The City Of London Police formally launched its previously reported new IP crime unit on Friday. Made possible by £2.5 million in funding from the Intellectual Property Office, the new department, with a team of nineteen, will focus on various kinds of intellectual property infringement, including online piracy, though is likely to go after more industrious infringers.
The new unit has been welcomed by UK record label trade body the BPI and global record industry organisation IFPI.
The boss of the former, Geoff Taylor, told CMU: “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”.
IFPI CEO Frances Moore added: “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”.
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