Operation Creative, an initiative underway with the support of Hollywood and the major recording labels, set out during the summer to target a list of 61 sites with a clear message. The sites were informed that they could significantly modify their mode of operations or be dealt with by Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU) instead.
While it’s believed that a small number of sites decided to call it a day, the vast majority refused to comply. In a statement sent to TorrentFreak this morning the police say that in response they sent the sites’ details to “60 brands, agencies and advertising technology businesses” with a request that they stop placing advertising on the sites.
As result, police say that during a three month pilot period the appearance of well-known brands’ advertising on the sites reduced by 12%. Nigel Gwilliam, Consultant Head of Digital at the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising, says that his members were pleased to assist in the initiative.
Here’s what I find very strange – this is entirely an economic activity – companies are asking other companies not to advertise on sites that spread pirate content. My question is this: why are the police involved? Is this the biggest sanction that the police have – one presumes that opponents of piracy consider this as effective as policing burglary by asking people not to buy stolen goods. And people in favour of piracy must be thinking this is a sign that the police appear completely unable to actually take an action at all… I’m deeply confused…