download.jpgLos Angeles – Online payment service PayPal is partnering with the City of London Police and the international recording industry to combat Internet copyright infringement by banning use of its service for items that violate or infringe any copyright under its Acceptable Use Policy.

This new agreement will provide stronger ammunition in the war on copyright theft by preventing PayPal’s services from being used by illegal websites worldwide that sell pirated music.  Many of these pirating sites are located in Russia and the Ukraine and have violated local and international copyright laws for years by selling music without paying the artists, songwriters, or producers for their work.  The agreement follows the March announcement that payment providers Visa and Mastercard would also withdraw their services from the infringing sites.

Frances Moore, chief executive of IFPI, which represents the recording industry worldwide, stated, “We knew that when illegal online music services could no longer take payment from credit cards, they would try to work around the restriction.  That is why we and the City of London Police approached PayPal and I am delighted to say they responded instantly and positively.”

Anti-piracy agents from IFPI supply the City of London’s Police’s Economic Crime Directorate with evidence of illegal downloads from infringing sites.  Once the evidence is verified, the police then notify the payment providers who then take action.  Since the announcement in March, Visa and Mastercard services have been removed from 24 illegal music sites and are looking into withdrawing from 38 more sites that are suspected of copyright infringement on a large scale.

In order for a retailer to use PayPal services, it will have to provide proof of licensing for the music it is selling.  In cases where the licensing appears to be inadequate, PayPal will cut off services to those retailers.  Visa and Mastercard will work with the banks that provide the retailers with payment services to also provide evidence of proper licensing to sell the music.  If the licenses are not provided, then payment services will be discontinued to those retailers as well.

Carl Scheible, managing director of PayPal UK, said, “Today’s announcement shows that PayPal is very serious about fighting music piracy.  We’ve always banned PayPal’s use for the sale of content that infringes copyright, and the new system will make life even harder for illegal operators.  Our partnership with the music industry helps rights holders make money from their own content while stopping the pirates in their tracks.”