This week four of the world’s leading record labels will go to the High Court in Dublin to launch their latest salvo against music piracy and illegal downloading. Faced with plummeting sales and falling profit margins, Warner Music, Universal Music, Sony BMG and EMI Records are trying to force UPC, one of the state’s largest internet service providers, to police its users and deny internet access to anyone found to have downloaded illegal material on three or more occasions.
The “three strikes” case against UPC opens on Thursday and the court has set aside three weeks to hear all arguments. UPC, formerly Chorus NTL, will contend that the three strikes system is unfair, has no legal basis and contravenes due process under law. Figures like U2 manager Paul McGuinness will be supporting the record companies, according to the Business Post, and will argue that curbing internet piracy is essential to the very future of the music industry.
“The industry is being decimated by illegal downloading,” he said. “If we don’t put a stop to it, we are dooming the public to a future of reality television shows and bad demos. Record companies will stop making records. There will always be music but the actual music industry is now at stake.”

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