U.K. ISPs To Go After Illegal Downloaders
June 9, 2008 at 5:38 AM (PT)
Illegal music downloads could soon be a thing of the past in The U.K, as the country's largest provider of home broadband is to warn internet users building up vast libraries of music that they could be prosecuted, reports THE INDEPENDENT.
Next week, VIRGIN MEDIA will send letters to thousands of households where music is either being downloaded or illegally shared. Many of the recipients are likely to be the unsuspecting parents of teenagers who hoard free downloads offered by file-sharing services. Research shows the majority of them are unaware their children are breaking the law.
The campaign is a joint venture between VIRGIN MEDIA and the BRITISH PHONOGRAPHIC INDUSTRY (BPI), which represents the major record labels. The BPI ultimately wants internet companies to implement a "three strikes and you're out" rule to warn and ultimately disconnect the estimated 6.5 million customers whose accounts are used for regular criminal activity.
BPI CEO GEOFF TAYLOR said the partnership between ISPs and his industry needed to flower, adding that the deal with VIRGIN was a "significant first illustration of this. VIRGIN MEDIA is the first ISP to publicly address the problem. It is a socially responsible ISP and I think other ISPs will look at this and see progress. I am very encouraged they have engaged with us. They understand the rights of musicians," he said.