The Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU), which fights piracy across industries including publishing, has been awarded a further £3m in funding, covering its operations up to 2017.
The funding was announced today (23rd October) by Baroness Neville-Rolfe, the minister for intellectual property, at the Anti-Counterfeiting Group Conference in London.
PIPCU, run by the City of London Police, was formed a year ago. Neville-Rolfe said: “Government and industry must work together to give long-term support to PIPCU, so that we can strengthen the UK’s response to the blight of piracy and counterfeiters.”
Since its launch in September 2013 PIPCU has investigated more than £29m of intellectual property crime and suspended 2,359 internet domain names, set up Operation Creative, an initiative designed to disrupt and prevent websites from providing unauthorised access to copyrighted content, and launched the Infringing Website List.
The Publishers Association’s chief executive Richard Mollet welcomed the funding announcement, saying: “As partners with PIPCU in their fight against online IP infringement we are delighted to hear its funding is secure for another two years. We have seen first-hand the important work the PIPCU team does in tackling the problem of pirate websites and the difference they are making in ensuring the online environment is one which is safe and secure for consumers and allows publishers and authors to be remunerated for their work.”
City of London Police Commander Steve Head, who is the Police National Coordinator for Economic Crime, said the funding was “very bad news for those that seek to make capital through intellectual property crime”.