In an effort to combat digital piracy, the film and music industries have reached an agreement with the UK’s leading ISPs to launch the ‘Voluntary Copyright Alert Programme’ next year.  The programme will send up to four warning emails or letters to households suspected of copyright infringement and is part of a wider scheme aiming to educate people about copyright and legal ways to download digital content.

 However, the campaign has come under criticism from certain rights holders for being heavily watered down from the measures originally envisaged in the Digital Economy Act 2010 which provided for “technical measures” to be taken against persistent offenders, including the potential sanctions of suspension or limiting internet access.  Under the new campaign, no further action will be taken against those suspected of copyright infringement, even if they ignore the warnings.

In June 2013, the French government removed still relatively new anti-piracy legislation (the so-called “HADOPI law”) that had allowed the regulator to disconnect internet service for offenders after three warnings, admitting that the penalty was too difficult to enforce.