Thursday, January 29, 2009

Graduated response: yes in Ireland, no in UK, maybe in the US

The record labels have settled their copyright suit against big Irish ISP Eircom, with the pipe purveyor agreeing to a "three strikes" regime that will result in the termination of users who continue to distribute songs after warnings to stop. The settlement came 8 days into a trial that had kicked off with the release of embarrassing emails in which an Eircom exec seemed to condone illegal downloading and wrote, "Think of it [piracy] as helping the health and good living of rich cocaine sniffing rock stars by leaving them with less free money to spend on sex and drugs." The usual suspects are not pleased, claiming that the agreement lacks "due process" for users. (I'm no expert on Irish law, but how does "due process" apply to a private contractual relationship?)

The Irish agreement comes on the heels of word that ISPs Comcast and AT&T may enter into similar "graduated response" programs with major labels in the US. And news that the UK will not mandate a similar program.

We're just at the beginning of implementation of graduated response programs on a large scale. Frankly, no one has any idea how this will play out in the real world. All eyes are on now on Eire.

1 comment:

  1. God forbid it is actually proven that you broke the law!


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