In a recent out of court settlement between Eircom and four multinational recorded music distributors, Eircom agreed to a three stage procedure to discourage Eircom customers from illegally availing of material copyrighted to the music distributors via peer to peer networks.
The Irish Internet Association holds that its members that provide internet services (specifically DSL and broadband) should not be obliged to act as wardens of the music distributors’ copyright. Their role and their business strategy is to provide high speed and reliable services to their customers.
The Irish Internet Association believes that as long as no illegal activity takes place the ISPs and their customers should be left to do this business. The IIA do not condone the illegal sharing of copyrighted material but are concerned by the fact that a private out of court settlement is the basis for a major shift in the terms and conditions of consumers’ access to the internet in Ireland.
Furthermore the fact that this correspondence was sent to companies among the IIA’s membership who do not perform the role of ISP is a cause for concern. It has been brought to our attention that IIA members who offer web hosting services have been contacted by solicitors acting on behalf of the music distributors. The terms of the letter state that proceedings will commence against the recipient if a positive response is not received. The IIA feels that this approach is heavy handed and will only serve to constrain dialogue amongst the affected parties. The IIA advises any of our members who have received a letter from the solicitors representing these music distributors to contact their solicitors directly instructing them to clarify their function to the music distributors and to release them from the legal action described in the correspondence.
For more information please contact Roseanne Smith, Communications Manager at members at iia dot ie