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Large Irish ISP To Enact "Three Strikes" Rule For Copyright Violation 288

Squeeonline writes "One of the biggest broadband providers in Ireland will make the country the first in the world (according to the broadsheet newspaper the Irish Times) to introduce the 'three strikes' rule. 'Eircom will from today begin a process that will lead to cutting off the broadband service of customers found to be repeatedly sharing music online illegally. 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 mechanism by which it operates was challenged in the courts by the Data Protection Commissioner. Apparently, IP addresses do not constitute 'personal information.' Personally, I use filesharing all the time, but I use it to download large open source Linux ISOs. How will Eircom legally differentiate between that content, and the content that some ragamuffin may be downloading illegally, without infringing privacy laws?"
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Large Irish ISP To Enact "Three Strikes" Rule For Copyright Violation

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  • exetel in australia (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 23, 2010 @10:03PM (#32319136)

    exetel in australia had 3 strikes rule at least 2 years ago. I got blocked twice each time you have to make up an excuse for it. i.e. wireless is not secure.

    however after iinet's court case they have removed their 3 strike system

  • by timmarhy ( 659436 ) on Sunday May 23, 2010 @10:11PM (#32319192)
    I'd take this over a demand for money any day. as long as i can just change ISP's when i'm banned i'd be ok with this if i was actually sharing copyrighted material. if i was falsly accused i'd be fuming, and there in lies the problem with this approach. they need to be 100% sure a violation is occuring with each warning, and i'm betting they'll fuck it up.
  • Re:lol (Score:3, Informative)

    by Charliemopps ( 1157495 ) on Sunday May 23, 2010 @10:54PM (#32319400)
    ha! You obviously don't get how broadband works. If only there were such a thing. What I'd recommend is not going after their residential accounts, it would be to go after their work accounts. They are probably public ranges. Ping them, see if you get a response, if you do, send a letter. It's not fool proof, they might not be returning ping requests for example, but if you start thinking along those lines you could probably come up with something. At the very least you could bury their employees in emails. If they start getting several thousand emails a day, I doubt they could keep up.
  • by qirtaiba ( 582509 ) on Sunday May 23, 2010 @11:07PM (#32319492) Homepage

    If only it were true that this makes Ireland "the first in the world". In fact there are already three-strikes laws in France, South Korea, New Zealand, Taiwan, and (though not yet fully implemented) the United Kingdom. In a sense Ireland doesn't even rate a mention against these countries, because its "three strikes" system is not law, but just the policy of a single (admittedly large) ISP.

    France's law is the first and most draconian. In its original form, which did not require a court judgment before the user was disconnected it failed a constitutional challenge, but it has since been re-introduced and remains on the books.

    A favourite quote of mine comes from the judgment of an Australian Federal Court judge in a case decided earlier this year, in which he said:

    One need only consider the lengthy, complex and necessary deliberations of the Court upon the question of primary infringement to appreciate that the nature of copyright infringements within the BitTorrent system, and the concept of “repeat infringer”, are not self-evident. It is highly problematic to conclude that such issues ought to be decided by a party, such as the [ISP], rather than a court. Copyright infringement is not a simple issue.

  • Re:DMCA Challenge: (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 23, 2010 @11:10PM (#32319516)
    No, both those positions are consistently anti-corporate.
  • by Kargan ( 250092 ) on Sunday May 23, 2010 @11:37PM (#32319688) Homepage
    I work for a tech support firm in the US, supporting a number of different ISPs, and at least a handful of them actively enforce a "three strikes" rule, once they are notified by media watchdog companies that a certain IP address that's assigned to them is guilty of copyright infringement. It goes first strike - cut off service till you contact the main office and sign a document to indicate that you've removed the copyrighted material from your pc. Second strike - same deal, except you lose your service for 3-7 days. Third strike, they cancel your service permanently. I'm kinda surprised this story is making /.
  • Re:Not quite (Score:5, Informative)

    by Grumbleduke ( 789126 ) on Sunday May 23, 2010 @11:37PM (#32319690) Journal

    Well all music is copyrighted...

    No, it isn't.
    We don't (yet) have indefinite copyright anywhere. In Ireland (as in the UK), the copyright on sound recordings (so MP3s and whatnot) expires 50 years after the recording was made []. Obviously, this means works recorded in the 60s will be dropping out of copyright soon. That will include the early works of some rather big names including the Beatles. It is no wonder that the lobbyists are hard at work extending it - screw investing in new bands, mustn't let the stuff they've already bought (and don't have to pay the artists for) become available for free.

    Personally, I have quite a bit of music I have downloaded that is not copyrighted.

  • by bfree ( 113420 ) on Sunday May 23, 2010 @11:45PM (#32319736)
    The important thing to note is that this 1 ISP is the former government monopoly who still runs the last mile of copper upon which nearly all DSL in the country depends. I wonder if they will include the customers of their wholesale DSL customers who to many provide the only opportunity to escape from the clutches of Eircom? The only meaningful competition to them is UPC, mentioned in the article, who run the largest cable tv network in the country.
  • Re:Ass Monkies (Score:3, Informative)

    by westlake ( 615356 ) on Monday May 24, 2010 @12:04AM (#32319836)

    We forget that there was music (and movies!) before there was a massive industry to get rich off them.

    The box office for a Chaplin short in 1915 was $100,000.

    Roughly $2 million, adjusted for inflation.

    During 1915, the Charlie Chaplin craze stormed the United States. Essanay vigorously promoted Chaplin's image, creating merchandise from photocards to books to toys, sheet music, fan cards,. All authorized merchandise stamped with Essanay name, and where possible the studios Indian-head logo. Star paraphernalia as an idea was not new, but the body of Chaplin merchandise was unlike anything seen in film before. Charles Chaplin []

    P.T. Barnum had perfected the system before 1850. Jenny Lind's net for her first concert tour in the states was $250,000. $3.6 tax-free millions, adjusted for inflation.

  • Re:Differentiation (Score:3, Informative)

    by Joce640k ( 829181 ) on Monday May 24, 2010 @03:16AM (#32320634) Homepage

    ]"IP addresses... as if that is so clearly identifiable. "

    Um, geeky nitpicking aside, that's because they mostly *are* clearly identifiable. The only real exception would be where a large number of machines is hidden behind a NAT router. In that case it would be hard to pick out an individual machine from the external Internet but that situation is hardly ever the case for home users.

    The other oft-quoted excuse is if somebody else is using your WiFi to download music. In this case you get two opportunities to secure your access point before they cut you off.

    ]"my IP address changes all the time, as in every day or even more frequently"

    So? I bet your ISP has a log of when a particular IP address was assigned to you. The RIAA will send them IP address + time of day, and, Bingo!

  • by jimicus ( 737525 ) on Monday May 24, 2010 @04:12AM (#32320916)

    This has already happened. []

  • Re:Not quite (Score:3, Informative)

    by Tim C ( 15259 ) on Monday May 24, 2010 @06:14AM (#32321338)

    No, it most certainly is not.

    Who owns the copyright on the compositions of Bach or Mozart, for example?

    As the GP says, copyright expires. Everything is copyrighted at some point, but everything eventually passes into the public domain. That is the bargain that was struck, and that is the bargain that (large parts of) the content-producing industry is fighting to renege on.

  • Re:Not quite (Score:3, Informative)

    by Grumbleduke ( 789126 ) on Monday May 24, 2010 @08:28AM (#32321906) Journal

    If you want to check, the relevant bit of law is Section 13A [] of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 (as amended by the The Copyright and Related Rights Regulations 2003) which states:

    (2) ... copyright expires—

    (a) at the end of the period of 50 years from the end of the calendar year in which the recording is made, or

    (b) if it is released before the end of that period, 50 years from the end of the calendar year in which it is released, or

    (c) if during that period the recording is not published but is made available to the public by being played in public or communicated to the public, 50 years from the end of the calendar year in which it is first so made available,

    While various minor Acts (mainly based on EU directives or international treaties) have extended the duration of written works to life+70 from the life+50 in the original Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 [], so far, duration of copyright on sound recordings has escaped largely untouched. Of course, it is still a long way from the original 14+14 [] years, but it is something.

  • Re:Not quite (Score:3, Informative)

    by Grumbleduke ( 789126 ) on Monday May 24, 2010 @08:33AM (#32321946) Journal

    Very nearly right, but just to be picky;

    Which means that while Cliff Richard could continue to collect royalties from anyone wanting to do a cover of his early work (assuming he wrote it), a radio station could set up playing recordings of his early work and not pay him a thing.

    That highlighted bit should be "assuming he owns the copyright". Since the Copyright Act 1842 (an evil piece of legislation, to blame for much of our copyright problems today) copyright has counted as property and so can be bought and sold.

    If someone else owns the copyright, it is them you must pay royalties to, no matter who wrote it. This is why, for example, EMI can refuse to publish the Beatles collection on iTunes or any other download service even though both the remaining Beatles would quite like this to happen.

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