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U2 boss urges net piracy crackdown


The manager of U2 has criticised internet piracy laws in Ireland

The manager of U2 has criticised internet piracy laws in Ireland

The manager of U2 has criticised internet piracy laws in Ireland

U2 manager Paul McGuinness has warned that Ireland has an extremely bad reputation for protecting artists' works after a judge exposed inadequate laws to combat illegal downloads.

The pop music mogul called on the Government to urgently reform rules on internet piracy, making it an offence to share files and access songs, films and games online for free.

Mr McGuinness called on the Government to do its job and create the legal basis to punish internet piracy.

"This is extremely bad for the international reputation of Ireland as a jurisdiction with appropriate legal protection for all kinds of intellectual property and copyright generally," the U2 manager said.

Mr McGuinness, an outspoken critic of filesharing and illegal downloads, said the High Court ruling warned of a gaping hole in copyright legislation and left responsibility squarely at the door of government.

Mr Justice Peter Charleton found a moral, but no legal, obligation to cut off internet users found to be sharing files.

The major record labels, EMI, Sony, Universal and Warner, wanted internet providers to agree to a "three strikes and you're out" rule for any customer who illegally downloads.

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Eircom have signed up but UPC fought and won the case in the High Court.

The U2 manager added: "Though the court ruling is clearly a major blow to the recorded music industry and the movie industry, there are many other Irish based businesses and industries threatened nowadays by copyright theft (software, games, technology, etc etc) and the Government must now as a matter of urgency, do its job properly and implement the required EU legislation without further delay.

"Justice Charleton's judgment could not be clearer on where the responsibility lies."

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