Court hears more than 1 million people illegally stream
While the popularity of legal streaming services, such as Netflix are on the rise in Ireland, the Commercial Court heard yesterday that as many as 1.3 million people may be streaming content illegally.
Six members of the Motion Picture Association are urging the Irish courts to force internet service providers to block access to certain websites that enables users to download or stream their work illegally. Twentieth Century Fox, Warner Bros Entertainment, Paramount Pictures, Disney Enterprises, Universal Studios, Sony Pictures Television and Columbia Pictures are taking proceedings against nine of Ireland's internet service providers.
The production firms hope that the Irish courts will follow the precedent set in other jurisdictions, forcing ISPs to block particular websites. Eir, Sky Ireland, Vodafone Ireland, Virgin Media Ireland, Digiweb, Imagine Telecommunications, Magnet Networks and Three Ireland are the providers targeted in the proceedings.
Android boxes, aka dodgy boxes, are on the increase. These boxes cost less than €100 and plug directly into the back of TVs, allowing the user to stream content. These are particularly popular for live sporting events and certain television shows. It's thought that the convenience and low cost of this technology may be contributing to the increase in illegal streaming.
The action is asking that ISPs block or disable the access of their subscribers to three particular websites. The case states the essential purpose of these websites is to host copyrighted material. This action is similar to that brought against Pirate Bay in the past.
It's not clear users will be impacted by this case, beyond being unable to access the three sites named in the case. It's unlikely that the IP addresses of the users will be handed over to the companies.
Representing the studios, Jonathan Newman told the court that illegal downloading of movies posed an extremely serious threat to his clients’ interests.