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Virgin Media is to send letters to its customers urging them to stop downloading music illegally or face punitive action.

Working in partnership with the British Phonographic Industry (BPI), Virgin Media will specifically target those customers whose accounts appear to have been involved in distributive breach of copyright.

According to the BPI, more than 6.5 million accounts are used to download music illegally across the UK using peer-to-peer services.

Commenting on the educational campaign, Virgin Media announced that while its high-speed network was a great platform for those who wished to download music, it was important this was done legally.

Geoff Taylor, chief executive of the BPI, added: "Education is absolutely key to reducing the extent of illegal downloading and we are pleased to be working with Virgin Media on this campaign."

The announcement follows long-standing negotiations between the BPI and broadband providers.

According to the Guardian, the BPI is legally entitled to enact a court motion against those broadband providers who have not sought to "take action" on illegal filesharing.

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