The UK may consider blocking access to websites that host pirated content if the US brings in similar measures.

According to culture minister Ed Vaizey, who was speaking at the Intellect Consumer Electronics Conference 2011 that took place in London this week, officials in the US are considering the system. However, no-one in the US has confirmed this.

"A voluntary agreement may come out of the US and if that does happen it could be a game-changer," he said.

"If people are streaming live football without permission we should look at ways we can stop them. People have the right to earn money from content they create."

Vaizey's comments come just a week after the Motion Picture Association (MPA) started legal action against BT in a bid to force the ISP to prevent its customers visiting Newzbin, a site that offers links to other locations on the web where music, movies and other content can be illegally downloaded.

If the MPA is successful in forcing BT to block the website, it could open the flood gates for other content owners to use legal action to stop web users accessing sites that offer pirated material. Injunction that would see websites blocked was one of the proposals in the Digital Economy Act, which became law last year.

In July last year, BT and TalkTalk called for the High Court to launch a review into the Act, stating it was "rushed through" and had "insufficient scrutiny". The two firms were also concerned that measures to tackle net piracy - including plans to temporarily suspend people from the web - could be in breach of "basic rights and freedoms". The judicial review, which began in March this year, rejected four out of the five claims put forward by the ISPs. Last month, the pair said they wanted those four grounds looked at again, a move that Vaizey described as "odd". However, the application to appeal was subsequently refused.

"I do find it odd that BT has spent so much time on litigating against an act of Parliament. They have fallen at every hurdle...I think they are still carrying on but there you go," Vaizey said.

"What we are trying to do is encourage rights holders and ISPs to work together. ..I am keen to protect our content industries as I think people should be able to earn money from the content they make, as laid out in the Digital Economy Act – and the Government should do what it can to protect them."

Website blocking is not a move that is favoured by all web users however. Google chairman Eric Schmidt is among those that have said the system could potentially lead to censorship of the net and has said he will fight any attempts.

"They [the US government] have been tough but if they took down a website linking to fake handbags no-one would bat an eyebrow," said Vaizey. "As soon as it is a site sharing music it becomes an issue about freedom of speech."