A man and woman have been arrested at their home in Irlam by police investigating mass online distribution of copyright protected music software.
The couple, age 40 and 35, were arrested after a search of the property at around 8am this morning, Wednesday 11 November, by the City of London Police’s Intellectual Property Crime Unit.
Detectives believe the pair are involved in selling downloadable music software, including backing tracks and recorded instrumentals, at knock-down prices online.
A website run by the man and woman offers “a comprehensive library of copyright infringed music software with sophisticated payment facilities,” said police.
No charges have yet been made.
The arrests were made after the British Phonographic Industry, the music industry’s trade body, called in copyright police after their own investigation revealed the scale and extent of the suspected fraud.
Detective Constable Steven Kettle, who led the investigation for the Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit, said: “This is a crime that is costing the UK creative industry hundreds of millions of pounds while affecting the livelihoods of people living and working across the UK and around the world.”
Minister for Intellectual Property, Baroness Neville-Rolfe said: “From pirate websites to fake electrical appliances and counterfeit vodka, intellectual property (IP) crime costs the UK hundreds of millions of pounds each year. That’s why the Government is committed to cracking down on individuals and criminal gangs responsible for large scale IP crime.
“This action should serve as a warning that this type of criminal activity will be firmly dealt with.”
The Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit is a specialist national police unit launched in September 2013, within the Economic Crime Directorate of the City of London Police.