PRS celebrates anti-piracy initiatives
March 14, 2017
By Colin Mann
PRS for Music – which represents the rights of over 124,000 songwriters, composers and music publishers in the UK – has reported what it describes as impressive results one year on from the launch of its Member Anti-Piracy System (MAPS), which allows music creators to remove their repertoire from unlicensed online services and platforms.
Since March 2016, MAPS has located 5 million infringing URLs and removed over 80 per cent of reported links, as well as sending over 136,000 take down notices to websites linking to or hosting PRS for Music repertoire illegally. The service has also forced 220 illegal websites to cease operating completely.
In addition, MAPS notifies Google when it comes across illegal sites hosting PRS for Music repertoire and as a result, has had more than 275,000 live links delisted from Google’s search pages. Delisting of pages to illegal sites helps to promote legitimate websites and music services by listing them higher up in Google’s search engine results. It also helps reduce the credibility that is given to infringing services by their appearing high on Google’s results pages.
MAPS forms part of PRS for Music’s continued fight against music piracy on behalf of its members. Representing the rights of over 124,000 songwriters and composers and with over 14.7 million songs registered to its repertoire database, PRS for Music is one of the largest and technologically advanced collective management organisations in the world.
The system’s one year anniversary follows PRS for Music’s and the City of London’s Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU) recent success in the investigation that led to the conviction and sentencing of Wayne Evans in December 2016. Evans pleaded guilty to illegally uploading the UK’s Top 40 singles to various torrent sites and distributing tracks through his own website.
“We are proud to be able to tackle piracy on such scale, as well as empower our members to take action to protect their own repertoire,” commented Sharan Ghuman, Anti-Piracy Unit Manager, PRS for Music. “Given the constantly changing face of piracy, some consumers do not even know that they are accessing illegal services online. This is why education is also key. Music creators can also help in the fight against piracy by educating their fans about where to consume their content safely and legitimately.”
Simon Bourn, Head of Litigation, Enforcement and Anti-Piracy, PRS for Music, said: “We’ve been working hard to develop a range of effective measures to help tackle piracy. We continue to invest in new technologies and research with our industry partners to ensure we are ahead of the latest threats. As a licensing body, our first approach is always to take steps to work with new digital platforms, to find a mechanism to license rather than enforce. As the digital landscape evolves, it is our mission to ensure that those who mandate us with their rights are always paid fairly for the use of their work, today and in the future.”