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New Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit PIPCU makes third arrest

PRS for Music supports new IP Crime Unit (PIPCU) to ensure that member’s rights are protected

Detectives from the Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU) have arrested a man at his Reading home today on suspicion of operating a website that was illegally selling music albums, singles and films.

This early morning operation, which followed a referral from PRS for Music, is the third arrest made by City of London Police's Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU) since its launch last month.

The 33-year-old man is believed to have been using a website to sell discs containing music and films, which he does not hold the copyright licence for, for a small fee of only a few pounds. Each disc can contain up to 40 music albums and is estimated to be worth hundreds of pounds.

The man was taken to a local police station for further questioning by PIPCU officers and subsequently an agreement was reached to transfer the control of the website to City of London Police.

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Today’s arrest forms part of just one of the many investigations PIPCU is currently pursuing.

Since the launch of PIPCU we have seen a wide range of businesses come forward with referrals for the unit and today’s operation shows how this information can swiftly be turned into live investigations and arrests.

We urge any UK organisation who believes they may be victim to intellectual property crime in the UK or overseas, to get in touch and submit evidence to the unit so we can get right to work.

Rob Stirling, Detective Inspector from PIPCU
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We welcome the establishment of the new Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU) and will be working closely with them to ensure that member’s rights are protected. Today’s action is a positive step forward in tackling those individuals and companies who profit from the theft of their music.

A spokesperson for PRS for Music

The Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU) has been set up to protect UK industries that produce legitimate, high quality, physical goods and online and digital content.

The operationally independent unit is initially being funded - £2.56m over two years - by the Intellectual Property Office, which is part of the Department for Business Innovation Skills.

In the next two years PIPCU will be working with a wide range of national and international partners from public authorities and private industry to build a comprehensive UK policing response to the threat of online intellectual property crime.

The unit will also be focused on influencing online behaviour by site owners, service providers and consumers through education, prevention and enforcement activity, and providing offenders where appropriate with opportunities to accept restorative justice.

Find out more information on PIPCU or make a referral here.

About PRS for Music

PRS for Music represents the rights of songwriters, composers and music publishers in the UK and around the world. As a membership organisation it works to ensure that creators are paid whenever their musical compositions and songs are streamed, downloaded, broadcast, performed and played in public. In 2019, 18.8 trillion performances of music were reported to PRS for Music with £810.8m collected on behalf of its members, making it one of the world’s leading music collective management organisations.

PRS for Music’s public performance licensing is carried out on PRS for Music’s behalf by PPL PRS Ltd, the joint venture between PPL and PRS for Music.

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