Despite a pledge in the Digital Britain report to ultimately oblige Internet Service Providers to employ technical measures against copyright infringers if there is no "significant" reduction in illegal file-sharing, the music industry seems unimpressed by the proposals.

There will have to be a further consultation on the measures in Digital Britain, announced today (June 16), and the impact of the system of educational warning letters and the accessible database of repeat infringers (available to rights holders with a court order), would be measured over 12 months before any technical measures were introduced.

However, U.K. trade body the BPI is still demanding a "three-strikes" system, describing the government proposal as "digital dithering."

"It's clear what government needs to do to boost the digital music market and achieve its stated objective of significantly reducing illegal downloading by 70-80% in two years - that's to act now to require all ISPs to apply a fair system of 'graduated response,'" said chief executive Geoff Taylor in a statement. "This would comprise a series of notices followed by technical measures to steer consumers away from illegal file-sharing and onto legal online services that reward artists and record labels for their work."

He added: "Music companies are in the forefront of developing new digital services for consumers - such as the deal announced yesterday between Universal Music and Virgin Media - but that innovation needs to be balanced with meaningful action to deal with persistent freeloaders."

Feargal Sharkey, chief executive of umbrella trade group U.K. Music, strikes a cautiously positive note.

"I think it's progress," he tells Billboard.biz. "I hope it will actually give some optimism to the industry. Does it supply the ultimate, permanent solution that everybody wanted? Well that was the silver bullet and I don't think we were expecting that. Quite clearly there's still an awful lot of discussion to be done."

"The Digital Britain report had the opportunity to set an outstanding
aspirational agenda and create a memorable turning point in the U.K.'s digital evolution, but sadly falls short of giving the real focus for significantly enhancing Britain's competitiveness in the future," said a statement from We7, the U.K. ad-supported free streaming and a-la-carte service.

The British Video Association (BVA), which represents the publishers and distributors of video home entertainment on all platforms, also expressed its concern.

"We are disappointed that the report recommends that the technical measures such as bandwidth squeezing are only to be introduced after notice sending has been shown to fail and after further consultation," said director general Lavinia Carey in a statement.

"The 2009 Digital Entertainment Survey, published last week by Wiggin LLP, indicates that simply sending warning letters would deter less than a third of those who illegally file-share, meaning the government is set to fall short of its target to reduce online copyright theft by 70-80% in two to three years. If the government are serious about meeting that target they must take effective action now."

Although Carey welcomed the increased responsibility for ISPs to protect content, she added: "Copyright theft damages this industry by taking away profit that should be used to pay wages, launch new projects and explore innovative new services. It is not a victimless crime and we are glad the DBR reflects this in today's report but would urge that the government acts without further delay."