Sky’s head of litigation made a rather surprising statement at an industry convention in Macau this week. Matthew Hibbert told those in attendance that thanks to site-blocking, it’s no longer possible to watch pirated live soccer in the UK anymore. Meanwhile, the UK Intellectual Property Office has revealed that when questioned a while back, rightsholders told them that pirate boxes weren’t a problem. How things change.
The Federation Against Copyright Theft, in conjunction with the police and Intellectual Property Office, has released a new report on the state of Internet piracy in the UK. Estimates suggest that at least a million set-top devices providing access to pirated material have been sold over the past two years, with 25% of the public consuming illicit content overall.
The UK Intellectual Property Office has published its new IP Crime Report containing the usual recap of the year’s battles in the copyright arena. It also offers some interesting insights from the Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit and Crown Prosecution Service.
The UK’s Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit has secured additional government funding which will keep it in action until at least 2019. The London-based operation, which has been instrumental in disrupting the activities of dozens of sites and people operating generally in the ‘pirate’ sector, has been given £3.32m to spend over the next two years.
Three men from the UK have been sentenced after pleading guilty to providing unauthorized access to pirate movies, music, games, and books. The main player, who allegedly made £500,000 over a number of years, was handed a 24 month suspended sentence. The other pair received 12 months each.
City of London Police’s Intellectual Property Crime Unit is claiming success following recent efforts to keep gambling related advertising off ‘pirate’ sites. New research has revealed an 87% drop in adverts for licensed gambling operators being displayed on Infringing Website List domains during the past 12 months.
The UK’s Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit has partnered with the International Anti Counterfeiting Coalition’s ‘RogueBlock’ program to take down websites offering infringing goods and content. PIPCU will augment RogueBlock’s ability to remove payment systems from cyberlockers and similar sites but the EFF has criticized the lack of accountability and transparency.
The BPI’s former head of anti-piracy is under police investigation, TorrentFreak has learned. Former policeman David Wood was an important stakeholder figure at the Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit but was dismissed from the BPI for gross misconduct in 2015. The music group recently forced Wood into bankruptcy.