A High Court judge in Ireland has ruled that laws which allow the internet connection of users accused of online piracy to be cut permanently cannot be enforced in the country.
The ruling is a heavy blow for the music and film industry, which has been lobbying for stricter laws that might allow them to curb the menace of online piracy.
The judge ruled in favour of Irish ISP UPC, which had filed a lawsuit against several copyright owners including EMI and Sony.
Justice Peter Charleton said in his ruling that online piracy was "destructive of an important native industry" but there were no laws in Ireland that could permanently sever the internet connection of illegal file-sharers.
Meanwhile, UPC maintained that it did not support online piracy but added in a statement: “Our whole premise and defense focused on the mere conduit principal which provides that an internet service provider cannot be held liable for content transmitted across its network.”