Music-sharing websites to be blocked in Ireland

Irish internet users will soon be blocked from accessing popular music sharing websites, after pressure from the country's music industry was placed on service providers.

Eircom, the country's biggest internet provider, has agreed to start blocking its internet customers from accessing P2P sites, and the Irish Recorded Music Association (IRMA) has told other ISPs to do the same, or face legal action.

IRMA represents music groups such as EMI, Sony-BMG, Warner and Universal in the country, and has said it will begin compiling lists of websites that are damaging to its business.

It will then apply for a court order, requiring all ISPs to block access to these sites.

If the IRMA is successful, Ireland will become the first country in Europe to completely block access to file-sharing websites.

A spokesman from Eircom has confirmed it will not be opposing any court order made by IRMA regarding the blocking of websites on its network.

However, the rest of the country's ISPs are yet to respond after receiving a letter from the IRMA threatening legal action for non-compliance.

Pirate Bay has been made top of the list of file-swapping sites IRMA wants blocked, the owners of which are currently on trial in Sweden for copyright infringement.

IRMA has said it will then move onto "similar sites" for its blacklist.


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