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Major UK broadband providers including BT, Sky and Virgin Media have been asked to block three file-sharing websites over concerns that illegal downloads are damaging the country's digital music sector.

The British Phonographic Industry (BPI), which represents rights holders, wants internet providers to prevent access to Fenopy, H33t and Kickass Torrents; sites it alleges are illegally distributing music, the BBC reported.

The providers, who also include Everything Everywhere, 02 and TalkTalk, have said they will only block the sites if told by a court to do so. The BPI hopes the firms will put the block in place before Christmas.

The move follows a separate court order in April which resulted in file-sharing site The Pirate Bay being blocked in the UK.

The BPI is hoping to 'fast-track' its request, but the broadband providers have said they would only comply if forced to do so by the courts.

"Like The Pirate Bay, these websites are profiting illegally from distributing music that isn't theirs, without permission and without paying a penny to the musicians, writers and producers who created it," a BPI spokesman told the BBC.

"It is plain wrong. The existence of these sites damages the growth of Britain's burgeoning digital music sector."

But Jim Killock, Chief Executive of the Open Rights Group, told PC Pro the BPI's attempt to speed up the process was cause for concern.

"It will lead to carelessness and unneeded harms," he said. "As an approach, censorship is a bad idea. It leads to more censorship, and is unlikely to solve the problem it seeks to address."

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