Thursday, January 29, 2009

3 Strikes arrives in Ireland via the Eircom settlement

The Irish Times is reporting that following several days in court, Eircom and the four big music labels have now reached a settlement whereby Eircom will implement a 3 strikes policy.
"As part of the settlement, the record companies will supply Eircom with the IP addresses of all persons who they detect illegally uploading or downloading copyright works while Eircom has agreed measures which include the ultimate disconnection of infringing subscribers who ignore warnings to cease such infringement...

Eircom has agreed to implement from now on a graduated process under which it will: (1) inform its broadband
subscriber that the subscribers IP address has been detected infringing copyright; (2) warn the subscriber they will be disconnected unless infringement ceases and (3) disconnect the subscriber in default of compliance with the warning.

The record companies have also agreed they will take all necessary steps to put similar agreements in place with all other internet service providers in Ireland."
So it looks like my home country is about to provide a case study on how bad 3 strikes might be in practice and how it might trip over the ECJ decision in the Promusicae case, various EU directives and the European Convention on Human Rights, not to mention the practical problems involved and the relative costs to the various parties. Actually this activity has the potential to be challenged eventually both through the European Court of Justice and the European Court of Human Rights. It's a little surprising Eircom agreed to this kind of settlement given what it will cost the company. I can only surmise they had a strong expectation that they would lose the case.

The Irish Times article doesn't mention it but a Danish firm, DtecNet, will be gathering the hordes of suspicious IP addresses from P2P networks for the music companies and piping those lists of IP addresses to Eircom for warnings and disconnections. Thanks to Richard Clayton via the FIPR alerts for the pointer to the Irish Times article.

Update: Daithí Mac Síthigh, as usual, is spot on with his analysis of the settlement.

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