Music companies seek court order against Sky on copyright

Judge agrees to admit music groups’ case to fast-track Commercial Court list

Eir, which has almost 32 per cent of the market, said it was dealing with complaints from the music industry.

Eir, which has almost 32 per cent of the market, said it was dealing with complaints from the music industry.

 

Large internet service providers are acting on complaints from music recording companies about copyright piracy, the Commercial Court has been told.

Eir, which has almost 32 per cent of the market, is already doing so, while Virgin Media, with 26.8 per cent, began doing it in June.

Sky, which has 12.5 per cent, is consenting to doing likewise but says it will first require a court order.

The Irish arms of Sony, Universal and Warner music companies are now looking for such an order against Sky Subscribers Services, Mr Justice Robert Haughton was told on Monday.

The judge agreed to admit the music firms’ case to the fast-track Commercial Court list. The case comes back to court in October.

The music companies want an injunction requiring Sky, when notified, to supply the IP address of a subscriber to Sky who is making available copyright sound recordings through the fixed broadband internet.

Once that information is received, Sky must send “cease and desist” notifications to the subscriber.

If the subscriber continues to infringe, after a third cease-and-desist notification the music companies will then apply to the court for termination of the subscriber’s service. The number of notifications cannot exceed 1,200 a month.

In a sworn statement, Willie Kavanagh, chairman of the Irish Recorded Music Association (IRMA), said the factual and legal issues arising in connection with this matter have already been dealt with in High Court and Court of Appeal judgments.

While Eir and Virgin are co-operating in the “graduated response” procedure (three cease-and-desist notices), Sky has said it would do so but it would require six months to put a solution in place, he said.

In relation to Vodafone, which also has a considerable market share, it has raised aspects of its technical systems that, it says, impacts on both the time required for implementation and the cost of implementation, he said.

While more information has been sought from Vodafone, when the position is clearer the music companies will issue the required proceedings against that company as soon as practicable, he said.

The music companies, as well as operating the graduated response system towards subscribers, has also sought that service providers block websites such as Pirate Bay and KAT, Mr Kavanagh said.