Japanese ISPs first to ban Pirates from the net, others to follow soon?

Yomiuri Shimbun, a Japanese newspaper, reports that four entities representing Japan's internet service providers will cut off internet connection for users who are caught downloading illegal files.

Digital Media owners like major labels in the music and film industry and game publishers as well have been pushing for tighter measures to combat online piracy.

According to sources close to the decision makers, emails will be sent to illegal downloaders who repeatedly breach the copyright laws, after which their subscription will be cancelled.

The process will apparently start next month and will aim at the three million or so users of the Japanese version of WinMX, known as WinNY.

France has already taken a strong stance against piracy; back in November, Nicolas Sarkozy, the French president, gave his accord to create a public body which will monitor and ultimately help prosecute illegal file sharers.

Back last month, there were reports that the UK Government was also going to introduce ISP Pirate-blocking obligation, shifting the onus of terminating pirates' accounts on the service providers.

With an estimated 6 million people engaging in online file sharing in the UK, this could potentially cause a legal and copyright headache on a scale never seen before.

Australia has also been rumoured to be looking at introducing the so-called three-strikes solution to combat rampaging piracy.