"EIRCOM WILL from today [24 May 2010] begin a process that will lead to cutting off the broadband service of customers found to be repeatedly sharing music online illegally.The 1709 Blog, which hasn't yet heard reports of anyone receiving a call from Eircom, is fascinated to see how effective this procedure will be and hopes its readers will keep it informed of developments as they unfold. Other than a migration of illegal file-sharers to other ISPs and/or fresh identities online, this blogger suspects that the net result of this exercise will be reflected in the increased cost of monitoring and enforcing copyright but without a corresponding increase in sales of legitimate product.
Ireland is the first country in the world where a system of “graduated response” is being put in place. Under the pilot scheme, Eircom customers who illegally share copyrighted music will get three warnings before having their broadband service cut off for a year.
The Irish Recorded Music Association (Irma), whose members include EMI, Sony, Universal and Warner, reached an out-of-court settlement with Eircom in February 2009 under which the telecoms company agreed to introduce such a system for its 750,000 broadband users.
The mechanism by which it operates was challenged in the courts by the Data Protection Commissioner. Mr Justice Peter Charleton ruled in the High Court [see IPKat note here] that a broadband subscribers internet protocol (IP) address, which Eircom will use to identify infringing customers, did not constitute personal information.
It is understood that, during the pilot phase, Eircom has agreed to process about 50 IP addresses a week. Irma is using a third-party firm, Dtecnet, to identify Eircom customers who are sharing, and not simply downloading, a specific list of its members’ copyrighted works on peer-to-peer networks. The operation of the scheme will be reviewed after three months.
Dick Doyle, director general of Irma, said his organisation could potentially supply Eircom with thousands of IP addresses a week but it was a matter of seeing what the internet service provider (ISP) was able to process.
Infringing customers will be initially telephoned by Eircom to see if they are aware of the activity on their broadband network. If the customer is identified a third time, they will have their service withdrawn for seven days. If they are caught a fourth time their broadband connection will be cut off for a year. Mr Doyle said international research suggested 80 per cent of people will stop illegal file-sharing if they get a letter from their ISP warning them of the consequences [Is this research published? What's its methodology? Is it reliable?]. ...
... Cable operator UPC has resisted requests from Irma to implement a “three strikes” system and the case is in the courts next month. Last night, a spokeswoman for UPC said it does not see any legal basis for monitoring or blocking its subscribers’ activities".
Sunday, 30 May 2010
Eircom users to face Dtecnet scrutiny
The Irish Times has reported ("Eircom to cut broadband over illegal downloads") that