UK broadband providers are being asked to create a database of customers illegally downloading music, films and books, which could be used to disconnect or prosecute persistent offenders.
BT, Virgin Media, BSkyB and TalkTalk are being approached by music and film companies to agree a voluntary code for policing illegal downloading. Negotiations have been under way for months with the BPI and the British Video Association, whose members include the BBC and Hollywood studios.
Ofcom claims between November 2012 and January this year, 280 million music tracks were digitally pirated in the UK, along with 52 million television shows, 29 million films, 18 million ebooks and 7 million computer software or games files. The data suggests 18 per cent of Internet users aged 12 and over have recently pirated content, while just 9 per cent fear getting caught.
According to the Sunday Times PM David Cameron is impatient for a solution to piracy is pressing for offenders to receive a series of letters.