PIPCU shuts down On Read

PIPCU shuts down On Read

E-book download site On Read has been shut down by the City of London's Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU).

Visitors to the site, which ran a subscription-style service, allowing users to download multiple books for a regular fee, are now greeted with a message from the City of London Police, stating that: "You have tried to access a website that is under criminal investigation by the UK… This site is being investigated for online copyright infringement." It also contains links to find out more about PIPCU, and links to a number of bodies such as the Publishers Association (PA).

The City of London Police told The Bookseller that they could not comment on individual site shutdowns which were the subject of an investigation, but said that sites are only closed after due process where PIPCU has been presented with a case of infringement and contacted the website to seek compliance.

PIPCU set up Operation Creative last year, working with groups like the PA to "disrupt and prevent websites from providing unauthorised access to copyrighted content". Typically, right holders will provide detailed evidence on how sites are breaching copyright, which is then evaluated by officers from PIPCU. After trying to engage with the site, PIPCU can then look at suspending the site, and disrupting revenue through adding to an Infringing Website List, which alerts advertisers not to place adverts on the site.