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Liverpool man arrested over online piracy operation

By | Published on Friday 4 September 2015

City Of London Police

The City Of London Police’s IP Crime Unit, PIPCU, yesterday arrested a 38 year old man in Liverpool on suspicion of distributing music through his own website and other digital channels without licence, an enterprise which detectives reckon was costing the music industry “millions of pounds”.

The defendant is accused of distributing large amounts of music through his own ad-funded website, via which he is thought to have generated “significant advertising revenue”. He is also accused of packing up the UK Top 40 each week and uploading it to various torrent sites. He was arrested by PIPCU and Merseyside Police officers yesterday morning.

Although copyright infringement is more commonly dealt with by civil action, ie the copyright owner suing the infringer, where infringement is committed on an industrial level for profit a criminal prosecution may occur.

Traditionally it was mainly people running bootleg CD operations who were targeted, though in more recent years those running unlicensed online set-ups have faced prosecution too. And, as previously reported, moves are afoot to make the penalties for running online piracy operations on par with those for bootlegging physical products.

Commenting on the latest arrest, which was the result of an investigation also involving collecting society PRS For Music, City of London Police Detective Inspector Mick Dodge told reporters yesterday: “Today’s operation in Liverpool demonstrates how PIPCU are prepared to travel nationwide in the pursuit of those suspected of being involved in the illegal distribution of content online. This is a crime that is costing the UK creative industry hundreds of millions of pounds, money that not only supports the artists but the thousands of technical and support staff working in this sector, and PIPCU is committed to working with partners nationally and internationally to target those involved”.

Meanwhile PRS’s Head Of Litigation, Enforcement And Anti-Piracy, Simon Bourn, added: “Music piracy has a severe impact on the livelihoods of the entire songwriting community – and many more who contribute to Britain’s renowned creative industry. We’re committed to partnering with PIPCU to enforce against illegal services that are not willing to work with us towards a legitimate licensed model, and which continue to exploit our members’ work without permission”.