UK ISPs and the entertainment industry are near to agreeing a deal to combat piracy. After four years of negotiations, BT, Sky, TalkTalk and Virgin Media have said they will send “educational” letters to people who illegally download copyrighted music, television or films.
The deal has been struck with the BPI, which represents the British music industry, and the Motion Picture Association (MPA), which covers film. The bodies had originally suggested the letters should tell repeat infringers about possible punitive measures. They also wanted access to a database of known illegal downloaders, opening the possibility of further legal action against individuals. However, following almost four years of debate between the two sides, the final draft of the Voluntary Copyright Alert Programme (Vcap) contains neither of those key measures.Source
With no actual penalty, it is very likely that among young adults the letters may become a badge of honour, but there is still scope for the odd family argument when the bill payer opens the letter and tries to find out who it was in the house. The threat of providers throttling or booting people off a service, i.e. the three strikes and your out type system has not seriously being considered for some time. The system that has been pushed around the discussion tables like a ticking time bomb has usually centred on providers keeping a tally of who gets letters and the copyright holders being able to apply for a court order to identify specific people so they can pursue them through the courts. Source
In a statement issued by the Motion Picture Association today explained: “Content creators and ISPs, with the support of government, have been exploring the possibility of developing an awareness programme that will support the continuing growth of legal content services, reduce copyright infringement and create the best possible customer experience online.”