Stop 3-strikes shenanigans, say Irish data protectors

By (@richi ).

Ireland's Office of the Data Protection Commissioner (ODPC) has told the country's biggest ISP to cut out its three-strikes-and-you're-out policy. The ODCP reportedly told Eircom that relying on IP addresses is unlawful, despite a court order to do so gained by the Irish Recorded Music Association (IRMA).


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John Kennedy reports:
The decision will come as a blow to the recorded music industry which...got the incumbent operator to agree to implement a 'three strikes' policy. ... IRMA would provide Eircom with notifications that would contain the IP address identified with illegal downloading activity.
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The decision...will also touch a nerve in terms of a recent decision by...the European Court of Justice...that internet access is a human right and that EU law precludes...requiring [ISPs] to block users. more.png


Rich Fiscus adds:
The Irish Data Protection Commissioner has shot down an agreement...made to settle a lawsuit...attempt[ing to ]force the Irish ISP to install monitoring software to detect copyrighted content. ... Eircom instead agreed to disconnect users after three allegations from the labels.
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[The] plan involved relying exclusively on IP addresses. ... Earlier this year the...Commissioner began investigating. ... Yesterday he ordered a halt to it, giving Eircom 21 days to respond. more.png


Pinsent Masons explains the background:
In June the ODPC launched an investigation...after [Eircom] sent 'first strike' warning letters to 300 customers wrongly accusing them.
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Last month the European Court of Justice...ruled that although the protection of intellectual property is a fundamental right...[it] has to be balanced against other fundamental rights. more.png


But enigmax urges caution:
But before free-flow-of-information proponents get too excited, the news is countered...by a sobering report which says that...file-sharing websites shall be made forcibly unavailable. ... [Irish] Minister of State for Enterprise Se├ín Sherlock will publish an order...that will allow rightsholders to go to court to prevent...ISPs from supplying their subscribers’ access to infringing sites.
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The action comes in response to threats from...EMI, which said it would take legal action against [Ireland] if [its] government...failed to take action. more.png


So Glyn Moody gets dirty:
And now we have the latest twist in this continuing saga...this is by no means the end of the story. ... [As] usual, the recording industry's demands are for ever-more extreme powers.
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This attempt to pressure a national government into changing the law for the convenience of a group of companies unwilling to move with the times is troubling. ... [It] turn[s] ISPs into the content industry's private police force, letting the former do the dirty work...while the latter...enjoy the benefits of their monopoly pricing. more.png


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Richi JenningsRichi Jennings is an independent analyst/consultant, specializing in blogging, email, and security. His writing has previously won American Society of Business Publication Editors and Jesse H. Neal awards. A cross-functional IT geek since 1985, you can also read Richi's full profile and disclosure of his industry affiliations.