Music firms entitled to orders to require internet providers to block music site
The Four Courts: Mr Justice Peter Kelly in the High Court granted an application by three music companies to block access to an illegal music site
A High Court judge has ruled three major music companies are entitled to orders requiring Irish internet service providers to block access to the KAT filesharing website as part of efforts to prevent “wholesale copyright theft” on “a grand scale”.
There were about 280,000 unique visitors from Ireland to the KAT site (otherwise known as Kickass Torrents, kickass.to and related websites) last September alone, Mr Justice Peter Kelly noted. He was satisfied many of those were engaged in copyright infringement devastating the ability of a generation of creative people to make a living from their talents.
The “telling figures” were demonstrative of “illegal and dishonest” activity “being pursued on a grand scale”, he said. What was involved here was “thieving and dishonesty” by persons who were misusing other people’s property.
Mr Justice Kelly was granting an application by Jonathan Newman, for Sony, Warner Music and Universal, for orders requiring UPC, Vodafone, Digiweb, Hutchison 3G and Telefonica Ireland to block access by their subscribers to the KAT website.
The judge described the defendants as “innocent” parties, whose co-operation with a protocol aimed at preventing illegal downloading of copyright material indicated they realised the illegality and dishonesty involved in such activity.
Other ISPs – Eircom, Meteor, Magnet, Sky and Imagine Telecommunications – had indicated in correspondence with the music companies they were prepared to block the websites voluntarily provided the court made an order to that effect against any ISP.