Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
The Internet Communications Networking Your Rights Online

Ireland's Largest ISP Settles With Record Industry 222

Posted by Soulskill
from the don't-encourage-them dept.
An anonymous reader writes "In what has been billed as a world first, four music companies and Irish ISP Eircom have agreed to work together to end illegal music downloading. The Irish branches of the record companies (EMI Records Ltd, Sony BMG Music Entertainment Ltd, Universal Music Ltd and Warner Music Ltd.) brought a High Court action against Eircom last March which has resulted in this settlement after eight days of trial. Eircom will be implementing a three-step process — informing a subscriber that their IP address has been detected infringing copyright; warning the subscriber that if they do not stop they will be disconnected; and finally disconnecting the user if they fail to heed the warning. Which technology they will be using to spy on their customers is currently unknown. EMI and the other record companies have recommended US-based Audible Magic, which (among other things) claims to block copyright violating web content from sites like Youtube and MySpace. However, digital surveillance is nothing new in Ireland and Eircom may have already tested and implemented the necessary technologies."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Ireland's Largest ISP Settles With Record Industry

Comments Filter:
  • by egnop (531002) <[slashdot] [at] [dagevos.org]> on Thursday January 29, 2009 @09:53AM (#26652439)

    Since they probably will go disconnecting people very soon. And that will end up getting another ISP to get connected again.

    • by commodore64_love (1445365) on Thursday January 29, 2009 @10:10AM (#26652661) Journal

      I hope you're right. The fact the Eircom rolled-over in just 8 days demonstrates that these companies have no interest in protecting our rights. For them it's all about the money, and they obviously took the cheapest route of not fighting.

      • by Anonymous Brave Guy (457657) on Thursday January 29, 2009 @10:43AM (#26653041)

        The fact the Eircom rolled-over in just 8 days demonstrates that these companies have no interest in protecting our rights. For them it's all about the money

        Of course it is. It is not a company's job to protect your rights. A company's main purpose is to make money for its shareholders.

        Laws are what are supposed to protect your rights, because that company has to operate within the law. If the company's actions are an abuse, then the law should be changed (or enforced) so that this does not happen.

        Of course, I'm assuming you were referring to legitimate privacy rights here, not to a non-existent right to download material in breach of copyright.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by JesseMcDonald (536341)

          Of course, I'm assuming you were referring to legitimate privacy rights here, not to a non-existent right to download material in breach of copyright.

          The right to act in any way which does not cause harm to others is far more substantial than any so-called "privacy right", recent attempts to undermine real rights in favor of exclusive copyright privileges notwithstanding.

          • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

            by cliffski (65094)

            Ah I see. so if you pirate all your digital entertainment from now until the end of time, and everyone acts like you, there will be fuck-all impact on the jobs of people working that industry and thus it doesn't affect anyone?

            Or do you only care if your actions affect people you know personally?
            Nice attitude.

            • by Clovis42 (1229086)
              Wow, cliffski, I think piracy is actually starting to have an affect on your brain. That's not what the parent said at all. If copyright were removed it doesn't mean that we all just run around taking everything for free. IP is NOT a basic human right. I'm sure if people like your games then they are going to support you. There doesn't need to be threats of being disconnected from the rest of the world for them to do that. Well, unless your games are terrible and you mainly earn money by marketing them real
      • by zoney_ie (740061)

        Also the summary is incorrect. Eircom will not be doing any monitoring of users traffic. Record companies will just various means open to them to track illegal downloads over the Internet (the usual shenanigans). They then provide Eircom with IPs that they allege are infringing (I don't think Eircom has to take their word for it - they'll probably just issue warnings/disconnects on the basis of how much downloading is occurring for that IP).

      • by malkavian (9512)

        Actually, it's not the cheapest route, as long as there's competition, or the prospect of competition.
        If you completely upset your client, and they have somewhere to go, then they'll go.
        If you upset enough people, then even more will go, as they'll anticipate that you'll do bad things and few will take their place (as you're known to be 'bad') from the available market of people looking for your product.
        Oh, and you'll also have to pay for the policing action that upsets your clients too.

        Net effect, you have

      • Despite being privatised for nearly 10 years, Eircom still has an ethos that is basically semi-state.

        They haven't the entrepreneurial balls to stand up for themselves which is why they have been a follower rather than a leader for their entire existence, even though the deck was always stacked in their favour (i.e. owning the infrastructure).

        This is just another example of them rolling over for fear of making a stand. This will get interesting when the other ISPs get involved.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Karem Lore (649920)
        Which is why the "people" should hit them where it hurts...stop buying music...Stop it...completely...no music purchase means no budget for combatting piracy...no music companies...no problem. I say that we need to organise, online, a mass protest...For 2 months (or more), agree to not purchase music...make it a cult...hit it where it hurts...their bottom line...Start buying music from the artist rather than the industry...
    • by ionix5891 (1228718) on Thursday January 29, 2009 @10:10AM (#26652671)

      Good thing then that their wireless passwords for the routers they give out are easy to crack

      http://taint.org/2007/10/01/185837a.html [taint.org]

      • So find out who is a user, hook up to their AP, download some songs and watch the ISPs drown in support calls because they disconnect innocent people.

        It could serve multiple purposes. First, it teaches ISPs that collaboration with the MAFIAA (or its respective European counterparts) costs money, and while they may not care about customers, they care about money. Second, it costs the ISPs that bend over and ask for one more whack customers. "Good" customers, i.e. customers that don't use a lot of bandwidth.

    • by Joce640k (829181)

      It'll be a clusterfuck, just be happy that most other countries will be able to point to "what happened in Ireland" as a precedent.

      ie. An ISP which caved in to the RIAAs demands will lose a bunch of paying customers but P2P will continue unabated.

      Bottom line: P2P is a Hydra.

  • A comparison (Score:5, Insightful)

    by peterprior (319967) on Thursday January 29, 2009 @09:56AM (#26652471)

    I wonder how people would react if the postal service were allowed to hold envelopes up to a light, say "theres a CD in there which could have illegally copied copyrighted data on it!" and then after doing that 3 times, stop all mail to your house without having to provide any actual evidence or give you a chance to prove your innocence.

    • It'd put a pretty big crimp in Netflix's business model. I suppose you could say it would be an attempt to close the "snailmail" hole in the law.

    • Re:A comparison (Score:5, Insightful)

      by elrous0 (869638) * on Thursday January 29, 2009 @10:16AM (#26652727)
      I'm sure a lot of people are going to respond to this comment with "But ISP's are private entities, not the government postal service." But the harsh fact is that most people have little more choice in their ISP's than they do in their postal service. Most people are like me. I have a grand total of two options if I want a broadband internet connection: AT&T's DSL service and Comcast's cable service. So basically, I can't anymore just "take my business elsewhere" (if I got banned for alleged piracy) than I could with the postal service. Getting banned from these two private entities would effectively cut me off from the internet permanently, with no recourse. That's pretty serious business in an age where your very livelihood can depend on the internet (particularly if you're a techie like me).
    • Re:A comparison (Score:5, Interesting)

      by VEGETA_GT (255721) on Thursday January 29, 2009 @10:18AM (#26652755)

      This is where I like to point out there are also loads of false positives. Great example is me, over past few months I have gotten 3 letter saying I have downloaded movies on the eDonkey network, even listing the specific movies. Fine except I am the only one in my house who uses eDonkey and I know for a fact that I did not download that content they specified especially since 10 feet form the computer are at least 2 of the 3 dvds for the content specified. now in Canada they really don't do anything else, Rogers just forwards on the e mails and that's about it.

      so with all these 3 strikes and you are out crap, I would not not have net access for actually not only not downloading content but for buying the DVD's. There are so many simple ways of avoiding these things of laying blame on others like spoofing ip's and then there are ways around it liek encription and proxies. so really when will they stop this kind of crap and find better ways to deal with the issues, Like servers set up for blanked non DRM subscriptions where I can download all I want for a monthly fee or some other method that would work. And get over the fact no matter what you do downloading content is not going away, you are just making people come up with new solutions to your issues and there are more people trying to get around the issues then make them. O and ya don't forget we still see record sales of dvd's/movies and music is growing online downloading in leaps and bounds so you can't tell me you are not making cash.

      SCO is finely dyeing off why cant the RIAA and equivalent news

      • Did you quite politely send them a couple of photographs of you holding said DVDs and tell them that the next letters they send accusing you of a crime you'd not commited had best be addressed to your solicitor?

        I think that might get a little attention.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by furby076 (1461805)
      Well - this isn't a court of law it is a business. If they want to stop servicing you they have a right to do so. They do have evidence, they have trace logs. Yes someone may spoof you, hack you, etc - but I am sure that is a fairly small percentage. I would think that pirates, on average, are a bit more computer savvy about virus programs, firewalls, etc. While there are many idiots out there when it comes to this (my brother) it is a small percentage.

      A letter in your mailbox saying "we know that you
    • It is funny you say that. Because currently there are laws in Ireland that mean as long as the ISP is not analyzing the data passing through the system then they could not be held liable for it. It was a big hullabaloo around the time of alt.sex.binaries with IOL it got mentioned.

      Once they start searching data they will become liable for anything that goes through their system.

      Eircom might also be one of the biggest but they are not the best ISP. They also do packet shaping so that if you try to watch a you

  • They don't censor stuff, and you have a few hundred different companies to choose from.

    There's also satellite internet.

  • But it will probably be annoying for a while, for a lot of people.

    And then, every other country will have the response ready in case it happens.

  • €ir$cum? i told their sales people where to stick it many years ago, UPC 20mbit cable with no caps is much faster and reliable and none of this nonsense

  • It's a good thing that Irish computers never get infected with spyware, worms, or viruses, or such that could relay a music download. It's nice to know that everyone's wireless access points are so secure that nobody could hijack them. Wow! We could learn a thing or two about computer security from the Irish.
    • It's a good thing that Irish computers never get infected with spyware, worms, or viruses, or such that could relay a music download.

      Maybe I haven't kept up, but I'm not aware of malware in the wild that would cause your computer to download the latest Backstreet Boys CD.

      The concept, however, does raise an interesting question. If "aiding and abetting" merits a "graduated response" on the part of the ISP, then why aren't those users participating in botnets subject to a similar response?

      • There are botnets which share child abuse pictures and video, though.

        If they're aiding and abetting the distribution of child pornography. I say put them in jail.
      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        Wait... Here's an idea: we hijack the botnets and Make them download pirated songs, thus, the RIAA becomes overloaded with work, the ISPs decide it's not worth it, but not until after large chunks of the botnets get kicked off by their ISPs for infringement. It's like killing 3 birds with one stone!
  • They will also send out the SWAT team if you take a bar of soap from a hotel.
    • The people of Ireland are easy to push around. Apart from following a Deity on Earth religion the population are predominantly young people. A lot of "progressive" legislation that would face resistance in the rest of Europe is tried out on them. Its one of the most oppressive countries in Europe.

  • Fun, fun, happy fun if a botnet decides to move a file around that triggers the filter.

    How to disconnect 1/8th of a country.

    • by MadKeithV (102058)
      Who says that this isn't what the music industry is aiming for? "If we kill the internets, there will be no more illegal music downloads! 4: Profit!!"
  • by yttrstein (891553) on Thursday January 29, 2009 @10:09AM (#26652655) Homepage
    Watch how fast https becomes ubiquitous. When everyone is encrypting everything, the RIAA will be utterly powerless.

    As they already are when it comes to any encrypted connection to any number of swarms or usenet servers.
    • by Yacoby (1295064) on Thursday January 29, 2009 @10:34AM (#26652923)

      Watch how fast https becomes ubiquitous. When everyone is encrypting everything, the RIAA will be utterly powerless.

      Wait until people go back to swapping data on disks.

      Uploading a music collection onto a 16 Flash drive and downloading it at a friends house doesn't take very long, and transfers many thousands of tracks. I doubt the record industry is ever going to stop that.

      It is all moot anyway, as in 20 years time, the people who grew up pirating music will be in Government.

      • Watch how fast https becomes ubiquitous. When everyone is encrypting everything, the RIAA will be utterly powerless.

        Wait until people go back to swapping data on disks.

        Uploading a music collection onto a 16 Flash drive and downloading it at a friends house doesn't take very long, and transfers many thousands of tracks. I doubt the record industry is ever going to stop that.

        Indeed. Never underestimate the power of the sneakernet, especially with tech savvy broke people. I already have a bandwidth of 2000 albums per visit.

      • by Dog-Cow (21281)

        It is all moot anyway, as in 20 years time, the people who grew up pirating music will be in Government.

        This line of reasoning is utter nonsense. The vast majority of people who download copyrighted materials (songs, movies, etc) do so because they are free. That is, they receive a direct benefit from doing so (no capital expenditure). When they are in government, they will receive a direct benefit for legislating against. That is, they will receive bribes and kickbacks for doing so.

        This has nothing to do with a change in the morality of the culture. This is about simple self-interest.

        • When they are in government, they will receive a direct benefit for legislating against. That is, they will receive bribes and kickbacks for doing so.

          Plus they won't care beacause by then they'll have already downloaded everything worth having, twice over.

          # Oh da-ray domma-doo domma-da, whackfol de daddy-oh...

        • by silanea (1241518)

          This line of reasoning is utter nonsense. [...]

          I disagree, the parent poster has a point. The vast majority of top-level politicians today is out of touch with the Internet and its phenomenons and the information-sharing mindset it created - they're simply too old! To most of them a computer is a fancy typewriter with an included telefax machine and that thing where they can enter a word, click "Search" and get a list of other things which mention the word in question.

          To them issues like net censorship, surveillance, digital downloads, net neutrality, o

      • by cliffski (65094)

        and the people currently making music will be stacking shelves and working as plumbers.
        You better buy a guitar if you want to hear new music with this "teh music is teh freeee!!!!11111" business model.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by gad_zuki! (70830)

      Not really. They join existing torrents and simply log all the IPs attempting to download from their seeders. The transport may be encrypted but youre talking to them asking them "Hello there sir, can I have piece 5949 of 'Metallica-Discography.rar.'" Blammo your ISP sends you a letter.

      I doubt everyone will move to private trackers. In fact, I doubt they mind private trackers very much. Its impossible to stop the motivated and technically informed, but the harder it is for Joe Average to get music the bette

      • Cue onion routing.

        Why sure, it increases traffic. Why sure, ISPs won't like that. Let's see what's worse for them, tripled traffic or disagreeing with the IFPI.

      • by yttrstein (891553)
        I think what you're describing is the beginning of the next set of battles in the war for Free Shit.

        Of course the opposition (in my case, the RIAA) will try to find ways to outsmart thieves, but by the thieves' very existence it seems to me that they're smarter. So the next move might be that trackers get smarter and don't advertise IP addresses, instead converting them through some sort of encryption technology that would of course have to have modules for every TCP stack there is (rot 13 would probably w
    • by scruffy (29773)

      Watch how fast https becomes ubiquitous. When everyone is encrypting everything, the RIAA will be utterly powerless.

      This will also create more motivation to move toward IPsec and IPv6 and increase use of Freenet, Tor, and other darknet technologies. All our communications should be encrypted anyway as a matter of privacy and confidentiality.

    • Watch how fast https becomes ubiquitous. When everyone is encrypting everything, the RIAA will be utterly powerless.

      Just as long as they don't start using self-signed certificates [slashdot.org] we'll be fine :)

      Seriously though - the IRMA (Ireland's RIAA) will not need to examine the data between you and the sites you visit. They'll just need the fact that you visited a suspicious sounding url itself and then make a pretty big assumption. From that they contact Eircom with an accusation and (as Eircom do not actually requ

      • by trewornan (608722)
        I think I've finally worked out step 3. 1. Visit lots of suspicious websites and make some large downloads of legal files over encrypted connections (eg Linux Distros) 2. Get banned for illegal downloading. 3. Sue for slander, breach of contract and maybe some other stuff. 4. Profit!
    • Watch how fast https becomes ubiquitous.

      That's never going to happen now [blacknight.com].

  • The thing with the RIAA, MPAA, and others, is that they are always behind the curve with technology, business models and ethics. (ha ha) I wonder what will happen to my internet connection when it's all encrypted, will they make that illegal too? Who does the Internet belong to? Us or Them.

    At some point, if we let them, the Internet will be price tiered, monitored, and filtered to the point of uselessness.

  • I'm gonna laugh when they go out of business from disconnecting a large share of their customers. I suppose they deserve it though.

  • It doesn't take that long to download Enya's entire catalogue!!!

  • In a recent statement from the RIAA public relations VP, ....On behalf of our member companies, and associated groups across the globe, we would like to say to the people of the world:

    We're sorry, we accidentally the whole Internet.

    We would particularly like to apologize to people who live in those parts of the world where it is likely easy to shoot at our executives and not be caught. Sweden, we're still not happy with you.

    Moving forward, we promise to only prosecute those individuals who admit to download

  • This is awesome! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 29, 2009 @11:01AM (#26653317)

    Think about it. The ISP is saying they are responsible for the content on their network. Now you can sue your ISP for wasting your resources on SPAM (especially all the illegal stuff).

    Or anything else like if your underage kid views porn. Oops, ISP you should have blocked that!

    Or somebody posts untrue comments about you in a forum from one of these ISP's. Forget about trying to find the person doing it, that's expensive and hard. Just sue the ISP into the ground!

    (same goes for Comcast and all those other companies that signed up to monitor their network; they can kiss their neutrality goodbye because now they are liable!)

  • by haggisbrain (945030) on Thursday January 29, 2009 @11:12AM (#26653449)
    I moved to Ireland last week and placed an order with Eircom for broadband. After reading this story earlier today I decided to have another look around for an ISP in my area. I found one, placed an order with them and cancelled my Eircom order. It's not that I want to download copyrighted material, it's just that having a home broadband connection is just far too important to trust the "evidence" of these record companies.
  • RIAA vs IRA (Score:5, Funny)

    by Hognoxious (631665) on Thursday January 29, 2009 @11:19AM (#26653575) Homepage Journal

    Q: What's the difference between the RIAA and the IRA?

    A: One of them used to be a bunch of terrorists.

  • and I'll say it now. To stop this madness all we need to do is STOP BUYING RIAA MUSIC, force the artist to go direct.
    • Sorry, ain't got the time to do that - I'm a real music fan. I buy what sounds good, I couldn't give a toss whether it's made by Sony or "Grandpa Joe's Street Corner Record Label".

      If it sounds good & worth the money, I'm happy.

  • by mlwmohawk (801821) on Thursday January 29, 2009 @11:41AM (#26653885)

    If this mode of operation were to come to the U.S.A. we should hope the ACLU and EFF challenge it. Here is why:

    More and more, the internet is being used as an access gateway to the government in order to participate as citizens. Removing this access without due process would certainly be actionable.

    Corporations MUST NOT be allowed to be judge/jury/executioner for citizens. There must be due process and a jury of peers for any such action.

    • by rs232 (849320)
      "If this mode of operation were to come to the U.S.A. we should hope the ACLU and EFF challenge it"

      I suspect you are correct as I suspect the real push for this all engulfing state surveillance apparatus is coming also from the US. You see in the interests of protecting the Core [thomaspmbarnett.com], our little democracy will have to be sacrificed.
  • "The criminals, who you really want to capture, are the very people who will take the trouble [independent.ie] to know how to get around this, so although they will possibly leave digital footprints, it could be extremely difficult to find them"

    Why do the government need to spy on us to protect us from the terr'ists? Clicking here [indymedia.org.uk] may adversly affect your employment prospects, as well making any kind of public protest [wikipedia.org] ..

    --

    "Without privacy, there cannot be freedom, and without freedom, there cannot be personal or soci

"Marriage is low down, but you spend the rest of your life paying for it." -- Baskins

Working...