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UK coppers could turn into hackers

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Destroy adverts on illegal sites

UK coppers have pledged to destroy advertising on illegal websites.

Mike Weartherly, IP advisor to David Cameron, has put forward a number of recommendations to tackle advertising revenue that goes to illegal websites.

These include setting up advertising monitoring software; encouraging the use of the IWL tick at advertisers; and more funding for the Police Intellectual Crime Unit (PIPCU), which it hopes will work with the Intellectual Property Office (IPO) to consider what additional legislation is required. Weatherly said that following the money was the key to shutting down the vast majority of websites that host illegal material.

Steve Head, City of London Police Commander who oversees PIPCU said that IP crime was costing the UK economy hundreds of millions of pounds each year, with up to 500 international organised crime gangs causing significant damage to industries that are producing legitimate, high quality, physical goods and online and digital content.

"Disrupting revenue to pirate websites is vital to combating online intellectual property piracy and I therefore welcome the recommendations in Mike Weatherley's report.

Head said that PIPCU will make "truly significant inroads" into reducing this time of criminality, thanks to its previous expertise. 

It is not clear how the organisation will disrupt advertising without hacking into pirate websites.

Head said that PIPCU was already working with partners in both the advertising and creative industries to 'follow the money' through the work of Operation Creative," he added. "This unique initiative is designed to disrupt and prevent websites from providing unauthorised access to copyrighted content, using tactical options which divert funding away from criminals."

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