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German internet users who are accused of illegally downloading pornographic material risk having their names published by a German law firm.

The BBC reports Urmann, which has been pursuing net pirates, says on September 1 it will start naming people whose computers were identified as having downloaded high amounts of pornography.

The firm has reportedly been sending letters to the accused pirates since 2006 but declined to reveal how many letters were sent or how many names it would publish.

Those contacted are offered a chance to pay a 650 euro fee to compensate the copyright holder.

German law allows law firms to name those accused by their clients.

Industry representatives have told the BBC publishing names of those accused could remove an incentive for people to pay because the allegations have already been made public.

Urmann has said reports that it was going to target police officers and vicars were not correct.