World VoIP NewsIrish music body sues against telcos Irish music body sues against telcos

Irish music body sues against telcos

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The Irish Recorded Music Association (IRMA) has taken legal action against mobile operators O2 and 3 Ireland over file sharing.
­The Irish Recorded Music Association (IRMA) has filed legal action against O2 and 3 Ireland seeking to force them to disconnect subscribers it alleges are sharing copyrighted content, reports the Irish Times newspaper.

The IMRA says that it has engaged in talks with other, unspecified providers regarding the implimentation of a "three strikes" rule. Irish ISP Eircom launched a three-month pilot program earlier this month that will see those who share copyrighted files cut off from their Internet service after a third warning is ignored. The ISP only launched the trial after it was also sued by the IRMA.

"O2 can confirm that it has been served with a plenary summons by solicitors acting on behalf of record labels EMI, Warner, Universal and Sony," the company said in a statement. "O2 is currently reviewing the issue, but does not believe it is legally liable in relation to illegal filesharing activities that any of its customers might seek to engage in."

This week Eircom introduced its system, targeted at the worst offenders. After three warnings, a copyright infringer would lose Internet access for a week. After a fourth, access would be cut for a year.

Unlike the U.K., New Zealand and France, Ireland has gone down this route without government legislation. Legal action and negotiation has brought a graduated response scheme into effect in a country whose recorded music trade value fell 26% to $73.8 million in 2009, according to the IFPI.

Hutchison 3G Ireland confirmed it had received legal papers but said it was too early to comment further.

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