It appears that the taxpayer will be funding Big Content’s latest purge on file sharing sites.
While cash strapped police forces have their work cut out reducing violent crime in recession-hit Britain, they apparently have the money to enforce Big Content’s flagging business model.
According to Torrent Freak, the City of London has started targeting sites that provide access to unauthorised content for “criminal gain”.
Since the information given to the police about criminal gain comes from a “collaboration with Hollywood Studios” you can be sure that Big Content has provided the coppers with a list of websites they want shut down.
The studios could, of course, mount private actions against these sites and attempt to get them shut down using court orders. However, that has proven too slow and expensive. It’s faster to pull police off the streets and have them act as a free security force.
In letters being sent out now, police accuse site operators of committing offenses under the Serious Crime Act. The National Fraud Intelligence Bureau further warns that the crimes carry a jail sentence of 10 years.
No indication of evidence was provided to the major torrent site operator who received a letter from the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB). However, it should be noted that this unit was set up to deal with serial offenders and organised crime gangs.
How this particular unit came to be sending out letters to filesharers when it should be shutting down protection rackets is anyone’s guess.
TorrentFreak is aware that at least two torrent sites have already received letters from the NFIB.
Oddly, neither site is located in the UK.
The letter tells the site owners that they have until 14 June to get in touch or face further police action.
To show how closely the police are working with the studios, the BPI says that an NFIB officer was embedded with their anti-piracy unit.
This is to make sure the message that all filesharing piracy is being organised by crime gangs is heard loud and clear by the police, and it seems to have worked.