UK citizens who illegally download music, movies and other content will soon start getting warning emails.
Attempting to educate them of their wrongdoings, the emails are the start of a larger plan from the government to help reduce content piracy.
These emails are the result of four-year-long talks between internet service providers (ISPs) and the movie and music industry bodies.
The emails won’t start until 2015, when you’ll receive four warnings per year on your illegal downloading habits, highlighting your potential copyright infringements.
However, although the emails will not doubt scare some online pirates, there aren’t any repercussions for those who choose to ignore the emails at present.
The original plan, outlined in the Digital Economy Act 2010, was to cut off the internet access of those who ignored the warnings and continued downloading content illegally.
It was also the idea to mention the legal repercussions of their actions within the letters if they persisted.
As a way of starting the ball rolling, the government created the Voluntary Copyright Alert programme, or Vcap, which warns users via post or emails that the authorities are aware of their actions.
All the major UK ISPs have signed up to the program, with more set to follow, but it’s only hte first step in clamping down on online piracy.
Geoff Taylor, head of the BPI (British Recorded Music Industry), said while Vcap lacks the power of giving penalties, it is a great way to start changing user habits.
"It's about persuading the persuadable, such as parents who do not know what is going on with their net connection," he said.
"Vcap is not about denying access to the internet. It's about changing attitudes and raising awareness so people can make the right choice," he said.
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