eircom Statement on Illegal File Sharing
Coinciding with the launch of eircom’s new exciting on line music service eircom MusicHub,eircom today has confirmed that it will maintain its initiative with the Irish Recorded Music Association (IRMA) to implement a ‘graduated response’ programme as part of the company’s approach to combating copyright infringement in the form of illegal file sharing.
eircom is proceeding with implementation of the protocol which could result in the suspension and ultimately disconnection of broadband service for those customers who deliberately and persistently infringe copyright. This is a measure of last resort and the protocol has been designed to ensure that customers do not find themselves in this position.
Since January of 2009, eircom has worked with the music industry through its representative body IRMA to implement a formal process aimed at reducing instances of illegal copyright infringement, and together the protocol was developed whereby customers who engage in copyright infringement by way of illegal file sharing would first be informed that their activity was illegal and then would receive a number of notifications in the form of written warnings encouraging them to change their behaviour. If a customer persists with the illegal activity it may result in a seven day suspension or yearlong disconnection of their broadband service. The protocol commenced on a trial basis in June 2010. Since the commencement of the trial, the number of notifications received from the music industry and processed each week has increased to approximately 1,000.
At the heart of the protocol is the desire to help our customers to avoid illegal copyright infringement by creating awareness about the issues surrounding copyright infringement and illegal file sharing of copyrighted music. eircom is committed to helping its customers get the most from their broadband service and ensuring customers can access the world of digital music in a legal way. Today’s launch of eircom MusicHub gives eircom customers a novel, easy, inexpensive and legal way of accessing music online, which is unique in Ireland, and which reflects our commitment to meeting our customers’ needs. It is a compelling alternative to illegal file sharing.
The company believes that it has a duty to ensure that the rights of artists and the laws of the state, including copyright law, are upheld, and to take action when illegal activity is brought to our attention. Our obligations to our customers remain paramount, and the primacy of their rights, in particular their rights to privacy, are reflected in the phased structure of the protocol, and in the eircom MusicHub service launched today. eircom is of the view that these obligations are part of a role that all responsible companies must serve.
Today eircom confirmed that it will continue to play a leadership role with the music industry, other ISPs, and key stakeholders including Government to find a long term sustainable solution that addresses the issues of illegal file sharing while minimising the impact on customers.
eircom wants to make it clear to customers that:
- eircom does not and will not monitor customers’ activities at any stage, nor will it place any monitoring equipment or software on its network in order to facilitate the graduated response process.
- eircom does not and will not provide personal details or any information relating to customers to any third party, including the record companies.
While the details of the protocol remain confidential, the following provides an overview:
As part of this agreement, IRMA will provide eircom with notifications which will contain among other details, the IP address identified as engaging in illegal music file sharing in breach of copyright along with evidence of the infringement. The IP addresses have been captured in accordance with relevant laws and processed on IRMA's behalf via a third party. eircom on receipt of the notification will:
- Contact identified eircom customers to inform them that their broadband account has been linked to an IP address detected by IRMA, as engaging in illegal music file sharing in breach of copyright. eircom will clearly advise the customer that such acts are illegal and in breach of the terms and conditions of broadband service, and eircom will provide information as to how the customer can avoid repeating the infringement.
- If the customer continues to engage in the illegal file sharing of copyrighted music, eircom will send the customer a second warning letter indicating that unless the infringement ceases the customer's broadband service will be suspended.
- Where there is a third notification of infringement, eircom will write to the customer advising that eircom has received a third notification of illegal filesharing of music and eircom will then proceed to withdraw the customer's broadband service for a period of 7 days.
- The customer will also be informed that should they continue to engage in illegal filesharing of music illegally in breach of copyright and a further notification of infringement is received, the customer's broadband service will be disconnected for a 12 month period.
eircom has set up a dedicated team to work on this protocol and customers who have queries or require further information can contact our dedicated team via telephone on 1890 253 059. We have also created a dedicated website which provides further information on the process and this can be accessed at – www.eircom.net/legalmusic