Piracy Police to be Given More Money

More money is to be given to the City of London Police's Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPC).

The division deals exclusively with investigating digital piracy and counterfeited goods and will receive an extra £3m so it can run until at least 2016. Since its launch in 2013 it has received £2.56m.

The unit has suspended 2,359 internet domain names and seized more than £1.29m worth of suspected fake goods since September last year.

Detective Chief Inspector Daniel Medleycott said: "Pipcu is committed to tackling individuals who think they can exploit others' copyrighted material for their own financial gain, as crimes like these are costing our economy hundreds of millions of pounds."

Since its launch in 2013, PIPC has suspended 2,359 internet domain names. It has seized more than £1.29m worth of fake goods and diverted five million visits from copyright infringing websites to a Pipcu holding page.

Pipcu has also set up an infringing website list that acts as a database of sites deemed to be breaking copyright law. The list was designed to be used as a resource for companies that place advertising on behalf of brands.

Some have raised concerns that lists of this nature, that don't need court approval, could result in over-blocking.

The new funding will come from the budget of the Intellectual Property Office - which is supported by the department for business, innovation and skills.

Chief executive Richard Mollet said: "We have seen first-hand the important work the Pipcu team does in tackling the problem of pirate websites and the difference they are making in ensuring the online environment is one which is safe and secure for consumers and allows publishers and authors to be remunerated for their work."

Jim Cormack, a partner at law firm Pinsent Masons, requested serious consideration into how the money will be spent.

He said: "The extra funding is very welcome but of course needs to be deployed effectively in further developing specialist police expertise in this area.

"If cases are to be successfully brought before the courts, then it is also vital that expert prosecutors are also available.

"It is key for law enforcement agencies to liaise effectively with technology owners to obtain information and evidence about their rights."

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