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back to article Music labels take (more) Irish ISPs to court

The Big Four music labels want every ISP in Ireland to adopt a "three strikes" policy against repeated illegal file-sharers, and they intend to sue until they get their way. With Ireland's top internet provider, Eircom, having already bowed to the music industry's demands to cut off service to accused offenders, the labels are …

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Grenade

Counter-sue?

Be interesting to hear what authorisation they had for such massive scans of the networks.

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Methods and legality?

With regards the "experts", I'd like to know just how many laws they broke doing that kind of work and exactly how they determined that the content being downloaded was infact copyright.

As for the legal stance - not sure if Ireland has the same computer misuse act and RIPA but pretty sure both of those forbid anyone playing middleman which is presumably what they did unless they supplied the files. If that's the case, isn't that encouraging someone to commit an offence? Could be sooooo much fun if that was proven.

Where's the legal buffs...

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Thumb Down

If it's illegal, call the cops

If the record labels find evidence of illegal behaviour, they should report it to the cops, not a third party. If they don't report the crime, then they're colluding with "criminals" or at least condoning the behaviour.

Unless it's not actually illegal of course....

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WTF?

As if the coerced Three Strikes policy weren't enough...

That a major provider should be compelled to become copyright cops under pressure, not from a governmental regulatory agency which is, at least in theory, answerable to the people, but rather a cabal of private interests, is outrageous enough.

But what's even more so is wangling a promise to censor their customers' browsing according to their whims.

I didn't know that the green of Green Dam meant the Emerald Isle.

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Anonymous Coward

"cut off service to accused offenders"

"accused" being the scary word.

Given the track record (or maybe that should be CD) of the music industry, they are not infallible.

Accused means no need to give the customer a chance to defend themselves. There hasn't been any mention of a time period, so having three really doesn't provide any protection... Three over five years could easily be a mistake. A mistake that gets you disconnected from a service some would regard as essential.

It certainly is for me... I'm in the IT trade and work from home. If they cut me off I'm out of a job.

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Flame

So let me get this straight

In Ireland a company (or companies or a spokes person acting on behalf of these companies) can not only openly admit to filing frivolous and baseless lawsuits but also openly admit that it will keep filing said frivolous lawsuits until it gets it's way. They are allowed to waste the courts time with baseless suits for the sole reason that they aren't getting their way, they are allowed to act like a spoiled child throwing it self to the ground and having a screaming fit because the parents wont buy it a candy bar? The courts over there are ok with this kind of behavior and abuse of the legal system by what should be responsible and rational companies?

I'll admit to being in a particularly pissed state of mind today, but even so. If I were in the position of the remaining ISPs I would be telling the music labels and their lawyers to fuck off and die right about now.

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WTF?

he he he

Bend over and prepare to be rogered!

Get less time for stealing real CD's from shops... pack of twats.

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This post has been deleted by a moderator

Despicable

This is despicable. How dare they set themselves up as judge and jury without going through due legal process. I'm surprised (and pleased) that even BT seem to regard it as a nonsense. They are easily big enough to do battle with the IRMA. They need teaching a severe lesson in the law. It is NOT the ISP's duty to police their networks and make arbitrary decisions to cut off people at the drop of a hat on the say-so of a third party.

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Happy

Current Law

Current law is whatever the courts decide; therefore, legal action is appropriate and should be welcomed by all. That is unless the courts are corrupt but that's a whole 'nother story.

The thieves among us are all up in arms and I can understand their torment; their free ride is about to end. Looks like all the money from all the legitimate buyers is providing all the power needed to halt the stealing. Ever wonder where the money comes from? It comes from those who [foolishly?] plop down their hard earned pay for the [grossly overpriced] product.

I fail to see the problem. If those who do this downloading are so sure of their rights and position, don't worry. Just walk into any local store, bypass paying simply and walk out with the music. I mean, you're right...right? If what you do is legal and just over the internet then that same practice is legal and just everywhere...right? Right. You try this and you'll find out who's tight and who's not.

And filtering the illegal stuff is no problem ... really. Just block the transmission of all file types that are music related or seem to be music related. Simple. No big deal and it's works pretty well. Until someone figures out how to bypass the block but that's why we have IT staff so it'll just be a game of cat and mouse which petty theft always has been.

Ahhhh, I do love a good clown act and the music thieves are doing such a good job here. In one ssense it's going to be sad to see them go. But oh frellin' well. There are always politicians to watch, and of course there's Sarah Palin. Which is whole 'nother story worth watching..

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Black Helicopters

intential mispelling.

"Eircom also agreed to block any website the music industry forbids"

I'm sure this is illigal..there a artical on outlaw.com....oh that seems to be blocked...maybe there a goverment...oh thats blocked to....i'll be sending i stiff email to my MP(or equiv)...oh it bouncved back....whats that sound the the whop-whop of block heleicopters.

doesnt using a proxy increas your traffic?

HOW stupid this is gonna hurt innocents but wont effect the Lets-download-MJs-whole-back-catalogue-burn-it-and-make-huge-profit-down-the-market Pirates who will side step this with ease.

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FAIL

@Doug Glass

Go on, I'll bite.

The issue isn't about the freetards. It's about whether the music industry has the right to force ISPs to censor their users' traffic.

Rant about the freetards all you like, but I suspect you wouldn't want to use an ISP that blocked websites at the whim of the music industry.

If the music industry think a user is breaking the law, they should either make a complaint to the police or take civil action. They already have a legal remedy, they just don't see why they should have to go to the bother of using the legal system like the rest of us.

Incidentally, your knowledge of the law seems to be on a par with my 9-month old niece's, i.e non-existent. To equate copyright infringement with theft is to display your total ignorance of the law. I can only assume that you work for the music industry, so keen are you to conflate the two.

By all means argue against copyright infringement, but try using some facts and intelligent argument instead of parroting the music industry's bullshit.

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@Doug Glass

Do not feed the trolls.. Your solution is simply wrong. There's so much LEGALY available FREE music online that it boggles the mind why anyone would actually want to mess with the commercial offerings.

Try www.jamendo.com

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IANAL.. but..

Counter sue them in the European Court?

The EU already said that 3 strikes is not acceptable I believe and member states should not do it? So I would imagine there would be lots of back peddling and some serious spinning when they opt for not testing it in court.

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@ Doug Glass

@Doug Glass

"Just block the transmission of all file types that are music related or seem to be music related. Simple."

Doug's got the solution! Doug, I really, really hope IRMA give you a job.

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Flame

> That a major provider should be compelled to become copyright cops under pressure,

Well of course the ISPs sould have the responsibility of monitoring behaviour. They are the ones who are making money out of the freetards: well them and the those sites selling advertising on the back of searches, indexes etc.

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Three strikes?

Why are they letting people steal music three times?

If I knew someone was stealing from my house I'd phone the police the first time round, not let them off twice more before getting a restraining order.

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Troll

@Doug Glass

Blatant trolling Doug, but I'm bored so I'll bite...

So many issues with your post I'm not sure where to start...

You seem to think it is the job of the courts to force companies to act against private individuals on the basis of no evidence whatsoever.. Basically that a record of film company can just say 'we believe that Doug has been a naughty boy' and that should be sufficient evidence to have your internet disconnected? If they want to accuse you of something, surely there should be a requirement for them to provide proof and a chance for you to defend yourself?

You make the oft-repeated but entirely fatuous comparison between copyright infringement and physical theft. The two are obviously very different. If you walk into HMV and steal a CD you permanently deprive HMV of that physical item and the opportunity to sell it to someone else that is willing to pay for it. If you download a torrent of that cd you do not. If you had no intention of ever paying for the music then HMV and the artist have lost no revenue whatsoever. Copyright infringement does NOT equal theft, whatever the little film at the beginning of the DVD may say. It is a civil and not a criminal matter.

'And filtering the illegal stuff is no problem ... really. Just block the transmission of all file types that are music related or seem to be music related. Simple'

This made me laugh the most - Unless you are talking about simply looking at the file extensions (and if you are that daft it's not even worth me wasting my time explaining why that wouldn't work) you would need to use DPI (deep packet inspection) to effectively wiretap every piece of data a user was sending and receiving. There are serious questions about the legality of such a system and the ISP rather than the user could well find themselves in the dock. It wouldn't even work anyway - some torrent applications already employ encryption and as soon as you implemented DPI for copyright protection purposes you can be damn sure they all would.

So in conclusion... Fail on the understanding of the responsibilities of the courts in this matter... Fail on the understanding of the actual nature of the 'crime' being committed... Fail on the suggestions of how technology could be used to stop it.

Oh and for the record - I am not a 'freetard'. I don't illegally download music - ever. If I want an album I buy it (either by paid download or on CD). However I am also not crazy enough to want to allow big business to ride roughshod over the rights of the individual in their increasingly desperate attempts to justify why their flawed business model is failing.

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Grenade

@Doug

Look Mate how many times does it need to be said for everyone to understand - STEALING physical property is theft i.e. going into a shop and taking something

COPYING whether tape to tape - cd to mp3 - or downloading ISN'T THEFT the original article is still there - no one has removed it - look up the definition of theft if this is hard for you to understand.

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FAIL

right...

Its in BT's best interest(BTIreland not BTuk) to block this because guess whois next door? Thats right BT (BT Uk not BTIreland). So if they can prove it in ireland, then they BT(BTuk not BT Ireland) can site the case of them(BT Ireland not BTuk) VS the IRMA.

Sorry about BT Uk not BTireland that was fun to type/read =)

Anyways, this is the same as my mobile phone company blocking numbers to certain people because they may be playing music over the connection....

I have yet to see Eircom actually do anything to make them happy, (disconnecting people, blocking thepiratebay.org etc), and the only reason they did it was not to go through an expensive court case and when they do ask for something Eircom will sight lack of evidence... or so.

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Judge and jury?

As far as acting as judge and jury is concerned, presumably the ISP has terms and conditions, and whether I or anyone else likes it, they do have the right to stop selling someone their service if someone breaks those conditions. If they have some specific condition regarding copyright material, or some more general clause they could apply, a customer wouldn't seem to have real grounds for objection *as long as the allegations were accurate*.

It wouldn't make much sense to have terms and conditions saying a customer shouldn't use their connection for X, Y, or Z if there wasn't any way for the ISP to find out that a customer was actually doing any of those things.

How accurate the claims of infringement are is another matter, though one that should presumably become clearer over time, depending on whether a large number of innocent people started getting warning letters.

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Anonymous Coward

Acting as China/Iran?

Blocking sites which the music industry forbids...

Bow down to the music industry. Bunch of wankers. They really don't help themselves do they.

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Grenade

@ Doug Glass

> Just block [...] all file types that are music related or seem to be music related.

ROTFL! What are you, six years old?

> Simple

You certainly are. As well as being a Grade-'A' troll.

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Big Brother

Article 8 of the ECHR

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ECHR#Article_8_-_privacy

This privacy law, when it has been applied, has been applied broadly. So it seems unlikely that the commercial interests of copyright holders in enforcing copyrights against non-commercial infringers will prevail once legally tested against this fundamental human right. By carrying out mass surveillance of private communications and subsequently obtaining warrants from compliant, biassed and weak judges, violating established data protection principles to obtain names and addresses from ISPs, copyright enforcers are attempting to claim that their interests supercede fundamental human rights to privacy of communications. The US constitution has similar provisions:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fourth_Amendment_to_the_United_States_Constitution

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US constitution

>>"copyright enforcers are attempting to claim that their interests supercede fundamental human rights to privacy of communications. The US constitution has similar provisions:"

And do those US provisions extend to stopping people being chased up for sharing copyright material?

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FAIL

More bullshit from the copyright mafia

More bullshit from the copyright mafia, all as they need to do is cut off one person whom whey shouldn’t cut off, and for that person to take the case to court. Still I’m glad to see that some ISP have managed to grow a pair and stand up to the copyright mafia, but then they possibily have the money to fight a case unlike the soft cash-strapped target that Eircom presented.

Whoever the legal dimwits behind this case mustn’t be keeping up to date with case law in Ireland. A recent case, McCann v Judge of Monaghan District Court case, in which McCann had gotten into debt to her local credit union and the credit union had obtained, in her absence, a committal warrant for her arrest and imprisonment under the relevant legislation.

In the judgement in the case of McCann appeal “Laffoy quashed the warrant and held that parts of the law were unconstitutional as it breached the plaintiff’s constitutional right to fair procedures, as protected by articles 34 and 40.3.1 of the Irish constitution. Laffoy also made the comment that it was also unconstitutional as it

I know that this applies to the laws as enacted in the Irish statute, and in particular to the procedures used in the operation of the court, however I do not think that it would take much of a legal weasel to argue that cutting off somebody’s internet access because of alleged wrongdoing is any different, in that they are being deprived of due-process.

IMHO, another massive fail by the copyright mafia, its time they embraced a new business model instead to trying to protect the failed monopoly the used to hold.

Next thing whey will be doing is looking for royalties from girl guides who sing around a campfires and from the owners of shops selling musical instruments

Oh wait, they already tried that

http://archive.southcoasttoday.com/daily/08-96/08-23-96/b02li056.htm http://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/news/s/191/191661_sour_note_for_steve_.html

In fact picking up a musical instrument and not playing it is also a case of copyright infringement

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/2276621.stm

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Anonymous Coward

I am not paying again again again

Maybe one reason file sharing is popular (at least with those of us of a certain age):

Many years ago, I bought a great record. As I am law abiding and wanted to listen to it in the car, I bought the tape. When I upgraded my audio system it had a CD player and so I bought the CD. Now they think I'm going to pay again for another media shift to play my 'record' on an iplop. Ha, no way.

Once Joe Blogs finds that torrents are easier than ripping, he gets the habit. The result is he downloads/uploads lots of other stuff that he didn't pay for 3 times. Seems fair to me!

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@AC @12:05

That's a strange argument you put there.

You would go to a shop and buy a tape, rather than simply making one at home from a record you owned for your own use (something which most other people would have done, and which the music industry really didn't seem to care about).

Yet you suggest that the extreme difficulty of ripping a CD, (probably taking almost as much time and effort with a mouse as it does to get the CD and stick it in the drive) may be driving some law-abiding people to downloads, where they *then* decide to ditch their previous principles and start downloading stuff they hadn't paid for?

I can just about see someone who's *mislaid* a CD downloading it, but the 'ripping just too difficult' argument seems a bit thin.

However, even if you were right (maybe *especially* if you were right), that would seem to be a fairly strong argument for the music industry trying and make downloading less attractive.

It's possible that hardcore freetards would find some way round future technical restrictions, or consider the risk of sanctions worth it for all the lovely stuff they're getting for free, but the people *you* suggest might get sucked into downloading would seem particularly likely to be put off trying it by publicised penalties, or put off carrying on by getting their first warning letter.

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Big Brother

@david wilson

"And do those US provisions extend to stopping people being chased up for sharing copyright material?"

While the US clearly led historically on bringing privacy rights into constitutional legislation, I suspect there are cultural reasons that the EU will lead in connection with taking legal cases defending ISP customer data protection and challenging private copyright surveillance to this judicial level. The fact that there now is a Swedish Pirate Party MEP in the European Parliament is evidence of these reasons.

It can take many years for judicial processes to make constitutional rights effective in specific areas, as the many decades taken between the ending of slavery and racial equality laws making the full citizenship of blacks and other minorities effective within the US demonstrates.

This process is accelerated through changes in political perception and through political action. Until the Internet there was little possibility of a movement for limiting the reach and extent of copyright, because the beneficiaries of copyright (i.e. mass media) were the sole means by which any such voice could be presented and heard. Also prior to the technical capacity for copying being in everyones' hands, copyright imposed a practical legal obligation upon very few people. Prior to the Internet, the form of mass surveillance now being challenged was also not a possibility.

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@copeswood

I guess the recording industry is at least in a *somewhat* defensible position.

If they do their monitoring from withing filesharing networks, and only start monitoring traffic that is claiming to be associated with copyright material, they'd not generally be looking at people except those associated with infringing the rights they can claim to be defending. It's technically possible for any surveillance not to be mass surveillance.

Pre-internet, it was perfectly possible for people to share copyrighted music with everyone. All someone had to do was stand in a park offering to lend anyone any record that they wanted to copy, or, if you like, set up a desk with a turntable and tape deck, where anyone could bring a tape to copy things onto.

It's just that citizens generally didn't do that (even though libraries who loaned LPs and CDs were pretty much doing the same thing, although under the pretence that people were just borrowing music to listen to).

The internet only makes doing the same thing electronically much easier and potentially more anonymous, but it would be understandable if courts decided that that anonymity wasn't a good thing.

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FOAD

well if the music industry forboads it, then we must bow down.

cocaine is forbidden by governments around the world. It doesnt stop the A&R depts of the music industry snorting half the GDP of boliva on a night out does it.

FOAD. A&R are the biggest freetards in the music industry. I know I used to be one

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Bitting the hand that feeds them....

It would be interesting to see if the same vehicle that feeds the RIAA members was to suddenly stop feeding them... I mean, how easy would it be for the ISP's to 'accidently' drop DNS queries to the 'Big 4'

...btw El Reg... where's the RIAA av?

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@David Wilson.

@David Wilson.

"Yet you suggest that the extreme difficulty of ripping a CD, (probably taking almost as much time and effort with a mouse as it does to get the CD and stick it in the drive)."

It's much quicker and much less hassle to download ten albums (they all download simultaneously) than it is rip ten albums from ten CDs (which must be done synchronously)

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@david wilson 12:51 GMT

I don’t think that is the point AC is making, what AC is saying is that it is easier to download something rather that got to the effort of ripping vinyl to WAV/FLAC format.

Good hardware to capture audio input is relatively expensive, a good audio capture USB device will set you back €150+, then you have to play the record or tape (40+ minutes), split it into individual tracks, and convert/compress to your favourite lossless format, of course being a HiFi enthusiast you wouldn’t want MP3s :-P At that point you find you’ve got the EQ wrong and need to do it all over again……

Thankfully the Horslips back catalogue is available on CD

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@Field Marshal Von Krakenfart

>>"I don’t think that is the point AC is making, "

Maybe it's not what they meant, but it's what they said. They said they already had a CD, but that they didn't want to pay again to get the music in a portable digital format, something which most other people deal with by just ripping the CD.

Possibly when they then talked about other people finding ripping too hard when compared with downloading, they actually were thinking of the people who have loads of things on vinyl but not on CD, but they did describe those hypothetical people as people who'd already paid for music 3 times over.

@Lutin

>>"It's much quicker and much less hassle to download ten albums (they all download simultaneously) than it is rip ten albums from ten CDs (which must be done synchronously)"

At the rate most people buy CDs, it's still hardly a desperate chore.

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Flame

@Alpha Tony

You make the oft-repeated but entirely fatuous comparison between IP theft and physical theft.

Theft is theft. It doesn't matter if you are stealing a CD from your local store or stealing IP from someone's computer a half a world away. If it's not yours (i.e., you didn't buy it or create it); it's theft. Plain and simple....like your mind apparently.

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desperate chore?

"At the rate most people buy CDs, it's still hardly a desperate chore."

Personally I would be very relucant to put any form of 'protected' CD in my computer as a result of the Sony BMG copy protection fuck-up

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@Coward

First up, Alpha Tony was referring to law. You are referring to the morality of stealing/downloading etc.

Secondly if you are going to flame someone, have the decency not to hide behind anonymous posts.

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@Field Marshal Von Krakenfart

I'm no fan of protected CDs either, but I think I've only ever come across one, and that was rather less intrusive than the aborted Sony attempt, (and not even any good at preventing ripping).

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Boffin

T&Cs

What methods did the companies employed by IRMA use to monitor BT Ireland's and UPC's networks? Show me the paragraph in any ISPs terms & conditions that allows packet sniffing/probing/inspecting/interfering/monitoring etc. for any type of customer, business or residential?

IRMA aren't the cops (who are the only people allowed to monitor such AFAIK) so why wasn't IRMA's case thrown out at the start since their evidence on both ISPs was possibly gathered illegally in the first place?

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@AC 14/7/9

Are you sure ISPs need to be involved?

From the various previous Register articles I've read, I thought the general approach was that people do their snooping at the filesharing end of things (monitoring which IP addresses are providing/downloading particular files), then, once they think (rightly or wrongly) they have evidence of copyright infringement, they trace the IP addresses back to ISPs, and then get details of the customer from the ISP (maybe with assistance of a court order).

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