The CEA has welcomed the announcement of an agreement between leading Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and film and music rights-holders around tackling the problem of copyright theft on the Internet.

The agreement has been signed by six leading UK ISPs, the MPA (Motion Picture Association) and the BPI (formerly the British Phonographic Industry), representing film and music rights-holders respectively. It has also been endorsed by the UK Anti-Film Theft Task Force, of which the CEA is a member.

Signatories to the agreement have committed to work together to send out notices to those who illegally file-share content online, to refer those customers to legitimate alternatives and to identify effective policies to deal with repeat infringement. The parties have also agreed to examine content filtering and other technological solutions for persistent infringers.

The announcement of the agreement coincides with the publication of a Government consultation document setting out the legislative options to address unlawful file-sharing online.

Commenting on the announcement, CEA Chief executive Phil Clapp said:

“The agreement represents an important milestone in efforts to tackle the problem of illegal file-sharing. Of course, there remain challenges ahead, but everyone involved in the film industry should see this as a very positive development.

For cinema operators looking to tackle illegal camcording, the problem is made all the more acute by the knowledge that an illegal recording can be made available globally within hours of capture through file-sharing on the Internet.

While we continue to lobby for tougher sanctions on camcording, the agreement at least provides an additional means by which the illegal distribution of film content can be challenged.”