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Paul McGuinness adds his voice to the growing concern among the music community regarding illegal file sharing
As IRMA (Irish Recorded Music Association) meet today to consider their position, U2's manager calls for a change in Irish legislation
The Hot Press Newsdesk, 13 Oct 2010
U2 manager Paul McGuinness has added his voice to the growing wave of concern among musicians and the music community generally, following the decision of the High Court yesterday that the "three strikes and you're out" graduated response to illegal file sharing agreed between the Irish Recorded Music Association (IRMA) and Eircom is legally unenforceable.
Says McGuinness: "This is extremely bad for the international reputation of Ireland as a jurisdiction with appropriate legal protection for all kinds of Intellectual Property and copyright generally." Though today's court ruling is clearly a major blow to the recorded music industry and the movie industry, there are many other Irish based businesses and industries threatened nowadays by copyright theft (software, games, technology,etc etc).
"The government must now as a matter of urgency, do its job properly and implement the required EU legislation without further delay," he added. "Justice Charleton's judgement could not be clearer on where the responsibility lies."
In his judgement, in a case taken by the 5 major record companies EMI Records (Ireland), Universal Music Ireland, Warner International, Sony Music taken against internet provider UPC, Justice Peter Charlton ruled that Irish Laws do not permit the courts to force Internet service providers to block illegal downloading and file sharing of copyrighted material.
Mr Justice Charlton made it clear than an injunction would be morally justified but said "I cannot grant the injunction because I have no legal power to do so."
The issue was a major talking point at The Music Show, which took place over the first weekend in October, with the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources Eamon Ryan coming under fire for the Government's inaction on the issue. Now, with the High Court ruling, the issue has become all the more pressing. Hot Press understands that the Minister is currently examining the position, following the frank exchange of views at The Music Show.