UK P2P Agreement Reached Between ISPs, Government

LONDON, England - The UK record labels' association BPI, formerly known as the British Phonographic Industry, reached an agreement with major Internet service providers and the British government to help reduce illegal file sharing.

BPI signed a memorandum of understanding with the United Kingdom's six largest ISPs. Also signing the agreement were the Motion Pictures Association of America and the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform.

The pact calls for all organizations involved to continue developing consumer education programs and legal online services, and also has ISPs working with copyright holders toward a "significant reduction" in illegal filesharing.

To that end, informative letters will be sent by ISPs to customers whose accounts have been identified by BPI as being used illegally.

"This MOU represents a significant step forward, in that all ISPs now recognize their responsibility to help deal with illegal file sharing," said BPI Chief Executive Geoff Taylor. "Government has played an important role in bringing all parties together to arrive at this point, but the work really begins now."