02.23Ireland on verge of becoming music industry police state
Ireland’s largest ISP, Eircom, will reportedly start blocking its customers from accessing file-sharing sites, solely at the behest of the music industry. According to the Sunday Business Post, the Irish equivalent of the RIAA, the Irish Recorded Music Industry, has been threatening the country’s ISPs with legal action if they don’t do the same. And Eircom’s capitulation comes nearly a year after IRMA sued the ISP and tried to force it to install fingerprinting software that would spy on its users’ downloaded files.
From the paper’s report:
“Irma, which represents major music groups EMI, Sony-BMG, Warner and Universal, is to begin compiling lists of websites that it claims are damaging its business. It will then apply for a court order, requiring Eircom and other internet providers to block access to these sites.”
See those label names there? Make no mistake: IRMA is the RIAA in disguise, and if these usual suspects manage to strong-arm Irish ISPs into imposing a blacklist that is hand-crafted by the music industry, it’s just the beginning. The EU has been flirting with ISP filtering for quite a while — an although it struck down the idea of ISP filtering last year, an Irish precedent will almost certainly bring the issue back to the fore. Can I get another Twitter blackout protest? Well, ok, maybe not that. But something? Protest-ish?