23 July 2014

UPC says position unchanged over EMI case

10:16, Adrian Weckler

The country’s second biggest broadband provider has issued a statement about a High Court case brought by music companies seeking the blocking of websites.

The case, brought by EMI, Sony, Warner and Universal against UPC, Vodafone, O2, Imagine, Digiweb and 3, seeks to get a judicial order blocking The Pirate Bay, a website known for swapping music illegally.

“IRMA has sought a court order requiring UPC, Vodafone, O2, Three, Imagine Digiweb to block The Pirate Bay,” said the UPC statement.

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“UPC’s position remains unchanged. Piracy in general is a collective and industry wide concern. From a UPC perspective, we firmly believe people should pay for content they consume.”

“As an industry, Pay-TV has pioneered encryption technology to prevent piracy of the TV signal. However, we have no visibility as to what users do online.”

“Our position is that ISPs should not, on a voluntary basis, decide what can or should be consumed by users.”

“It is the government or the courts who are the appropriate body to make such determinations and we await Judge McGovern’s decision in this regard.”

The case is the first test of the controversial change in law - dubbed ‘Irish SOPA’ -- introduced by Labour Minister Sean Sherlock in February of last year.

A similar High Court case taken by the music labels in 2011 failed with the judge in the case ruling that a change in Irish law was required to give effect to court orders blocking websites.

UPC has 316,000 broadband customers in Ireland.

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