UK telecoms regulator Ofcom has released a draft code of practice, which will allow big ISPs to collect the details of customers who unlawfully download films, music and other TV programs and pass them to the copyright owners.
The ISPs will notify their subscribers in case their accounts are used for copyright infringement. Subscribers who are caught downloading copyrighted material three times in the same year will have their passed to the copyright owners.
Copyright owners such as music firms and film studios will be able to access the names and other details of the serial infringers to take legal action against them.
The code, which currently applies only to big ISPs such as BT, Talk Talk, Sky, Orange, O2, Virgin Media, and the Post Office, could be extended to other networks, in case infringement shows upward movement.
Ofcom is under pressure from consumer and citizens' rights groups to ensure fair treatment to copyright owners.
The Code, which has been created as part of the Digital Economy Act 2010, is expected to take effect early next year.