Thursday, January 12, 2012

More on the music industry case against Ireland

Today's Irish Times confirms that the litigation is intended to put pressure on the government in drafting a statutory instrument to allow blocking. Excerpt:
THE IRISH arm of multinational music group EMI has launched a High Court action against the State as part of its bid to stop the illegal downloading of music...

The Government recently pledged to issue an order to allow copyright holders to compel internet service providers (ISPs) to block access to websites that they consider are engaged in piracy. However, EMI Records (Ireland) remains unhappy with what it perceives to be foot-dragging on the part of the Government in tackling this issue. It is concerned that the matter could be delayed again, and that even if a statutory instrument is issued, its contents may not be satisfactory. Chief executive Willie Kavanagh is adamant that the instrument should give companies such as his the right to seek court injunctions against ISPs that allow access to music piracy websites. Mr Kavanagh said yesterday that EMI asked the Government to show them the forthcoming instrument, but it has not yet received it, “leading me to believe it’s unlikely to satisfy the music industry’s requirement for injunctive relief”.
Incidentally, the coverage is misleading in an important aspect - this is a concerted action brought by all the major music companies (including Sony, Universal, Warner and WEA) not merely EMI. It's also disappointing to see a story uncritically repeat the claims of one side to litigation without offering either a response from the other side or an independent perspective.



  1. Is it hard to believe that perhaps the newspaper might have a dog in the fight? You didn't quote the accompanying Cantillon copy that says: "It’s hard not to have sympathy with the record labels..." It's not a common sentiment amongst people who don't only read balance sheets.

    They still pay their cheques the same way the record companies did, out of non-digital content distribution and they cannot seem to evolve in response to the changing environment. They're terrified. They're below 100,000 in circulation for the first time.

    " there is little doubt the issue will end up in either the Irish or European courts in 2012, or both."

    It's there and it's going to choke up the courts for decades if this is the way things are goin. Blacklists are carbon sheets for billable hours.

    And people will keep listening to music, the most social art form there is, and the stated aim of copyright, incentivising creation will be forgotten, harden and die like a tight little bit of coal in the laws' heart.

  2. Good points Ronan. I hadn't seen that Cantillon column before now but the Irish newspapers have been making threatening noises of their own against sites which refer to stories or link to them, and clearly have a vested interest in future developments in copyright law.

  3. "They're below 100,000 in circulation for the first time."

    Irish Times circulation used to be ALWAYS under 100k. It only broke that mark in the early 1990s - see

  4. Kind of funny that Willie Kavanagh is annoyed that EMI can't get special access to unpublished statutory instruments? Why should they?

    Also: Newspaper of Record or Newspaper of the Recording Industry?

  5. TJ - just quoted you in a piece on the issue re: Irish Times' one sided reporting around this.