[co-author: Chris Elliott]
The City of London’s Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU) has successfully shut down the ‘Sports Torrent Network’, a leading sports file-sharing site offering its members links to sports events online.
PIPCU was launched on 13 September 2013 (see our previous blog post) to “build a comprehensive UK policing response to the threat of online intellectual property crime”. PIPCU focuses on tackling online piracy and has issued warning letters threatening to pursue action against owners and/or operators of websites committing criminal copyright offences (see Section 107 of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988).
The successful shut down of the Sports Torrent Network represents its most significant achievement to date. It has previously closed smaller sports-related sites including boxingguru.co.uk and nutjob.eu. It also has a number of other initiatives underway, including its Infringing Websites Lists. Following the recent Svensson (see our blog update here) and UPC Telekabel (see our blog update here) CJEU decisions, in the context of linking/aggregator services, this recent PIPCU initiative provides an additional “route to remedy” for rights holders whose intellectual property is being used without authorisation.