Internet providers face new legal action from record companies


Irish internet service providers (ISPs) are facing new legal action from record companies trying to clamp down on file sharing.

EMI, Sony, Warner Music and Universal have issued proceedings against UPC, Imagine, Vodafone, Digiweb and Hutchison 3G Ltd. The case is due to come before the High Court on December 17th.

The labels are trying to clamp down on file sharing, in particular through free file-sharing site Pirate Bay.

UPC confirmed proceedings had been served on its legal representatives, and that it had previously declined a request from the Irish Recorded Music Association (Irma) to block Pirate Bay voluntarily.

UPC position unchanged

“We understand that all other ISPs joined to the proceedings similarly declined the request,” the company said.

“UPC can confirm, however, its position has not changed. As an ISP, our position is that ISPs should not on a voluntary basis decide what can or should be consumed by users. We believe such matters are for the Government or court to decide.”

The matter has been an ongoing battle between the music industry and the internet service providers over the past few years.

Eircom already blocks the website from customers using its broadband services after it settled a case with Irma in 2009. The High Court made an order requiring Eircom to disable access to the website and its related domain names and URLs, and the telecoms firm began blocking the site from September 1st, 2009.