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Sunday, July 8, 2012

Irish ISP’s Agreement with Music Industry Favored by Court

Four record labels (Warner Music, EMI Records, Universal Music and Sony Music, all based in Ireland) claimed a victory over the Irish Internet service provider Eircom after the court ruled to reject a notice issued by the Data Protection Commissioner.

The record labels challenged Data Protection Commissioner’s notice, which was filed late last year, and finally won this battle. The established agreement between the music industry and Eircom says that a “three-strikes” regime has to be enforced on the Eircom’s customers.

If a subscriber fails to comply after 3 notifications, their Internet account will be suspended for a week, but after 4 warnings the infringer can lose their access to the web permanently. Data Protection Commissioner claimed that the notice was aimed at stopping the information protection and privacy legislation breaches. On the other side, the record labels said the notice would meddle with their agreement.

The court decided that the notice was invalid because it brought no further reasons for it to be applied. In addition, the reasons also involved a misconstruction of the relevant legislation. Finally, the notice was regarded as an excess of power and irrationality, as the record labels claimed in the proceedings. The High Court agreed with the music industry, saying that the notice was unlawful. The DTC denied the claims.

The notice in question was filed after the Data Protection Commissioner followed on a complaint from an Eircom customer who got a warning. According to the settlement, the record labels had to provide Eircom with IP addresses of its subscribers suspected of unauthorized downloading. In response, the Data Protection Commissioner reminded that the European Court of Justice has already ruled that the protocol was illegal under EU laws.

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