Those in the UK who persistently pirate music and movies and the like will soon start getting emails warning that their actions are illegal.
Starting next year, up to four warnings annually will be sent to households suspected of copyright infringement. But if people ignore the warnings, no further action will be taken.
The Voluntary Copyright Alert Programme (Vcap) will likely be a damp squib without the power to enforce change; such copyright warning letters may find themselves in the "junk" pile.
There is no doubt that attitudes towards stealing creative content that has not been paid for need to change, but without a specific consequence we are unlikely to see any real progress.
Persistent pirating and file-sharing sites are suppressing the creative industry in the UK, and have being doing so for some time.
Yet today's news is a precursor of what is to come because it's not the little guys Vcap is after.
Corporate networks are the ones that need to prepare themselves as it's at work where most people download their movies and music because the network performance is faster.
They think they are anonymous. And most of the time that's true, as the majority of businesses have no idea what happens on their network.
In time, this is where Vcap will make the big bucks as the liability lies with the owner of the network, not the employee.
There is no doubt that the intellectual property of the likes of pop star Pharrell Williams should be protected.
The arm-wrestle will be between ISPs being burned with the additional cost of policing the internet and the UK businesses that are essentially behaving like a massive iTunes library.
Lee Wade is chief executive of Exponential-E
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