Ofcom has set out a draft version of the regulations which will govern the legal fight against illegal file-sharing.
Under the new regime illegal downloaders will now be faced with a three strike rule if found guilty of breaching the Digital Economy Act (DEA).
The three strike policy is set to roll out in 2014 and will see ISPs sending letters out to customers who are found guilty of downloading pirated content like music and films. If a customer receives 3 letters in a 12 month period, their information (download history) can be released to the owners of the copyrighted material who will then have the option to pursue legal action over copyright infringement.
However, the copyright owner would first have to secure a court order in order to determine the identity of the file-sharer, as the download history provided would be anonymised.
If customers receive a letter and believe they have been wrongly accused, they must appeal within 20 working days and pay a fee of £20 which will be returned to them if they are vindicated.