Illegal downloaders to be threatened by UK ISPs

New agreement will see downloaders 'warned by letter'

Six major UK internet service providers (IPSs) have signed up to a new agreement to tackle illegal downloading in a move which will see hundreds of thousands of internet users sent warning letters about downloading music.

BT, Virgin, Orange, Tiscali, BSkyB and Carphone Warehouse have signed up to the agreement, which was negotiated by the government, reports BBC News.

The deal is called a Memorandum Of Understanding, and was drawn up by the Department For Business, Enterprise And Regulatory Reform (BERR).

The news comes in the same month that ISP Virgin Media sent around 800 warning letters to customers, saying their internet connections could be cut off if they continue to download music illegally.

However, the ISPs who have signed up to the new agreement have not agreed to threaten to cut off users’ connections – something the British Phonographic Industry (BPI) wants them to do.

Geoff Taylor, chief executive of the BPI, said the move was a step closer to ISPs taking responsibility for dealing with illegal downloaders using their service.

The new agreement will apply to users who both upload and download music files.

“The focus is on people sharing files illegally,” said [a]Taylor. “There is not an acceptable level of file-sharing. Musicians need to be paid like everyone else.”

What do you think of this measure? Will it stop internet downloads? Is it an invasion of privacy? Are there alternatives that the music industry is ignoring or is it right that artists get to protect their music?

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