London (AFP) - Entertainment industry bodies and Internet service providers in Britain are on the verge of striking a deal to combat piracy, authorities said on Friday.
Under the agreement, BT, Sky, TalkTalk and Virgin Media will send "educational" letters to customers they suspect of downloading illegally, according to the BBC.
But the report said rights holders have had to accept far less strenuous measures than they wanted.
The deal has been struck with British music industry body BPI and the Motion Picture Association (MPA), which represents film.
The industry bodies had wanted the letters to spell out possible punitive measures. They had also asked for access to details of known illegal downloaders, raising the prospect of further legal action.
But the steps agreed are likely to be less stringent.
A source close to the negotiations told the BBC: "The rights holders have accepted they can't use this process to go after individuals.
"The ISPs have insisted that already established, legal routes are used in that scenario. Instead, the purpose of any campaign will be to inform and raise awareness rather than punitive action."
A spokesman for Britain's data regulator, the Information Commissioner's Office, told AFP: "The ICO has been working with rights holders and ISPs to help them find a solution that reflects the law on how people's personal information can be used."