Thursday, January 15, 2009

The Music Industry v. Eircom - Let Battle Commence!

The trial started today in the case being brought by the EMI, Sony, Warner and Universal against Eircom, in which the music industry is demanding that Eircom put in place a filtering system to block peer to peer downloads. The case is being heard in the High Court before Charleton J. under the record number 2008/1601P EMI RECORDS IRELAND LTD & ORS V EIRCOM LTD. It's listed for hearing for four weeks (and will be in Court 7 should you be passing the Four Courts and interested in observing some of the argument). For the argument that the plaintiffs' case represents a threat to privacy and freedom of expression on the internet see this Digital Rights Ireland post.

Update (16.01.08): The Irish Times has coverage of the first day of hearings. I was rather amused by this internal email from 2001:
"We need to reach a decision on how we are going to handle this," the e-mail said. "PS: 'piracy' is a loaded term. Could we say 'sharing' – 'piracy' implies there’s something wrong with it.

"Think of it as helping the health and good living of rich cocaine-sniffing rock stars by leaving them with less free money to spend on sex and drugs."
In a separate story, the Irish Times also reveals claims by the music industry that their campaign of litigation directly against individual uploaders "had cost the companies some €600,000 and secured compensation of only €70,000".

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