back to article Irish ISP Eircom in 'three strike' filesharer crackdown

Irish internet provider Eircom has bowed to litigious pressure from four major music labels to implement a French-style "three strikes" regime where customers repeatedly accused of illegal filesharing have their internet access cut off. The decision comes as part of a lawsuit settlement with EMI, Sony, Universal, and Warner, …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Alternate title

    'Irish ISP Eircom commits suicide'

    Watch as everyone leaves and the company goes under.

  2. Seán

    Switched already

    Everyoone should be using Bluetac peerguardian safeppeer or somesuch. I switched to a 24Mbit BT line so all I have to worry about is their insane random mutating FUD policy.

  3. Steve Roper

    And in other news


    Eircom executives have announced that the company has been placed in administration after failing to raise enough money to pay out the thousands of subscribers who had been wrongfully diconnected following unproven allegations made by major record labels. Eircom CEO Ima Muppet said that following a massive loss of subscribers in the preceding quarter, the company simply did not have the funds to pay out the lawsuit brought against it on behalf of thousands of disconnected subscribers by a consortium of civil liberties organisations. "This is a worrying trend for ISPs", Mr. Muppet said. "If we'd actually considered that this country's courts would actually require proof of wrongdoing before convicting an accused, we wouldn't be in this predicament now." Mr. Muppet went on to warn other ISPs against repeating his company's mistake. "The record labels are not the judiciary in any country outside the US", he said. "Service providers would do well to keep in mind that an allegation of wrongdoing needs to be proven before a court of law before any action can be taken."

  4. Brett

    This doesn't shock me...

    We lack any proper infrastructure over here so most people are stuck with Eircom. Personally I feel sickened living in this country virtually anything broadband here is filtered to some extent. So lets see. Eircom has implemented three strikes, Perlico filters our connections for any naughty stuff, 3G is awful most of the time because loads of people use it due to a lack of any proper phone or cable broadband offerings(also no p2p). Any offerings out there use traffic shaping to some degree. Alot of people cant even get 3G because of mountains and cellmasts which are still not enabled. I am connected to a wireless broadband provider in the east of Ireland who dont allow p2p but also havent provided a service in two months (however they are the only way I can get anything and I work as a technician and programmer outside of college). They even banned me for a week for using a http tunnel! The sooner I leave this technology forsaken country the better because I cant see how it can be worse for connectivity, thanks to Eircom being the straw that broke this camels back!

  5. Neoc

    Oh gods....

    <hides face in hand>

    While I deplore EMI et al winning, Eircom's actions basically were akin to them bending over and shouting targeting solutions at the Label industry.

    Advertising on tPB? Advertising based on how many MP3s you can download? Is it any wonder their currently doing their Salmon impression?

  6. Michael


    It's all them Joe Dolan and Chris de Burgh Discography torrents that tipped the balance, i bet!

    or maybe Eircom was misquoted? Does "Yeah! Right! Whatever!" constitute assent to the EMI policy?

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters


  8. Danny
    Thumb Down

    legal action

    surely anyone disconnected by Eircom is going to go to court to have their connection reinstated. it's a bit funny if you ask me, US companies trying to enforce US laws in foreign countries.

  9. Mage Silver badge

    A lot of hysteria?


    Analysis (just the facts)


    There is plausible rumour that to make the process LESS transparent for the Rights Holders and protect privacy that eircom will ensure users IP is changed after each warning.

    Since eircom ALREADY had T&C to disconnect copyright infringers and other FUP aspects, and the Rights Holders can't monitor what eircom does, has much changed?

    eircom for various reasons were likely to lose a court case. (T&C, Irish law on assisting, their misleading advertising)..

    The Labels went for the biggest ISP first. Others were really worried eircom would lose as that would mean they would all have to install monitoring (which doesn't work, expensive and slows network).

    After a suitable period the other national ISPs will sign up. There are over 30 Irish ISPs. About 5 viable in the long run.

  10. Ferry Boat

    Eircom or no comm

    The problem is lack of other options as highlighted above. So people would change if they could but they can't. BT Ireland are now competing with landline/broadband packages but that's not been around for long. If you go for BT then you need an Eircom line anyway. If you don't have a line into your house then you have to get Eircom to install the line then transfer to BT. Nice and easy that is. The Eircom broadband speed is atrocious anyway.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Massive Corporate Butthurt: Here it comes

    "put similar agreements in place with other ISPs in Ireland"

    And pretty soon, the rest of the world as well.

    You really have to wonder how they expect to enforce this, its either going to be a massive invasion of privacy or an outright blacklisting of anyone so much as accused of doing anything shady, while tons of legitimate customers lose their service and the ISP loses bucketloads of money. What a rip-off.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    @ Steve Roper

    Love it.


  13. Niall

    Wait and See.

    I think Eircom acquiesced in order to prevent the labels having access to their network. Although it probably had nothing to do with customer privacy given our draconian data retention laws. But I wait with interest to see what happens. I predict one or two high profile disconnects then nothing. As much as Eircom appear to hate their customers, during these recessionary times can they really afford to forgo the revenue? Unless of course the labels are paying handsomely for each disconnect.

    As for switching; all the ISPs here provide pretty bad service and it won’t be long before the rest follow Eircoms dubious lead.

  14. Dave Silver badge

    5000 songs...

    can be downloaded legally, from iTunes or Amazon, unsigned acts' demos and copyright materials. I agree that advertising on the Pirate Bay was 'asking for it', but hell, even the memory card for my camera advertised itself in the number of photos, mp3s and videos it could hold.

    My friend still has some hard-copy promotional literature from VirginMedia telling him how much he can download (50 hours of video in a 24hr period, or somesuch) though he doesn't get close to that in reality - hell, it takes 5 minutes for him just to check his emails between the hours 1800 to 2300 when it goes slow... Virgin just claim that he is in the heaviest 5% of users (they won't tell him how much he CAN use his connection without suffering a crippling slowdown). We even asked them if it was possible someone had cloned his MAC address and stealing his bandwidth allowance, but they claimed that was impossible.

    Okay, I drifted off topic there, but does this ruling mean that Greenpeace can clobber you if you measured a football stadium in blue whales?

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton


    With the Bluetack lists??

    Paris Whitney Hilton because everyone knows she uses Peerguardian on her laptop and even she knows the advantages of using it, advantages and disadvantages notwithstanding.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    to all record labels...

    When the CD was introduced (yes, i remember that...) you promised cheap music... like £5 a CD since they cos 'so much less than tape' - you have never *once* held to that promise...

    So you reap what you sew - just goes to show, those that helped you get to those positions, are the ones that kick you all the way back down...

    paris, just becuse...

  17. Gary McGarrigle


    I wouldn't mind so much if the best legal alternatives to illegal downloading (amazon mp3, netflix streaming, etc.) were available in Ireland but they're not and I can only imagine the reason they're not available is primarily down to the record labels.

    it's not fair on the customers to try have it both ways, limit what we can do legally and then whinge when people take matters into their own hands.

  18. Patrick O'Reilly


    As an proud Fenian it sickens me that such an agreement was made. The net should be free and open. Thats the way it's been for decades thats the way it should always be.

    It has been happening for a while in the US and with the Phorm testing in the UK but with things like the Great Firewall of Australia and Net Governance coming down the line I can see grim days ahead.

    Grim but challenging for the likes of us, creative and persistant hackers/nerds like our good selves will get round anything they throw at us.... Except maybe a shoe.

    Mine's the one with the Orange stripe missing.

  19. Anonymous Coward

    Bye Bye Eircom

    Funny (well not really) that the music pigopolists would continue with this approach in Ireland give that it has been rejected by the EU. But then these clever people also rejected the Virgin/download levy revenue stream but are quite happy to accept the blank media levy that is applied in some European countries, I guess the music industry still wants to rule the world.

    As Robert Heinlein said “Never try to teach a pig to sing; it wastes your time and it annoys the pig”. This is going to waste the ISPs time, annoy broadband users and do nothing for the music industries revenue stream.

    Eircom are the ISP equivalent of the unmarried mother living on social welfare that the music industry love to drag though the courts, they are probably a more vulnerable target given that that they are the incumbent on the local loop with responsibility for rolling out broadband to the areas in Ireland that do not have broadband already. Which is bad news for Eircom’s current owners Babcock & Brown, as infrastructure is expensive. Logically it suits Eircom to have this artificial cap placed on the demand for its broadband. If there is less demand for its broadband then they will have a “justifiable” excuse that there is no need to rollout broadband to parts of the country that don’t have it already. I wonder how the four businesses in <insert name of god-forsaken middle of nowhere town> that need broadband will feel when they have to bear the infrastructure costs of providing broadband.

    Which of course will mean that Eircom will have a bigger retained profit for its shareholders to trouser every year and will result in an even greater profit for Babcock and Brown when they eventually sell it off in a couple of years.

    Or will it?

    Single handed the music monopoly has crushed a telecoms (near) monopoly and given a huge competitive advantage to the other ISPs, it is not the greatest of marketing ploys, “use our internet, the music industry monitors it”. Remember Eircom, the other ISP have investors too and they will want return on their investement.

    It also gives the music pigopolists something that have always wanted, to be judge, Jury and executioner, no need to go to court anymore and deal with that minor inconvenience of having to actually prove somebody is doing something wrong.

    I’ve just checked with two of my colleagues who download on Eircom, with the first cease and desist notice they receive they will change to an ISP that has not got into bed with the music pigopolists, and as both of them said, if they change ISPs then they will also shop around for best package for broadband, landline and mobile.

    The first rule of any business has to be “Do not alienate or irritate the customer “, so, well done Eircom, not only have you fucked up your ISP business but you have kicked yourselves in the goolies for landline and mobile phone usage as well.

    I also wonder how this will affect the sales of blank media, hard drives, bigger computers etc., as the sheeple who stay with Eircom will no longer need disk drives capable to storing 400 films or 50,000 songs, so expect the PC world et al to take a hit in sales as well.

    Meanwhile the fucktards in the music and film empires will continue to claim that it’s downloading that is costing the 14m a year in lost sales, NO ITS NOT YOU MORONS, IT’S THE ECONOMY and the copyright mafia's refusal to embrace sensible marketing policies for new technologies instead to trying to ensure that you retain total control of the market so that they can maximise the price they charge for their product.

    Gotta go, I need to do some research on how to hide your IP address, create VPNs , onion routers and research bitTorrent cryptology

    I was going to use the Paris icon and a “Even she’s not that stupid” comment instead I’ll go for, mine's the one with the new ISP (and land line AND mobile) contract in the pocket.

  20. Anonymous Coward

    Contract termination

    When you find your Eircom broadband is sh1te and your downloads speeds are nowhere near reasonable because your 1980s copper last mile is on its last legs , atleast you have a way of getting out of the contract.

  21. Robb Dunphy

    So glad I'm not with Eircom

    I've been with Magnet on their fiber optical lines for over 2 years now. Their contract is pretty much "You pay for it, do what you want with it".

    24Mbps, no contention. How on earth anyone would want to go with Eircom is beyond me.

  22. The Fuzzy Wotnot


    Why should the media companies be allowed to ride rough-shod over people's standard rights with a utility supplier?

    I want all those that abuse the hosepipe during summer bans to be carted off to chokey and made to pay reperations!

    I want the all the pet-shops to contribute to a slush fund to aid the RSPCA now, to save those animals abandoned over Xmas!

    Sorry of course, pets and water doesn't make much money, it doesn't pay for fat bonuses and keep record execs in the jet-set lifestyle!

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @ Brett

    I know what you are saying - 28.8Kbps here max speed on a shared copper pair phone line in the West.... Can't get DSL as the freq they use for splitting the copper pair between two houses stops the line having DSL run over the top of voice. Basically there aren't enough copper pairs in the cable from the BB enabled exchange for the number of houses. Way to go....

    I can order a *new* phone line but Eircom can't guarantee that it will be DSL enabled and not just another split copper pair..... Bonus. This also stops me using another ISP 'cos the phone line is Eircom's responsibility. The internet superhighway stops just outside Dublin.

  24. Anonymous Coward

    please help catch these copyright offenders

    The not-so-modern-beat-combo King Crimson ("40 years of bleeping mayhem") have asked for help in listing all the web sites that are offering downloads of their material (apart from their own site, dont be silly at the back). Despite the band owning all rights and having never licenced any electronic distribution it turns out that a surprising number of record company subsidiaries and distributors are selling KC stuff unlicenced.

    Hmm, I'm sure the music industry have a term for organisations that do that sort of thing.

  25. David

    Are record labels the law, these days?

    I too find it difficult to reconcile the idea of foreign record labels apparently taking it upon themselves to implement some sort of parallel quasi-legal system that has its own rules and regulations and seems to run independently from the main courts. Kangaroo courts, I believe is the phrase.

    Definition: "A self-appointed tribunal that violates established legal procedure; also, a dishonest or incompetent court of law. For example: The rebels set up a kangaroo court and condemned the prisoners to summary execution. This expression is thought to liken the jumping ability of kangaroos to a court that jumps to conclusions on an invalid basis. [Mid-1800s] "

    I rest my case, m'lud.

  26. Neoc

    Re: @Brett

    AC: I had the same problem down here in OZ - new estate, and to save money the "full copper" lines were split into "pair gains" lines so they could feed two phones per line. A little digging around in the Whirlpool forum (an Oz forum dedicated to broadband) and I eventually found someone from Telstra (Oz's version of BT) anonymously posting details on how to get a full copper line. Apparently, you had to request a specific order type when you phoned in.

    I since got my full copper via another route (caught Telstra lying to me, brought them up on it, got my line within the week) so I have lost the original URL... and the order type would have been Telstra-specific anyway. Buuuut..... the point is, there may be something akin to it for your Telco.

  27. OFI
    Thumb Down


    To the Anonymous Coward:

    I thought rule #1 was no P2P?

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