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Last Updated: Tuesday May 12 2009 18:04 GMT

New threat to dodgy downloaders

Maddy investigates illegal downloading

Watch Maddy's report

People who work in the entertainment industry are asking the government to get tough on people who download or share music, TV or films illegally.

They want politicians to force internet providers to cut off anyone who ignores warnings about repeatedly downloading or sharing stuff without paying for it.

Illegal file-sharing of music or movies is a big problem as it means no money makes it to the artists who make them.

And campaigners say that's putting hundreds of thousands of jobs at risk.

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
The government has set a target of reducing illegal file-sharing by 70 to 80% within two to three years.

But the alliance of film, music, TV and computer software producers claim more than six million people in the UK are regularly sharing content without permission.

Devastating impact

In 2007, they say there was an estimated 98 million illegal downloads of films and more than a billion illegal downloads of music tracks in the UK alone!

Geoff Taylor

Tips on safe downloading

John Woodward, head of the UK Film Council, said if nothing's done about it, illegal file-sharing could have a devastating impact on creativity in the UK.

"The growing threat of illegal file-sharing threatens [the creative industries], as films go unmade, DVD sales deteriorate and jobs are lost in production and distribution of content," he said.