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Site-Blocking Row Hits Irish Courts

07:01 AM Thursday 12/13/12 | |

Nearly four years after the Irish Recorded Music Association pressured Ireland’s largest Internet provider to block access to music piracy sites, the major labels are on another mission to force the country’s other major providers to do the same.

EMI, Sony, Universal and Warner Music want ISPs including UPC and Vodafone to block sites such as The Pirate Bay.

In London’s High Court April 2010, Mr. Justice Arnold ordered the UK mainland’s ISPs to block The Pirate Bay.

Torrent Freak, a blog dedicated to reporting the latest news on BitTorrent protocol and file sharing, reckons that almost all ISPs are happy to comply with requests from child protection organizations and the police to block websites that promote abuse.

However, the issue of blocking on copyright grounds is more controversial, not least because copyright issues are rarely as clear-cut.

As a result, ISPs in the Western world tend to refuse informal site-blocking requests unless they’re backed up by a court order.

During the past couple of years, other local ISPs, notably UPC, were also asked by IRMA to block The Pirate Bay but all refused. IRMA, however, did not give up and has recently renewed its requests for a blockade. Yet again UPC refused to cooperate and as a result IRMA has turned to the courts.

The indications are that such ISPs as UPC, Imagine, Vodafone, Digiweb and Hutchison 3G, which have all received writs according to the Irish Times, may put up a tougher legal fight than Eircom.