London – International record label trade group IFPI has
announced a new partnership with the City of London Police, and payment
providers MasterCard and Visa, to target online retailers selling unlicensed
The IFPI said its anti-piracy investigators will supply London police
with evidence of illegal downloads, which police will then take to MasterCard
The payment providers will then "require the acquiring bank
providing the retailer with payment services to produce evidence of appropriate
licenses to sell music or cease providing those services to the retailer."
IFPI adds that, "MasterCard has committed to deal with requests involving
law enforcement expeditiously."
The new protocol is aimed at unlicensed
music websites operating out of Russia and Ukraine, such as AllofMP3, which
sell song downloads for a fraction of the 99-cent standard.
These services have
claimed to have secured the proper licenses from local Russian copyright societies,
but the major labels say these purported local licenses are invalid.
"It is extremely positive for
the recorded music industry that the world’s largest payment systems are taking
steps to prevent their services being abused by illegal websites that infringe
the rights of artists, songwriters and producers," said IFPI CEO Frances
"Intermediaries, such as MasterCard and Visa, can play a key role
in tackling online piracy wherever it originates around the world."