The City of London Police has embarked on a campaign targeting online piracy, warning operators of sites believed to be infringing copyright that they could face up to 10 years in jail.
According to TorrentFreak a number of file-sharing sites have received emails from the City of London Police's National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB), warning them that they are committing offences under the Serious Crime Act 2007.
City of London Police confirmed to V3 that it had begun a campaign targeting online pirates.
“City of London Police has begun an initiative to target websites that attract visitors by providing unauthorised access to copyrighted content for criminal gain," a spokesman said. "These websites are able to operate and profit from advertising on their sites without having licenses or paying the creators and owners of the films, TV programmes, music and publications.”
The statement added that the authorities are working with the music and film industry to identify targets. While the site operators and their servers are not based in the UK, the NFIB letter warns that offences are being committed because they enable UK internet users to download copyright material.
One of those apparently targeted in the action posted the contents of the letter on Pastebin. In it, the NFIB asked the site operators to contact the police as a matter of urgency. “To prevent the further commission of offences currently being caused by you, you should immediately make contact. If no contact is made before 14 June 2013 then you and/or the website may face police action.”
The UK's entertainment industry has recently stepped up its campaign against online pirates, with courts forcing ISPs to block access to torrent sites, such as The Pirate Bay.
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