ISPs could be required to send warning letters to copyright infringers by early 2014, under a draft code published in its latest revision today by UK communications regulator Ofcom. Internet users suspected of copyright infringement would receive letters from their ISPs notifying them that their activity is being monitored and explaining how they can find legal content online. After three separate infringement notices in a 12-month period, copyright owners would be able to request anonymous information that could lead to a court order forcing the ISP to reveal the identity of the subscriber in question.

ISPs would have to inform suspects of how many flags have been raised on their account

Ofcom is required to publish a code under the Digital Economy Act 2010. The first draft of the code was revealed back in May of that year, but there have been important amendments since then. Ofcom would now have the power to approve or reject copyright owners' methods of gathering information on potential infringements, and ISPs would have to inform suspects of how many flags have been raised on their account.

Under Ofcom's code, copyright holders would also have to make an effort to develop "attractive" licensed services as well as informing potential customers of the impact piracy can have. The code would affect customers of ISPs representing around 93 percent of the current UK broadband market and is set to be presented to Parliament by the end of this year.