The High Court’s ruling against the EasyInternet Café chain http://news.zdnet.co.uk brings a protracted and some times ugly conflict towards a close, while also setting an important legal precedent. EasyInternet have been found in breach of copyright for allowing customers (to pay) to download music and burn tracks onto CDs in the stores. EasyInternet’s initial refusal to pay a £100 000 fee to the BPI, smacked of the former challenging the British music body’s authority in this area. Tuesday’s ruling clearly asserts that authority and enshrines it in legal precedent. EasyInternet had hoped they were occupying some sort of legal grey area, somewhere between mass CD piracy and home copying. This ruling clarifies that no such loophole exists under UK law.
With damages yet to be set, this will be far from the last we will hear of this case. Previously the BPI sought to get an injunction against EasyInternet to prevent them from discussing the matter in public and EasyInternet have used their site to post various claims about the BPI.