During the first week of September 2020, the UK Government’s Intellectual Property Office published its annual IP crime and enforcement report. This report gives an overview of the emerging piracy threats. Every year, piracy and counterfeiting is always a problem; however, specifics and priorities of piracy change over time. This year, cryptocurrency was among the top industry that faced piracy threats.
Authorities’ Focus on Cryptocurrency
Over time, some pirate sites and services use cryptocurrencies. For instance, Pirate Bay accepted Bitcoin donations some years back, and now different pirate services have cryptocurrency payment options.
According to the UK’s PIPCU, the police are closely monitoring these cryptocurrency transactions from pirate sites. The police said that if they do not keep a close eye to these cryptocurrency transactions, piracy threats will get worse over time.
PRS report read that the level of anonymity crypto provides makes cryptocurrency payments through pirate sites thrive. The report also pointed out that donations by cryptocurrency are a source of revenue for 3% of stream-ripping services. Stream- ripping is the latest trend in music piracy.
German Authorities Seize 25 EUR in BTC and BCH
On 7th August 2020, two men faced charges for distributing more than 880,000 pirated films through an illegal streaming site. The movie piracy website went by the name movie2k.to. The two suspects used the advertising revenue to buy BTC and BCH; both of which surged in value from the time of movie piracy crime.
According to the press release that the prosecutors sent out, the illegal streaming site ran for five years from 2008. The two leading operators, together with their accomplices, ran the website until May of 2013. That was after the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) filed a lawsuit to block the access of the website, in the UK court.
The prosecutor’s office in Dresden, Germany, has cooperated with the local community and police, to gather correct information about the movie piracy crime. Now the German authorities have managed to seize cryptocurrencies, both in BCH and BTC, worth 25 million EUR. The money held is equivalent to $ 29 million.
The two suspects got arrested in November 2019. According to a press release from the prosecutor’s office, the two men have admitted their crimes. These suspects also agreed to cooperate with the authority to help them catch the third suspect.