Internet service providers have downplayed media reports here which claimed that four major Japanese ISPs organizations have agreed to sever the connections of users who habitually abuse file-sharing programs such as the homegrown "Winny" program.

Yuka Yoshida, an official in the general affairs department of the Telecommunications Carriers Association -- one of the ISP trade groups mentioned in the reports -- said March 18 there has been no such agreement among ISP organizations.

According to the reports, the ISP groups believe it is possible, with the cooperation of relevant right-holder groups, to identify such users and cut them off from Internet access.

The ISP bodies and rights-holders will reportedly meet in April to draw up guidelines spelling out grounds for such action.

Yoshio Kojima, manager of the transmission rights department of local authors society JASRAC, said March 18 rights-holders groups such as JASRAC and ISP organizations will meet in April to set up a committee tasked with "resolving this P2P problem."

JASRAC believes working with ISPs is the best way of dealing with P2P-based copyright infringement, Kojima says.