back to article Music industry's Irish ISP shakedown letter leaked

An internet hosting company has published a copy of the nasty-gram Ireland's music industry lawyers bulk-mailed to that country's internet service providers, demanding they begin blocking access to any website accused of piracy or else. The letter confirms earlier reports that the the Irish Recorded Music Association (IRMA) has …


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  1. Anonymous Coward

    Ok, its time

    I'd prefer to see the Big 4 completely go out of business first, but it seems like we need to regulate the Internet at some point. Although its great to kill the big labels, we'll never see smaller ones succeed if there are no mechanisms in place to protect IP.

  2. fnordianslip

    Should have used

    the Arkell vs Presdam response:


  3. kain preacher

    Accused ??

    Wait merely being accused gets you blocked ?? Hmmm if I were the ISP I would band to gather ans sue for harassment . Being told that I have to do some thing because some is accused or I get sued ??? why isn't that extortion or harassment.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Brent Gardner

    Are you being deliberately obtuse for effect, or is your understanding of the situation actually so limited that you believe what you're writing?

  5. Chad H.


    So IRMA cant tell the difference between an Interet hosting company, and an ISP....

    From that, how can we assume they have any credibility in interpreting the law correctly.... Or more to the point, How can Irish music users be sure that the royalties they pay are actually going to the right person?

    It almost seems like the setup for a racist joke....

  6. Someone

    Re: roflcopter

    I assumed IRMA had given instruction along the lines of “send it to all the other ISPs,” and it was the solicitors who sent out unnecessary letters. But, that would be solicitors doing unnecessary work and billing their client for it, which is unheard of. Either way, it looks like someone selected all the limited companies with the word Internet in their name, and then the mail merge button was hit. That would be nearly as shoddy as scraping together some IP addresses and using those to send out nasty-grams.

  7. LaeMi Qian


    Dear ISPs,

    I demand that you immediately block all traffic to or from major recording companies. This must include the company websites and also any promotional or affiliated sites registered to these companies, their affiliates or contracted artists. This is necessary because these organisations MAY be doing something illegal. I have no court-certified proof that they are doing anything illegal but I demand that you stop allowing their traffic through your gateways and servers just on the off-chance that something there may be illegal, or at very least not in my financial interest (which is pretty much the same thing as far as I am concerned).

    Failure to do so will result in more angry letters with strong psudo-legalise overtones but no actual legal basis, or basin in reality for that matter.

    Yours sincerely

    Greedy Bastard.

  8. zonky

    What is someone installs a php torrent client...

    And then uses said client to download. Aren't they accessing the interwebs then?

  9. David

    Irish laws and extortion

    I don't know how Irish laws work, but when do threats of legal action cross the line into becoming extortion, racketeering, and tortious interferance?

  10. Mark


    Their understanding of the take down requirement is so limited as to be laughable. Who let these muppets qualify for legal matters? It is quite bizarre how people's knowledge (politicos, lawyers, judges etc) is strangely limited to the point of frankly disturbing proportions when it comes to all things internet. I'm thinking the typical "turn it off" or "filter it" requests.

  11. Ole Juul

    Possible loss of revenue

    Could there be a possible lawsuit for loss of revenue from someone who uses said blocked sites for distribution?

  12. Tim
    Black Helicopters

    Interpretation....IRMA is responsible....

    If they want to uphold section 40, then IRMA must provide the URL of EVERY alleged infringement, and ONLY those URLs can then be blocked. Blocking an entire domain based on a single source of copyright infringement, when that domain has not also been served with notice of EVERY URL that infringes will cause IRMA's or the ISP's actions to become Actionable in a court of law. Clearly IRMA cannot force an ISP to break the law by enforcing a block on a legitimate site without any evidence. It should also be noted that should the allege that a singe URL is breaching copyright when it isn't then defamation can also be levelled at IRMA by the host site's owners. For instance, if i host a file called Thriller.mp3, they cannot serve notice to remove the file unless they actually listen to it. It may be my own recording of a song i wrote called thriller. Same goes for any fake torrent. They cant be served either!

    IRMA cannot blanket ban any site without a court order stating that the entire site is illegal.

    Also, it will simple force the website owners to relocate to a different site and use a different URL.

  13. Niall

    40(4) Act

    How apt.

  14. Sillyfellow

    not legal

    here's to stating the bleeding obvious!!

    it's not legal to share/download music. however our legal processes require a little thing called proof. and another thing called innocent until proven guilty in court of law (beyond reasonable doubt apparently).

    in view of this thing called law, that letter is harassment. you simply can't assume guilt and take action against someone on the basis of an accusation.

  15. John Smith Gold badge

    Are Irish ISP's responsible for user content?

    I think this is at the heart of this. No phone company has a legal obligation to listen in on all phone calls it handles because one of them *might* involve some kind of crime.

    ISP's should be very careful on this. Some seem quite willing to roll over and play Government monitor. And now a rep of the big record companies is wittering at them. If you are responsible for *every* internet package sent through your system your overheads are going to rise a lot.

    Lets play the kiddie porn scenario here. With ISP's *totally* responsible all that is not forbidden is allowed. "But the boys looked so grown up. NannyCom did not block my access so I thought no problem."

    In this world the ISP should definitely get done along with said perv in the criminal, not civil courts. After all they have facilitated the distribution. And if its resided on their servers for how ever brief a period does that not make them in possession as well? The evil ba%^A$%ds.

    Bearing in mind that Washington University were able to get an enforcement letter issued to the IP address of one of their laser printers how trustworthy are those addresses exactly.

    I understand Blackhorse is not an ISP (a distinction lost on the lawyers who sent this guff out) but you ISPs should grow some 'nads.

    What I still have trouble understanding is this. ISP's seem perfectly happy and capable of throttling bandwidth and my impression is that some of this is content related.

    So how comes they can't spot the PC issuing 1000 emails an hour because its part of a botnet and its owner has not sussed their supporting the lads from Lagos?

    That's the only kind of content inspection I'd want.

  16. Anonymous Coward

    @David Wiernicki

    No, I am completely serious. Call me crazy, but I am starting to come around to Orlowski's point of view on this one. I loath monopolies, duoplolies, trioplies and any other form of non-competitive or anti-competitive business. I think all the major labels, cell phone companies, Microsoft, and all ISPs (except Cox communications, here in the US), should be broken up for racketeering. You have to clear the old growth for the saplings to survive.

    But likewise, I believe that truly competitive players in a free market need to have their IP protected, and are entitled for compensation for the distribution of their works. Everyone knows the Internet ifs rife with piracy, and although an imperfect system, it has served to redistribute the wealth back to the people who were so long screwed by the labels ($20 for a CD with two decent tracks?)

    But now that everyone has successfully exerted their fair-use rights, by downloading every record they ever bought in mp3 form, and everyone has moved on to out-and-out piracy of new works, perhaps it is time to start enforcing laws again, so we can have a truly free market.

    Queue flame war, and apologies, but I am a *true* capitalist: a free market is a well-regulated one.

    (Sarah, copy Andrew. I'd buy him a round to hear what he thinks about that. Thanks love :-* )

  17. Stephen

    Why don't the Irish ISPs...

    block any legit music sites too and maybe the Irish Recorded Music Association too. Hit 'em where it hurts. See how they like being cut off ...

  18. Anonymous Coward

    Section 40(4) of the act...

    ...I tried to look it up but it's not there...

  19. g e

    Ahh but...

    Section 4: Without prejudice to subsection (3), where a person who provides facilities referred to in that subsection is notified by the owner of the copyright in the work concerned that those facilities are being used to infringe the copyright in that work and that person fails to remove that infringing material as soon as practicable thereafter that person shall also be liable for the infringement.

    There is no 'infringing material' to remove, unless IRMA are claiming (C) ownership of the .torrent file itself or it's hyperlink, surely?

  20. g e

    Great Wisdom

    This new learning amazes, Sir IRMA!

    Explain to me once more how sheep's bladders may be employed to prevent earthquakes

  21. Anonymous Coward


    Does this IRMA/Eircom decision mean the file sharing networks will hopefully be spared from copies of U2's latest output ?? hahaha

  22. Dan


    so where should I send the invoince in respect of the new keyboard you owe me?

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down


    So they don't even know the difference between a host and an ISP, reminds of Kaa the snake in the jungle book singing, "trust in me... hissssss", make you wonder how they know their alleged copyright is being infringed.

    On a more serious note, all ISP should immediately block all access to the big 4 music mafia websites in case somebody buys a mp3/CD/DVD and uploads it on the PB, after all we wouldn't want anybody to potentially commit a crime. I for one will do my best to help eliminate any possible copyright infringement by not purchasing any material from EMI, Sony, Universal, and Warner or related companies thereby reducing to a minimum any possibility of alleged copyright infringement.

    In other news,

    All motorists will automatically be issued with two speeding tickets, three parking files each month and will be charged with drunk driving once a year, after all they have cars, that makes them drunk drivers.

  24. Anonymous Coward

    I read their letter but all I saw was:

    Dear victim,

    We are total b@st@rds and we demand loads more cash.

    You are either with us or against us.

    Pay up, or else, there's a fine fellow.


    A. Hole

  25. Malachy

    Fecking Eircom

    I don't understand why eircom capitulated after a day in court, they are only encouraging the bastards.

    Like a lot of the posters have previously mentioned, I would ask them to detail EVERY url they wanted to ban. Of course to speed that process up I would give them a standardised form of at least 26 pages for each url they wanted to block. Explaining why it needed to be blocked, what proof they had, mothers maiden name and independent verifcation from 26 seperate legal offices and the pope (we are in Ireland).

    Plus no where in the legal documentation does it say that you are not allowed to charge for the work (blocking the url's) or a monthly service fee for every url blocked :-)

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    They're saving the Internet!

    All they're trying to do is, "end the abuse of the internet by peer to peer copyright infringers." It says so right there in the letter for crying out loud! Can't you hear the Internet crying for help? Why do you hate the Internet?

  27. rge

    Free the web!

    @ anonymous coward,

    They dont own the internet and they are NOT the internet police, but merely another business trying to make money and control where I can and cant go on the world wide web -and they are wrong

  28. Anonymous Coward

    Solicitors - Lawyers and the ISPs

    The lawyer's letter to the ISPs has again triggered my vomit reflex.

    Q: "What would you call 1000 lawyers chained together at the bottom of the ocean"? A: A good start.

    Many of those who work, as in manipulate, the law, are as corrupt and greedy as the W/Bankers who have put the world in turmoil!!

    Q: Should lawyers who defend criminals be charged automatically if the client is found guilty? A: If the logic of charging an ISP with being responsible for the content carried is argued by the lawyers - then it should apply the other way around - and charge lawyers for the content they carry.

    There are two types of people that solicit i.e. solicitors:

    1. The type that does it openly, and honestly trades beneath a red light. and

    2. The whore in a fancy office that screws people with the the dirty big shlong of the law

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