PhonepayPlus, the body that regulates premium rate services (PRS) in the UK, is working with the City of London Police and IFPI, which represents the recording industry worldwide, to proactively prevent online copyright infringement. Under the arrangement, PhonepayPlus will be informed of named websites that are selling unlicensed music so it can inform the trade bodies representing phone paid services who will then distribute the details to their members. This ensures individual phone paid operators will be aware of the illegal nature of any unlicensed websites that may approach them to provide payment services. Where PhonepayPlus is asked directly by IFPI or CoLP to assist with their investigations or preventative activity in relation to pirated music downloads offered using PRS, PhonepayPlus will act on such requests to the full extent of their powers.
The details of these unlicensed services will be obtained by IFPI anti-piracy investigators who will supply the City of London Police’s Economic Crime Directorate with evidence of illegal downloads made from infringing sites. The police will review this evidence and if a case is proven against a service they will notify PhonepayPlus of its details.
Police officers have passed on the details of 24 infringing websites to date and are currently investigating the details of a further 38 unlicensed services.
MasterCard, PayPal and Visa are already working with the City of London Police and IFPI to ensure their payment services are not used by websites whose operations are based on copyright infringement.