A London City Police unit which has trumpeted its recent successes against ’pirate’ websites may be in line for additional funding. At least this will be the case if the Prime Minister’s Intellectual Property advisor has his way. Citing its present funding status as only temporary, the CLP’s Intellectual Property Unit( PIPCU) is posturing for permanent funding to extend its existence beyond 2015.
The move by City of London Police has the backing of the PM’s Intellectual Property Advisor as the disbanding of the unit would return to private hands and limit its effectiveness. In a letter to David Cameron, Mike Weathersley MP praised the work of the PIPCU and pressed for permanent funding.
‘I appreciate that funding for this new unit is not permanent. However, I would like to put on record my support for committing future funding to fighting IP crime and boosting the current level of financial support that is available for PIPCU. As I am sure you are aware, the creative industries add over 70 billion (pounds) to our economy each year and so it is really in our national interest to protect that revenue.’
Weathersley went on to point out how valuable a contribution to government services is made by the creative industries. He said, ‘if you value the NHS (National Health Service), you should also value IP (intellectual property) and our creative industries, as together they help pay for the services in this country that we all cherish. If we take the wrong approach, national services that we take for granted will have a huge budget shortfall.’
PIPCU is currently funded by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills’ Intellectual Property Office. It , among other initiatives, is currently focusing on cutting off ad revenue to ’pirate’ sites. According to Weathersley, the effects would be dramatic. ‘If we stop advertisers from shovelling money into illegal sites, we can stop a lot of the content. Possibly as much as 95 per cent according to the newly formed national Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit.’
There are no assurances that PIPCU will get the permanent funding it needs to continue functioning. But given the clamoring from the music and movie industries and the support of the PM’s top IP advisor, it is likely that the few million a year it needs to operate will be found somewhere. More government restriction comes as good news for the VPN industry as their draconian tactics play right into the hands of VPNs worldwide. Are you enjoying the advantages provided by a Virtual Private Network? If not, maybe it’s time you looked into it.