The recording industry has welcomed the launch today by the City of London Police of a new unit dedicated to tackling intellectual property crime, with a special focus on offences committed online.
The Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU) will be working to protect industries that produce legitimate, high-quality digital content and physical goods which are sold online, who are losing hundreds of millions of pounds to organised crime each year.
BPI and IFPI, which represent the recorded music industry in the UK and internationally, have expressed their full support for the new Unit, which has received £2.56 million in funding over two years from the Intellectual Property Office.
PIPCU’s 19-strong team will be working with a wide range of national and international partners from public authorities and private industry to build a comprehensive policing response to the threat of online intellectual property crime. It will investigate and prosecute serious offenders, seize criminal assets and disrupt illegal online supply chains.
The Unit will also focus on influencing online behaviour by site owners, service providers and consumers through education, prevention and enforcement activity, as well as providing offenders with opportunities for restorative justice.
Geoff Taylor, Chief Executive of BPI, says: "The UK is one of the world's leading nations in developing artists and producing popular music. So it is only right that our copyright framework should protect, promote and reward creators, music businesses and investors in talent.
"The creation of a dedicated IP Crime Unit is vital in creating a level-playing field for legitimate businesses to grow. The City of London Police have been forward-thinking in their approach to tackling websites that exploit music illegally and we will continue to work closely with them to deliver new initiatives to support our creative sector."
Frances Moore, chief executive of IFPI said: “The City of London Police has a strong track record in tackling intellectual property crime and this Unit should take that to a new level. Its work with the industry and payment providers has already seen more than 50 illegal download sites based in Russia and Ukraine, selling to a global audience, deprived of revenues. We look forward to supporting the new Unit in its efforts to tackle the borderless problem of online piracy that affects the livelihoods of artists, songwriters and record producers around the world.”
Notes to editors
For further information call:
Lynne McDowell, BPI Alex Jacob, IFPI
+44 (0)7763 619709 +44 (0)20 7878 7940
The BPI is the representative voice of the UK recorded music business. The BPI is a trade organisation funded by its members - which include hundreds of independent music companies and the UK’s major record labels. The BPI’s members account for approximately 85% of all recorded music sold in the UK, and globally the UK's recorded music market is the third biggest. The BPI also organises the annual BRIT Awards show as well as the Classic BRIT Awards show. Substantial proceeds from both shows go to the BRIT Trust, the charitable arm of the BPI that has donated almost £15m to charitable causes nationwide since its foundation in 1989.
IFPI represents the recording industry worldwide, with a membership comprising some 1300 record companies in 66 countries and affiliated industry associations in 55 countries. IFPI's mission is to promote the value of recorded music, safeguard the rights of record producers and expand the commercial uses of recorded music in all markets where its members operate.