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.

 

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The Copyright Enforcement Enigma 'accurate and absorbing account of the story of the Telecoms Package' -Journal of International Commercial Law and Technology

'...a must read for those interested in knowing in depth about copyright enforcement and Internet.' -Journal of Intellectual Property Rights.  

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Copyright Enforcement Enigma launch, March 2012

European Parliament launch for Copyright Enforcement Enigma

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Iptegrity.com is the website of Dr Monica Horten. She is  a trainer & consultant on Internet governance policy, published author& Visiting Fellow at the London School of Economics & Political Science. She served as an independent expert on the Council of Europe Committee on  Internet freedom (MSI-INT). Most recently she has worked on projects in the former Soviet states.  She was shortlisted for The Guardian Open Internet Poll 2012. Iptegrity  offers expert insights into Internet policy. Iptegrity has a core readership in the Brussels policy community, and has been cited in the media. Please acknowledge Iptegrity when you cite or link.  For more, see IP politics with integrity

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