Internet Piracy Patrols Loom as ISPs Tune into Music Industry
Internet service providers (ISPs) and the music industry have reached an agreement to clamp down on illegal downloads.
It is thought that around 6.5 million Britons have downloaded music and films illegally over the past year and estimates suggest that the practice will cost the recording industry up to pounds 1 billion over the next five years.
The fightback against online piracy will begin with letters to thousands of the most prolific downloaders to inform them that their activity has been detected and is being monitored.
The Government's departments for business and culture hailed the "world-first solution" agreed by the industry to address unlawful file-sharing.
Britain's six largest ISPs - BT, Virgin Media, Orange, Tiscali, BSkyB and Carphone Warehouse - signed a memorandum of understanding with the British Phonographic Industry, the body which represents record companies in the UK.
ISPs have agreed to commit themselves to developing legal file-sharing services and to ensure their customers know that it is illegal to share copyright-protected music. …