ISPs have long claimed that they are merely conduits and are not responsible for the activities of their users. However, various major players within the music industry have lately been demanding more cooperation from ISPs. They want the Internet providers to do everything from turning over the names of suspected pirates on demand to providing filters to screen out infringing material.

The High Court action brought against ISP Eircom, the biggest broadband provider in Ireland, is considered to be the first such case, according to The Irish Times.

In response to the legal proceedings, Eircom said it was not on notice for any specific copyright violations, and that it had “no legal obligation” to monitor traffic for infringing material on its network.

Many countries have legal provisions protecting or limiting ISPs’ liability regarding copyright infringing activities by users. In the U.S. the Digital Millennium Copyright Act calls for ISPs to remove specific material when notified by the content owners.