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Liverpool man arrested in Top 40 music leak investigation 

3 September 2015

Detectives from the Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU) have arrested a Liverpool man on suspicion of illegally distributing the UK Top 40 music singles on the internet.

City of London Police

In a joint investigation with the PRS for Music the City of London Police unit, supported by officers from Merseyside Police, arrested the 38-year-old at his home in Everton this morning (Thursday 3rd September) before taking him to a local police station for questioning.

The suspect is believed to be involved in distributing music tracks through his website, including acappella music (songs without the musical accompaniment), without the necessary licence or permissions from the copyright owner. From this he is believed to have been generating significant advertising revenue.

He is also believed to be illegally uploading the UK Top 40 Singles to various torrent sites on a weekly basis as they are published by the official charts company. It is estimated his actions could be costing the music industry millions of pounds and depriving the rightful creators of the content.

PIPCU detectives and PRS for Music also searched the man's home and seized several computers and mobile devices.

PIPCU is a specialist national police unit dedicated to protecting the UK industries that produce legitimate, high quality, physical goods and online and digital content from intellectual property crime.

The operationally independent unit was launched in September 2013 with funding from the Intellectual Property Office (IPO). The unit is based within the Economic Crime Directorate of the City of London Police, which is the National Policing Lead for Fraud.

City of London Police Detective Inspector, Mick Dodge, said: "Today’s operation in Liverpool demonstrates how PIPCU are prepared to travel nationwide in the pursuit of those suspected of being involved in the illegal distribution of content online.

"This is a crime that is costing the UK creative industry hundreds of millions of pounds, money that not only supports the artists but the thousands of technical and support staff working in this sector, and PIPCU is committed to working with partners nationally and internationally to target those involved."

PRS for Music Head of Litigation, Enforcement and Anti-Piracy, Simon Bourn commented: "Music piracy has a severe impact on the livelihoods of the entire songwriting community - and many more who contribute to Britain’s renowned creative industry. We’re committed to partnering with PIPCU to enforce against illegal services that are not willing to work with us towards a legitimate licensed model, and which continue to exploit our members’ work without permission."

If you believe you know someone involved in intellectual property crime you can report it anonymously to Crimestoppers online or on 0800 555 111.

About PRS for Music

PRS for Music represents the rights of over 118,000 songwriters, composers and music publishers in the UK. As a membership organisation it ensures creators are paid whenever their music is played, performed or reproduced, championing the importance of copyright to protect and support the UK music industry. The UK has a proud tradition of creating wonderful music that is enjoyed the world over and PRS for Music has been supporting the creators of that music since 1914.

PRS for Music provides business and community groups with easy access to over 10m songs through its music licences. In an industry worth over £4.1bn PRS for Music is uniquely placed to be a voice for music and music creators. Collecting £537.4m in 2015, PRS for Music is one of the world’s most efficient combined rights organisations. With over 100 representation agreements in place globally, PRS for Music's network represents over two million music creators.

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