Naughty Filesharers To Get Letters. Spank!

The main UK Internet service providers have come to an agreement with the music industry and the UK Government that should pave the way for a clamp-down on illegal filesharing, and open the door for legitimate alternatives.

BSkyB, Virgin, BT, Orange, Carphone Warehouse and Tiscali are today to announce a memorandum of understanding in advance of a full action plan dealing with file-sharing later this year. It is thought that this will include the sending of possibly hundreds of thousands of letters out to offending account holders. This is presumably aimed at putting the wind up parents whose children have been using their internet connection to tea leaf music.

The move comes after the Goverment told the ISPs they would have to try and counter filesharing or face being punished themselves. A spokesman from the British Phonograph Industry welcomed the announcement: "We have looked to ISPs to acknowledge their responsibility to help deal with illegal filesharing, engage in communicating the issue to their customers, and put in place procedures necessary to effectively tackle repeated unlawful filesharing," he said. "Achieving this would represent a significant step forward and demonstrate collective will that exists to tackle this serious issue."

BSkyB’s announcement of a deal with Universal to stream and offer tracks for download is thought to just be the first of a series of arrangements between ISPs and record labels designed to bring filesharing into legal waters.

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