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Irish ISP begins three-strikes program to cut file-sharers' broadband connections

Starting this week, Irish ISP Eircom will begin the three-month pilot-phase of a new program in which they'll enact a "three strikes" rule against subscribers found to be file-sharing. In the program, any subscribers who use up their three warnings will have their broadband connections severed for one year. The move makes Ireland the first country to enact a graduated-response policy, and affects somewhere in the range of 750,000 users.

It's been barely a month since the court ruling that made it all possible. In that decision, an Irish judge also ruled that IP addresses aren't "personal" information. But, while we're on that legal note, it should be said that the subscribers who are called out for file-sharing aren't put through any sort of due-process. They're simply a list of IP addresses given to the ISP by a third-party company.

That company is called Dtecnet, which finds and tags IP addresses while rifling through P2P traffic on behalf of the record companies who comprise Irma, the Irish version of the RIAA. Dtecnet will supply Eircom with 50 IP addresses weekly until the end of the three-month trial run, and the subscribers who match them will be contacted and warned to cease and desist their evil practices post-haste, by Eircom representatives.

If the 50 IP addresses per week test-run works out well enough, Dtecnet will supply Eircom with as many as they can handle after the initial three-month period. At the very least, it should be interesting to see how this all pans out in the near future.

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Tags: broadband, copyright infringement, CopyrightInfringement, eircom, filesharing, Ireland, p2p