Police Intellectual Property

The Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU) has been launched in the United Kingdom.  The Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit has been set up to protect UK industries that produce legitimate, high quality, physical goods and online and digital content.  The unit is initially being funded by the Intellectual Property Office (IPO), which is part of the Department for Business Innovation Skills.  The Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit has received an initial funding of £2.56 million for a period of two years.  An operationally independent 19-strong team is based at the City of London Police Economic Crime Directorate. 

The unit will focus particularly on online offences. City of London police said that around seven million people a month visit sites that offer illegal content in the UK, and globally it is estimated that illegally downloaded music, films and software cost the industry around £51bn. That figure is expected to triple by 2015.

Since the launch of the Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit two Birmingham individuals accused of selling counterfeit DVDs have been arrested.  The two men (aged 28 and 29) are said to have imported thousands of counterfeit DVDs worth about £40,000.  They attempted to sell pirated copies of titles such as CSI, Vampire Diaries and Game of Thrones as legitimate products.

City of London police commissioner Adrian Leppard said: "Intellectual property crime is already costing our economy hundreds of millions of pounds a year and placing thousands of jobs under threat, and left unchecked and free to feed on new technology could destroy some of our most creative and productive industries.  Launching PIPCU we are making a statement of intent and sending out a clear warning to organized crime that the UK has just become a more hostile place for those who seek to make criminal capital on the back of others' honest endeavours."


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