Ireland's largest ISP and largest telecommunication group, Eircom, has announced that it will be blocking music file sharing websites following lawsuit threats from the Irish Recorded Music Association.
The IRMA said that they would sue ISPs which would not block websites such like Pirate Bay; it is understood that Eircom is the first one to have signed an agreement and could pave the way for Ireland to become the first European country to blacklist "hundreds" of file-sharing websites.
IRMA has drawn an extensive list of websites that it claims are ruining the music industry by providing free music tracks. Eircom will not oppose any request by IRMA which means that any site could potentially be blacklisted.
Eircom had previously bowed to IRMA's pressure and implemented a "three-strike and you're out" policy that would have disconnected customers found guilty of illegal file sharing three consecutive times.
Some like Alex French, CEO of wireless internet provider BitBuzz, acknowledged that Eircom's decision to block some P2P websites could set a dangerous precedence for the relative freedom on the web and could give rise to excessive web censorship
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It could be feared that innocent websites are targeted and that in general peer to peer will become a web pariah even though its usage, like Cannabis, is not always criminal. Furthermore as ITExaminer puts it, it will cause a boom in offline file sharing as well as an explosion in the number of peer-to-peer file sharing proxy servers.