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IP Crime Unit dropped in on brands still advertising on piracy sites

By | Published on Monday 16 January 2017

City Of London Police

The City Of London Police’s IP Crime Unit last week dropped in on a bunch of companies whose ads have appeared on piracy websites to, well, tell them to stop putting their ads on piracy websites. And good news people, they all said they’d stop putting their ads on piracy websites.

The IP Crime unit has always been a big advocate of the ‘follow the money’ approach to combating piracy, where you go after the income streams of copyright infringing operations that are based outside your own jurisdiction. A big part of that has been Operation Creative, which calls on the advertising industry to make sure ad spend doesn’t got to piracy operations, directly or via outsourced ad networks.

Officers visited eight businesses – including brands, ad agencies and ad networks – last week to make them aware that their banners had been seen on infringing sites, and to introduce those organisations to the Infringing Website List that the policing unit produces.

The City Of London Police told reporters of last week’s trip out: “During the visits, the eight companies were made aware of their involvement in the placement of ads on copyright infringing sites. All of the organisations were keen to support Operation Creative and have pledged to sign up to the IWL to ensure advert placement from their brand and clients do not appear on the 1232 websites listed on the list”.

Meanwhile Detective Constable Steven Salway added: “Operation Creative is key to ending the funding of websites involved in digital piracy. It is important we tackle this issue, not only for brands and businesses’ reputation, but for consumers too. When adverts from established brands appear on these sites, they lend them a look of legitimacy. By working with industry to discourage reputable brands from advertising on piracy sites, we will help consumers realise these sites are neither official nor legal”.