The music industy has heralded today’s launch of the Police IP Crime Unit ( PIPCU ) as a step forward in the attempt to curb online music piracy.
The unit, which has received £2.56 million funding from the Intellectual Property Office over the last two years, is dedicated to combating Intellectual Property Crimes, with a special focus on online crime.
Geoff Taylor, chairman of the BPI, lauded the City of London police for their ‘forward thinking approach’ in dealing with website that ‘exploit music illegally’. The unit will consist of 19 members who will be interacting with national and international partners from both the public and private sector, in order to identify and prosecute serious offenders, seize criminal assets and disrupt online supply chains. PIPCU will also aim to have an impact on the online behavior of site owners, service providers and consumers via education, prevention and enforcement.
The launch of PIPCU, coupled with an Ofcom report ( which is broken down in concise fashion over at Musically ) which states that illegal downloading is down by a third on last year, seems to hint at somewhat of a sea change in the struggle between illegal streamers/web sites and the Record Industry. Indeed during the same period, digital sales of music have increased by a modest but reassuring 9%, hinting at reasons for cautious optimism in the once ailing music industry.