International strategy on illegal downloads

The UK culture secretary, Andy Burnham, is aiming to have the framework of an international strategy to combat illegal internet downloads agreed with US and European partners by the autumn.

The plan, part of a five-pronged strategy to bolster the ailing music industry, was outlined by the government minister at a parliamentary reception last night involving groups including the BPI, which represents UK record companies.

The ultimate aim of the plan would be to develop a memorandum of understanding with other governments that would make the UK's own initiatives to combat internet piracy more likely to succeed. Burnham said that the government is seeking a 70 per cent to 80 per cent reduction in illegal downloads in the UK.