UK's new IP crime unit shows its teeth

Online piracy imageA new intellectual property (IP) crime unit in the UK has made two arrests on the first day of its official launch.

The unit - run by the City of London police force - detained two men from Birmingham  on suspicion of importing thousands of counterfeit DVD box sets with an estimated retail value of £40,000 ($64,000) and selling them online as legitimate products.

The Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU) has government funding of £2.56m over two years and was set up to protect UK industries that produce legitimate physical goods and online and digital content and are losing "hundreds of millions of pounds to organised crime each year."

The initiative was announced by Intellectual Property Minister, Lord Younger and City of London Police Commissioner Adrian Leppard in July, who said at the time that PIPCU is one of the first units of its kind in the world and will "ensure that the UK stays at the forefront of IP enforcement."

The unit has a 19-strong team based at the City of London Police Economic Crime Directorate and will draw on expertise already in place on other forms of economic crime such as insurance fraud, corruption and bribery and card payment.

"In the next two years PIPCU will working with a wide range of national and international partners from public authorities and private industry to build a comprehensive UK policing response to the threat of online IP crime," said the City of London police in a statement.

Around seven million people a month visit sites offering illegal content in the UK, it adds. Globally, it is projected that digitally pirated music, films and software will account for losses of around $80bn this year and this is expected to rise to $240bn by 2015.

     Want our news sent directly to your inbox?

Yes please 2


Home  |  About us  |  Contact us  |  Advertise  |  Links  |  Partners  |  Privacy Policy  |   |  RSS feed   |  back to top