Sky Broadband will hand over details of its subscribers suspected of illegally downloading movies, it has confirmed. In a letter sent to users who might be affected, the company revealed that it has no option than to provide the names and addresses of requested broadband customers to US firm The Company You Keep.

And in return, those customers can expect to receive a claim for compensation in lieu of the procession of legal action.

This comes after Sky lost its own court battle with TCYK, having been told that it must hand over requested details by law.

TCYK has been accused in the past of being a "copyright troll" in that it monitors file-sharing sites for suspected illegal activity, acquires the alleged pirates' details from internet service providers and demands money under threat of a future lawsuit - often requiring huge sums in order for the case to stay out of court.

However, it is very careful in its wording, only ever implying that the matter may be taken further. Many of its targets allegedly pay up out of fear.

The company has been active in the US most often and while Sky has no option to comply with the court order, it warns its affected customers to ensure they read any letter received from TCYK carefully before parting with hard cash. It also suggests that they contact the UK's Citizen's Advice Bureau if they have additional concerns.

In a statement sent to Pocket-lint, Sky said: "TCYK LLC successfully applied for a court order against Sky, which means we have been ordered to supply the details of some of our account holders that match the list of IP addresses they have identified. We advise any of our customers who receive a letter from TCYK LLC to read it carefully and if they want any further help to contact the Citizens Advice Bureau."

The original letter sent by Sky to some customers explained a little more.

"A company called TCYK LLC, which owns the rights to several copyrighted films, has claimed that a number of Sky Broadband customers engaged in unlawful file-sharing of some of its films," it said.

"In support of this claim, TCYK LLC says it has gathered evidence of individual broadband accounts (identified online by unique numbers called IP addresses) from which it claims the file sharing took place.

"It’s likely that TCYK LLC will contact you directly and may ask you to pay them compensation."

Sky also states that it cannot vouch for the validity or accuracy of TCYK's claims.

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