After more than a year of wrangling both in and out of court, EMI, Sony, Universal, Warner and ISP Eircom finally have a deal ready to fly. Shortly the labels will start supplying the IP addresses of alleged file-sharers to Eircom so that it may punish them. The most stubborn subscribers will be disconnected from the Internet for a year.
In February 2009, IRMA – representing EMI, Sony, Universal and Warner – reached an out of court settlement with Ireland’s largest ISP, Eircom.
The deal would see the ISP introduce a 3 strikes system for dealing with subscribers who share songs to which the labels own the copyright. The implementation of the agreement was held up over legal argument, but last month the High Court in Dublin gave it the green light.
“It is completely within the legitimate standing of Eircom to act, and to be seen to act, as a body which upholds the law and Constitution,” wrote Justice Charleton. “That is what the Court expects of both individuals and companies.”
Dick Doyle, Director General of IRMA subsequently announced that his group and Eircom would implement the full agreement and today that process began for the ISP’s 750,000 broadband customers.
IRMA will now begin supplying Eircom with IP addresses that anti-piracy company DtecNet believes are connected to infringements. According to the Irish Times, initially IRMA will supply just 50 IP addresses per week, with a review of the scheme being carried out after 3 months.
Those caught up in the sweep will first be telephoned by Eircom with a verbal warning. If that same customer receives a third warning, a 7 day ban will come into force. A fourth warning will see their broadband disconnected for a year. Doyle says research suggests that 80 per cent of people would stop file-sharing after receiving an ISP warning them of the consequences.
Next month Eircom rival UPC will be up in court over its resistance to implement a similar deal with IRMA and many are wishing the ISP well in its battle.