UKIE CEO Dr Jo Twist runs through the trade body’s new scheme to help creators fight back against piracy

UKIE details its latest efforts to help devs protect their intellectual property

IP is at the heart of all games businesses and protecting the value of it is hugely important.

Over the last 18 months, UKIE has been working with our members to create a new service that helps games businesses to maximise the value from their own IP.

Our approach is a combination of education, technology and dealing with IP infringement at its source. Run by one of the country’s leading IP experts, Mo Ali, our service includes:

Web scanning 

We now provide a web-crawling service that monitors any websites that make unauthorised copies of games available either via download or torrent links. This gives games businesses intelligence about the scale of any infringement. For example, how many times a game has been illegally downloaded and where those unauthorised links are found.

Notice and takedown

Once the infringing links and pages have been identified, we can send takedown notices to get the content removed if required. 

Search engine delisting

We work hard to ensure that consumers find legitimate versions of games by letting search engines know to delist sites that make content available without the owner’s permission. Google has been very supportive of removing links that infringe upon a games company’s copyright. Unauthorised links are usually removed within eight to ten hours. 

Regular reporting 

We provide bespoke reports to all games companies that use our IP service, including how many links have been found and the status of the links. We can increase the frequency of reporting around launch dates, too. 

Ad tracking

Many websites that make games available illegally rely on traffic from search engines to generate advertising revenue. We now work with the police and advertisers to stop the flow of money to the sites that give access to these unauthorised files, helping to prevent brands and their agencies placing ads with them. 

Mobile game mod tracking 

There has been an increase in websites that solely make available modified versions of existing mobile games, that bypass the in-app purchase mechanism to offer unlimited credit and power-ups free of charge. We can track these games and get them taken down.

Proven success

UKIE’s service is already being used by games businesses of all sizes who are seeing great results.

By working with Punch Club (pictured) creator TinyBuild we have now removed 1,100 links that were giving unauthorised access to just one of its titles. Managing partner Luke Burtis is convinced of the benefits.

“One of our titles had been downloaded illegally more than 1.6 million times before UKIE helped us stop the activity with their new IP monitoring service,” he says. “The scanning tool has been really effective at removing these illegal links and we’re now using it to protect all of our 11 other titles.”

Our services deliver additional results for companies that already use a third-party IP scanning service. We were able to show that UKIE’s service successfully found on average 20 per cent more links which were not found by the other companies.

"Unauthorised links on Google are usually removed within eight to ten hours."

Dr Jo Twist, UKIE

All the services above are free for UKIE members and offered at a huge reduction in cost for usual scanning services to non-members.

We hope that they help to reduce the availability of unauthorised games, educate consumers on the negative impact and help UK games businesses to grow.

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