Insane Entitlement: EMI Sues Irish Gov't For Not Passing SOPA-Like Censorship Law

from the wowzers dept

The sense of entitlement exhibited by the legacy players in the entertainment industry is now reaching positively insane levels — highlighted by the news that major record label EMI (in the process of being acquired by Universal Music to make it the largest record label by far) is suing the Irish government because it feels the Irish government is taking too long to pass a SOPA-like law that would require ISPs to censor the internet and block access to sites it doesn’t like. I’m not kidding. Apparently, because the legislative process is too slow, it feels the need to sue.

In another article on the lawsuit, EMI Ireland’s CEO complains that the length of time it’s taking the government to craft such a censorship bill is “leading me to believe it’s unlikely to satisfy the music industry’s requirement for injunctive relief.”

Think about that for a second. The major record labels have such an insane sense of entitlement, they think that any bill they declare that they “require” must become law, or they can sue the government. More specifically, EMI is effectively confessing here that it’s upset that the government isn’t sharing the bill ahead of time with EMI or others in the industry. Again, the massive sense of entitlement of these guys is such that they expect that they get to write the laws, and when they’re left out of the process, they get to sue over it. And yet, on every one of these laws, the people actually impacted by them — the public — get no real say or can’t see them. Remember ACTA? The public was left totally in the dark, while RIAA/MPAA officials and others had pretty detailed access and the ability to help craft the bills. And yet, when EMI doesn’t get to see a draft of a bill, and it makes them think that it won’t go the way they want, they sue? Damn.

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Companies: emi, riaa

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Comments on “Insane Entitlement: EMI Sues Irish Gov't For Not Passing SOPA-Like Censorship Law”

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bongo houzi (profile) says:

The Real Pirates

I think everyone should read Buckminster Fuller’s ‘Spaceship Earth.’ Especially the first section. He puts forth his theory about how humankind started down the path of accumulation and specialization. The ones doing the accumulating and forcing others into specialization were the ‘Great Pirates’ as he put it. They were, and are, basically parasites that take anything they see as valuable and make it their own while forcing everyone else to pay them to utilize it. It was, and is, a zero sum game because what they considered theirs was initially someone else’s. Funny how that logic can be used by either side innit?

Ima Fish (profile) says:

Copyright is different in Europe than in the US. In the US it’s derived solely from the US Constitution, Article I, Section 8.

However, in Europe, copyrights are bound up in “moral” rights. In other words, our Congress only has to follow what Article I, Section 8 provides. In Europe, countries have a moral right to protect copyrights.

I’m not saying it’s right, I’m just trying to explain it.

Ninja (profile) says:

I feel entitled to pass legislation that allows me to burn EMI property to the ground. I think I’m gonna sue the Irish Govt. Oh wait, I’m Brazilian. Can I burn them in Brazil to show my sympathy towards my Irish friends?

On a side note, EMI is being incorporated by UMG, the same thet felt entitled to use contract loopholes with Google to takedown Mega Song? Talk about smooth corporate culture incorporation…

Anonymous Coward says:

What a great idea, I think I’ll go drop my expensive car insurance and then total my couple year old car. That way I can sue the government for not passing a bailout to bail out car owners without insurance.

Oh, and those college tuition loans? I should have been entitled to free government scholarships to cover those costs because I’m a part of a lot of minority groups, such as the following.
-Young people that still wear watches (9/10 don’t bother with them anymore studies find!)
-Follower of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster (if race qualifies for government scholarships then why not followers of wacky religions no one has ever heard of! That clearly makes their followers a minority group! Plus if I declare myself clergy in the church of the flying spaghetti monster it makes me immune from the draft!)
-I’m at least a third generation German decedent American citizen, maybe even 4th or 5th generation, I don’t know! Surely German Americans, even ones who aren’t sure what generation number in America they are should be entitled scholarship cash to!

gorehound (profile) says:


An unlimited supply
and there is no reason why
i tell you we were all of frame
they only did it ‘cos of fame

too many people had the suss
too many people support us
an unlimited amount
too many outlets in and out

And sir and friends are crucified
a day they wish that we had died
we are an addition, rules by none
never ever never
and you thought that we were faking
that we were all just money making
you do not believe we’re for real
or you would lose your cheap appeal?
oh don’t you judge a book just by the cover
unless you cover just another
and blind acceptance is a sign
of fucking fools who stand in line

unlimited edition
with an unlimited supply
that was the only reason
we all had to say goodbye
limited supply EMI
there is no reason why EMI
I tell you we were all of frame EMI
they only did it ‘cos of shame EMI
I do not need the pressure EMI
I can’t stand those useless fools EMI
unlimited supply EMI
hello EMI goodbye IRM

Duke (profile) says:

EMI may actually be entitled to this...

The thing most reports on this case seem to miss is that this isn’t just EMI (now mostly being sold off to Universal and Sony) suing the Irish government for not doing what they want, they’re suing the Irish government for failing to implement certain provisions of EU law (probably parts of the IPR Enforcement Directive 2004/48 – which should have been implemented by April 2006).

If I remember correctly, in the November ruling, the Irish judge noted that what EMI wanted wasn’t possible under Irish law, but should be under EU law, and so the law needed to be changed.

Suing the government over failure to implement a directive (particularly when they think they’re losing money over it) is quite normal in the EU.

[Disclaimer: I haven’t read their actual filing, so I could be wrong.]

Acslawarecrooks says:

What about this legislation

I read on torrentfreak that in nov 11 the European court issued a ruling against a Belgian anti piracy group saying that ISPs could not be asked to filter Internet content for copyright enforcement? purposes.

1. Why have we not heard of this important issue
2. Does this mean that what EMI is demanding is illegal?

Duke (profile) says:

Re: What about this legislation

1. You should have heard of it if you read TechDirt, as it was reported here.
2. No. That ruling merely set an upper bound on what copyright enforcement people can demand; in that case, SABAM wanted the ISP to actively monitor all their traffic and magically filter out potentially infringing content, and the CJEU said that was far too much. Lesser degrees of enforcement may be fine.

Acslawarecrooks says:

Re: Re: What about this legislation

Aah yes, you are right about it being about specific forms of censorship, however isn’t this what EMI want the Irish government to do, they want them to stop infringement anyway necessary.

What I meant about not hearing about it was that when I googled it, there was no other news site reporting about it ( mainstream) , you can guarantee if it had gone the other way then it would have been splashed all over

Lawrence D'Oliveiro says:

Suing The Govt For Obeying The Law??

From the linked item:

In November, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruled that national courts could not impose injunctions on ISPs to install filtering software, a key component in the music industry?s battle against illegal filesharing.

In December, the Data Protection Commissioner ruled that elements of Eircom?s ?Three Strikes? system – that cuts off internet access to customers caught downloading free music – broke privacy rules.

The most recent Irish High Court decision, in 2009, ruled that Irish ISPs cannot legally be forced to cut off customers for copyright reasons.

So EMI is suing the Irish Government for obeying the law??

Duke (profile) says:

Re: Suing The Govt For Obeying The Law??

The problem is that there are several competing directives in this area of law, to grossly oversimplify:

– The Copyright Directive 2001/29 (sometimes the InfoSoc Directive) sets out a lower bound for what must be covered by copyright in all EU member states.
– The Enforcement Directive 2004/48 (sometimes IPRED) sets out a lower bound for what sort of remedies must be available in MSs for copyright infringement.

– The Electronic Commerce Directive 2000/31 sets out various limits on the liability of ISPs (including website hosts),
– The Data Protection Directive 95/46 sets out how personal data of individuals can be collected.
– The Authorisation Directive 2002/20 which places limits on what ISPs can be made to pay for.

Basically, the first two set out what *must* be put into law, in order to ‘protect’ copyrights, and the second three set out what *can’t* be done, even to ‘protect’ copyrights. Over the last few years there have been a number of cases across the EU where courts have tried to find the right balance between these (such as the DEA judicial review in the UK (back in court on Monday, iirc), the SABAM v Scarlet case mentioned above, the Infopaq(?) case a while back and these Irish cases). It’s a big mess.

Iirc, in the last Irish case, the judge found that the proposed measures (the private agreement one ISP had reached with EMI) went too far, and so was illegal under EU law. However, he also noticed that the existing Irish law didn’t go far enough either. So now EMI are suing Ireland (using the EU principle of state liability for not fully implementing the relevant EU Directives (probably IPRED) and thus causing EMI some sort of damage (although it could be a challenge for them to prove it).

[As mentioned above, this last part is mostly speculation as I haven’t seen any of the paperwork from the new filing.]

erigena (profile) says:

Re: Re: Suing The Govt For Obeying The Law??

I liked Duke’s analysis and IMO it is correct as far as it goes

However, the 2000 copyright act in Ireland should have anticipated all these problems. In 2000, the Internet was a reality and frims like had already had their day;

The problem is that the act was drafted by criminals. In a rather famous incident, while the act was being drafted, the member of Parliament piloting the Copyright and Related rights Bill 2000 got a record contract for his son David Kitt through Warner Bros;

“Kitt has a charmed life and he escaped public opprobrium before when it emerged that in 2000 he had given a demo tape of his son, singer David Kitt, to Dennis Woods, head of Warner Studios and chairman of Phonographic Performance Ireland. This would have been an exchange hardly worth mentioning were it not for the fact that Kitt was then piloting the Copyright and Related rights Bill 2000 through the Dáil; that this legislation benefited PPI members and that the PPI, one of the organisations most affected beneficially by the act, lobbied the Government strongly.”

See also

you all would do us Irish people a favour if you boycotted us while we sort out our country. No more bailouts, please

erigena (profile) says:

Finally the music companies are suing Ireland for failure to have any implementable copyright legislation;

Even the most “cynical/daring” comments on this topic really don’t get it. Ireland has not been run as a normal state since 1998 or so, and there was every indication from back then that the music industry – in the mid 90’s perhaps the biggest in the world pro capita – began to be used for the creation of huge scams

We can start with the admittedly labyrinthine narrative on

To summarize; musicians start to notice that their song copyright registrations are altered when they attempt to repatriate them from Britain and the USA to the nascent Irish music “rights” organization (IMRO). Companies close to the government suddenly “own” part of the songs. The musicians check further, and notice that they are credited with writing songs that don’t exist, often spelled in Gaelic with a letter missing.

They get the police involved; one of the police is made a job offer he can’t refuse, but parliamentary questions keep the investigation going. It is possible that the government simply wanted to find out what we knew.

Then someone in IMRO’s London counterpart panics and – lo and behold! – it is revealed that Shay Hennessy, chair of IMRO, HAD STOLEN HUNDREDS OF COPYRIGHTS AND WAS USING IMRO TO PERPETUATE THE THEFT. Quis cutodies cutodiet? AS it happens, the police investigation was aborted with a leak to the papers

Hennessy was the main advisor on the copyright act that has caused this snafu;

It is important to remember that, when referring to Ireland 1997-2011, we are not talking about a modern democracy; it is a third world country, with the prime minister paying a fortune of taxpayers’ money to promote the musical and other “artistic” careers of his daughters and their partners, including the horrible “PS I love you”.

U2, among many others, took advantage of the artists destroyers’ exemption, which allowed them trade with dissolved companies and steal at will from far better musicians than them.

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