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. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 14 Oct 2014 @ 12:21pm

    It wouldn't surprise if FACT now file for a private civil prosecution against this guy as that is what they usually do when charges in a criminal case get dropped without an actual court case.

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