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Illegal downloading is a problem that needs to be dealt with by internet service providers (ISPs).

That is according to the Trade Union Congress (TUC), which has joined the chorus of voices calling for broadband providers to assume the lion's share of responsibility for tackling online piracy.

The film, music and television industries have already expressed their concerns over peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing, highlighting the financial implications of such downloads.

Now, TUC General Secretary Brendan Barber has asserted that broadband providers should restrict access to users who are found to have downloaded content illegally.

Writing in the Daily Telegraph, Mr Barber emphasised the impact that obtaining files in this way can have on creative industries and how ultimately jobs could be put at risk.

He said: "The ISPs have the direct relationship with the file-sharer and all the evidence suggests that, where a system is put in place for dealing with offenders, rates of piracy will fall dramatically."

Mr Barber made his comments ahead of the Digital Britain report, which is due to be released on June 16th.

However, according to Charles Dunstone, Chief Executive of TalkTalk and the Carphone Warehouse, the suggestion that broadband providers could halt illegal file sharing is "naive".

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