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London Police Team Up With Project Sunblock to Fight Websites Committing Piracy

Do you remember the piracy adverts that you used to get at the beginning of VHS tapes – You know, the one with the upbeat music so that the ad was ‘down wid da kids’? You wouldn’t steal a car? You wouldn’t steal a handbag? Does this even run at the beginning of movies now? No idea. All I remember is, as a kid, telling the TV it didn’t know me and I may do all of these things (obviously I never did any of this… actually, I tell a lie, once I stole a crème egg and then took it back to the store because I felt bad. I don’t like crème eggs so it was all a rather pointless exercise.)

Anyway, what I’m trying to say is that advert was rubbish and did not change a thing – It was just an advert in the way of the movie I was wanting to watch, and the sheer fact i was seeing this message meant i was not stealing said video. Obviously I say this from a position of never pirated anything… but I imagine this advert did not sway anyone from burning anything it was merely just another advert.

Since this advert things have changed a bit and piracy can be committed with greater ease, high levels of distribution and more temptation, due to this advertising and the prevention of piracy has developed to combat the increasing levels of piracy. The City of London Police has upped the ante on internet privacy and will see legitimate advertising on websites accused of copyright infringement replaced with banners warning visitors to the site.

The Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU) has teamed up with Project Sunblock which provides the means to replace advertising on web pages. The police unit is informed by rights holders which sites to target, having this taken place offending sites are offered the opportunity to talk to the Police and then operate legitimately.

If the offending websites do not chose to cooperate then the Police will undertake measures to make their life more different – this will include the continuation of Project Sunblock and being added to the naughty list, more formally known as the Infringing Website List.

So how is this actually going to work? Well, the thinking is that the copyright infringing websites need an income to exist and this income must come from advertising so it’s just a case of removing the cash cow or in the words of the head of PIPCU, DCI Andy Fyfe; “Copyright infringing websites are making huge sums of money though advert placement, therefore disrupting advertising on these sites is crucial.”

Moral of the story: websites with police adverts and banners across them are bad. But you knew those websites were bad anyway because your favourite unreleased movies are free. So this campaign lacks a bit of sense.

At least that’s my taking on it anyway.