Wondering what was happening with big music/Irma and the ISPs? Last week, BT was served with legal papers by the four big music labels. Yesterday, it was the turn of UPC (Chorus NTL).
Here's a statement from UPC on the matter:
UPC can confirm that is has been served with a plenary summons by solicitors acting on behalf of the four Irish music labels (EMI, Warner, Universal and WEA). It is regretful that the rightsholders have decided to pursue with their threat of legal action against UPC. The company is now preparing its defence and intends to vigorously defend its position in Court.
The plenary summons served follows a recent out-of-court settlement with Eircom and solicitors acting on behalf of the four Irish labels (EMI, Universal, Sony and WEA) whereby they wrote to a number of Irish Internet Service Providers (ISPs) in an attempt to impose a similar three strikes ruling on each ISP.
UPC has made its position clear from the outset -- it will not agree to a request that goes beyond what is currently provided under existing legislation. There is no basis under Irish law requiring ISPs to control, access or block the internet content its users download. In addition, the rights holders' proposal gives rise to serious concerns for data privacy and consumer contract law.
Irish and European law maintains a careful balance between the rights and obligations of copyright owners, internet users and ISPs. The three strikes policy that was agreed in private with eircom as part of the settlement, and any attempt to impose in upon the industry generally, seriously undermines that balance.
It is unfortunate that the rightsholders did not take up UPC's suggestion that it convene a stakeholder forum in which their concerns could be addressed. UPC indicated that it would be willing to participate in such a forum provided all relevant parties that have a vested interest in this matter were included (eg ISPs, the Data Protection Commission, the National Consumer Agency and relevant Departments of the Government).
UPC has always taken a strong stance against illegal activity on its network. It takes all steps required by the law to combat specific infringements which are brought to its attention and will continue to co-operate with rightsholders where they have obtained the necessary Court Orders for alleged copyright infringements.
It is regretful that the rightsholders have decided to go down the legal route as both sides share a common goal which targets to eradicate piracy.