The Sunday Business Post yesterday reported that IRMA is seeking to go further in the mission to disconnect users who illegal download music with the news that the organisation plans to coerce Irish ISPs to block access to sites which facilitate illegal downloading such as The Pirate Bay. Eircom will be the first to comply with other ISPs expected to follow suit or face legal action.
According to the report, IRMA will compile a list of such music sites and will then apply for a court order requring ISPs to block access to these sites and it says:
Under the terms of an agreement between Eircom and Irma, Eircom will not oppose any court application, meaning that the orders will be automatically granted. A spokesman for Eircom confirmed that Eircom –will not oppose any application [Irma] may make seeking the blocking of access from their network” to blacklisted websites.
The rest of the country’s internet providers, which include BT, UPC (which owns NTL and Chorus) and mobile operators, have yet to respond formally. The move was disclosed in a letter sent to internet providers last week, threatening legal action if they did not comply with Irma’s demands.
If it happens (and its looking likely) it will be the first music industry-led initiative in Europe to block access to file-sharing sites.