Oct 11

Is The UPC Decision A Victory?

by in rant, Techie :: Techno ::

Earlier today the Mr Justice Charleton's decision in the case of EMI RECORDS (IRELAND) LIMITED, SONY MUSIC ENTERTAINMENT IRELAND LIMITED, UNIVERSAL MUSIC IRELAND LIMITED, WARNER MUSIC IRELAND LIMITED AND WEA INTERNATIONAL INCORPORATED
vs. UPC COMMUNICATIONS IRELAND LIMITED was made public.

There has been a lot of media coverage about the decision, with many headlines hailing it as a victory for UPC.

But was it?

While the "important bit" of the decision is that IRMA lost, the judge's decision contains a lot of language that should be cause of concern.

The decision runs to 78 pages and gives a very detailed insight into the evidence presented and the conclusions the judge drew from them.

From a technical perspective I'd have to disagree with most of the honourable judge's conclusions, but what really worries me is the closing paragraph of his judgement:

Solutions are available to the problem of internet copyright piracy. It is not surprising that the legislative response laid down in our country in the Copyright and Related Rights Act 2000, at a time when this problem was not perceived to be as threatening to the creative and retail economy as it has become in 2010, has made no proper provision for the blocking, diverting or interrupting of internet communications intent on breaching copyright. In failing to provide legislative provisions for blocking, diverting and interrupting internet copyright theft, Ireland is not yet fully in compliance with its obligations under European law. Instead, the only relevant power that the courts are given is to require an internet hosting service to remove copyright material.  Respecting, as it does, the doctrine of separation of powers and the rule of law, the Court cannot move to grant injunctive relief to the recording companies against internet piracy, even though that relief is merited on the facts.

So what he's saying is that he can't decide in favour of IRMA now, as the legislation doesn't exist. But, and this is the bit that scares me a lot, he feels that the lack of the legislation is a failing of the Irish state to enact legislation in compliance with EU law.

While it may be futile for IRMA to challenge the decision immediately it wouldn't be in the least bit surprising to see them attempt to pressure the Irish legislature to enact the "necessary" legislation.

Or am I missing something?

In any case I'd recommend people have a read over the full text of the judgement, as it's anything as simple and clearcut as some of the media coverage would lead people to believe.

If it is a "victory" for UPC I suspect that it may be only a temporary one.

Having dealt with IRMA in the past I somehow doubt they'll give up that easily.

(You can also see some of my comments on today's judgement here)

There is plenty of other coverage of today's decision:

Related Posts:

Tags: , , , ,

2 Responses to “Is The UPC Decision A Victory?”

  1. From Conor:

    I’m shocked and appalled that a Hight Court judge does not know this the difference between theft and infringement.
    From the Criminal Justice (Theft and Fraud Offences) Act, 2001 – Part 2 – Section 4.1:
    a person is guilty of theft if he or she dishonestly appropriates property without the consent of its owner and with the intention of depriving its owner of it.
    Copyright infringement does not fit this description at all.
    I’m disappointed, but less surprised that the judge bought IRMA’s bullshit about losses, even though any independent study shows IRMA’s statements to be utter lies.

    Posted on October 11, 2010 at 9:43 pm #
  2. From Justin Mason:

    hey Michele! check out this potential source for one of EMI’s facts and figures which Mr Justice Charleton seems to give a lot of credence to: http://taint.org/2010/10/11/231501a.html

    Posted on October 11, 2010 at 11:42 pm #

Leave a Reply

Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. You can also subscribe without commenting.

css.php