City Of London Police Drove 200 Miles To Arrest And Jail 'Industrial' Level Pirate... Only To Have Case Fall Apart And All Charges Dropped

from the oops,-sorry-'bout-that dept

We've certainly questioned the efforts by the City of London Police to set themselves up as the legacy entertainment industry's private police force. Over the past year or so, the police operation (which, yes, represents just one square mile of London, but a square mile with lots of big important businesses), has demonstrated that it will be extremely aggressive, not in fighting criminal wrongdoing, but in protecting the private business interests of some legacy companies, often with little to no legal basis. It also appears that the City of London's famed Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU) is not particularly technology savvy, and seems to just accept what big record labels, movie studios and the like tell it.

In the last few months, the City of London Police's PIPCU effort has even gone on a bit of an arresting spree, under questionable circumstances. We noted in August that they had arrested the operator of an anti-censorship proxy service, almost entirely based on the say so of the entertainment industry. In September, PIPCU took a 200+ mile drive up the road to arrest Zain Parvez to great fanfare. PIPCU insisted that Parvez was running a series of streaming sites related to sporting events, and was infringing on the rights of the Premier League (notorious copyright maximalists). PIPCU claimed it was an "industrial scale" operation, and tossed Parvez in jail.

Fast forward a few weeks and... all charges against Parvez have been dropped. Apparently, once the case reached the Manchester Crown Court and the Crown Prosecution Services looked at it, they realized how weak a case there was, and simply dropped the whole thing. Given PIPCU's previous statements and actions, this hardly seems surprising. PIPCU and the City of London Police appear to be the latest in an unfortunately long line of folks who think that copyright infringement is such a black-and-white/open-and-shut thing that you can just declare someone "guilty" based on some questionable assumptions and it's obvious for everyone to understand why.

Perhaps, the UK's Intellectual Property Office, rather than funding PIPCU to be the legacy industry's personal police force, should have spent those resources actually training them to understand technology, due process and such.
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Filed Under: arrest, charges, city of london police, copyright, dropped, pipcu, zain parvez


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  1. icon
    Anon E. Mous (profile), 14 Oct 2014 @ 2:55pm

    FACT has their hand so far up the PIPCU backside that they can move their lips. Does anyone really take ANYTHING that the PIPCU puts out in their press releases seriously?

    The PIPCU is nothing more than a Hollywood paid for hand puppet.

    The more the PIPCU try to justify their branching out from parking tickets or whatever they were doing before FACT came along, the more they look like an inept law enforcement agency that got caught up in the excitement of doing something besides handing out parking tickets.

    The CPS basically looked at the case and the alleged evidence which was not provided by the PIPCU but by FACT which is a private entity and not a law enforcement agency.

    The idea that the PIPCU went on a 200 mile journey based on evidence provided to it by FACT, on an investigation carried out by FACT and then proceed to arrest and charge an individual based on a information gathered by a FACT screams stupidity.

    The PIPCU seems to be void of the ability to see that FACT and it's investigation and alleged evidence acquired are biased towards their own agenda.

    The CPS know damn well there would be more than a few questions of why is the PIPCU going way out of their jurisdiction to arrest someone based on a private entity's investigation and evidence.

    I would have to be of the belief that even a beginner law student could get a case like this thrown out of court just on the mere perception of bias on the Police & FACT partnership.

    I wonder how the UK citizens like the idea of FACT running around playing copyright cops with taxpayer dollars for private companies.

    The PIPCU head ought to be shuffled out the door permanently for his decision to cross the line from law enforcement to FACT's legal arm. What we still don't know is if the PIPCU are deriving a financial benefit from FACT for their enthusiastic copyright enforcemnt policies.

    It will be interesting to see if this fellow who was arrested decides to sue the PIPCU and FACT for malicious prosecution.

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