UK Announces New Crime Unit Focusing Solely On IP Crimes

from the here-we-go dept

Just a few weeks ago, we noted that the UK government appeared to be working uncomfortably closely with the entertainment industry, going so far as to have lobbying groups do a kind of real-action ride-a-long for arrests of UK citizens. This, after the UK entertainment industry made it their reprehensible goal to censor websites it doesn’t like without even the appearance of due process. There seemed to be something of storm cloud brewing over the UK internet, leaving many to wonder exactly how torrential (get it?) the downpour would be.

Well, if the first few raindrops are any indication, it’ll be as misguided as it is costly. You see, the UK thinks the next great step for their nation’s police force is an Intellectual Property Crimes unit.

“Intellectual property crime has long been a problem in the world of physical goods, but with the growing use of the internet, online intellectual property crime is now an increasing threat to our creative industries. These industries are worth more than £36 billion a year and employ more than 1.5 million people,” Lord Younger said.

“Government and our law enforcement agencies must do all they can to protect our creative industries and the integrity of consumer goods. By working with the City of London Police, who have recognised expertise in tackling economic crime, we are showing how committed this government is to supporting business and delivering economic growth.”

And hey, why not? After all, it’s only costing the British taxpayer roughly $4 million to have their police force act as the American entertainment industry’s Stasi. Four-mil-do may not sound like a big number, but when you’re $1.5 trillion in debt, every bit counts. And if they just peered over at their long-time-friends and habitual wine-drinking neighbors in France, particularly with how monumentally futile the Hadopi experiment was, maybe they’d decide they could use that money for something more productive. You know, like burning it for a couple moments of warmth.

But no, they say. This is all about jobs and protecting the innocent computers of the citizens.

[Commissioner of the City of London Police, Adrian] Leppard said the new unit would not only safeguard jobs, but would also ensure citizens’ “computer safety” by ensuring they were not exposed to unauthorized copyrighted content.

“Creative industries such as music are a vital part of our economy, providing jobs and investment. Copyright is the engine that makes these industries tick and that is what makes the work of this new Intellectual Property Crime Unit so valuable and important.”

See, the problem is that we’ve heard the dramatic death-moans of the UK entertainment industry in the past, and they’ve been shown to be bullshit. You don’t create jobs through protectionism, you create them through innovation. And keeping people from being “exposed to unauthorized copyright content?” I can’t tell if that is supposed to indicate that UK citizens are being actively sought out by movie files, or if the Commissioner is simply acknowledging that he’s going to deny the citizens he serves what a large number of them want, which is access to filesharing sites.

It would be entertaining to watch how this all fails miserably if it weren’t being propped up on the backs of tax money paid by my English comrades. But fail it will, not because there isn’t great content in the UK, but because the industries concerned would rather play blackshirt than just compete.

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Comments on “UK Announces New Crime Unit Focusing Solely On IP Crimes”

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Anonymous Coward says:

[Commissioner of the City of London Police, Adrian] Leppard said the new unit would not only safeguard jobs, but would also ensure citizens? ?computer safety? by ensuring they were not exposed to unauthorized copyrighted content.

As good a description of an official censor as I have seen, everything is copyrighted when created, and if the government doesn’t like it, it becomes unauthorized!

out_of_the_blue says:

You can't compete with FREE!

“industries concerned would rather play blackshirt than just compete.” — No, you CAN’T compete with your own products when numerous thieves are just taking it without paying. There’s NO “new business model” even possible above garage band level that works without direct revenue.

“You don’t create jobs through protectionism, you create them through innovation.” — So you’re against protecting existing jobs in favor of theoretical jobs that won’t ever be made in a declining post-industrial economies. We’ve been promised for 30 years that tax cuts on The Rich will create jobs, and it’s flatly not true, has just made The Rich richer and the rest poor.

Timmy supposedly “supports copyright”, but he doesn’t want any enforcement of it.

Innumeracy: 4,000,000 / 1,500,000,000,000 = 0.00000267 = Not even a full drop in the bucket. Well worth it compared to the figures stated for number of people employed: less than $3 each.

And Hadopi isn’t dead, it’s just being transformed into automatic fines.

Anonymous Coward says:


“You can’t compete with FREE!”

This has been beaten over, and over and over so many times, it just isn’t funny any more.

Every single time people show that – surprise – you can compete with free. Even some of the most ardent supporters of copyright have already conceded this point.

Stop clinging to that meme. Let it go, so that we can focus on more productive things…like figuring out new ways of competing with free.

Pragmatic says:

Re: Re: You can't compete with FREE!

You’re wasting your time. As I’ve stated before, Blue can’t learn because she won’t accept information that contradicts her cherished opinion as being valid.

When you contradict her, she dismisses what you say no matter how much proof you provide, and if you manage to corner her, she changes the subject.

There’s no reasoning with people like her because they are incapable of reason.

You can only reason with a person who is willing to suspend their disbelief for long enough to weigh the merits of the evidence presented. Cathy can’t do that because her opinion is too important to her.

You know that story of the monkey and the coconut? It goes like this: poachers who want to catch a monkey knock a hole into a coconut and put a stone inside. The monkey picks it up, hears the rattle, and puts its paw inside to take the stone out. The poacher approaches, but the monkey can’t escape because his paw is stuck inside the coconut. Unwilling to let go of the stone, it can’t escape because it needs the trapped paw to climb with. Thus the monkey is captured. And, thus Blue, trapped by her own opinion. Let the stone go, and monkey goes free. Let the opinion go, and Blue might actually learn something.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: You can't compete with FREE!

Right, you can’t compete with free. Which is why Mitch Bainwol wasn’t paid with another increased bonus for yet another not groundbreaking year in profits.

HADOPI, alive or dead or inbetween, took several years to end up convicting one person. If this is as good as it has to offer it’ll be little more than a senior citizen wired to machines just to breathe and wheeze.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: You can't compete with FREE!

So can I ask you how Kim Dotcom made money from mega? You state that you can’t compete with free but he did.

Can I ask how you feel about Netflix and their recent boom in subscriptions? Since they can’t compete with free.

Face it blue you’ve been hoodwinked, someday your Google conspiracy personality will turn to the rest of you and say “Guys, I’m not sure we’ve been paranoid enough about what we were told here” and you’ll realise that you swallowed the corporate lie and argued for laws to restrict the freedoms of fellow citizens.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: You can't compete with FREE!

Cathy supports the DMCA but does not want enforcement of the Perjury clause as they are all only an anomaly, supports Corporations stealing from the public, supports Corporations using accounting tricks to not have to pay the workers or their fair share of tax.

Cathy actually believes the numbers that the AA’s publish.

And Hadopi is a cold dead corpse laying in the gutter just waiting to be picked up and disposed of.

Look out Cathy, Google is going to get you.. I hope you are still checking under the bed and behind the curtains to make sure there are no Googles hiding there waiting for you to close your eyes.

Anonymous Coward says:

this is as stupid a thing to do as every thing else tried to stop ‘piracy’. everyone in the UK are being stripped of money and the government pulls millions out of it’s arse to fund this oxymoron idea. on top of that, the BPI are now going to the next level, not that it is unexpected, i am sure, of insisting that there are no links to any of their files on any torrent site anywhere. i suppose the fact that this has been tried everywhere else to no avail has escaped their feeble minds! i assume as well, just like every other fucked up idea the entertainment industries come up with, is that the expense for the ‘filtering’ will be payed by everyone except the industries and that anyone that gets blocked unintentionally will have no recourse. typical, self interested, bullying tactics! see torrentfreak for more info.

Anonymous Coward says:

You Can't Compete if your product is "Not Available"

Many of us do NOT condone true piracy – taking that which IS available for sale for free. However, when given no alternative… If you use your favorite “locked away in the vault” or “not available for another 56 days” or “out of print”.. .well, what choice have YOU given us other than piracy? Our point has long been Make/Keep it available easily and conveniently, and maybe even competitively, and we’ll buy it. “Album” sales were decimated not by piracy, but by your buying public getting sick and tired of paying $20 for one or two “good” songs and 10 that sucked. Hence, Apple selling the hell out of “good” songs. See – people will buy what they want to buy when it is convenient, available, and reasonable. I pre-order movies when they are available because by the time they come out, I forgot that I wanted it… I go out to movies not for the movie – but for the EXPERIENCE with our friends.
Remember only this – if your product isn’t in the market, you aren’t even trying to compete with free. Why is that so hard to understand?

Anonymous Coward says:

wow! with these figures, ?36 billion a year and employ more than 1.5 million people, the UK could get rid of a big chunk of it’s debt and half it’s unemployment problem in one hit! shame he hasn’t done some serious work into this, instead of relying on the bull shit figures the industries have thrown at him. he needs to talk to ordinary people to get the truth about what is happening and look at independent reports, not the industries totally bias view. like everyone that is to do with politics and entertainment, he is too old!

artp (profile) says:

So "torrential" was intentional?

Good thing that you pointed that out to me, or I would have suspected an editing error.

My use of alliteration between torrential and intentional was not only intentional but recursive!

I just wanted to note that the quality of a pun is measured by the length of time between the end of the pun and the groan that follows it. The longer the pause, the better the pun. Which is why puns are not humor. 😉

FreeCultureForFreePeople says:

It's about the The The (Secret) City of London

You DO realise that this is not about “London” (aka “Greater London”), but the sort of secret “City of London”, a City within the City, covering about one sqare mile.

Read about it here, I promise it’ll be time well spent.

Can anybody (a Brit, maybe) tell me if the City of London has any jurisdiction over people living outside this one square mile?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: It's about the The The (Secret) City of London

Greater London is a like a county, its a collection of towns and boroughs that have grown to become part of the capital. And the city of London is no secret.

The Met have jurisdiction all over London but all of our police forces work closely together so theoretically (and in practice) their reach is much greater than just London.

DannyB (profile) says:

Let's talk about Intellectual Property crimes

Here are some intellectual property crimes.

False and fraudulent takedowns of sites, servers or domain names.

Causing damage to or destruction of legitimate businesses.

Fair use not being considered.

On mere accusation without judicial process.

When the party doing the takedown is not the copyright owner or authorized agent.

Collection societies collecting royalties on copyright material they do not own or represent.

Supplying government officials with false and even outright fictional information about industry welfare or copyright infringement.

Charging levies on blank media, printers, computers, printer ink, etc, for piracy.

Any other intellectual property crimes you can think of?

Samuel Abram (profile) says:


This is basically bringing the concepts behind SOPA and PIPA from the US to the UK. The Russian Mafia wannabes at the MPAA apparently want to try to do to the UK what they failed to do in the US and realize Cory Doctorow’s Nightmare.

I’ve seen intellectually deficient (the currently PC term for “mentally retarded”) people with better apprehension skills than the MPAA.

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