PRS anti-piracy action becomes ‘best practice’

intellectual property office

The Intellectual Property Office (IPO) has called for PRS for Music’s successful anti-piracy strategy to be used as ‘best practice’ for future industry action against copyright infringement.

In its new Crime and Enforcement Report, the IPO highlights the successful prosecution of British man Wayne Evans, who was found guilty of large scale online music piracy by PRS for Music and the Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU).

It said: ‘In this report we showcase best practice and share advice on the most efficient ways to prevent IP crime and apprehend criminals. The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) makes particular reference to the case of R v Wayne Evans which took place earlier this year.

‘Here valuable guidelines were provided by the Court of Appeal concerning prosecution for illegal downloading and the seriousness of the offence was confirmed,’ it continued, adding that online piracy and illegal digital distribution is very often difficult to investigate and detect.

‘[However, as] it can give rise to serious problems and losses (none the less real for not being readily quantifiable) to the music an entertainment industry, deterrent sentencing in such a context is appropriate,’ it said.

The collecting society was also praised for its active lobbying at government level, research into the rise of stream-ripping and the ongoing work of its Anti-Piracy Unit, which delivered the Member Anti-Piracy System (MAPS) last year.

MAPS works by tracking PRS for Music members’ repertoire on unlicensed and infringing sites and enables users to request removal of their content.

Read the full report at https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/642324/IP_Crime_Report_2016_-_2017.pdf