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Pirates to receive letters from UK ISPs for Piracy of the Internet variety

Internet service providers in the UK have finally come to an agreement after years of talks, they are about to sign a deal which they and the entertainment industry hope will help cut down on piracy, by sending alert letters to suspected offenders.

These letters will aim to be educational as opposed to a threatening letter with a legal overtone. The proposed plan states that Pirates will receive four letters with an increasing tone each time, and then nothing will happen…

So far it’s only four ISPs taking part in the scheme, Virgin Media, Sky, BT and TalkTalk have reportedly agreed to measures proposed by British music industry body the BPI and the Motion Picture Association. Originally they wanted letters to warn of punitive measures and to gain access to ISPs’ databases of known pirates, luckily depending on your outlook the final draft of the Voluntary Copyright Alert Programme contains neither. Its likely other ISPs will join in due course.

Instead, letters will seek to educate suspected offenders, “promoting an increase in awareness” of legal alternatives. Like actually spending some of that hard earned cash and buying it, online piracy is possibly the most socially acceptable crime ever considering it is for all intents and purpose petty theft. I can’t get on a high horse about this but we should all take a step back and ask how much damage are we actually doing to the industry, before all the rum is gone.

See Also: The Hobbit, Django Unchained and Fast & Furious 6 top 2013 Most Pirated Films list

The BBC reports that the majority of the bill for this one will be picked up by the industry bodies, they have agreed to pay £750,000 towards each service provider to cover set-up costs, or 75 per cent, whichever is smaller. A further 75,000 (or 75 per cent) will be paid each year to cover ongoing administration of the scheme.

The deal still needs to be approved by the Information Commissioner’s Office as it involves the collection of data about customers. If successful, letters will start to be sent out in 2015. A limit of 2.5 million alerts between the four ISPs will be permitted and details on who has been sent an alert are allowed to be kept on file for up to a year.