UK ISPs reach file-sharing policing deal

Six of the UK’s biggest internet service providers have reached a deal with music industry body the BPI to combat music-piracy.

The six biggest UK ISPs, BT, Virgin, Orange, Tiscali, BSkyB and Carphone Warehouse, have all agreed the deal, which commits all parties to work together to reduce illegal music file-sharing. Thousands of letters will also now be sent to ‘net users the BPI suspects of illegally sharing music.

Geoff Taylor, chief executive of the BPI, said: “All of the major ISPs in the UK now recognise they have a responsibility to deal with illegal file-sharers on their networks.”

“We look forward to creating the procedures necessary to effectively tackle repeated unlawful file-sharing with the other signatories and Ofcom,” he added.

The plan commits the firms to working towards a “significant reduction” in the illegal sharing of music. However, the move also indicates new music services could soon debut to fill the gap.

It’s thought that UK music industry bosses are now negotiating a controlled and licensed peer-to-peer scheme in which users pay c.£30 per year as a blanket fee for their music.

Martin Warner, new media entrepreneur and co-founder of Technology of Tomorrow 08, however, said: “The rapid advances in technology have a major impact on how music is consumed. This has presented many opportunities and challenges for artists and record companies but the consensus of opinion is that there is no alternative but to embrace new technology.”

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