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Irish ISP To Block Access To Pirate Bay

CmdrTaco posted more than 5 years ago | from the it'll-happen-here-soon dept.

Censorship 169

flynn writes "Ireland's oldest and largest ISP will be blocking access to The Pirate Bay from September 1st, while other ISPs have rejected the request to block TPB. From the Irish Times: 'Under an out-of-court agreement with EMI Records, Sony Music, Universal Music and Warners in January, Eircom agreed to cut off customers found to be repeatedly downloading music illegally. The deal also required Eircom to cut off access to Pirate Bay if requested. Yesterday, cable TV operator UPC, which has more than 120,000 broadband subscribers, announced it would not comply with a request to block access to Pirate Bay.'"

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If it's not internet you're delivering... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29131617)

...it won't be money you're getting.

Re:If it's not internet you're delivering... (2, Informative)

ionix5891 (1228718) | more than 5 years ago | (#29132179)

im a UPC customer and im happy with the service they provide and now their decision hold their ground

bravo UPC!

Re:If it's not internet you're delivering... (1)

zoney_ie (740061) | more than 5 years ago | (#29133015)

Eircom thus far haven't enforced a download cap.

Of course their main ace is that a lot of people have little option but to pay them line rental for the fixed-line connection, and Eircom offer bundle deals with their broadband that are potentially more attractive than signing up with a fixed-line competitor (you still have to pay Eircom line rental with the others and you get the bonus of trying to deal indirectly with Eircom if there's a line fault).

Nevertheless people are so broke or desperate that people are turning to 3G (cheap monthly rate, no install cost, widely available) that often offers little better than dial-up (contention and/or distance/signal) and not only has a low cap - but going over it means being billed a fortune as the excess is charged in cents per kilobyte (Cable/wireless/DSL ISPs enforcing cap simply warn/throttle/disconnect).

FTP (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29131625)

Fuck the pope!

Re:FTP (1)

Sfing_ter (99478) | more than 5 years ago | (#29132389)

Who does he record for? Perhaps you could send us a playlist?

AAAAAAAAAAAAAaaaaaahahhahahaha.

So... (3, Insightful)

acehole (174372) | more than 5 years ago | (#29131635)

When can we cut access to EMI, Sony, Universal and Warner?

Re:So... (0, Troll)

Xiph (723935) | more than 5 years ago | (#29131705)

create work A.
get annoying little brother to send A to company X (but bully him a bit, so he'll never admit that he did it, or you forced him)
Go to court over X illegally holding A.

the work A could be a simple poem, that your brother posts on their tech support site or forums, where it's available to anyone.
At least in Denmark, where i get a note saying "STOP the police are not logging this (yeah right)" even read any of the pirate bay subdomains (*.thepiratebay.org).

Re:So... (1)

TheVelvetFlamebait (986083) | more than 5 years ago | (#29132863)

Problems:

a. Assuming the little brother keeps quiet, it was him, not the media companies, who infringed the copyright.
b. Even assuming that the record companies got blamed, they are only liable for damages, which would be... well... pretty much nothing since you weren't planning to distribute commercially, and the company didn't distribute.

It's not too difficult to cause the legal system to come up with a false negative, but manufacturing false positives takes real skill (unless you're in a position of power).

Re:So... (1, Insightful)

goldspider (445116) | more than 5 years ago | (#29131761)

When can we cut access to EMI, Sony, Universal and Warner?

When you own an ISP?

Re:So... (2, Insightful)

impaledsunset (1337701) | more than 5 years ago | (#29131803)

Your idea is interesting, mostly because a lot less people would switch their ISP because you blocked their access to EMI, Sony, Universal or Warner, than would if you blocked their access to The Pirate Bay.

But... (5, Insightful)

omgarthas (1372603) | more than 5 years ago | (#29131693)

Where I'm going to get my Linux distros now?

Re:But... (1)

noundi (1044080) | more than 5 years ago | (#29132303)

Troll? That's just being fucking ignorant. Someone mod the guy back up. TPB might not be the best resource for Linux distros, but it is still a popular site and the torrents holding distros are more often seeded. Take Ubuntu [thepiratebay.org] for example. The torrent has 103 seeders, that's not bad at all.

Re:But... (1)

Desler (1608317) | more than 5 years ago | (#29132667)

WHOOOOOSH. The GP was making fun of the people who claim that they only use bittorrent for sharing Linux distros and public domain movies and music.

Re:But... (1)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | more than 5 years ago | (#29133475)

"claim that they only use bittorrent for sharing Linux distros"

Delete the word "only" and I fit that description. I grab a song now and then, I pirate a Windows-centric software now and then, I'll pull down something that just looks interesting now and then. But, at least 80% of my (limited) bandwidth is used for Linux distros and other legal downloads via torrents. My usage may not be "normal", but I'm sure that it isn't "unusual" either. P2P is an important distribution mechanism, and not just for illegal content.

How do they determine "illegal"? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29131697)

"repeatedly downloading music illegally"

I've downloaded music via TPB's index. Repeatedly. ALL of it was music put on bittorrent by the artist/copyright holder themselves for free download -- i.e. not "illegal" at all. How do they determine whether or not bittorrent downloads are "illegal"? Or do they just blindly assume "protocol == illegal"?

I guess Ireland's oldest and largest ISP won't be a full-service ISP anymore.

Re:How do they determine "illegal"? (4, Informative)

pjt33 (739471) | more than 5 years ago | (#29131717)

How do they determine whether or not bittorrent downloads are "illegal"?

Simple: if EMI, Sony, Universal or Warner claim you're downloading illegally, Eircom believes them.

Re:How do they determine "illegal"? (1)

IBBoard (1128019) | more than 5 years ago | (#29132047)

I think it's simpler than that. I think they just assume "Pirate bay == piracy == must be illegal downloads", or as the GP said "BitTorrent == illegal". Why bother trying to work out what people are actually downloading when you can just convince people that the whole site or even the entire protocol are illegal? Hell, it's what they're doing to convince most politicians that downloads/bittorrent are illegal.

Re:How do they determine "illegal"? (2, Interesting)

Desler (1608317) | more than 5 years ago | (#29132159)

I think they just assume "Pirate bay == piracy == must be illegal downloads",

That would be a pretty safe assumption considering that 99+% of the content shared between users of the site is done so without the consent of the copyright holders. I'm just as much against the RIAA/MPAA but don't act as if what the vast, vast majority of it's users are doing is somehow legal. This is why you will see pretty much all of them flee when it becomes a pay site because it was never about any of the supposed ideals they are proclaimed, it was about getting the latest movie, cd or piece of software without paying for it.

Re:How do they determine "illegal"? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29131881)

Suuuuuuuuuure you were. 99% of the people on The Pirate Bay were downloading things not put up by the artist or copyright holder.

But...but...I swear that 1TB of downloads of 500GB of upload was only Linux distros your honor!

Re:How do they determine "illegal"? (1)

mdwh2 (535323) | more than 5 years ago | (#29132263)

Nice straw man.

If doesn't matter how many other people are pirating, the point is his legitimate use is blocked by the company he's paying money to allegedly deliver him Internet access.

Re:How do they determine "illegal"? (3, Insightful)

xouumalperxe (815707) | more than 5 years ago | (#29132339)

If doesn't matter how many other people are pirating, the point is his legitimate use is blocked by the company he's paying money to allegedly deliver him Internet access.

And I guess the guy who goes to an illegal strip club because the barman mixes a mean Martini is also having his legitimate use blocked when the club is closed down because its main activity is illegal.

Re:How do they determine "illegal"? (1)

dougisfunny (1200171) | more than 5 years ago | (#29132945)

Unless they don't have a liquor license. Perhaps that is why its being shut down in the first place.

Re:How do they determine "illegal"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29132979)

And I guess, analogies just don't plain work. The club would busted, not the access blocked. The guy would be completely justified, if he complained about the random guy in front of the club, who didn't let him in.

Re:How do they determine "illegal"? (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 5 years ago | (#29131979)

That's the problem; the major labels' employees are seemingly are the ONLY people in the music industry against file sharing. It's my opinion that they're aginst file sharing because that's how their competetion advertises; they have radio, indies don't.

Re:How do they determine "illegal"? (1)

SimonGhent (57578) | more than 5 years ago | (#29132661)

the major labels' employees are seemingly are the ONLY people in the music industry against file sharing

Honest question: who are the people in the music industry for file sharing then? Surely there aren't that many who aren't in the employ of the major labels?

Simple (1)

ILongForDarkness (1134931) | more than 5 years ago | (#29132555)

They don't care. I think the logic is thus: "There is some of our IP on TPB that we didn't authorize. Therefore they are an infringing site and should be blocked." TPB pretty much tells the industry to go screw themselves every time they ask them to take something down so the industry has decided to have the ISPs take it down for them.

Re:How do they determine "illegal"? (1)

homes32 (1265404) | more than 5 years ago | (#29132927)

I guess Ireland's oldest and largest ISP won't be a full-service ISP anymore.

well they certainly won't be the largest ISP anymore...

on another note. with upcoming TPB sale and the new business model it is going to have the RIIA is just kicking themselves in the shorts again.

Missed it by... THAT much (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29131709)

http://www.btarena.net/

Try again, dum dums

Re:Missed it by... THAT much (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29132481)

search is disabled, because make the site very slow a new code or something will be here in few hours

Oh no! (2, Insightful)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 5 years ago | (#29131733)

We're fucked now! [google.co.uk]

Re:Oh no! (2, Informative)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 5 years ago | (#29131751)

Further, http://www.google.co.uk/search?q=**filehere**+filetype:torrent [google.co.uk]

Guess Irelands' oldest ISP wants to go out of business.

Re:Oh no! (4, Insightful)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 5 years ago | (#29131889)

I guess if I'd written "The net interprets censorship as damage and routes around it" [fu-berlin.de] I'd be modded +5 Insightful.

Yeah, same thing.

Re:Oh no! (1)

ObsessiveMathsFreak (773371) | more than 5 years ago | (#29133019)

Well, the net might interpret it as such, but Eircom is the only broadband internet provider where I live, so things are slightly more complicated on my end.

Great propraganda against RIAA members (1)

rolfwind (528248) | more than 5 years ago | (#29131737)

Just tell people "These guys want to restrict your internet to their approved list."

Oh, and don't buy from them:
http://www.riaaradar.com/ [riaaradar.com]

Re:Great propraganda against RIAA members (2, Insightful)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 5 years ago | (#29131827)

When 90% of the world only access the approved list (BBC, Google, iTunes etc), what the hell do they care? If it's only Linux distros you want, you're not the target market. Nobody cares what you, I, or Slashdot think.

Not flamebait, just a realist.

Re:Great propraganda against RIAA members (1)

Blackhalo (572408) | more than 5 years ago | (#29131933)

They care because the **AAs do not really produce anything. They just have(had) a rent seeking monopoly on distribution. If a viable alternative were to be established, creators might route around them.

Re:Great propraganda against RIAA members (1)

mdwh2 (535323) | more than 5 years ago | (#29132293)

10% sounds great: 6 million people in the UK, 30 million in the US, etc.

I suspect the number who download is actually far greater - whilst sadly the numbers who will actively protest in any way that matters about copyright law will be far lower.

Re:Great propraganda against RIAA members (1)

Sheen (1180801) | more than 5 years ago | (#29132335)

80% of norwegians under 30 download illegaly.

Re:Great propraganda against RIAA members (1)

painehope (580569) | more than 5 years ago | (#29132631)

The problem with that is that everyone has a reason. For me, it's because while I recognize the system sucks and it's corrupt, I go around it. And I'd love to see the RIAA drag me into court. I do actually own most of the music that I download (or I did before one enterprising tow truck driver or another helped their self to my CD wallet - this has happened to me at least 6-7 times in my life, so I've lost upwards of 500+ CDs just to tow truck drivers). As for protesting this, I don't have the time or energy. If it mattered more to me, I'd do it. I've never been scared to take a stand.

As it stands, I have real-world, meat-space issues that matter a whole hell of a lot more to me. And, speaking as someone who has had a SWAT team and the FBI batter down my door twice in one day (the first time they came in with an arrest warrant for me, but I wasn't there...but of course the case was ridiculous, it was a pretense to get inside my house so they could then turn around and tell a judge "yes, your honor, he had guns and all kinds of illegal stuff laying around, please give us a search warrant!"). The second time when they came back, my ex-wife had already left (with the one item they had a legitimate reason to be looking for, a pistol that I'd used on someone in their bullshit case that ended up getting tossed like a frisbee by the grand jury), so they took every single gun and computer in my house (which amounted to about 200K worth of stuff at the value of the time...and this time they took down the back door, just to add insult to injury). The only humorous part about it is that you can tell which stuff was packed up by the local police and which by the Feebs - the local cops took my monitors and thought that was the computer, the FBI took the cases and disk arrays. So I ended up with at least a few complete computers left.

Never saw that stuff again. And I'm now considered a confirmed STG (Security Threat Group - also known to the layman as "organized crime") member (despite having no felony convictions - I won't argue that I know and associate with a lot of people that are confirmed for a reason, but like I always say "what exactly have you found me guilty of?"). So I have scarily legitimate reasons why I'm not about to take a stand over P2P issues when I can just route around the idiots (hell, my ISP doesn't just throttle my bandwidth, they occasionally shut me down for downloading too many torrents or MP3s/OGGs at once, and I just dig in the closet, find an old NIC, spoof the MAC address, and get an IP again immediately, ad nauseum).

Re:Great propraganda against RIAA members (1, Informative)

Desler (1608317) | more than 5 years ago | (#29132709)

I do actually own most of the music that I download

And? That doesn't bestow upon you any legal right to also download it from anywhere you want. This was like all those people who used to laughably claim that you could download console game ROMs if you owned the game. The claim was wrong then and it's still wrong today.

Re:Great propraganda against RIAA members (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29132899)

This was like all those people who used to laughably claim that you could download console game ROMs if you owned the game. The claim was wrong then and it's still wrong today.

I feel I have the right to format shift media that I own. The copyright holder and the law might not currently agree but I dont care.
Eventually the media companies will push people too far and some politicians will set about rebalancing our rights. Until then
I refuse to be restricted by some greedy companies trying to get blood out of a stone.

Re:Great propraganda against RIAA members (1)

Desler (1608317) | more than 5 years ago | (#29133125)

I feel I have the right to format shift media that I own.

Fair Use is only exists because a legislative body created exceptions to copyright. These are not inalienable "rights" and fair use can be revoked whenever the legislative body feels like it.

The copyright holder and the law might not currently agree but I dont care.

That's fine. Just don't act as if what you are doing has any legal basis. The point is that people spread false nonsense about how they can download this or download that because of some random thing they made up that has no legal basis.

Re:Great propraganda against RIAA members (1)

BakaHoushi (786009) | more than 5 years ago | (#29133295)

Legal? No.
Morally wrong? Very debatable.
I'd, personally, say "I already gave you money for what you did, so if I want to medium shift, fuck off."

Re:Great propraganda against RIAA members (1)

SimonGhent (57578) | more than 5 years ago | (#29132745)

(or I did before one enterprising tow truck driver or another helped their self to my CD wallet - this has happened to me at least 6-7 times in my life, so I've lost upwards of 500+ CDs just to tow truck drivers).

Really?

You must have owned lots of really crappy cars and been really unlucky with the tow truck drivers that attended!

Re:Great propraganda against RIAA members (3, Insightful)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 5 years ago | (#29132361)

When 90% of the world only access the approved list (BBC, Google, iTunes etc), what the hell do they care?

Given that every poll I've seen has stated that over 50% have illegally downloaded music or video from the Internet (some putting the figure closer to 80%), I think you might be wrong there. If anything, Slashdot users, on average, are probably less likely to commit copyright infringement because a large percentage of us make a living from copyright-related activities.

Pity the ISP (1, Interesting)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 5 years ago | (#29131747)

If anyone has a link to news about WHY the label sued the ISP, I'd like to read it; TFA was written as if it was common knowledge. The only snippet about the trial:

In the original High Court hearing in January, evidence was heard that an Eircom official told colleagues they should think of music piracy as "sharing" and "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".

Doesn't Ireland have a "common carrier" status like the US? Here I thought the Europeans were more civilized than us, with their elected officials less beholden to monied interests. Does the oil company get blamed when the IRA throws molotav cocktails?

The poor ISP will start shedding customers right and left.

Re:Pity the ISP (1)

AndrewNeo (979708) | more than 5 years ago | (#29131847)

Psst, common carrier only applies to the telephone part of the telecoms, not the internet.

Re:Pity the ISP (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 5 years ago | (#29133215)

In the US it applies to the ISPs as well. And that seems logical to me.

Re:Pity the ISP (1)

Desler (1608317) | more than 5 years ago | (#29131987)

ISPs don't have a common carrier status in the US.

Re:Pity the ISP (1)

dissy (172727) | more than 5 years ago | (#29132015)

Doesn't Ireland have a "common carrier" status like the US?

Actually yes, they have "common carrier" status JUST like the US.

That is to say, exactly nothing what so ever.

Re:Pity the ISP (1)

JasterBobaMereel (1102861) | more than 5 years ago | (#29132453)

This is southern Ireland (Eire) the IRA became the Irish National Army in 1922, and don't have anything to do with the IRA in Northern Ireland ....

And yes ISP's have the same common carrier protection they have in the USA .... i.e. none whatsoever ....

Re:Pity the ISP (1)

SimonGhent (57578) | more than 5 years ago | (#29132853)

This is southern Ireland (Eire) the IRA became the Irish National Army in 1922, and don't have anything to do with the IRA in Northern Ireland

While that is true, the implication I take from your words is that the current (real/provo) IRA is not linked to Eire.

It most certainly is, for example Liam and Michael Campbell. The first successfully sued by the relatives of the Omagh victims for the 1998 bomb attack and the latter accused in court this week of having paid 10,000 (£8,600) to arm the Real IRA with guns and explosives from Lithuania http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2009/aug/18/arms-real-ira-lithuania-sting [guardian.co.uk]

With one week left before it dies (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29131749)

Is there any point other than to give the middle finger to their customers?

With actions like this I sure hope it doesn't remain the largest for long.

Eircom alternatives (4, Interesting)

BigHungryJoe (737554) | more than 5 years ago | (#29131763)

Does Eircom have competitors that subscribers can switch to, or is it like the "free market" United States, where many of us only have one choice for broadband access?

Re:Eircom alternatives (1)

Fackamato (913248) | more than 5 years ago | (#29131973)

There's NTL (UPC Chello), but they only provide Internet via cable (eircom = adsl).

Re:Eircom alternatives (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29132051)

short answer: no.

The one and only cable provider: UPC/NTL only is only available in a few areas of Dublin. Not even entire continous regions, but specific streets.

On DSL your only choice is Eircom. There's several other DSL ISPs but all of them buy access off of Eircom (That's why there's a single line rental charge set by Eircom). Eircom owns the entire network in Ireland. There's a small exception that BT is laying its own cables but they've only got that done in a few areas now. Generally, BT uses Eircoms lines.

Re:Eircom alternatives (1)

Darkman, Walkin Dude (707389) | more than 5 years ago | (#29132157)

NTL is available in most metropolitan areas.

Re:Eircom alternatives (2, Interesting)

PinkyDead (862370) | more than 5 years ago | (#29132471)

There seems to be some confusion here:

Eircom as the provider of the physical infrastructure

and

Eircom as an ISP

This restriction is applied by Eircom the ISP to its broadband customers. They don't have any control over how other ISPs using their hardware operate.

BT and UPC were told by IRMA to implement similar restrictions. BT and UPC told IRMA to fuck off (though with more legalese).

Eircom did this because they are still based on the semi-state culture from which they came. This is also reason why they are going out of business at an alarming rate, in spite of holding all the cards.

Re:Eircom alternatives (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29132227)

Does Eircom have competitors that subscribers can switch to, or is it like the "free market" United States, where many of us only have one choice for broadband access?

There are some alternatives, Magnet and Smart Telecom are the main two, the others just resell Eircom BB. That is if your in one of the cities/large towns. Most of the country has to rely on 3G with shitty signal or dial-up/ISDN. The only real reason Eircom are the largest is because to get a phone line you have to get it installed by them then switch over to another provider, lazyness plays a large roll in why people go with eircom broadband.

Re:Eircom alternatives (1)

zoney_ie (740061) | more than 5 years ago | (#29133093)

It depends. On where you are and what you consider an alternative. Anyone in a UPC area is a bit crazy if they aren't with UPC.

A lot of the country still doesn't even have Eircom broadband! Even DSL-enabling all exchanges wouldn't solve that as they are too sparse in the countryside and most people on the exchange would be too far away for DSL.

A lot of people are turning to 3G mobile data as it's cheap and fairly widespread. It's not really broadband though as unless you're outdoors near a cell with no-one else on it you usually get speeds inbetween dial-up and basic broadband (1Mbit). Also you get charged outrageously per kilobyte over the low cap (15 GB).

Re:Eircom alternatives (1)

ObsessiveMathsFreak (773371) | more than 5 years ago | (#29133315)

Yes and no.

If you live in a major city (i.e. you live in Dublin), there are several service providers, the best of which is usually a TV cable company. However, if you live in the sticks, (i.e. almost anywhere else) Eircom(previously known as Telecom Eireann, the national telecom company) is generally your only option for high speed internet or frequently any internet at all. Ireland has a very low population density and essentially private industry is utterly incapable of providing any kind of public service in this country outside of Dublin.

If this trial succeeds (Because that's exactly what it is; a trial) I expect Eircom will shortly begin blocking anything and everything else that any belligerent lobby group starts moaning about. By the end of September, I wouldn't be surprised if 4chan and Lisbon Treaty sites were on the blocklist.

So Stupid (5, Insightful)

whisper_jeff (680366) | more than 5 years ago | (#29131765)

Once ISPs start regulating what they will and will not transport over their cables, they open themselves up to all kinds of lawsuits. You're willing to block piratebay.com but you didn't prevent that creep from downloading child porn? You didn't prevent that hacker from breaking into his school's records? You didn't block all kinds of other activities that are illegal?

I hate the concept of "slippery slope" but this really is exactly that. Either ISPs will start blocking anything and everything they are told is "wrong" and become de facto thought police or they'll become vulnerable to all kinds of lawsuits for failing to block "this" content given that they're willing to block "that" content.

The smart thing for them to do is just be dumb pipes. Provide access to the internet and let the people decide how to use it. If they use it illegally, let the police sort it out. Unfortunately, the various lobby groups (MIAA, RIAA, and their ilk) are probably offering up sweet deals that are financially appealing. Now. Over time, however, it will all come back to bite them in the ass. By then, however, the people who made these decisions will be rich and have moved on to other endeavours and won't care that they've ruined these companies and destroyed the integrity of the internet...

(Of course, the big joke of all this is that the internet was designed to route around problems such as this. The entire point of it was to provide a communication tool that could perform even when major disruptions occur. Not to mention, as is proven every single day, there are more people trying to break through the controls than there are trying to create them. More > fewer, always. These restrictions will only ever amount to temporary solutions, at best. It's a game of cat and mouse that they simply cannot win, ever, regardless of how hard they try.)

Re:So Stupid (1)

value_added (719364) | more than 5 years ago | (#29131885)

Once ISPs start regulating what they will and will not transport over their cables, they open themselves up to all kinds of lawsuits.

Don't know whether that's correct, but if the recent flap between usenet providers in the US and various Attorneys General is any indication, the inverse (where the threat of lawsuits to mandate self-imposed regulation), is certainly true.

Re:So Stupid (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29131941)

The lobby groups aren't offering "sweet deals" at all - in fact Eircom's compliance was reached under threat of lawsuit, the argument being that Eircom was liable for failure to prevent copyright violations committed by its users (remember that Ireland doesn't have the same sort of laws in place that US does - in the US, an ISP is explicitly not liable).

That said, it's telling that Eircom is the only Irish ISP to cave.

I'm a US expat living in Dublin, and I find Eircom caving to these goons to be appalling, but the sad fact is that Eircom remains the only ISP in my neighborhood. Eircom was already the slowest, most expensive, and had the worst customer service. With this, I literally cannot wait for BT, UPC or some other sensible company to come in and undercut their prices with better service.

Re:So Stupid (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29132383)

You're in for a rude awakening. BT is no better in my opinion; same as what you just described of Eircom. Having had to deal with BT for 3 years I am so glad to be on fibrenet instead. The last two places I have lived, the first thing i look for is a telewest/virgin fibrenet connection. I am through with BT and DSL altogether

Re:So Stupid (5, Insightful)

dissy (172727) | more than 5 years ago | (#29132077)

Unfortunately, the various lobby groups (MIAA, RIAA, and their ilk) are probably offering up sweet deals that are financially appealing.

Actually I thought this was the most genius part!

RIAA/MPAA/friends offer ISP big $$$ to block the pirate bay.

ISP accepts that dirty money, and announces they will block them on Sept 1st.

The pirate bay sell off is scheduled for August 27th, 4 days before the block will be put in place.

The ISP seems to realize that the pirate bay will be worthless to everyone a couple days before they block access to it, which no one will care about since the pirate bays new owners will have basically already blocked access by taking the site as-is down.

The ISP just took the RIAA/MPAA bribe and is giving them nothing of any value in return.

Awesome!

Re:So Stupid (1)

Golddess (1361003) | more than 5 years ago | (#29132925)

The ISP just took the RIAA/MPAA bribe and is giving them nothing of any value in return.

Ignoring how many people will ditch TPB after the buy out, I wouldn't say that it gives them nothing in return, but what it would do I think depends on exactly what the new TPB deal will be.

If the money that TPB collects goes direct to artists (thereby bypassing the RIAA/MPAA), then blocking TPB is still a good thing as TPB is removed from the list of options for a consumer/artist to avoid giving the RIAA/MPAA money.

But if the money would go to the RIAA/MPAA to distribute, then the RIAA/MPAA just bribed the ISP to do worse than give them nothing, they just bribed the ISP to restrict access to a site that would give them money.

Re:So Stupid (2, Interesting)

IBBoard (1128019) | more than 5 years ago | (#29132095)

I hate the concept of "slippery slope" but this really is exactly that.

Surely this is a good slippery slope, though? Once the ISPs get stung once or twice over this then maybe they'll stand up to the music industry and say "There are legitimate uses of X, and we're just a carrier. Want to stop people downloading your content? File the law suit against the person hosting it rather than the person carrying it, because we're not your police force".

Re:So Stupid (1)

Lostlander (1219708) | more than 5 years ago | (#29132657)

Either that or they legis... ahem er umm lobby for some immunity.

Re:So Stupid (1)

Demonantis (1340557) | more than 5 years ago | (#29132295)

That is why proxies exist. The internet is very adverse to central control. If people want it they will work hard to get it. You can't tell them what they can and can't do. There will always be a work around. Not to plug it, but UltraSurf seems to take care of any censorship I experience.

Re:So Stupid (1)

cellurl (906920) | more than 5 years ago | (#29132325)

Actually, this will fuel the distributed storage thing of thenewpiratebay.com

The new pirate bay will encourage [pay] you to hold files on your hard-drive. That will turn this on its head!

-Ich bin Ein Pirateer

cellurl

Re:So Stupid (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29132627)

Of course, the big joke of all this is that the internet was designed to route around problems such as this.

This is really the crux of the argument. The tool was designed to prevent single points of failure, this means that anything they can do in terms of URL blocking is a game of whack-a-mole. It might be inconvenient for people to find a new service, but a new one will emerge, and Google (hell even Bing) will find it and direct people to it faster than the **AAs can get it blocked. And when they do, the cycle will just start over again.

The whole idea of trying to block information on the net is pretty futile, to quote Joe from NewsRadio, "I can't take it down, once it on there, its on there for good."

Re:So Stupid (1)

Kjella (173770) | more than 5 years ago | (#29132871)

(Of course, the big joke of all this is that the internet was designed to route around problems such as this. The entire point of it was to provide a communication tool that could perform even when major disruptions occur.

That's about as big an abuse as the general application of Moore's law to everything. It was designed to be able to route around node failures like if we nuked them off the map, for one you don't have redundant connections to your ISP and even if you did this wouldn't be that kind of failure. Internet was never ever supposed to prevent a route from dropping certain destinations or certain protocols/data that it didn't like, except to treat that node as nuked. Every form of encryption and security has been bolted on afterwards, like SSH, HTTPS, DNSSEC etc. and anonymity tools are barely usable.

What you're basicly seeing is mass civil disobedience all over the world. Nothing to with the Internet or how it's designed, when millions and millions of people do something it's not practically possible to stop. Technology? It might as well be prohibition in the US or the salt march in India, it's first and foremost a matter of strength in numbers not bits and bytes.

Incompetent idiots (3, Interesting)

oobayly (1056050) | more than 5 years ago | (#29131769)

Hmm, I've had to speak to them as they bought indigo.ie. When I called them to inform them that their smtp server (actually an eircom server) was having load balancing issues they suggested that I try webmail instead.

Me: OK, I'll give the webmail a go for the moment, what's the address for it?
Them: Umm, I don't know, google indigo webmail
Me: OK
Them: I've just googled it for you, it's the 1st result: something something dot indigo dot ca
Me: That's a Canadian TLD, how's that going to help me?
Them: <Silence>

Good luck to them, you couldn't rely on them to arrange a piss up in St James's Gate.

Re:Incompetent idiots (2, Funny)

Skrynesaver (994435) | more than 5 years ago | (#29132311)

Their mail tech support is hilarious, I had a similar but different problem, mail from eircom customers never reached my domain. This was due to an extinct domain with my domain name having been hosted on Indigo back in the day.

I rang them to get them to remove their MX record for the domain, their responses were hilarious:

  • "Which mail client are you using?" "pine(just for kicks :)"
  • "What is the account number of your hosting account?"
  • ...

After 3 days of this shit I eventually began each call with "Do you know what an MX record is?" Eventually I got a guy who sounded insulted by the question, half an hour later it was working, but their tech-support guys are beyond ignorant.

Re:Incompetent idiots (2)

oobayly (1056050) | more than 5 years ago | (#29132429)

After 3 days of this shit I eventually began each call with "Do you know what an MX record is?"

I was sorely tempted to do that, but I just gave up, gave my Dad access to our SMTP server rather than dealing with a bunch of numpties.

After several weeks of trouble shooting a BT issue (which turned out to be faulty hardware in the exchange), I started asking support if they knew the difference between UDP & TCP, if they could tell me then I felt they had some networking knowledge and at least could understand what I was talking about.

Whack a mole (3, Interesting)

Blackhalo (572408) | more than 5 years ago | (#29131843)

So they are blocking the one torrent site that is pretty much self-destructing on it's own? I guess it could set a precedent for when the **AAs show up with entire domains and IP ranges they want blocked, but the sharing will just move to an anonomized format or into clustered cells of private peer groupings.

It has been my experience that the web does a very good job at routing around damage, and moves much more quickly that some trade association with an antiquated business model.

Re:Whack a mole (1)

Darkman, Walkin Dude (707389) | more than 5 years ago | (#29132067)

What about this part: Eircom agreed to cut off customers found to be repeatedly downloading music illegally.

Re:Whack a mole (1)

Blackhalo (572408) | more than 5 years ago | (#29132117)

For Eircom, out side of potential liability for no longer being indifferent to content, it is a big win. If they kick the bandwidth hogs off of their network, they can sell the same pipes to more customers, at a lower rate and perhaps a greater profit. For the **AAs not so much, as those same customers will find an alternative.

Re:Whack a mole (1)

Kjella (173770) | more than 5 years ago | (#29132251)

but the sharing will just move to an anonomized format or into clustered cells of private peer groupings.

It's two ways you can win, you can either improve your own convienience or lower that of the opposition. Private groups are (duh) private, meaning they're not that easy to find or get into and it'll have less obscure content. Anonymous networks tend to have very little in terms of control and QA which is what torrent sites (private and public) provide. Remember kazaa towards the end? Full of spam and trojans and poor quality shit and deliberate crap flooding the network. People have tried forever implementing some kind of P2P trust system (PGP anyone) without ever making it usable to the public. I'm sure it'll somehow transform P2P to adapt but it's not trivial issues that need to be solved if the public torrent sites disappear.

Welcome to All Our Irish /. Readers! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29131849)

Now, where's me Lucky Charms, ya fookin' gobshites!

Irish State paternalism (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29131853)

Younger Americans probably have a rosy view of the old sod - for 50years post 1923 it was a theocratic state with strong (at times overt) fascist tendencies (remember the famous 1945 telegram) supported by remittances from those working in the hated UK. It was only saved by billions of EU money - good to see that it is now reverting back to form.

Re:Irish State paternalism (1)

Darkman, Walkin Dude (707389) | more than 5 years ago | (#29132113)

The EU is quite upset with Irish success actually, since it was achieved almost entirely by our low corporate tax rates, and the tax harmonisers dont like that one bit. Whatever aid was received was returned to the EU in spades via our fishing rights, and as for the Catholic state, that was largely the creation of the lunatic Spanish-American DeValera with his "comely maidens dancing at the crossroads" vision, a shambles we are still trying to unpick from our constitution. Remittances from the UK? Hardly. The US was the destination of choice for Irish emigrants, people who went to the UK rarely earned enough to send much home, since the local population viewed them as subhuman. Still, all this is besides the point, which is why you have turned a poor corporate decision by a group that isn't even Irish owned anymore into a spew of racist bile against the Irish people?

Mod parent down (2, Insightful)

Darkman, Walkin Dude (707389) | more than 5 years ago | (#29132223)

What idiot keeps modding this racist trash up?

Eircom alternatives (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29131867)

there are plenty of alternatives to Eircom in Ireland, BT, Smart Telecom, Perlico, UPC, Meteor, O2, Vodafone to name but a few

Re:Eircom alternatives (1)

fuzzix (700457) | more than 5 years ago | (#29132107)

there are plenty of alternatives to Eircom in Ireland, BT, Smart Telecom, Perlico, UPC, Meteor, O2, Vodafone to name but a few

You have some mobile providers listed there - they're not broadband...

Re:Eircom alternatives (1)

MosesJones (55544) | more than 5 years ago | (#29132405)

You have some mobile providers listed there - they're not broadband

Taking just Vodafone out of the list they do a full set of both mobile and home broadband in Ireland [vodafone.ie] .

Mobile providers are almost all offering bundled broadband deals these days and of course you can get the mobile version is you want to move around more and don't mind coping with only a few GB of bandwidth.

Re:Eircom alternatives (1)

fuzzix (700457) | more than 5 years ago | (#29132599)

You have some mobile providers listed there - they're not broadband

Taking just Vodafone out of the list they do a full set of both mobile and home broadband in Ireland [vodafone.ie] .

Mobile providers are almost all offering bundled broadband deals these days and of course you can get the mobile version is you want to move around more and don't mind coping with only a few GB of bandwidth.

Let's take Meteor... 5GB cap, high latency all the time, frequent connection drop outs, unavailability of 3G (or even edge) in many areas...

Not very broad, in other words.

Not ireland's oldest ISP (1)

ballyhoo (158910) | more than 5 years ago | (#29131939)

Eircom are not ireland's oldest ISP. They started operations as an ISP in 1996 (or in 1995 as Indigo, which they later bought out) and at the time, there were several other operators in the market: eunet ireland (the oldest commercial), ireland online, heanet (nren), connect ireland and internet eireann.

I used a computer in Eire (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29131967)

I used a computer in Eire
my need for warez was dire
but pirate bay was blocked
and I was shocked
that I'll be stuck
in the open source quagmire

Re:I used a computer in Eire (1)

2phar (137027) | more than 5 years ago | (#29132131)

It's Éire, not Eire.

USB Drives FTW (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29132571)

So what happens if they ever do achieve their imposable goal of stopping all internet based file sharing, what will they do about 1TB portable hard drives?

uhh. (1)

binaryseraph (955557) | more than 5 years ago | (#29132601)

ok so 120,000 people use their ISP (maybe more in a household or small biz)... Thats small time considering the vast size of the internet user pool. Granted the implications kinda suck, but this will have the same effect as a small town just blinking out of existence on the web (even though we are talking about blocking just one site). Interesteing news, yes- impactful? Not really.

Profit (1)

Krneki (1192201) | more than 5 years ago | (#29132725)

1. Create a free worldwide download service.
2. Reject all the legal threats
3. Get blocked by stupid ISPs
3. Sell the project
4. Legalize it.
5. Sue the stupid ISPs
6. Profit.

Bad Timing? (1)

meist3r (1061628) | more than 5 years ago | (#29132989)

1st of September? When the last "true" TPB user will stop caring about the project for good? Nice going. Good Luck with your useless block then.

I've never used it myself but... (1)

kalirion (728907) | more than 5 years ago | (#29133199)

Wouldn't most people accessing The Pirate Bay, especially for "illegal content" be using TOR or other web proxies anyway?

ha! (2, Insightful)

rockoutwithmecockout (1621747) | more than 5 years ago | (#29133293)

The best thing about blind censorship is that if they just equate one site with illegal downloads then it gets pretty easy for people to just keep changing sites, client software, protocols, etc. Laws that only deal with the surface symptoms of a problem never really solve anything and they actually just distract people, allowing pirates pretty much free roam.

"out of court agreement" (2, Informative)

shentino (1139071) | more than 5 years ago | (#29133349)

Sounds like the ISP got their asses sued off and that their decision to block access to TPB wasn't necessarily completely willing.

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