In a further sign of increasing music industry aggression on the piracy issue, the four major labels – martialled by the Irish Recorded Music Association – are suing Ireland’s largest internet provider, Eircom, arguing it lets customers use its network to illegally share songs. They want Eircom to install filtering software, but the ISP is set to argue it has no obligation to do so. The case is set to mimic a ruling won by Belgian copyright group Sabam in July, when ISP Scarlet, was ordered to install Audible (NSDQ: ADBL) Magic software to monitor its P2P traffic and block sharing of unauthorised files.
Irish Times: “The European Union’s E-Commerce directive, transposed into Irish law in July 2000 as the E-Commerce Act, has provided protection to ISPs and allows them the defence of saying that they are not responsible for what is sent over their networks”. The Belgian case is being appealed (it goes against the doctrine ISPs are merely conduits) but, meantime, France has succeeded in introducing a monitoring compulsion on ISPs and the UK wants to follow its lead. As reported today, Sweden is also clamping down.