Tuesday, January 20, 2009

What ISPs REALLY think of piracy: good for musicians because it leaves them less to spend on 'sex and drugs'

Fascinating evidence -- including a suggestion that piracy is good for musicians because it leaves them less money to waste on sex and drugs -- is emerging from an Irish court considering a copyright infringement action brought by major record labels against Eircom, a major ISP. Reports the Irish Times:
The proceedings have been brought by EMI Records (Ireland) Ltd, Sony BMG Music Entertainment (Ireland) Ltd, Universal Music (Ireland) Ltd and Warner Music (Ireland) Ltd. They want court orders — under the Copyright and Related Rights Acts 2000 —restraining Eircom from infringing copyright in the sound recordings owned by, or exclusively licensed to them, by making available (through Eircom’s internet service facilities) copies of those recordings to the public without the companies’ consent.
The labels have uncovered some really juicy evidence demonstrating that Eircom isn't all that eager to fight piracy. For example:
  • An Eircom official sent an internal email asking, "PS 'piracy' is a loaded term. Could we say 'sharing'- 'piracy' implies there’s something wrong with it."
  • Wrote the same official, "Think of it [piracy] as helping the health and good living of rich cocaine sniffing rock stars by leaving them with less free money to spend on sex and drugs."
  • As late as this week, Eircom has been advertising on The Pirate Bay, the notorious Swedish infringement site whose leaders have been charged with criminal infringement.
All this came out in just the opening statements of the expected 4-week trial before Justice Peter Charleton in the Commercial Court. Should be an interesting ride.


  1. I doubt that even the RIAA thinks that the statements regarding "rich cocaine sniffing rock stars" (obviously jokes) are honestly held beliefs.

    Furthermore, "piracy" is, indeed, a loaded term. Infringement of copyright (where such actually occurs) is the correct term.

  2. Infringement of a Rolling Stones copyright should definitely be called piracy. Because Keith looks like a pirate.

  3. You really need a good humor detector. You know that was a joke, right?


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