Eircom’s anti-piracy crackdown begins today

24 May 2010

The January 2009 court settlement between the Irish Recorded Music Association (IRMA) and Eircom cranks into action today as the ISP starts the process of cutting off broadband access to customers found to be repeatedly illegally sharing copyright material, such as songs and movies, over the network.

The ‘three strikes’ agreement went ahead despite being brought to court and challenged by the Data Protection Commissioner after it was found that the monitoring and identification of IP addresses by IRMA was not affecting the protection of personal customer data.

From today, IRMA will supply names to Eircom that it has obtained using anti-piracy tracking firm Dtecnet to monitor online copyright infringement. Eircom will receive the IP address, along with a time stamp and details of the peer-to-peer application used by the customer.

If it is found that an Eircom customer has been illegally sharing (‘sharing’ refers to either the uploading or downloading of copyright content) on three separate occasions they will be disconnected from Eircom’s broadband service for one week, after which service will be denied for one month if their IP address is detected by Dtecnet for a fourth time.

This graduated response is related to music but TV shows and movies fall outside the remit of the Eircom/IRMA court settlement.

Several other Irish ISPs have been contacted by IRMA and asked to implement the three strikes system. Following the 19 April high court ruling by Judge Peter Charlton in favour of the rights of copyright holders and against the Data Protection Commissioner Billy Hawke’s privacy concerns, UPC remained adamant that it would not be following suit.

“UPC’s position remains unchanged following (the) judgment. UPC will do everything necessary to comply with its legal obligations but will not voluntarily agree to implement measures such as a graduated response system in the absence of a legal obligation to do so.”

By Marie Boran