Record labels and broadband companies have begun to work together to tackle the ongoing issue of illegal downloading from pirate music sites, Gigwise reports. New schemes are being arranged to combat the problem which has been severly damaging to the music industry in recent years.
A number of large internet providers have been asked to create a database of the customers who illegally download music, films and books. The information they collect will now be able to show them the persistent offenders and could lead to the customers who are pirating content, getting disconnected or even prosecuted.
BT, Virgin Media, BSkyB and TalkTalk have all been asked by the music and film industry to cooperate in the new data collection scheme. This news follows recently released figures that between November 2012 and January 2013, a staggering 280 million tracks were downloaded illegally in the UK.
Ofcom research has also discovered that 18% of internet users aged 12 and over have recently pirated content, while only 9% fear getting caught.
The data collection programme would initially be used to target illegal downloaders by sending letters of warning. If the user receives more than three letters, the internet provider would have the power to slow down the connection, block or even disconnect the customer.
However, concerns have arisen that the collection customer data for this purpose will be deemed illegal under the Data Protection Act.