A report from the Royal United Services Institute is calling for a public-private sector partnership to take the profit out of online piracy.
It says that online audio-visual piracy is increasingly perpetrated by transnational organised crime groups that use a combination of advertising, direct payments from consumers, malware and cryptomining to generate hundreds of millions of pounds of profit every year.
This has been brought about by increasingly skilled operations that work through legitimate intermediaries.
Royal United Services believes the networks could be disrupted by a ‘follow-the-money’ approach involving law enforcement, regulators, financial institutions, and the private sector. Online service providers would be required to record and verify the identity of their business customers.
“There is great promise in the UK’s championing of a ‘follow the money’ response to IP crime, but current efforts have not greatly reduced opportunities to generate significant criminal profits from piracy,” say report authors Ardi Janjeva, Alexandria Reid and Anton Moiseienko.
“Changing this requires action on the demand side, by making consumers more aware of the risks – such as fraud, ID theft and malware – that they face as a consequence of purchasing pirated content, and a more concerted approach to the supply-side factors which enable consumers’ access to that content and criminals’ ability to receive payments for it.”
Under proposals put forward by the authors the Intellectual Property Office or the City of London’s Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit would be required to establish a public-private partnership to share intelligence across law enforcement agencies, financial institutions, online service providers and advertising networks.