Record companies lose download case against ISP

Irish Internet service provider UPC prevailed in a court action brought against it by a bunch of record companies seeking to call a halt to music sharing, claiming it infringes their copyright.

Warner Music, Universal Music, Sony BMG and EMI Records demanded a "three strikes and you're out" rule to cut off Internet users accused of sharing copyrighted material.

But a High Court Judge in Dublin ruled that there is no provision in Irish law for blocking, diverting or interrupting the Internet communications of those intent on breaching copyright.

Justice Peter Charleton seemed to have sympathy for the poor recording industry though, suggesting that sharing copyrighted music, "not only undermines their business but ruins the ability of a generation of creative people in Ireland, and elsewhere, to establish a viable living. It is destructive of an important native industry."

But in his reading of the law he was unable to grant the Irish Recording Music Association the injunction it sought.

A spokesman UPC, Ireland's third-largest Internet provider said: "UPC has repeatedly stressed that it does not condone piracy and has always taken a strong stance against illegal activity on its network."