Government to attack download pirates

Government to attack download pirates

Green Paper to propose cutting internet access for those who repeatedly download copyrighted content

The government is reported to be planning to clamp down on media piracy by cutting internet access for people who download copyrighted material.

A proposed "three strikes" system would force internet service providers to police those using their connection to illegally obtain music, films and other protected content.

A first offence would result in an emailed warning, followed by suspension and contract termination for the second and third infringements.

The proposals are expected to form part of a Green Paper consultation on the UK's creative industries, due to be published next week by the Department of Media, Culture and Sport. Details of the paper were first reported by The Times newspaper, which claims to have seen a leaked draft of the document.

The UK Film Council estimates that illegal downloads costs the industry £800m in 2005, while The British Phonographic Industry said music piracy totalled £165m in the same year.