New stance taken by rightsholders to combat piracy

Creative industries are now making efforts to curtail the advertising revenues generated by pirate websites. The previous strategy of pursuing individual file sharers had proven fruitless, rightsholders have now decided it is time to focus on the money.

Pirate websites will now be targeted through three main strategies:

  1. ISPs being forced to block access.
  2. Sufficient pressure being applied to search engines to remove links to infringing sites and relegate the piracy sites in rankings.
  3. Squeezing the flow of advertising revenues.

Infringing Website List (IWL)

The City of London Police recently announced that they will be releasing an infringing website list, the purpose of the list is to identify the URLs of piracy sites and encourage brands, media agencies and advertising networks not to advertise on such sites.

The IWL will initially be generated by the creative industries identifying a list of infringing websites, these will then be “evidenced and verified” by the City of London Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU), this specialist unit was set up last year in September and is currently funded by the UK Intellectual Property Office (IPO).

The PIPCU will apparently initially contact the owner of a website that has been added to the list and give them an opportunity to provide feedback and if required make the required changes, this initial contact will also warn sites that if they fail to observe current legislation they run the risk of facing actions such as domain suspension, advert replacement and a disruption in advertising revenues.

The new measures are not to everybody’s taste, Andrew Norton from The Pirate Party UK made the following comments:

“If the process is anything like the current censorship of pirate sites it will involve uncontested court rulings where the supposedly offending site isn’t present to defend their legitimacy”

“this is yet another example of the government loaning itself out to favoured groups to act as free private leg-breakers”

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