Blackout Ireland Week

Today marks the start of Blackout Ireland week. It’s a response to the Irish Recorded Music Association who are attempting to get eircom (Ireland’s largest ISP) to block & terminate users suspected of downloading illegal content. An argument founded on the basis that it is doing long term damage to the Irish music industry – robbing artists of revenue.


That’s the formal argument… in reality these guys are out of ideas when it comes to technology – they don’t know how to prevent people downloading music, they don’t know how people are doing it and they’re trying to get other people (like ISP’s) to do their dirty work for them.

The IRMA asked for to be banned by eircom. I say ‘asked’, they were ‘told’ to. If they didn’t comply they’d be taken to court. So being the largest ISP in ireland, eircom of course rolled over without a fight 🙄 After a bit of public pressure, 3 days later, they then came out and said the IRMA will need a court order to get sites blocked.

So now we have a situation where other ISP’s will say to themselves “well if eircom lost and we’re 100 times smaller, we don’t stand a chance either”.

The end result is that the IRMA will have won. They’ll have managed to get a site blocked. If any eircom customer attempts to access – they won’t be able to if the IRMA get their way. So where does it all stop?

Other industries will see this, and try to get sites banned to safeguard profits. Whilst thepiratebay hosts links which link to illegal content, the site itself doesn’t actually host anything illegal, it just promotes it.

The pirate bay isn’t even located in Ireland, they’re swedish based, outside our jurisdiction. If the IRMA succeeds in getting blocked, it’ll be a worrying move. It opens up the door for any organization to block similar sites.

Blocking ANY site is wrong. This is why the internet is so successful. Don’t ban or block things because you lose money – ask yourself WHY people aren’t paying for the content in the first place – is it worth the price? is it quality content?

It’s nonsense to suggest that if 500 people download your album, that’s 500 lost sales. The reality is nobody would pay for the album – they just got it on the off chance it might be decent.

Free, open source, software and music is the way forward. Why not allows users to download music for free, but they’ll have a 30 second ad played at the start of every song? If they want to pay, they can and the ads will be removed…

These guys need to think outside the box… get some ideas together, get some creativity going. Rather than block sites and ban people, give the people what they want – free music. You can’t fight technology and win – it’s only gonna come back bigger and better than ever before in some shape or form…

Look at napster – they got shut down, but due to the fact their case generate HUGE publicity, even the average joe now wanted to know how to download music. And so we had winmx, kazaa, limewire etc… more recently we have torrents – thepiratebay has grown in recent years, mininova are growing on a daily basis….

Shut down all of those sites and it’s only a short term solution to a long term problem. If the price is right, people will pay. They mightn’t pay with cash, they’ll pay with their time which is equally as valuable if used correctly.

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