Music industry seeks to block access to file-sharing website

High Court case about Kickass Torrents similar to action used to block Pirate Bay

Rudimental arriving for the MTV Europe Music Awards at the Ziggo Dome in Amsterdam earlier this month. The Irish subsidiaries of Sony Music, Universal Music and Warner Music will ask the High Court on Monday to order five of the largest broadband providers to block access to file-sharing website Kickass Torrents. Photograph: Ian West/PA Wire

Rudimental arriving for the MTV Europe Music Awards at the Ziggo Dome in Amsterdam earlier this month. The Irish subsidiaries of Sony Music, Universal Music and Warner Music will ask the High Court on Monday to order five of the largest broadband providers to block access to file-sharing website Kickass Torrents. Photograph: Ian West/PA Wire

 

Three of the world’s leading music companies will next week step up efforts to block access from Ireland to illegal file-sharing websites.

The Irish subsidiaries of Sony Music, Universal Music and Warner Music will ask the High Court on Monday to order five of the largest broadband providers to block access to Kickass Torrents (Kat), a popular file-sharing site used by web users to download music and movie files.

The three music companies, which are being assisted by the Irish Recorded Music Association (Irma), have served legal papers on Vodafone, UPC, O2, Digiweb and Hutchison 3G Ireland, which owns mobile operator Three.

It follows a similar action during the summer, when four music companies backed by Irma succeeded in getting a court order to block Pirate Bay on six internet service providers (ISPs).

Imagine, which was one of the six respondents in the Pirate Bay case, is not listed in the Kickass case because it gave an undertaking to the music companies to block access to Kat if the other ISPs lose the case.

The music firms got similar commitments from other ISPs. Eircom, for example, has previously undertaken to block access to illegal file-sharing sites.

UPC, which has previously resisted similar blocking orders from the music companies, confirmed it had been served with legal papers.

“UPC declined Irma’s request in pre-litigation correspondence to voluntarily block Kat. Our position is that ISPs should not, on a voluntary basis, choose what can or should be consumed by internet users. Such matters are for the government or the courts to decide.”

Dick Doyle, the chief executive of Irma, said Irma had secured the agreement of several ISPs that they would abide by the court’s ruling even if they were not listed as respondents.