London Police Placing Anti-Piracy Ads on Illegal Torrent, Streaming Sites

London Police Placing Anti-Piracy Ads on Illegal Torrent, Streaming Sites

Hot Fuzz London Police 310x

London cops team up with Project Sunblock to keep advertising money out of the hands of content pirates.

The City Police of London is now placing anti-piracy advertising right on the sites it's trying to shut down.

The new initiative, which is overseen by the Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU), is an attempt to keep advertising revenue out of the pockets of those running such illegal torrenting and TV streaming websites, as many of these sites have legitimate advertising in full display.

PIPCU has teamed up with Project Sunblock for the operation, a company that specializes in removing its client's advertising from ne'er-do-well websites. Sunblock calls its practices "Brand Safety," as in keeping brands away from IP thieves and law-breakers.

"When adverts from well known brands appear on illegal websites, they lend them a look of legitimacy and inadvertently fool consumers into thinking the site is authentic," said Detective Chief Inspector Andy Fyfe to the BBC. "This new initiative is another step forward for the unit in tackling IP crime and disrupting criminal profits."

The sting works like this: Once a website's advertising is flagged for copyright infringement by a given brand, PIPCU verifies if the site is, in fact, infringing. If so, the site can end up on the PIPCU Infringing Websites List (IWL). Once on the list, ads protected by Sunblock will disappear, to be replaced by London Police banners, etc.

Eventually, targeted sites could have their domain registration revoked, and face criminal prosecution.

Source: BBC | TNW

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And the Hot Fuzz image was used why? Being witty are we?

That being said, the Met are better trained for terrorist threats and frisking suspicious teens than they are for fighting pirates, as the image suggests.

Me55enger:
And the Hot Fuzz image was used why? Being witty are we?

That being said, the Met are better trained for terrorist threats and frisking suspicious teens than they are for fighting pirates, as the image suggests.

The greater good?

I hope this doesn't turn out to be their version of SOPA.

Wait, torrent sites are hosting ads from people who don't want to be advertised there?

...Wat?

lacktheknack:
Wait, torrent sites are hosting ads from people who don't want to be advertised there?

...Wat?

Yeah, many brands use third party companies to manage their online adverts, these companies often don't either check or care where the adverts are being sent to as long as people are clicking. It's quite a well known issue.

FinalDream:

lacktheknack:
Wait, torrent sites are hosting ads from people who don't want to be advertised there?

...Wat?

Yeah, many brands use third party companies to manage their online adverts, these companies often don't either check or care where the adverts are being sent to as long as people are clicking. It's quite a well known issue.

Well, if that's the case, then yeah, I'm totally on-board with Project Sunblock. I can't imagine the internet at large not being on board, seeing how much they dislike rampant advertising.

That is such a waste of money from the Police. Dumbest shit ever.

Corporate Police force makes moves to serve corporate interests? Non shocker right there.

For those that don't know the distinction, City of London and Met are two different police forces, Met works Greater London, CoL are there solely for the square mile financial district. They protect the rich fucks as they spend their days getting rich with other peoples money.

Nice, now can they take the anti-piracy ads out of my DVDs that I bought from a damn store?

Also I'm legitimately surprised that pirates would pretend to care about the income of advertisers. Unless the irony is intended, of course.

I think piracy is like finding money on the floor and keeping it. Its not stealing because its on the floor but its still not your money. I dont think this anti piracy on illegal sites make any difference. People will still do it regardless. Though now i hope they stop put that crap on legally bought dvds. Pisses me off as they are not skippable yet someone with a pirated copy doesnt have to deal with that crap and can just watch the movie. Why punish people that bought the disc legally? Its obvious they didnt pirate it, they bought the damn thing.

Flammablezeus:
Nice, now can they take the anti-piracy ads out of my DVDs that I bought from a damn store?

Also I'm legitimately surprised that pirates would pretend to care about the income of advertisers. Unless the irony is intended, of course.

Well, I believe that even when using a general ad service the site hosting it gets money from the advertisements based on views and people who click the links.

The thing to understand is that piracy becomes a touchy subject because a lot of these torrent services are not actually making any money off of what's being distributed, which is ne of their big defenses and why they can be hard to prosecute. Typical defenses involve things like "hey, I'm running a public service here, you can't expect me to individually police every one of tens of millions of files that come through my tracker... besides I'm promising anonymity, if you want to go after pirates go after the pirates, not a good samritan like me... it's not my fault that this technology won't let you track anything".

Those ads, are probably a source of revenue for the people running the site, who get tons of views from the users drawn in by warez if nothing else, and at the very least defer costs, so of course they care about their advertising.

*THAT* said, I really fail to see what this police operation is going to accomplish except waste time and money. At the end of the day all they are doing is engaging in harassment which could get them in trouble or even sued for damages. At the end of the day the ads are irrelevant, and they still need to prove that the site master was directly involved in something illegal, which steers them right back into the same bloody mess that they were in to begin with. If they had what they needed to take down the sites, they would already do it.

Besides, let's be honest, the police banners are just going to make the real pirates laugh.

As a general rule, the only way your going to really beat hackers is to get hackers of your own. By this I don't mean a cop with a keyboard who hacks like on a TV show. You need to basically flip a group or otherwise convince it to help you and then stay totally hands off while they do their thing going after the other group. When you look back at things like "Operation Sun Devil" and/or the alleged war between Legion Of Doom and Masters Of Deception (ancient history) which according to many reports largely involved MoD being flipped/selling out and getting into it with LoD which was always a rival group (of course many people will say that war never happened). That kind of thing works, but the thing is hackers always come back as long as there are computers and information, wipe out one group of hackers, or a group of pirates, or whatever else and it just means another group will show up next week. Short of forcibly converting everyone into luddites and doing away with all computers and telecommunications technology the police are never going to entirely eradicate this stuff, and neither will corporations. I'm not a big fan of pirates and hackers mind you, but law enforcement should at least learn not to throw away tax money on general hunts. If you want a specific group, that's doable, and really the best way to do that is to find other hackers or pirates who don't like them, and let them do
the heavy lifting. Really corporations are just as dirty as the pirates, and they actually have it the easiest, because they could probably solve a lot of their own problems by just not being a group of outrageously greedy jerks all the time.

"Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU)"

The corporates got a foothold into the local police departments then?

It is a distinct likelyhood that there will be alot of pirates using or soon-to-be-using that particular program that we do not mention on the Escapist in order to avoid the trouble altogether. If that were the case, would anyone actually notice?

Captcha: Dalek Asylum

SHIT! I'm a Dalek!

What a waste of time and resources.

Nurb:
"Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU)"

The corporates got a foothold into the local police departments then?

That's exactly what it looks like. It's frightening and pathetic all at the same time.

I thought they de-criminalised piracy?

Elijin:
I thought they de-criminalised piracy?

The decriminalised the act of Piracy not the provision of tools and utilities to make it possible.

That said, I fucking hate the anti-torrent bullshit of the police, I and many use torrents legitimately to share and download open source, freely distributed materials. Torrents are a good thing in of themselves and the fact my ISP tries to blanketly prevent my use of them (which I circumvent of course), is of no end of annoyance.

So... will they be targeting Youtube? Pretty sure they have plenty of copyright infringements.
I'd love too see that **** storm. If they don't hit Youtube it looks like their showing preferential treatment, taking out smaller "competitors" in the advertising/content market.

Damned if you do, damned if you don't.

Nurb:
"Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU)"

The corporates got a foothold into the local police departments then?

To be fair, the local authority to which this police department is attached is actually called The City of London Corporation and are voted in primarily by the financial sector businesses that operate there.

That's some creative policing. Well done London Police.

Devin Connors:

"When adverts from well known brands appear on illegal websites, they lend them a look of legitimacy and inadvertently fool consumers into thinking the site is authentic,"

I do really wonder how many people there are that go onto piratebay et al and think "Hey! This looks legit and since I've never heard anything about this site before I'm going to download (without paying) anything I want".

I don't have any factual data for the demographics that use torrent sites but my strong suspicion is that 95%+ of the people that use them are well aware that it's not legit. But (for whatever reason) choose to not pay attention to that fact or care about it (or both).

Also (not that I'm advocating it's use) if you choose to use Adblock then the whole exercise becomes totally irrelevant - and I also suspect (once again only anecdotally) that the kinds of people who frequent torrent sites are much more likely to use such services than those who do not.

In short this might work to both inform and dissuade a few people - but for most it'll simply be something either to ignore or that they won't even notice anyway.

Giving the subject of this topic I want to remind all you of the Escapists Code of Conduct, Point 2:
"Ad Blockers - Do not link to, advocate, or admit to using ad blockers."

Surely it cannot be an offense to refer the site's C.o.C ;) Remember kids, stay well informed.

 

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