Sleep with an eye open: Record labels ask broadband providers to collect data on illegal downloads

Broadband providers are being asked to create a database of customers illegally downloading music, films and books, which could be used to disconnect or prosecute persistent offenders.

Measures to combat digital piracy will be among the topics discussed at a Downing Street breakfast on 12 September, when record-label bosses and their trade association, the BPI, have been invited to meet David Cameron.

BT, Virgin Media, BSkyB and TalkTalk are being asked by music and film companies to sign up to a voluntary code for policing illegal downloading. Negotiations have been under way for months with the BPI and the British Video Association, whose members include the BBC and Hollywood studios.

Between November 2012 and January this year, 280m music tracks were digitally pirated in the UK, along with 52m television shows, 29m films, 18m ebooks and 7m computer software or games files.

The data, collected by the communications regulator Ofcom, suggests 18% of internet users aged 12 and over have recently pirated content, while just 9% fear getting caught. Last month, Breaking Bad was released to UK viewers on Netflix and iTunes within hours of its US airing in an apparent attempt to limit piracy.

Studios and music labels want action now because the Digital Economy Act, which was created to combat piracy, has yet to be implemented despite being voted into law by parliament in 2010. Delays mean the act will not come into force until 2014 at the earliest, and could be pushed back until after the general election in 2015.
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you wouldn’t steal a car
you wouldn’t steal a handbag
you wouldn’t steal a television
you wouldn’t steal a movie

downloading pirated films is stealing,
stealing is against the law,
PIRACY. IT’S A CRIME