In what has been billed as a world first, four music companies and internet server provider Eircom have agreed to work together to end illegal music downloading.

The settlement brought to an end an eight-day trial in which the music companies were suing Eircom as the country's largest internet service provider - over illegal downloading.

The four music companies have agreed to provide Eircom with the IP addresses of internet users detected illegally uploaded or downloading music.

For its part Eircom is agreeing to implement a three-step process - informing a subscriber if their IP address has been detected infringing copyright, warning the subscriber that if they do not stop they will be disconnected, and finally disconnecting the user if fail to heed the warning.

EMI Managing Director and Chair of IRMA Willie Kavanagh says he is delighted that a settlement has been reached and that the four music companies involved - EMI, Warner, Sony, and Universal - will now be looking to have similar arrangements put in place with the rest of the country's internet service providers.