from the but-where's-the-law? dept
Ireland has not implemented any sort of “three strikes” law for getting ISPs to kick file sharers off the internet, but don’t tell that to the recording industry there. A little over a year ago, you may recall that the recording industry sued leading Irish ISP Eircom, claiming that its failure to stop file sharing on its network broke the law. That was quite a claim — and about the only actual “evidence” was that because some execs from Eircom had some internal emails where they joked about piracy, then obviously the ISP was guilty. Rather than deal with an expensive court proceeding, Eircom quickly settled, and agreed to put in place a three strikes rule (despite being under no legal obligation to do so).
However, because Eircom was worried about the competitive nature of the industry — and how users might flock to other ISPs, it apparently had the labels agree to go after other ISPs as well. In fact, very soon after the agreement, the local recording industry association (the Irish Recorded Music Association — IRMA) sent letters to other ISPs falsely claiming that under European law, they too needed to implement three strikes — to which those ISPs responded by pointing out the law said no such thing.
Apparently IRMA would like to put that to the test. It’s now sued two other Irish ISPs: the second largest telco (BT Ireland) and the largest cable ISP, UPC Ireland. UPC Ireland seems ready to vigorously defend itself, noting: “There is no basis under Irish law requiring ISPs to control, access or block the internet content its users download. In addition, the rights-holders’ proposal gives rise to serious concerns for data privacy and consumer contract law.”