The controversial Digital Economy Bill has been passed by the House of Commons, despite staunch opposition from the Liberal Democrats and from within the Labour party itself.
This means the Government has won the battle to give itself powers to close down websites deemed guilty of sharing copyrighted material – a measure that drew fierce criticism from campaign groups and many MPs.
Under the terms of the bill, internet service providers must send letters to customers suspected of infringing copyright through activities such as file-sharing or downloading pirated media. The ISPs will also be able to or suspend the accounts of these customers, BBC News reports.
In some cases copyright holders will be able to apply for court orders to get the names and addresses of alleged offenders and take action against them.
The final vote was attended by 236 MPs, and saw 189 ayes and just 47 noes. The bill will now pass to the House of Lords for final approval.