Record Labels Seek 3-Strike-Out Penalty Against Music Pirates

The world’s biggest record labels collaborated to compel Ireland’s second largest Internet service provider against file sharers. Sony, Warner, and Universal are up with a new legal action against UPC, in which this time, the labels seek a three-strike-out rule to its customers who engage in piracy.

The next target in line

Music Pirates
Image by Kieran Lynam

In 2010, the Irish Recorded Music Association succeeded in its legal battle against the ISP Eircom when it agreed to impose an anti-piracy policy against its subscribers. The new policy included letter writing against offenders and disconnections for those who do not heed the warning.

Since the policy’s roll out, Eircom has urged other ISPs to follow suit, with UPC the next target in line.

An earlier lawsuit against UPC, however, was dismissed in October 2010 by the High Court as it ruled that disconnecting file sharers in Ireland did not have a legal backbone.

‘Serious question of freedom of expression’

The Irish Times reported that the IRMA tracked subscribers of UPC and reported 7,757 instances of copyright infringement, hence the demand coming from labels that UPC should subject its pirating customers to a response scheme.

UPC is still holding its ground against the rule, saying that it would raise a “serious question of freedom of expression and public policy and demands fair and impartial procedures in the appropriate balancing of rights,” not to mention a legislation necessary to back up such a course of action.

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