Despite no real evidence of effectiveness, various U.K. ISPs have now agreed to start sending out “educational” “alerts” to subscribers that copyright holders accuse of using their internet connection for unauthorized file sharing. This is a modification on the U.S. “six strikes” system, in that these latest alerts are even more meaningless. Unlike the US’s “voluntary” system, in which ISPs may take some limited punitive measures, the UK ISPs won’t do that.
UK internet service providers and the entertainment industry are near to agreeing a deal to combat piracy. After four years of negotiations, BT, Sky, TalkTalk and Virgin Media have said they will send “educational” letters to people who illegally download copyrighted music, television or films. Under the voluntary copyright alert programme (Vcap), the music and movie industry bodies will monitor file-sharing networks for copyright infringements, recording the IP addresses of downloaders. The IP addresses, which identify individual broadband connections, will be given to UK ISPs who in turn will send out a warning letter about the alleged infringement to the registered subscriber of that broadband connection. The first letters will be sent out in 2015.