Police crack down on illegal download websites

April 7th 2014

Illegal download websites are the target of a new crackdown by Police, according to BBC Newsbeat.

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The specialist Intellectual Crime Property Unit (PIPCU), which came into existence last September, has told BBC's Newsbeat that it will replace advertisements with a message from the unit. This in addition to having created its Infringing Website List a week ago.

The unit – which is operated by the City of London Police and funded by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) – has also been working with the advertising industry to stop household brands advertising on illegal sites.

Game of Thrones was the most illegally downloaded TV show for both series two and three consecutively, with one episode totalling up 4,280,000 illegal global downloads. In a pilot scheme, 61 websites that were providing unauthorised access to copyrighted content were identified. After investigating the sites, PIPCO sends a 'prevention and deterrent' notice to the domain owners. If this is not complied with, a group of 60 brands, agencies and advertising technology businesses is requested to stop advertising on these websites to cut off their main source of income.

DCI Andy Fyfe, Head of PIPCU, told BBC Newsbeat: "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."

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