The Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU) based in the City of London Police has today called upon advertisers and brand holders to continue to support its work to tackle Intellectual Property crime following the launch of its Infringing Website List (IWL). The IWL, the first of its kind to be developed, sets out to disrupt the advertising revenues on illegal websites globally.
The initiative forms part of the unit’s Operation Creative, designed to disrupt and prevent websites from providing unauthorised access to copyrighted content, in partnership with the creative and advertising industries.
The IWL is an online portal providing the digital advertising sector with an up-to-date list of copyright infringing sites, identified by the creative industries and evidenced and verified by the City of London Police unit, so that advertisers, agencies and other intermediaries can cease advert placement on these illegal websites.
Disrupting advertising is a vital part of Operation Creative, as advertising is a key generator of criminal profits for websites providing access to infringing content. A recent report by the Digital Citizens Alliance estimated that in 2013 piracy websites generated $227million from advertising.
“If an advert from an established brand appears on an infringing website not only does it lend the site a look of legitimacy, but inadvertently the brand and advertiser are funding online crime,” says Detective Chief Inspector Andy Fyfe, Head of PIPCU. “Therefore the IWL also serves as a safety tool, ensuring the reputation of advertisers and brands are not discredited through association with illegal websites.”