The UK's Intellectual Property minister David Lammy has said the government will not force internet service providers to pursue file sharers.
There had been mounting speculation about government legislation on the issue as the music industry steps up its fight against the pirates.
Other countries, such as France, have supported tough action on file-sharers, who cost the industry millions.
But Mr Lammy said legislation would be too complex.
"We can't have a system where we're talking about arresting teenagers in their bedrooms," he told The Times newspaper.
Talk of the government forcing internet service providers to evict file-sharers from their networks grew last year as the British Phonographic Industry adopted a tougher stance.