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Virgin Media in talks to trial three strikes regime against P2P

Second time lucky for the BPI?

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Virgin Media could soon become the second major ISP to attempt to implement a "three strikes" system against illegal filesharers in partnership with the record industry.

The cable company is in talks with the British Phonographic Industry (BPI) to trial a system of warnings, followed by disconnection, for the most persistent copyright infringers.

It's the same scheme that Tiscali briefly put in place last summer. That led to 4 customers being disconnected after allegedly ignoring the warnings, but relations between Tiscali and the BPI collapsed in a row over how the costs should be shared.

In a statement today, Virgin Media said: "We have been in discussions with rights holders organisations about how a voluntary scheme could work. We are taking this problem seriously and would favour a sensible voluntary solution."

A spokesman promised that customers will be told when any trial begins, but couldn't say when that will be.

Under the proposed three strikes rules, BPI enforcement agents will detect IP numbers participating in copyright-infringing peer to peer networks. They will alert the ISP, which will voluntarily send out warnings to stop or face disconnection from the net.

ISPs are under huge government pressure to agree to the scheme, or face legislation.

Similar moves are afoot in France and Japan. ®

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