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Blackout Ireland - No to censorship

05 Mar 2009

Blackout Ireland  This post goes againt my idea of restricting the blog to purely technical matters. In this case is well worht it because our freedom on the net is threatened.

What Happened

IRMA (a consorium of record labels) sued Eircom and then Eircom settled the case out of cout to (amongs other thing sI m not really sure) implement a three strike policy and censor sites, ie if you are with eircom and IRMA tells Eircom must be blacklisted, then no eircom customer will be able to see that site (not sure on the specifics of this and how the process to block a site will happen) . This means censorship to me. Censorship should not come from companies I dont think.

The Three strike policy is as described in the IRMA website 

  ` 28th January 2009 - P2P Infringement Case Settled**High Court proceedings between four major record companies, EMI, Sony, Universal and Warner and Eircom which have been at trial for eight days, have been settled on an amicable basis with both sides expressing satisfaction with the outcome.    

Both parties have agreed on a joint approach under which they will work closely together to end the abuse of the Internet by P2P copyright infringers.

The settlement reached between the parties provides that the record companies will supply eircom with the IP addresses of all persons who they detect illegally uploading or downloading copyright works on a peer to peer ( P2P) basis.

Eircom has agreed that it will from now on implement a graduated process in which it will:

1) inform its broadband subscriber that the subscribers IP address has been detected infringing copyright and

2) warn the subscriber that unless the infringement ceases the subscriber will be disconnected and

3) in default of compliance by the subscriber with the warning it will disconnect the subscriber.

The record companies have agreed that they will take all necessary steps to put similar agreements in place with all other IPSs in Ireland. `

Let me get this straight, I don’t think is wrong that the IRMA wants to protect their copyrights, however this is not the way for many reasons.

For a start How would they know for a fact that the registered person to that ip is the one doing the ilegal download? how can they assure they ll get it right , every time ? How about some guest in your house downloading stuff. or even what if you download things by mistake? How do you appeal to this process? … the list of questions is endless

Why this is an issue On a practical level If you use the internet on a daily basis this is a huge issue because you could get cut off the internet even if you have done absolutely nothing wrong. Most people I know use internet for work. or log in to work from home at least some times. On an ethical level: I really think this kinds of policies should not be implemented at all. And if they have to be implemented they should never be implemented by companies, they have their own interests and they are not those of the general public

I m hoping to continue a series of posts on this issue. If I have stated something that is incorrect please let me know

If you want to discuss this post, the best place right now for me is mastodon, please message me with your comment/question.