The UK’s major ISPs are this week set to start sending “educational letters” to customers who have been using their connection to access films, TV shows and music illegally, as part of a government campaign to crack down on piracy.
The ISPs won’t monitor customers’ activities themselves, but will instead rely on data from anti-piracy firm MarkMonitor.
The measures have been a long time coming, and it shows. Having initially been agreed back in 2014, the system will only apply to P2P file-sharing, so any customers exclusively using illegal streaming services won’t be targeted.
“Get It Right from a Genuine Site has got in touch with us,” reads a sample letter seen by the BBC. “Get it Right is a government-backed campaign acting for copyright owners who think their content’s been shared without their permission.
“It looks like someone has been using your broadband to share copyrighted material (that means things like music, films, sport or books). And as your broadband provider, we have to let you know when this happens.”
Rather than attempting to frighten customers who have been pirating content, it points them towards legal alternatives.
Sky, BT and Virgin Media will start distributing their messages from today, while TalkTalk is waiting until the end of the month.