Ireland's ISPs are going to start blocking their network subscribers from connecting to music file-sharing websites in order to avoid lawsuits threatened by the Irish enforcer for the big international music recording labels.
Eircom, the largest Irish Internet service provider, has announced an agreement with the Irish Recorded Music Association (IRMA) under which it will block access to file-sharing sites in response to orders that IRMA obtains from compliant Irish courts.
IRMA represents the Big Music conglomerates EMI, Sony-BMG, Warner and Universal.
Eircom has also agreed not to oppose any of IRMA's applications for court orders, which means that the recording company cabal's legal applications will be granted automatically.
IRMA has further told the country's other ISPs - including BT, UPC, NTL, Chorus and some mobile providers - that they must also agree to block alleged music swapping websites upon demand or face lawsuits.
IRMA has identified Pirate Bay as the first file-sharing website it wants the Irish ISPs to ban, and plans to identify other 'similar websites' for further censorship.
It's easy to foresee that this development will soon drive a boom in bit torrent tracking websites and other peer-to-peer file-sharing proxy servers, leading to a merry game of whack-a-mole between Irish Internet users and the big music publishers. X
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