UK Police Suspend 2,500 “Counterfeit” Domain Names

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City of London Police continues its crackdown on websites that facilitate piracy and sales of counterfeit products. In celebration of World Intellectual Property Day, the police announced that to date they have suspended 2,500 domain names linked to counterfeit material. So far, the efforts to shut down pirate sites have been less successful, but this may change in the near future.

cityoflondonpoliceOver the past few months City of London Police have been working together with copyright holders to topple sites that provide pirated or counterfeit content.

The police started by sending warning letters to site owners, asking them to go legit or shut down. Late last year this was followed by a campaign targeted at domain registrars, asking them to suspend the domain names of several “illegal” sites.

In celebration of World Intellectual Property Day, the City of London Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU) has today announced the first results of their anti-counterfeiting campaign. According to PIPCU more than 2,500 domains names have been suspended thus far.

The domain names are not listed, but all offered counterfeit products of major brands such as UGG boots, Abercrombie, Hollister, and Gucci.

“The fact PIPCU can announce on World IP Day that in the eight months since launching we have suspended more than 2,500 infringing websites is further evidence of the expertise of our officers and the level of their commitment to clamp down on IP crime,” Andy Fyfe commented on today’s news.

“Consumers also need to be aware that by accessing websites like this they are running the risk of their personal details being compromised and being used for other fraudulent scams, as well as the exposing their computer to malicious malware,” Fyfe adds

There’s little doubt that 2,500 domain names is a significant number. Interestingly however, the Police have had less success with domains names linked to “pirate” websites. When TorrentFreak asked the police about the suspension of pirate domains, we were told that this is still work in progress.

“With regards to digital piracy, that falls under Operation Creative which is still an ongoing investigation in its early days. Therefore at this moment in time we cannot release any figures,” a PIPCU spokeswoman said.

Previously PIPCU managed to suspend the domain name of ExtraTorrent and a handful of other sites, which continued operating under a new domain.

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