It said it was going to crack down on illegal downloads, and Virgin Media has done exactly that sending out warning letters to 800 of its customers.

The letters are part of a 10-week pilot programme run in conjunction with the British Phonographic Industry - the body that represents record companies in the UK.

The BPI has been calling on ISPs to adopt a strict policy towards internet users who download copyrighted material, but Virgin Media went for the slightly less draconian measure of sending letters rather than a "three strikes and you're out" policy.

This is the stance the BPI wants all ISPs to take but only Virgin Media has signed up to any sort of measures at the moment - and it is only agreeing to "educate" its users for the meantime.

The BPI says that "thousands more letters" will be sent, and then the trial reviewed in mid-August.