Ireland are undertaking a crackdown on Internet piracy with the country's biggest Internet provider, Eircom, sending letters to people identified as being illegal file sharers in a pilot scheme. Eircom are using IP addresses provided by the Irish Recorded Music Association (Irma) which have been identified as taking part in Internet piracy. Irma are using a monitoring system from Dtecnet which identifies people who are sharing files rather than just downloading content illegally.
Initially, around 50 people per week will be identified and sent a letter, followed up by a phone call from Eircom to discuss the issue. If customers are identified a third time, their Internet connection will be stopped for a week, and a fourth occurrence will involve a ban for a year.
"There is a strong educational element, it could be that customers have a security issue with their home wi-fi or they might not know what kids are doing online. We are launching an online music service later this year."Paul Bradley, Eircom spokesman
Other broadband providers in Ireland are likely to follow suit. Eircom have been forced in to this by losing a High Court ruling which ruled in Irma's favour as it was deemed Eircom were not doing enough to protect the intellectual property of Irma members. UPC, the second largest Irish provider and two other Irish providers are expected to face court action which will likely lead to the need for them to implement a similar system.