The UK government is planning to cut off persistent file sharers of copyrighted movies and music.

The new laws, set to be proposed today, would give the government greater control over punishing the downloaders, removing some of Ofcom's power.

It's something of an about-face for the government after the Digital Britain report stated that users will be sent warning letters to encourage a drop the amount of piracy in the UK, something many thought was a matter that would be left until after the next election.

Letter of the law

The same letters are still likely to be sent, but instead of 'measures' being put in place to halt the threat of piracy (such as slowing down the connection speeds of offenders) the government will now be able to temporarily suspend the accounts of the persistent downloaders.

According to The Guardian, the new proposal states the old plans "would take an unacceptable amount of time to complete in a situation that calls for urgent action."

It also suggests that a deal between Lord Mandelson and the film and music industries is behind the sudden strategy change, a claim his Department of Business Innovation and Skills has quickly denied.

However, it will still be up to the content providers to foot the bill for targeting the wrong-doers, although the cost of sending out the letters will still be shared by authorities and the providers.

Via The Guardian