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Piracy The Courts The Media

Irish Supreme Court Upholds 3-Strikes Rule For Copyright Violation 82

Posted by timothy
from the power-of-green dept.
An anonymous reader writes with this news from The Irish Times: "'The Supreme Court [Wednesday] upheld a challenge by four music companies to a notice of the Data Protection Commissioner which they feared would effectively unwind their 'three strikes and you're out' agreement with Eircom aimed at combating the widespread illegal downloading of music.' In the ruling it was found the original High Court trial judge correctly concluded there was 'a complete absence of reasons' and therefore, the notice was unlawful and made in breach of Section 10.4 of the Data Protection Acts. Makes you wonder whether the High Court would have upheld it, had the Data Commissioner given reasons ... which seemed quite justified: 'In September 2011, the Commissioner told Eircom the complainant subscriber had restated his original complaint and alleged Eircom's monitoring of his internet use breached his data protection rights.'"
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Irish Supreme Court Upholds 3-Strikes Rule For Copyright Violation

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  • by Freshly Exhumed (105597) on Thursday July 04, 2013 @02:27AM (#44186025) Homepage

    The big Irish ISP Eircom monitored subscribers at the behest of Big Media. After a complaint, a Commissioner determined that ISP customers had to consent to such monitoring, so it was halted. Big Media went crazy, took it to court, won a victory, faced an appeal, then the High Court found (on very narrow, legalistic terms) that the Commissioner had not given proper reasoning for WANTING TO PROTECT THE FREEDOM, LIBERTY, AND PRIVACY OF EIRCOM CUSTOMERS, and so was therefore wrong. Big Media wins again.

    This is going to take quite a few Giuinesses (and maybe quite a few Old Bushmills too) to rid Eircom customers of the bad taste.

    • by jalet (36114)

      Many thanks for the translation into something that can be understood !

    • by Xest (935314)

      So the question is if the Information Commissioner now blocks it again and gives reasons this time will the whole case have to start over?

      If big media only won on narrow terms then that surely implies they only won again a very narrow circumstance too? It doesn't sound like the judge has ruled on the validity of the information commissioner's underlying claim, just that the specific claim put forward wasn't valid without reason. Put it forward with reason and that implies a new case would be required on the

      • by Shavano (2541114)
        If another plaintiff sues, maybe. I don't think if this plaintiff sues over the same monitoring, the courts would touch the case.
    • the Commissioner had not given proper reasoning for WANTING TO PROTECT THE FREEDOM, LIBERTY, AND PRIVACY OF EIRCOM CUSTOMERS

      So it seems that the Commission lawyers were not competent enough to elaborate a "proper reasoning". If the case happens in another country (or if there is a possible further appeal in Ireland), lawyers have now a good idea at what they have to slog away.

    • by g253 (855070)
      Thanks very much. That was a spectacularly badly written summary even by slashdot's absence of standards.
  • by mitcheli (894743) on Thursday July 04, 2013 @02:53AM (#44186113)
    Which is more serious, the traditional high crimes like murder and rape, or illegally copying a DVD.
    • by Zemran (3101) on Thursday July 04, 2013 @02:59AM (#44186143) Homepage Journal

      Under current law, if you saw someone raping a 9 year old and took a photo to send, using the internet, to the police as evidence, you would get longer in prison that the rapist. The world has gone PC mad and does not look like changing.

      • Under current law, if you saw someone raping a 9 year old and took a photo to send, using the internet, to the police as evidence, you would get longer in prison that the rapist.

        would, or might possibly, if the law was applied unreasonably?

        Considering you can go to prison for life for rape, I think your statement requires more justification. Can you possibly get life for transmitting CP, and would you actually get life for doing so in the course of reporting a crime?

        • by Anonymous Coward

          The law is never reasonable. The police are just doing there job by filing paperwork, investigating, etc. The prosecutor is looking to get ahead, to further his career, etc. The jury is a bunch of people who don't want to be there and 'trust' the cops know what they are doing.

          In the end nobody is done justice.

          And lets not forget that the system forces people who aren't insane to plead guilty. Even innocent people (sane ones) will plead guilty given the maximum sentence for ANY crime vs what would be receive

        • by drinkypoo (153816)

          would, or might possibly, if the law was applied unreasonably?

          We're talking about a world in which teenagers are being cited for child pornography for sharing naked pictures of themselves. Time to wake up...

          • We're talking about a world in which teenagers are being cited...

            You're talking about that. I'm talking about disputing a declaration as fact that you would get a longer sentence than a child rapist for reporting the crime.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Under current law, if you saw someone raping a 9 year old and took a photo to send, using the internet, to the police as evidence, you would get longer in prison that the rapist. The world has gone PC mad and does not look like changing.

        People keep saying things like this, OMG they are banning the ten commandments in school, PC gone mad!!! OMG the European Union has banned curved bananas, PC gone mad!!! OMG circus performers have to wear hardhats, PC gone mad!!! OMG the Obama administration is planning to set up universal health insurance! COMMUNISM AT THE GATES, ARM YOURSELVES!!!

        It usually turns out to be bullshit but perhaps you are right, can you furnish us with a link to something better than a gutter tabloid to back this up?

        • by Dcnjoe60 (682885)

          Under current law, if you saw someone raping a 9 year old and took a photo to send, using the internet, to the police as evidence, you would get longer in prison that the rapist. The world has gone PC mad and does not look like changing.

          People keep saying things like this, OMG they are banning the ten commandments in school, PC gone mad!!! OMG the European Union has banned curved bananas, PC gone mad!!! OMG circus performers have to wear hardhats, PC gone mad!!! OMG the Obama administration is planning to set up universal health insurance! COMMUNISM AT THE GATES, ARM YOURSELVES!!!

          It usually turns out to be bullshit but perhaps you are right, can you furnish us with a link to something better than a gutter tabloid to back this up?

          Universal healthcare would be socialism, not communism. If you are going to rant, you should at least get the terms correct. Then again, ranting without having the courage to use your handle is no better than the origina poster not backing up their claims, either.

          • by jedidiah (1196)

            Universal healthcare would also be communism.

            Anyone that's fled from a communist country can tell you how it all worked out in practice. It's not quite the ideal that commie wannabes make it out to be.

            People are still greedy and corrupt.

            Centralizing power just makes that worse.

            • by Dcnjoe60 (682885)

              Universal healthcare would also be communism.

              Anyone that's fled from a communist country can tell you how it all worked out in practice. It's not quite the ideal that commie wannabes make it out to be.

              People are still greedy and corrupt.

              Centralizing power just makes that worse.

              Except that communism is a form of government and socialism is an economic system like capitalism. What you are basically saying is that not having universal healthcare is a Republic and Universal healthcare is Communism. When I think you are trying to say is Universal healthcare is socialism versus our current system which is capitalism. How healthcare is delivered has nothing to do with how the government itself is organized, other than a communistic government would have an easier time changing the meth

              • by jedidiah (1196)

                You are trying to split hairs and make this seem more complicated that it really is when it's really simple and just boils down to how much power we choose to invest in government.

                Politics and economics are interrelated. One depends on the other.

      • by westlake (615356)

        Under current law, if you saw someone raping a 9 year old and took a photo to send, using the internet, to the police as evidence, you would get longer in prison that the rapist.

        Show me that me that you have something - anything - to back this up.

        Not that the e-mailing such a photograph rather than reporting the crime through safer, more secure and more ordinary means and letting the police retrieve and properly document your evidence is an idea so brain dead only a geek could have thought of it.

        I have information about a crime I believe has occurred or I know the whereabouts of someone wanted for a crime. What should I do?

        For any crime in progress, call 911. Provide an exact location when possible, and then details of the crime including, if possible, a description of suspects and victims involved. If you have information about a violent felony crime or know the whereabouts of someone wanted for a crime, you are encouraged to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS, (Se habla espanol: 1-888-57-PISTA). Callers remain anonymous. If your information leads to the arrest and indictment of a perpetrator for a violent felony crime, you are eligible for a cash reward of up to $1,000.

        NYC.gov --- Crime and Prevention [nyc.gov]

      • And if you're livestreaming over Google Glass (or similar), you're really fucked.
    • If you have to wonder, you haven't been paying enough attention. :(

    • by shentino (1139071)

      Whichever one pisses off the legal system the most, and by extension those who bought it.

    • by Thanshin (1188877) on Thursday July 04, 2013 @07:24AM (#44186891)

      The answer is easy and based on a simple question: What causes more economic loss to a corporation? Rape? Or illegally copying a DVD.

      You expect crimes to be judged by humane reasons while they are judged by economic reasons. You're just applying a different "morale" than the people who actually have the power to take decision in the present world.

      You probably also believe that all people should be equal, but you live in a world that clearly disagrees and believes people are valued by their economic value (both possessions and influence in the economy).

      In some centuries, humans will have stories about the dark ages where the humans were judged by their economic value, just as we do about the times where they were judged by birthright or, even before, by brute force.

      And these humans will probably live in a society with it's set of flaws, to be corrected in the further future.

      The only important objectives, as a society, are to survive and to improve. As long as we're doing both, everything's fine.

      • +10 Insightful for you, sir.
      • by olip85 (1770514)

        We rarely see such wise words on Slashdot.

      • by Arker (91948)

        "You're just applying a different "morale" than the people who actually have the power to take decision in the present world."

        I am guessing English is not your native language, in which case your English is quite good, but "morale" doesnt mean what you think it does. (This is an error I have seen many non-natives make.) The word you are trying for is 'moral' (specifically a phrase such as 'moral code') not 'morale' - they are pronounced differently and not closely related in meaning. Morale is the high spir

        • by Thanshin (1188877)

          >>"You're just applying a different "morale" than the people who actually have the power to take decision in the present world."
          >"I am guessing English is not your native language, in which case your English is quite good, but "morale" doesnt mean what you think it does."
          Thank you very much. You're right about English not being my first language and in mine "moral" and "morale" are two concepts for which we use the same word.

          >>"You probably also believe that all people should be equal, but yo

    • by Shavano (2541114)
      • My reading of Slashdot has taught me the (decreasing) order is apparently:
      • Working for the NSA
      • Copying media in violation of copyright license
      • Murder
      • Rape
      • Signing a data collection order for the FISA court
      • Complying with a data collection order
      • Thinking Edward Snowden is not the Son of God Come Again in Glory, Blessed be His Name
      • by Dcnjoe60 (682885)

        • My reading of Slashdot has taught me the (decreasing) order is apparently:
        • Working for the NSA
        • Copying media in violation of copyright license
        • Murder
        • Rape
        • Signing a data collection order for the FISA court
        • Complying with a data collection order
        • Thinking Edward Snowden is not the Son of God Come Again in Glory, Blessed be His Name

        You left out Microsoft, Apple and Ubuntu from your list! :)

        • by Shavano (2541114)

          • My reading of Slashdot has taught me the (decreasing) order is apparently:
          • Working for the NSA
          • Copying media in violation of copyright license
          • Murder
          • Rape
          • Signing a data collection order for the FISA court
          • Complying with a data collection order
          • Thinking Edward Snowden is not the Son of God Come Again in Glory, Blessed be His Name

          You left out Microsoft, Apple and Ubuntu from your list! :)

          The First Amendment protects my right to make non-comprehensive lists, so shove off buddy.

    • A notorius Irish Judge recently gave a man a two year suspended sentence for raping a women in front of her children [broadsheet.ie]. He's done worse, and so have other Irish judges.

      The supreme court is particularly notorius, with at least one judge on it having never sat behind a bench before. They've done everything; from ruling that mens only golf clubs are non-discriminatory, to making it legal to keep people imprisoned even if the law that convicted them is later ruled to be constitutional -- Google the Mr A case (tl;

  • Not So Free Market (Score:5, Insightful)

    by GeekWithAKnife (2717871) on Thursday July 04, 2013 @03:34AM (#44186281)

    Assuming several ISPs are being roped into these agreements one way or another it's still up to the consumer to vote with their feet.

    I for one am quite interested in how many subscribers will simply leave or terminate immediately when threats to cut off their internet are made (1st strike 2nd etc)
    Imagine your child downloads some stuff and all of a sudden there's a risk that your favorite internet movie streaming service is cut off. Will you put up with ISPs that do this?
    Somewhere out there is an ISP small enough or honorable enough to protect its' customers.
    • Lemme get this straight... Someone using an Internet connection that *you're* responsible for violates the ToS that *you* agreed to, and your reponse is to threaten to leave the ISP? Wow... not only are you a valued customer, you're also a great role model! ( :

      • You tell your kids about those terms...see how you get on. The fact is, this sort of situation in some form will happen. Life does not exist in a ToS vacuum.
      • by Xest (935314)

        Lemme get this straight... Someone steals a car that *you're* responsible for violates the laws of the country that *you* chose to live in by running someone over and killing them, and your response is to threaten the police for arresting and blaming you for the murder? Wow... not only are you a value citizen, you're a great role model! ( :

        Ownership of a product or service has never meant legal responsibility for misuse if used against your will. That shouldn't change now just because the music/movie indust

        • I was hoping the /. community was smarter than trying to shoehorn the 'stolen car' analogy in, but there it is. My tl;dr response to that is, yes, if I left my car doors open and the keys in the ignition, I'd be prepared to accept full responsibility for what someone did with it. P.P.S. And my smileys love you anyway. ( :
          • by Xest (935314)

            "I'd be prepared to accept full responsibility for what someone did with it."

            Then you're an idiot because even the law wouldn't recognise it as your fault that someone was killed with your vehicle, yes, even if you feel the need to take it to the extreme that you left the doors open and the keys in the ignition as if that would somehow add any validity to your argument (hint: it doesn't).

            Which again highlights the idiocy of your argument.

            The fact is that it's long been extremely well established in law that

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Simply just wait until you have to file taxes through the internet. Here in the Netherlands taxes can only be filed through the internet, you can no longer fill in forms. Therefor here in the Netherlands Internet is a requirement for citizenship. If three strikes rule would be allowed here, then people who are cut off can no longer file taxes.

    I am pretty sure you can sue the country, saying that you would like to file your taxes.

  • They're magically judicious!

  • Two and a half years ago, when eircom agreed to implement this 3 strikes rule, Big Media offered eircom a sweetener, which was a free music streaming site for their customers. This was just announced to be closing, so much for the 'carrot' part.

    The 3-strikes 'stick' part of their approach is effective, people that have gotten a warning letter have changed their behaviour.... to the point of using less detectable technology such as VPNs or f2f Retroshare [sourceforge.net]

    Ireland has a vibrant community of artists and musi

  • by stiggle (649614) on Thursday July 04, 2013 @09:01AM (#44187291)

    If the ISP is actively monitoring the information carried and acting upon it, then surely they should lose their common carrier status and be liable for damages.

    eg. Why only monitor & block copyright sites and not trojan/malware sites?

  • by xtal (49134) on Thursday July 04, 2013 @09:32AM (#44187503) Homepage

    Just VPN to another juristiction.

    It is a privacy tax, of sorts, but there are all sorts of affordable options. It's not going to give you complete anonymity, of course, but what it does most certainly give you is a very effective adminstrative and legal barrier for anyone attempting to sue you to deal with.

    Sooner or later someone will launch a satellite for this purpose..

    • by Zeromous (668365)

      What happens when VISA and MASTERCARD stop taking VPN payments, such that it becomes nearly impossible to pay such a tax?

      • by xtal (49134)

        Thankfully, we have bitcoins.

        • by Zeromous (668365)

          And how does one easily exchange bitcoins without a payment processor?

          I'm not saying it can't be done, I'm just saying it's not exactly convenient or safe.

  • You can DL song by song by song, month after month, or, go to a friend's house and copy his hard drive in a few hours. I have 45,670 songs. Come by with a bottle of wine. We'll hang. We'll laugh, we'll get boozed up. By the time we're done - the songs are copied and you get to go home with a lifetime of music...

A penny saved is a penny to squander. -- Ambrose Bierce

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