Under new measures...
Jason Gregory

14:28 25th August 2009

Internet users who persistently download music and films illegally could be cut off, according to new measures outlined by the government.

The proposal, which marks a radical amendment to existing policy, is set to tackle “hardcore copyright pirates”.

In June, Digital Britain report gave regulator Ofcom until 2012 to decide whether a ban on persistent pirates was adequate.

But this has now been brought forward following an intervention from the Business Secretary Lord Mandelson, who is understood to want tougher measures.

In a statement, the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills said the initial 2012 time frame as “too long to wait”.

They are believed to want persistent file sharers to be disconnected – a proposal which has already met criticism.

The Internet Service Providers' Association (ISPA) told the BBC it was "disappointed by the proposal to force ISPs to suspend users' accounts".

The problem of file-sharing has continued to dog the music industry since it began growing in popularity at the turn of the century.