After years of wrangling, a deal between entertainment industry bodies and UK internet service providers to help combat piracy is imminent.

BT, Sky, TalkTalk and Virgin Media will send “educational” letters to customers believed to be downloading illegally.

But a document seen by the BBC shows that rights holders are set to make do with considerably weaker measures than originally asked for.

The first letters – known as “alerts” – are expected to be sent out in 2015.

The deal has been struck with the BPI, which represents the British music industry, and the Motion Picture Association (MPA), which covers film.

The bodies had originally suggested the letters should tell repeat infringers about possible punitive measures.

They also wanted access to a database of known illegal downloaders, opening the possibility of further legal action against individuals.

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