weatherley.

They are expected to explore ways to tackle websites that host copyrighted material, including music and films, by cutting of their revenue.

As part of the review, which is known as ‘Follow the Money’, Weatherley is working with brand protection company WhiteBullet and other anti-piracy groups and major brand advertisers.

Weatherley said: “It’s quite straightforward in that the primary driver for individuals hosting websites with illegal content is money.

“By cutting off this significant revenue stream, it is inevitable that thousands of websites will simply close down. While the music and film industries have been slow to adapt to the digital market, there are now a plethora of cheap and simple ways to get content legally.”

Last month, PIPCU launched The Infringing Website List, an online portal providing the advertising sector with a list of copyright infringing websites.

Earlier this year, WIPR reported that Weatherley had called for PIPCU to be made permanent. Its funding is currently due to expire in 2015.

A report on the Follow the Money findings is expected in early June.

Weatherley will be talking about the campaign at the forthcoming IPO ‘Respect for IP’ conference on June 11. 

This story was first published on WIPR on May 1.

PIPCU, Mike Weatherley, online piracy, copyright infringement, UK IPO

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