Four Irish music companies are taking legal action against Eircom, the Irish telecommunciations operator, on the basis that it has not installed technology to filter and block content which they allege is infringing copyright and illegal. According to a report in the Irish Independent , the companies had asked Eircom to install filtering software made by the US vendor Audible Magic, and it has told them that it is not in a position to do so. The report states that the legal action consists of a request for a restraining order, which would prevent Eircom from making available copies of allegedly infringing material without the copyright owner's consent.
It's interesting that they have chosen this route. Filtering of Internet content at the network level is rife with legal difficulties, not least of which is the potential to infringe people's fundamental rights to access information, and to privacy.
The companies are the Irish subsidiaries of the four music majors - Warner, EMI, Sony BMG and Universal. They are also member of the Irish Recorded Music Association, a member of the International Federation of Phonographic Industries or IFPI, which is dominated by the four majors.