IPA City of London Police

City of London Police create Infringing Website List (IWL) to disrupt ad revenue on illegal websites


By Ishbel Macleod, PR and social media consultant

March 31, 2014 | 2 min read

The City of London Police has launched its Infringing Website List (IWL), an online portal providing the digital advertising sector with an up-to-date list of copyright infringing sites.

Part of Operation Creative, the aim of the IWL, which was first revealed by The Drum in December 2012, is to disrupt the advertising revenues on illegal websites globally

Detective Chief Inspector Andy Fyfe, head of Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU), said: “If an advert from an established brand appears on an infringing website not only does it lend the site a look of legitimacy, but inadvertently the brand and advertiser are funding online crime. Therefore the IWL also serves as a safety tool, ensuring the reputation of advertisers and brands are not discredited through association with illegal websites."

The introduction of the IWL follows a three month pilot that took place last year in collaboration with the Operation Creative partners; the British Recorded Music Industry (BPI), the Federation Against Copyright Theft (FACT), the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI), The Publishers Association, the Internet Advertising Bureau UK (IAB UK), the Incorporated Society of British Advertisers (ISBA) and the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising (IPA).

A recent report by the Digital Citizens Alliance estimated that in 2013, the most popular 30 piracy websites generated $227million from advertising and even small sites are making $100,000 a year.

Nigel Gwilliam, consultant head of digital and emerging technology, IPA, said: “We are delighted to see the launch of the Infringing Website List (IWL) which marks a key milestone in our cross-industry efforts to throttle advertising to illegal websites. We therefore encourage all our members who handle online display advertising to register for access to the IWL portal from PIPCU. This is a crucial tool in quashing the unintentional funding of cyber crime and thus maintain advertiser reputations.”

Parties interested in signing up to the IWL can email PIPCUIWL@cityoflondon.police.uk.

IPA City of London Police

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