British man arrested on suspicion of ‘costing music biz millions’

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 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’.

In a joint investigation with the PRS for Music, the City of London Police unit – supported by officers from Merseyside Police – arrested the 38-year-old at his home in Everton this morning (Thursday 3rd September) before taking him to a local police station for questioning.

The suspect is believed to be involved in distributing music tracks through his website, including acappella music (songs without the musical accompaniment), without the necessary licence or permissions from the copyright owner.

PIPCU said he is ‘believed to have been generating significant advertising revenue’.

The man is also believed to have been illegally uploading the UK Top 40 Singles to various torrent sites on a weekly basis as they are published by the Official Charts Company.

PIPCU detectives and PRS for Music searched the man’s home and seized several computers and mobile devices.

“This is a crime that is costing the UK creative industry hundreds of millions of pounds.”

Mick Dodge, City of London Police

PIPCU is a specialist national police unit dedicated to protecting the UK industries that produce legitimate, high quality, physical goods and online and digital content from intellectual property crime.

The operationally independent unit was launched in September 2013 with funding from the Intellectual Property Office (IPO).

The unit is based within the Economic Crime Directorate of the City of London Police, which is the National Policing Lead for Fraud.

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.

“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.

“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.”Music Business Worldwide

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