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Those accused of internet piracy should face financial penalties, rather than disconnection, according to several major rights holders.

As the industry aims to cut down on the amount of content being streamed, shared and downloaded illegally, some have called for sanctions to be imposed on those guilty of breaking the rules.

The UK government mooted the possibility of permanently unplugging repeat offenders in the UK Digital Economy Act 2010, which says prolific pirates can be suspended by their ISP, but this idea has received opposition from the likes of Torrent Freak, which says disconnection is not the answer.

It suggests that a fine would be more appropriate, as it would hit the illegal downloader in the pocket and act as a deterrent for other would-be pirates.

It is an idea supported by Thierry Chassagne, President of Warner Music, whose company has also been impacted by illegal filesharing and said that the threat or reality of disconnection is not the answer.

"There has not been a lot of repression. This part of the mission has failed. If we consider that downloading is illegal, it must be punished, it is not a novelty. I think a system of fines would be more proportionate," he added.

Only last week, entertainment company Golden Eye sent out a batch of 250 letters to illegal filesharers threatening action against those believed to be guilty of unauthorised P2P activity.

The company will eventually send out 1,000 initial letters to those that have contravened sharing rules, with the first letter informing the user that their usage has been detected and the second threatening more severe action.

Customers need to respond to Golden Eye within 28 days, detailing whether they deny the allegation, or admit to copyright infringement.

Those who do not may face court action or a heavy fine, if the company decides to pursue them, though the significant costs of bringing a case to court means a fine would be the more likely scenario.

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