Record Labels Make The Case That Irish ISP Is Guilty Of Copyright Infringement

from the inducing-a-joke dept

A few different readers sent in the latest on the lawsuit that the major record labels have filed against Irish ISP Eircom. While the adversarial relationship between ISPs and the recording industry has been discussed for years, this is the first case in which the labels are directly suing an ISP for copyright infringement. Their argument, similar to the “inducement” rule that the US courts made up (it’s not actually in any US law) is that Eircom was actively encouraging piracy. In the case, they used internal emails from Eircom execs where some execs jokingly talked about how piracy was good for musicians because it would reduce money for rock stars to spend on cocaine. Apparently, obviously joking comments are being used to establish intent these days. Either way, this seems like a weak case for the record labels. Plenty of people encourage piracy. It’s not going to go away if all those people shut up. The industry needs to stop freaking out over the fact that piracy happens, and start focusing on actual solutions in the market.

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Companies: eircom, ifpi

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Comments on “Record Labels Make The Case That Irish ISP Is Guilty Of Copyright Infringement”

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Anonymous Coward says:


I wonder if this is just a test case for the labels to see if they can put pressure on ISP’s to join their program to police for file sharing.

The content of the emails was basically correct — file sharing can help musicians. Perhaps the RIAA will be providing some publicity for that point with this lawsuit.

Chuck Norris' Enemy (deceased) says:

Joking with intent

Apparently, obviously joking comments are being used to establish intent these days.

Wasn’t it the two Enron execs on the phone talking about f*cking over grandmas with the price gouging they were gonna cause and laughing about it the whole time. Sure, they were joking with each other, but the plan was real, as we now know. If you never heard the recordings, it is quite disgusting. I have to go to staff meeting so I don’t have time to find a link.

Garry says:

Er… if these were private internal emails, then how can this be seen as encouragement by the company? I’d be quite surprised if emails from Eircom didn’t contain a disclaimer stating that any views reflected in the mail, do not represent the position of the company.

Surely the Record Labels have turned this into a promotion by choosing the ridiculous lawsuit route.

The irony is, that Eircom have used the prospect downloading music (though specifying legal downloads) as advertisements for their broadband offerings for years. This would have made a more serious case, but none the less easy to defend against in the court of common sense.

Scared Driver says:

Road Dangers

In line with recording industry legal tactics, I plan to sue the contractors that built and paved the roads i drive on for allowing people to speed, drink and drive, traffic drugs, and insult my driving skills.

Headline: Scared Driver v Joe’s Asphalt: An EPIC Slander-DUI-Personal Endangerment-Drug Trafficking lawsuit for damages totaling 1 Bagillion dollars.

Wish me luck

Anon2 says:

reality check

I’ll start by saying I agree with the gist of this post and the comments that once again the RIAA is probably on its way to shooting itself in the foot. But . . .

Garry — these were emails by company execs, and as part of the company’s “control group,” anything they say is binding on the company. There have been lots of cases where execs making light of a situation are used to establish knowledge and/or intent. Disclaimers built into email footers, first are not typically used for internal emails, and second don’t really matter much when it comes to something like this.

And Mike — you say “similar to the ‘inducement’ rule that the US courts made up (it’s not actually in any US law).” This country is a common law country, always has been, and unlike civil code countries, we don’t enshrine every single possible variant of every single rule or law into our statutes. Courts share the task with legislatures of working out what the laws are and what they mean. It’s been that way in common law countries for hundreds of years before this country was founded, and our nation’s founders expressly adopted that system over the Napoleonic code system used in, among other places, France and Italy.

Moreover, our courts have both legal and equitable powers, again something that is part of the common law system. Long ago we merged the two, so instead of having separate courts of law and equity, all courts are both, all judges have both powers. The concept of inducement is one of those common law doctrines that originated in courts of equity, where it has been used as both a defense (e.g., to a claim of breach of contract), and as support for a claim (e.g., certain forms of aiding and abetting).

So while I agree with your general point, this comment is not only off the mark, it doesn’t even come close to the target. The only issue is what the elements ought to be for a claim of inducement when it comes to copyright infringment.

shuqin says:

a big email mistake

A BIG E-mail Mistake

An Illinois man left the snowballed streets of Chicago for a vacation in Florida. Jordan IV sneaker His wife was on a business trip and was planning to meet him there the next day. When he reached his hotel, he decided to send his wife a quick e-mail.

Unable to find the scrap of paper on which he had written her e-mail address,

he did his best to type it in from memory. Unfortunately, he missed one letter Jordan V sneaker , and his note was directed instead to an elderly preacher’s wife whose husband had passed away only the day before. When the grieving widow checked her e-mail, she took one look at the monitor, let out a piercing scream, and fell to the floor dead.

At the sound, her family rushed into the room and saw this note on the screen:

Dearest Wife,

Just got checked in. Everything prepared for your arrival tomorrow.

Your Loving Husband.

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