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PIPCU arrests three men over karaoke piracy

By | Published on Wednesday 16 December 2015

City Of London Police

The City Of London Police’s IP Crime Unit, aka PIPCU, yesterday arrested three men accused of illegally distributing tens of thousands of karaoke tracks online.

The three men, one in Devon and two in Lancashire, were arrested following an investigation that was instigated when a legit karaoke company noticed a large number of tracks it released were quickly appearing on the Kickass Torrents site. Record industry trade group the BPI referred the case to PIPCU back in June, leading to yesterday’s raids, during which the three men’s properties were searched and computers were seized.

Confirming the arrests, Detective Constable Ceri Hunt of PIPCU told reporters: “The illegal downloading of copyrighted music may seem like a harmless thing to do, but the reality is that these individual offences are collectively damaging one of our key creative industries – costing people who work in the music industry millions of pounds and threatening thousands of jobs. PIPCU will continue to target the individuals and the organised crime gangs facilitating these crimes, working with key partners like the BPI to ensure that those most responsible are brought to justice”.

Meanwhile John Hodge, who heads up the BPI’s internet investigations, added: “Instances of commercial-scale copyright infringement are not exempt from investigation and anyone found to be facilitating such illegal activity is not immune from prosecution. Our work with PIPCU – and all of our partners – will continue to identify pirates across the UK and should act as a red flag to anyone engaging in similar counterfeit or criminal activity”.

This isn’t the first PIPCU investigation focused on karaoke tracks. The police unit shut down a file-sharing site called KaraokeWorld back in March following a complaint from collecting society PRS For Music.