The anti-piracy provisions of the UK’s 2010 Digital Economy Act still haven’t been implemented, but now ISPs are on the verge of signing a voluntary agreement with the BPI and Motion Picture Association to send out “educational” warning letters to customers accused of illegal filesharing. This scheme is expected to kick off in 2015, but reports on Friday suggested that it will be distinctly less tough than rightsholders had originally hoped (or, as one lawyer put it to BBC News, “watered down beyond all recognition… I imagine the content owners are going to be very angry about it. There’s no punitive backstop to any of this.”) The deal involves BT, Sky, TalkTalk and Virgin Media, with the BBC reporting that rightsholders will pay £750k or 75% of costs to each to set up the warning-letters system, and a further £75k or 75% of costs a year to cover administration. The suggestion is that the letters will promote legal music services, but won’t warn of punishments or feed into a database of known infringers. It also claims that after four alerts, ISPs will take no further action.

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