Business News Digital Legal Top Stories

City Of London Police’s IP Crime Unit makes arrest as Operation Creative continues

By | Published on Thursday 10 April 2014

City Of London Police

The City Of London Police’s IP Crime Unit made an arrest on Monday in relation to a number of copyright infringing streaming link sites, according to Torrentfreak. As previously reported, the policing unit specialising in intellectual property crime was set up last year and often goes by the acronym PIPCU, a name which may or may not make you think of Pingu. And if it didn’t, I bet it does now.

The arrest was part of the Operation Creative initiative PIPCU kicked off pretty soon after its launch last September. Most activity in that domain to date has centred on writing to the operators of allegedly copyright infringing websites pointing out the legal implications of their services and urging them to meet with officers. And then, if there is no positive response from said operators, ad agencies and domain registrars are alerted to the fact these sites are very likely piracy operations.

But that doesn’t mean Team PIPCU won’t utilise more conventional policing tactics where they believe individuals are profiting from industrial level copyright infringement, which is presumably the allegation against the 26 year old York-based man arrested this week.

Confirming an arrest had taken place, PIPCU told Torrentfreak: “A 26 year old man was arrested on Monday 7 Apr by detectives from the Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit in York, on suspicion of hosting a number of websites allowing people to illegally stream TV and films. A number of websites have been suspended and the suspect was taken to a local police station for questioning. The investigation is ongoing”.

It’s not clear exactly what sites the arrested man operated, other than that they were focused on sharing links to unlicensed sources of TV and film content. Though Torrentfreak wonders whether the fact that several sports streaming sites, mainly focused on boxing, were taken offline earlier this week is linked to the arrest.

If and when cases like this get to court, it will be interesting to see what specific charges are made against the defendants – just criminal copyright infringement, or more serious fraud charges – and how those cases then fair in the courtroom.