Saturday 21 April 2018

Internet firm must prevent downloads

Tim Healy

THE country's second largest internet service provider, Virgin Media, must take steps to deal with illegal music downloading, the Court of Appeal ruled.

The court upheld a 2015 High Court decision requiring the then UPC to set up a regime whereby those who infringe copyright are identified, warned and their service withdrawn if they do not desist.

Subject to a minor variation, the High Court order in favour of Sony, Warner and Universal companies should apply, Mr Justice Gerard Hogan said on behalf of the three-judge appeal court. That variation is that a five-year review of the regime would not apply.

However, Virgin would be entitled to apply to the court again if there are fundamental changes in circumstances or other significant changes which may merit a change in the order, or even its discharge, the judge said.

UPC/Virgin had appealed the earlier decision, including because it was not the infringer of the copyrighted music. It claimed the order would more appropriately apply to a specialist regulator vested with the appropriate expertise.

That regulator would be best placed to make policy decisions of this kind.

The music companies disputed this and said under EU directives protecting copyrighted material, the court had jurisdiction to make the order.

Mr Justice Hogan said the order was necessary and it satisfied the requirements of a 2001 EU directive on copyright.

Irish Independent

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