Heavyweight ISPs join Government plan to fight online piracy

Britain’s biggest internet service providers have signed up to a Government-backed scheme that will see customers who illegally share music and films blacklisted and their internet access curbed under reforms to fight online piracy.

BT, Virgin Media, Orange Tiscali, BSkyB and Carphone Warehouse are taking part in the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform scheme. Under the test, the companies will write to customers to tell them that rights holders are alleging that their broadband connection has been used to illegally offer content for upload.

In return, the Government has abandoned a controversial proposal to disconnect broadband services for users who had been caught out three times.

However, Carphone Warehouse chief executive Charles Dunstone (pictured), says it is not TalkTalk’s “job to tell customers what they should or shouldn’t be doing, but we believe it is in their interests to warn them that they are being accused of wrongdoing.”

Dunstone says the ISP will not divulge customer’s details or disconnect them on “the say so of the content industry”. But he adds that TalkTalk will “work with rights holders to develop a sensible and legal approach founded on protecting consumer rights and privacy”.

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