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File photo of protesters at a demonstration against SOPA.
File photo of protesters at a demonstration against SOPA.
Image: Niall Carson/PA Archive

Record labels file suit against Irish ISPs

This could be the first suit using the country’s controversial ‘Irish SOPA’ legislation.
Dec 7th 2012, 9:15 PM 13,975 101

FOUR RECORD LABELS have filed papers in the High Court to commence proceedings against Irish internet service providers (ISPs).

Yesterday EMI Records [Ireland] Ltd, Sony Music Entertainment [Ireland] Ltd, Universal Music Ireland Ltd and Warner Music Ireland Ltd filed a suit against UPC Communications Ireland Ltd, Vodafone Ireland Ltd, Imagine Telecommunications Ltd, Digiweb Ltd and Hutchinson 3 G Ltd.

The case is listed to come before the Commercial Court on 17 December for a Notice of Motion.

Commenting on the court application, McGarr Solicitors said it will come as “no surprise” to anyone who has followed the StopSOPAIreland campaign this year.

The firm said the fact the eircom is not included in the list of defendants is “highly suggestive” of the record labels’ intent.

Eircom is the only ISP to have introduced the three strikes system the companies have demanded they are due by right and it is also the only ISP blocking the PirateBay site.

McGarr solicitors said this court action may be “the first of the predicted applications to block Ireland’s users from accessing particular websites”.

In February, the government signed the controversial statutory instrument that reinforces online copyright laws in Ireland into law.

The ‘Irish SOPA’ legislation has been the subject of much debate amid concerns it would limit internet freedom.

Read: In full: Seán Sherlock’s draft proposals for online copyright law>

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Michelle Hennessy

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