Three Irish music companies are seeking an injunction against the the country's second-largest internet service provider (ISP) in respect of illegal downloading. Sony Music, Warner Music and Universal Music have brought an action in the Commercial Court against UPC and seek to require the ISP to take positive steps to curb illegal downloading and the copyright infringement that occurs as a result.

The companies want UPC to adopt the "three-strikes" rule that has been agreed with Eircom, the largest Irish ISP. Under the rule, Eircom customers are provided with two warnings in the event that illegal downloading of material which is subject to copyright takes place, before their contracts are terminated in the event of a third infringement. While the rule has proven to be effective in curbing illegal downloading, UPC has chosen not to follow Eircom, claiming that the 'three-strikes' approach should be the subject of legislation as it has the potential to impact on other rights of the service user. The ISP says that while it has no issue in handing over information under a court order if it is required to do so, it is effectively being required by the music companies to establish an entire system to deal with illegal downloading.

The case continues and is listed for 8 days' hearing in total. We will keep you updated.