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PIPCU shuts down file-sharing karaoke site

By | Published on Friday 13 March 2015

City Of London Police

The City Of London Police’s IP Crime Unit (PIPCU to its closest friends) shut down a copyright infringing karaoke website earlier this week following a complaint by PRS For Music.

KaraokeWorld was a BitTorrent site with a specific focus on accessing unlicensed karaoke tunes, because who doesn’t like a copyright infringing sing song from time to time? The service had a commercial element, with VIP memberships on offer from £5 to £90, which will have heightened the case for taking criminal rather than civil action against the operation. A 46 year old man believed to be the operator of the website was arrested as part of the shutdown.

Confirming the action, PIPCU Detective Chief Inspector Danny Medlycott told reporters: “The public needs to be aware that by accessing sites like this, they are putting money directly in the hands of criminals, which often then funds other serious organised crime, as well as putting their own financial and personal details at risk of being compromised and used for other fraudulent scams. These websites are stealing from the creative industries that employ thousands of people and PIPCU will continue to work closely with our partners to tackle the criminals behind these sites and bring them to justice”.

Meanwhile PRS’s piracy man Simon Bourn welcomed PIPCU’s action, saying: “The livelihoods of songwriters represented by PRS For Music, both within the UK and internationally, and of all those who contribute to our rich and diverse creative community, are underpinned by fair licensing and the protection of copyright”.

He went on: “PRS For Music’s Anti-Piracy Unit is committed to actively pursuing those who use our songwriters and composers’ repertoire without permission, particularly the operation of online music services without the necessary licensing. The unit’s dedication in this case, involving careful investigative support which it provided to the police, ensured that an unlicensed UK-based BitTorrent music service for karaoke was located and closed down”.