PayPal has joined forces with the London Police and the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) to combat payments being made to websites for unlicensed downloads.
PayPal’s Acceptable Use policy also states that it will not tolerate the use of activities which will
a) ‘violate any law, statute, ordinance or regulation’
b) ‘relate to the sales of items that encourage, promote, facilitate or instruct others to engage in illegal activity
c) ‘items that infringe or violate any copyright, trademark, right of publicity or privacy or any other proprietary right under the laws of any jurisdiction’
PayPal have also said that any websites offering music downloads to whom they offer their services will be required to produce evidence of licensing agreements. PayPal have also withdrawn their services from twenty four Ukrainian and Russian websites offering unlicensed music downloads. Details of thirty eight other internet sites offering illegal downloads have been passed on to the police. Primarily the ban has been aimed at Russian and Ukrainian internet sites offering pirate downloads.
MasterCard and Visa also made agreements in March with IFPI to financially starve any such illegal websites of their services.
Through the scheme, evidence is submitted by the trade body of alleged unlicensed downloading of music through illegal websites, to the illegal crime directorate of City London Police. Once evidence is considered by the City of London’s Police, it is passed on to payment providers who take action accordingly.
“The work the City of London police is undertaking is at the cutting edge of tackling online copyright infringement, a serious problem that is eroding the ability of record companies to invest in a diverse range of artists with serious consequences for jobs, tax revenues and consumer choice” states Frances Moore, chief executive of IFPI.
Many Media Law experts believe the move was simply a PR stunt on PayPal’s behalf as the unlicensed websites never would have been licensed to provide music therefore it was beneficial to PayPal that it publicised the fact it would not be associated with illegal activities. The move is also believed to have been the first of many withdrawals of services from payment companies in a warning to internet sites unlicensed in offering music downloads.
Sales made through illegal internet sites offering unlicensed music downloads do not pay shares to record labels and music publishers.
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