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Last Updated: Tuesday, 1 April 2008, 14:57 GMT 15:57 UK
Virgin in anti-piracy talks
By Jim Reed
Newsbeat technology reporter

CD

Virgin Media is in talks with the music and film industry about a voluntary scheme to cut illegal downloads.

It is the first major broadband company to confirm discussions are taking place, although other providers are thought to be involved.

The Government said in February that it would consider introducing new laws if an agreement could not be reached by spring 2009.

Six million people are thought to download files illegally in the UK.

We believe they [broadband companies] must do more to combat the illegal file sharing that takes place on their networks
Matt Phillips, BPI
Many use file sharing technologies like BitTorrent.

Broadband companies are under pressure to make it harder for users to access copyright-protected material online.

Matt Phillips, from the music industry body, the BPI, said: "We want to work in partnership with broadband companies.

"But we believe they must do more to combat the illegal file sharing that takes place on their networks.

"We don't believe they are doing that at the moment."

Three strikes policy

Some film and music companies have been lobbying hard for the three strike system being introduced in other European countries.

Broadband companies would have to contact any customer suspected of downloading an illegal file.

If the warning is ignored, that user's internet account could be suspended or cut altogether.

A Virgin Media spokesperson said: "We have been in discussions with rights holders' organisations about how a voluntary scheme could work.

"As a responsible ISP, Virgin Media is taking this problem seriously and would favour a sensible voluntary solution."



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