Detectives from the UK’s Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU) have arrested a Liverpool man on suspicion of illegally and regularly distributing the UK’s top 40 music singles on the internet. In a statement, PIPCU estimated the man’s actions ‘could be costing the music industry millions of pounds and depriving the rightful creators of the content’.
The arrest came after a joint investigation with the PRS for Music. Police from PIPCU supported by officers from Merseyside Police arrested the 38-year-old at his home in Everton before taking him to a local police station for questioning. Police seized several computers and mobile devices. The man is believed to have been illegally uploading the UK Official Top 40 Singles to various torrent sites on a weekly basis as they are published by the Official Charts Company, and PIPCU said he is ‘believed to have been generating significant advertising revenue’ through his own ad funded websites and other digital channels.
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” adding “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.” adding “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.”