Owners of websites providing illegal access to copyrighted material are being warned they face up to ten years in prison as part of the latest online piracy crackdown in the UK.
Proprietors of suspected sites have started to receive letters from the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau, as part of a joint effort with the City of London police, TorrentFreak reports.
The law enforcement agencies are working with the Federation Against Copyright Theft (FACT) and the British Phonographic Industry (BPI) to target serial offenders.
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In the letter, the NFIB wrote: "We have reasonable grounds to suspect that through your ownership and/or operation of the website known as 'XXXXX', you are involved in online copyright infringement."
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The letters go on to state how these offences, punishable under the Serious Organised Crime Act 2007, can carry a potential sentence of up to 10 years in prison.
The notices encourage offenders to get in touch with the authorities to prevent "the further commission of offenses" and promise police action if a response is not received by July 14 2014.
In a statement to TorrentFreak, the NFIB confirmed the operation is underway: "City of London Police has begun an initiative to target websites that attract visitors by providing unauthorised access to copyrighted content for criminal gain.
"These websites are able to operate and profit from advertising on their sites without having licenses or paying the creators and owners of the films, TV programmes, music and publications."