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Piracy has 'decimated' industry

Record companies have claimed that their entire business has been decimated by piracy -- including downloads and filesharing -- on the internet.

Between 2005 and 2009, the recording companies experienced a reduction of 40pc in the Irish market for the legal sale of recorded music, the equivalent of up to €64m in sales.

Record companies estimate that at least €20m in lost sales in the Irish market is due to illegal downloads.

Irish band Aslan had sales of between 35,000 and 50,000 for their albums, but their recent album 'Uncased' only sold 6,000 copies while 22,000 illegal downloads were traced on the internet.

Unlike the UK, France, the United States and New Zealand, Ireland has no legislation to adequately combat internet piracy. Ireland, which can require an internet service provider (ISP) to remove copyright material such as music tracks and other files, has no power to block access to or disable certain sites. Regulator ComReg also has no powers to investigate complaints or to resolve disputes between consumers and operators/ISPs. Dearbhail McDonald

Irish Independent