The Irish Recorded Music Association has lost in a bid to force UPC to adopt a ‘three strikes’ approach to alleged illegal file sharers. UPC had argued it was a ‘mere conduit’ and so could not be held liable for information transmitted over its network.
UPC noted the decision of the court and said it was still willing to work with stakeholders in tackling the problem of piracy. In the past the company has called on a round-table discussion with all involved to try to find a workable solution.
The ‘three strikes’ principle sees users get a written warning when illegal files are believed to have been accessed by them. A second warning is sent if the activity continues telling the user they will be disconnected if it continues and if it persists the customer is then removed from the network.
Alleged illegal users are identified by IRMA, which passes the IP address on to ISPs.
Eircom are currently the only ISP to follow the system and adopted it after an out-of-court settlement with IRMA.
Today’s ruling means it will be unlikely that IRMA will be able to force other ISPs to follow suit and so leaves Eircom in an isolated and tricky position.
Update: Both Eircom and Vodafone – who had been in talks with IRMA on three strikes – have declined to comment on the ruling at present and have said they are reviewing the findings.