The High Court in Ireland
has ruled that laws cutting off internet users who have illegally downloaded content cannot be enforced in the country.
It is a victory for Irish internet service provider UPC which took the legal action against copyright owners, including EMI and Sony.
But it will be a blow to the music and film industry, which wants the strict rules as a deterrent against piracy.
It is likely to have a knock-on effect to similar policies in other countries.