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Last Updated: Thursday July 24 2008 11:53 GMT

Crackdown on illegal downloaders

Music shop

Downloading your fave tracks from the web for free may sound like a good way of keeping up-to-date with the charts.

But it's actually illegal, and is just as bad as walking into a shop and picking up a CD without paying!

If you're one of the people who do it, watch out, because the government is trying to crackdown on people who don't pay for downloads.

To start with, six big internet companies are taking action by sending letters telling people to stop it.

Illegal downloading is really bad for the music industry because it means no money goes to the record companies, or the artists, who made the music in the first place.

Vote

Do you download music illegally?

Yes

33.90%33.90%

No

66.10%66.10%

3224 Votes Cast

Results are indicative and may not reflect public opinion
If sending letters out doesn't work, harsher punishments could be brought in.

They include slowing down internet connections, or using special technology to stop people being able to download music without paying.

But some people in the music industry think people who don't pay for their tracks should have their internet cut off.