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."
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