Universal Music and Virgin Media in Anti-Piracy Pact

Universal Music Group and Virgin Media, a British cable television and broadband provider, said Monday that they would enter a digital music partnership that breaks new ground by combining the carrot of unlimited downloads with the stick of stronger anti-piracy enforcement.

Universal, the largest recording company in the world, said it would offer its entire catalog to Virgin, which contains works by artists ranging from Amy Winehouse to U2.

The music would be free from copy protection, a feature that distinguishes the service from most existing subscription offerings. The cost of the service was not disclosed.

In return, Virgin Media agreed to take steps to reduce piracy on its network, something that other broadband providers have resisted.