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Irish ISP Wins Major Legal Victory Against Record Companies

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the just-say-no dept.

Networking 96

An anonymous reader writes "The High Court in Dublin ruled today that there was no precedent in Irish law to force ISPs to identify and disconnect people accused of illegally downloading copyrighted files. The court case was spurred by objections to the recording industry's three-strikes system from Irish internet provider UPC. Earlier this year, Eircom, one of Ireland's other large ISPs, gave in and implemented the system, as we discussed previously. This resulted in many of the more 'technical' users leaving that ISP in droves. Nice to see an ISP willing to take a stand."

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frist psot (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33861146)

victory is pants

Economics (3, Insightful)

Nidi62 (1525137) | more than 3 years ago | (#33861164)

And people here say the economy doesn't fix itself when corporations do things consumers don't like.

Re:Economics (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33861410)

I'd like to see the geographical breakdown between ISP's in Ireland. If a monopoly doesn't exist for any particular region, then yes. Your claim is substantiated.

Otherwise, this just shows its consumer-base, and the winning ISP for that matter, have more backbone than loads of other bandwidth consumers around the world who are in the same predicament.

Re:Economics (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33862660)

I'd like to see the geographical breakdown between ISP's in Ireland. If a monopoly doesn't exist for any particular region, then yes. Your claim is substantiated.

Eircom are a former state owned incumbent, they don't quite have a total monopoly but are many people's "default choice" of provider. Because the Irish market is quite small there are relatively few resellers and outside of major urban areas there are few other choices apart from mobile based operators.

The original article mentioned "This resulted in many of the more 'technical' users leaving that ISP in droves". They didn't exactly attract technical users before. Until quite recently their default ADSL package had only a 1gb download limit and charged 36 cents PER MEGABYTE after that. For a while it was actually cheaper to use mobile broadband. They have improved their offerings a bit recently but its not brilliant compared with elsewhere in Europe.

Re:Economics (1)

thyrial (1429239) | more than 3 years ago | (#33868032)

Eircom did have a monopoly on residential broadband in most of the county for years though.They sat on their asses and are part of the reason that 1-7mb lines here are still the norm. Eircom are losing customers hand over fist here as the other ISPs offer decent packages , as they cant really compete on price. They still , to the best of my knowledge they "own" most of the fixed line infrastructure and get money back on any other providers ADSL packages. UPC(the guys in this article)( are a cable outfit though so don't have to pay them as far as I know.

Re:Economics (1)

Alphathon (1634555) | more than 3 years ago | (#33864048)

I'm not 100% sure about this but in the UK at least I'm fairly sure most, if not all, ISPs are available everywhere in the country* with the exception of virgin media cable internet (since you need to be in a cabled area, and you can still get virgin broadband via phone-line (ADSL/ADSL2+)). I'm no broadband expert but my understanding is that all equipment is owned by BT and then rented by the smaller ISPs (with the exception of some of the other big ISPs who use their own tech in major telephone exchanges). As such, any ISP is available anywhere that is capable of ADSL*. There aren't the regional monopolies that seem to exist in the US since almost everyone uses ADSL(or 2+) and rely on the same pone system. I don't know if the situation is the same in Eire/ROI, but it I suspect it is and that Eircom is their equivalent of BT.

*some very remote areas with no/very poor phone line are obviously n/a

Re:Economics (5, Insightful)

RingDev (879105) | more than 3 years ago | (#33861440)

Only if consumers have choice. In the US, were most of the country only has 1 or 2 choices for broad band services, there is no meaningful choice.

-Rick

Re:Economics (5, Informative)

RapmasterT (787426) | more than 3 years ago | (#33861500)

Only if consumers have choice. In the US, were most of the country only has 1 or 2 choices for broad band services, there is no meaningful choice.

-Rick

Or even just 1 choice. Personally, I can get my broadband (god I hate how misused that term is) access from Comcast, or I can get a dial-up modem, that's my choices. So I'm functionally under a monopoly, if Comcast does something I don't like, like eliminating USENET service without lowering my bill, then I'm free to suck it up or do without internet.

Re:Economics (-1, Troll)

Zan Lynx (87672) | more than 3 years ago | (#33862240)

Or you can get a business class line, like a T1.

You have choice. You just don't want to pay for it.

Re:Economics (5, Insightful)

sjames (1099) | more than 3 years ago | (#33862308)

So you're claiming that as long as it is in theory possible to pay a gadzillion bucks you don't have there is a market choice?

By that theory, government isn't a monopoly either. I COULD in theory hire the world's largest mercenary army to topple it and install my own.

I could also point out that a T1 is NOT consumer broadband at all.

Re:Economics (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33862732)

>By that theory, government isn't a monopoly either.
>I COULD in theory hire the world's largest mercenary army to topple it and install my own.

I suggest chipin.com to collect donations towards this project. Let us know when you have it set up.

Re:Economics (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33862766)

Yeah, consumer broadband is way faster than T1...

Re:Economics (1)

Zan Lynx (87672) | more than 3 years ago | (#33879542)

If someone is a consumer and they pay for a T1 it is, ipso facto, consumer broadband.

And yes, if you can get what you want in the market then you have market choice. A price multiplier of three or four is the same as that between an unlocked cell phone and a contract, or a Kia and a Porsche.

Slashdot car analogy for the win!

Re:Economics (1)

sjames (1099) | more than 3 years ago | (#33879592)

Wow, that means we have consumer spacecraft and nuclear reactors!

I'm not sure of the exact elasticity of a point in a /. discussion, but you're stretching this one very close to the limit.

Re:Economics (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33863016)

He could also get a series of squirrels to hand deliver pieces of paper with handwritten ones and zeros to communicate the internet.
It would take a while to train all the squirrels though....And his ping might be quite high (depending how fast the squirrels are)

Re:Economics (2, Insightful)

Ephemeriis (315124) | more than 3 years ago | (#33863880)

Or you can get a business class line, like a T1.

You have choice. You just don't want to pay for it.

First of all, a T1 barely qualifies as "broadband" these days. It's only 1.5 Mbps. That's not horrible... But it isn't terribly impressive when compared to the 10+ Mbps advertised for most residential connections.

Second, a business class connection like a T1 is not a "choice" for a residential connection.

That's like suggesting that somebody build their own cell tower because the reception is spotty where they live.

Re:Economics (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33871998)

I think you misunderstand how a T1 is operated. At T1 is guaranteed to be 1.5Mbps and is asynchronous whereas cable is not. Cable is very much a shared resource and isn't guaranteed worth a damn. You could get dial up speeds and Comcast, TW, etc wouldn't have to lift a finger. You pay for what you get in that contract. The price for a T1 is high due to the nature of T1s in general. Not only are you buying straight from the phone company most of the time, but you're also paying for all the gear associated with a T1 and the fact that you get (maybe 25-50% of the time) support right away since you pay so much for the service. Not only that the latency should be pretty low considering that is one of the niceties of T1s. In theory you should have better latency than the cable due with 25/2 or whatever he has. He's on a shared resource, you are not.

Re:Economics (1)

volcan0 (1775818) | more than 3 years ago | (#33865564)

are T1's even still available outside of the telco world ?

Re:Economics (1)

Zan Lynx (87672) | more than 3 years ago | (#33879512)

I've got one. It's the best option available where I live. The other options are modem (no thanks), ISDN, IDSL (both a bit slow), or satellite (awful).

For three times the cost of IDSL I get 10 times the bandwidth.

Re:Economics (1)

RapmasterT (787426) | more than 3 years ago | (#33885762)

Or you can get a business class line, like a T1.

You have choice. You just don't want to pay for it.

Well played. I like the way you point out that I do in fact have the choice to do something ridiculously impractical.

You've opened my eyes and now I see a world FILLED with choices. I could also get horrid satellite internet, I could dig and lay fiber at my own expense to the closest MMR, I could invent a broadband internet protocol that runs off of compressed air puffs, I could tape micro-sd cards to pidgeons and engage in half-duplex HIGH latency networking.

Basically, I'm saying I don't like you.

Re:Economics (0, Troll)

Falconhell (1289630) | more than 3 years ago | (#33863748)

Interesting how the bastion of free market porpaganda has much less choice of ISP than
overegulated, socialist Australia.

I can choose from at least a dozen providers, for ADSL2 here.

No bank bailouts were needed here.

We dont allow idiots to have guns either.

Re:Economics (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33864920)

You also don't have lolicon or indefinitely unfiltered access to the internet. Enjoy living in a fascistic shithole, faggot.

Re:Economics (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33865022)

Oh look an AC who makes false claims and is so courageous in backing his views he wont show his name.

I dont get filtered at all. Which nation has warrantless wiretaps again? Ah yes the former home of the free the US. As for facistic, see Gitmo, far more facist than anything .au has done.

Truth hurts obviously.

Funny how the repressed gays are usually the ones who call people faggots eh?

  I am not gay, but not a neanderthal child who thinks an insult like that would actually worry anyone.

In closing go fuck yourself kindy boy.

Re:Economics (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33897204)

no its the senmace disease, it dominates your every breath from birth to death.. It owns your life, your government, and your rights.. in fact it owns you.. senmace.com

Re:Economics (2, Informative)

MBGMorden (803437) | more than 3 years ago | (#33861570)

Exactly. In smaller countries like this, it is feasible for multiple companies to build out infrastructure.

In the US however, we're much more spread out. 40 out of our 50 states are larger than entire country of Ireland. It's just much harder for multiple companies to cover that much area, particularly with so much of the mid-west being sparsely populated farmland.

In almost everything but large cities you have at most 2 choices for broadband. Some don't even have that. I myself have only the DSL offered by the phone company. No cable access is available. Luckily I'm fairly satisfied with the speed and such we get, albeit at a higher cost than most pay, but if I wasn't, my only option to change ISP's would be to sell the house and move.

Re:Economics (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33861690)

Same old rubbish US wahwahwah excuse. No one is talking about US broadband covering every single inch of the land. Any decent size city can have dozens of ISPs, but they don't. We still have the silly system of local authorities giving companies local monopolies rather than having them compete. We have companies blocking municipalities from installing their own infrastructure, and winning, thanks to legal delaying tactics. Only when we stop this bullshit will we get competition and better service, with customers having the ability to choose from various suppliers instead of 1 DSL, 1 cable, and if they're lucky, FiOS.

Re:Economics (0)

OldeTimeGeek (725417) | more than 3 years ago | (#33862876)

So let's say that I'm a cable company and I'm interested in bringing in new service to your town (or city). Your constituents have been crying for cable and better Internet access, so you say that you're interested.

"This will be very expensive work.", I say, "We'd need some guarantees of exclusivity."
"No", you say, "You can put in the cable, but you'll have to carry other traffic. You'll have to compete on price for the services."
"But we're picking up the cost of infrastructure - what's in it for us?" I say.
"You'll be first, but no guarantees past that."
"Good luck with that.", I say and walk out the door.

Re:Economics (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33863206)

Re:Economics (1)

OldeTimeGeek (725417) | more than 3 years ago | (#33863244)

Nope, nothing to do with those.

I'm not talking about competing with a locally-managed ISP, but why it happens that cable companies get monopolies in the first place. Not every community has the time, money or expertise to build their own infrastructure. Especially the money.

Re:Economics (4, Informative)

Rising Ape (1620461) | more than 3 years ago | (#33863222)

Here in the UK, BT are deploying VDSL2-based FTTC despite having to open their networks to others, with the prices they charge to others being regulated. So it can be done.

Re:Economics (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33863238)

Then the town (or city) sets up their own local ISP run the by town and starts work on trenching for fiber. Then the cable company sues the town for daring to do something that they weren't willing to do anyway and gets the project shut down...

Wait, what were talking about again?

Re:Economics (1)

OldeTimeGeek (725417) | more than 3 years ago | (#33863316)

And the locality gets the money to do this from where? I'm sure it will be really popular at the next town hall when the elected officials try to explain that they need an increase in budget to pay for trenching, laying cable and an increase in staffing to manage the facilities. With streets getting worse and police and fire department personnel getting laid off because there's no money, this should go over really well...

Re:Economics (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33864876)

Oh right, because right of way is worthless.

What trash.

Re:Economics (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33865562)

So let's say that I'm a cable company and I'm interested in bringing in new service to your town (or city). Your constituents have been crying for cable and better Internet access, so you say that you're interested.

"This will be very expensive work.", I say, "We'd need some guarantees of exclusivity."

Yes it will be expensive, but we both know you'll make your money back many times over. Guarantees of exclusivity?... good luck with that.

"No", you say, "You can put in the cable, but you'll have to carry other traffic. You'll have to compete on price for the services."
"But we're picking up the cost of infrastructure - what's in it for us?" I say.

Actually, we'll be picking up the cost of the infrastructure. What's in it for you? You'll have a sustainable business leasing infrastructure to service providers. We'll even overlook the fact that you'll be running your own service provider business even though such business practices been proven illegal in a court of law.

"Good luck with that.", I say and walk out the door.

Are you sure you want to walk out? Sure, walk out if you want to but it might have a detrimental effect on your application to sell services on the infrastructure we're going to hire your competitor to build.

Re:Economics (1)

tsm_sf (545316) | more than 3 years ago | (#33866210)

"But we're picking up the cost of infrastructure - what's in it for us?" I say.

You get to build out on private property without needing to pay market value for the land, OR negotiate with every person whose land you cross.

It's a bit of a red herring, though. There's no good reason for infrastructure to be privately held. "If you build it, they will come" should be the motto of every municipality.

Re:Economics (1)

Neil Boekend (1854906) | more than 3 years ago | (#33866750)

There are two options:
  • 1. You lay your cables. Costs a bunch.
  • 2. You charge a lot for the service to have return on your investment.
  • 3. The other guy comes and lays his own cables. Costs him a bunch
  • 4. You lower your price before he has his cables in place
  • 5. He can't charge as much as you did, because then he wouldn't have return on his investment.
  • 6. You are cheaper, so people will stay with you
  • 7. No (...) required
  • 8. Profit

Or another option:

  • 1. Lay the cables
  • 2.Charge a lot for a crappy service
  • 3. Some other guy comes around
  • 4. Stop selling to customers.
  • 5. Lease the bandwith to Guy 1 and Guy 2
  • 6. No (...) required
  • 7. Profit

Re:Economics (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33861962)

In the US however, we're much more spread out. 40 out of our 50 states are larger than entire country of Ireland. It's just much harder for multiple companies to cover that much area, particularly with so much of the mid-west being sparsely populated farmland.

No it's not.

You have one non-profit company / co-op run the infrastructure, and the competition occurs at the service level. The entity that runs Layer 1 doesn't care about bandwidth caps, IP addresses, or anything else. Neither do they care about you're using it for plain IP, or home phone service, or video on demand.

The people you give you an IP address then have to compete on giving you the best connection to the Internet (and/or VoIP, and/or video), and don't care about building out and maintaining fibre or co-ax.

If the USA was able to string out telephone and electrical wire across the country in the early 20th century, there's no reason why fibre optics can't be strung out in the 21st. It's just another cable on the pole.

The ISO layers are very handy. Let's use them.

Re:Economics (5, Informative)

scot4875 (542869) | more than 3 years ago | (#33862022)

In the US however, we're much more spread out.

Please quit spreading this misinformation. We aren't more spread out than several countries that completely kick our asses in both rural and metro internet access.

And being spread out *still* doesn't provide any justification why there would be effective monopolies with poor service in most major metro areas.

U.S. citizens are reamed for Internet access. Stop playing the Stockholm syndrome victim and acting as an industry apologist.

--Jeremy

Re:Economics (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33866402)

Just one word to support this:

Finland

Re:Economics (1)

uninformedLuddite (1334899) | more than 3 years ago | (#33866484)

So if a Stockholm syndrome victim knew he/she was suffering from Stockholm syndrome what would the conversation with their captor asctually look like? And if n one was there did they make a sound?

Re:Economics (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33872358)

While I do agree there are some major technological hurdles we need to overcome I do not agree that these are the reasons for more competition.
I do think it incorrect to label someone as an idiot for thinking that the rural issues do cause major issues.

The US != Europe. Take that crap thinking elsewhere (not referring to the GP, but to anyone who has this mindset in general).

One major hurdle is with the many pine trees we have in some rural areas coupled with mountain/hill ranges all over; this negatively impacts any sort of decent wireless systems we can put into place short of satellite and most know how horrible the latency is with that one. For those that don't know Pin Needles (especially when wet) cause major issues with wireless singles at least the range currently used in consumer off the shelf products. I also believe that commercial grade equipment have issues as well. I looked into this for a small business several years ago and the initial cost/performance increase was too high when compared to the ROI that may have come from the expansion. The other factor is all the retarded regulation that the FCC and FTC have over such devices. Many of those homemade range extenders and amplifiers (for wifi) are probably in violation with FCC regulations and can get you hefty fines. And that is only with RF signals.

So yeah there are many problems from many different areas we have to face here in the US. While the population density tends to focus around cities there are pockets of population scattered in the US in po dunk towns that don't have the resources to afford those upgrades for broadband and the only reason a large corporation would look at one would be due to incentives (ala tax breaks, etc, a monoply, price fixing ,etc). So that is how it gets done whether you agree or disagree.

Most small businesses WILL try to get something off the ground, however when you have a Fortune 500 company say "Oh Look Billy Bob is making some cash over in Little Town, it looks like there is consumer demand for broadband" That large company will come in undercut the little guy or buy him out then jack up prices. That is why we are in this situation. If you want decent service and options be willing to PAY for that initial investment. That is what is generally done in the Electronics sector. Person A is rich and wants an HDMI 3D TV. Person A along with all his rich buddies all purchase an HDMI 3D TV for $2k. Several months later that same TV is now Selling for $1k or even $800. That initial investor lowered the price of the market for other consumers. The problem is that doesn't happen in the broadband sector, instead prices get jacked up and people continue to pay for them or flip flop from Giant Corp A to Giant Corp B every other year to get whatever new "deal" is going on even though its 40-50 more than it was last year for either company.

Bullcrap (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33862058)

Exactly. In smaller countries like this, it is feasible for multiple companies to build out infrastructure.

In the US however, we're much more spread out. 40 out of our 50 states are larger than entire country of Ireland. It's just much harder for multiple companies to cover that much area, particularly with so much of the mid-west being sparsely populated farmland.

The large land area isn't a problem. It's about population density. And there are many countries with a lot better internet access than USA even though they have lower population density... So look elsewhere for your reasons.

I personally like to think that we in europe are just more used to rebuilding our infrastructure after having had a major war every now and then. ;) (Okay, it probably has more to do with better regulation and governmend subsidies and people just demanding more... But going with that one lets us avoid all the usual right vs. left debates)

Re:Bullcrap (4, Insightful)

Nadaka (224565) | more than 3 years ago | (#33862776)

The density argument is also bullshit. With a the exception of a few ultra dense asian cities, US cities are no more or less dense than similar sized cities around the world. And we still have high priced crappy service with mono|duo-polies is those markets as well.

Re:Economics (2, Insightful)

sjames (1099) | more than 3 years ago | (#33862336)

So of course, in New York City there's hundreds of broadband providers to choose from due to the very high population density. OH, WAIT!

Re:Economics (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33863356)

Guess what - the UK is also pretty spread out and for that reason only 1 company actually has the infrastructure to deliver network connections to everyone in UK - it is the British Telecom. BUT government properly regulates this natural monopoly so that BT must provide access to this infrastructure to any company that the client chooses for a uniform flat fee that it also must charge its own ISP division. And they also have to provide access to the metropolitan channels to all ISPs for the same prices. This means that an ISP anywhere in UK can provide Internet to any client anywhere else in UK if they want to, and many do so.

Natural monopoly? Government regulation to the rescue! That is what it is supposed to do.

I do not know the specifics of Ireland, but I bet they have a similar system to UK.

Also as other have mentioned - the lack of choice in ISPs in USAs large cities easily disproves the 'spread out' argument on its own. There should be at least 10 ISPs providing services across the city in every USA city over a million people.

Re:Economics (1)

Falconhell (1289630) | more than 3 years ago | (#33863770)

In .au Telstra the former public carrier is forced to allow ISP acces to its copper lines for ADSL.

I have literally a dozen or more choices of provider.

Re:Economics (1)

Dodgy G33za (1669772) | more than 3 years ago | (#33864542)

As a poster "flamebaited" earlier in this thread, Australia, one of the least densely populated places on the planet*, has a varied choice of ISP. I have a fixed line ADSL2+ in Sydney and a mobile 3G service at my inland property which is good enough to stream ABC video. They have achieved this by forcing the previous monopoly (Telstra) to allow other ISPs to place DSLAMs in their exchanges, or simply on-sell Telstra services after getting them at the wholesale rate. *Having said that, it is also one of the most urbanised.

Re:Economics (1)

Eivind Eklund (5161) | more than 3 years ago | (#33865282)

While I right now live in Ireland, I used to live in Norway, which has about one third the population density of the US.

And broadband competition.

It's very simple: You regulate in competition. The natural situation is for the companies in this sector to turn into monopolies due to infrastructure investments partially born by taxpayer or through enforced rights; you must regulate away the monopoly to get a functioning market, e.g. by requiring competitor access to infrastructure at regulated prices.

Eivind.

Re:Economics (5, Insightful)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 3 years ago | (#33861580)

Satellite is not really broadband. Anyone who has had to live with it for more than a day will agree to this.

Most of the united states has 0 to 1 choices for broadband, large swaths of this country has ZERO broadband accessibility. By geographical square meters, most of the USA has no connectivity other than Dial up or Satellite.

Based on population, it's still dismal. I know people in NYC that cant get broadband. CableTV Broadband wont work, and DSL wont work as the building has wires from 1907, or were half assed and can not carry what is needed. They can watch low channel cable TV, but the RG59 30% shield garbage installed by the lowest bidder in the late 80's just wont cut it. And the phone wires are as bad or worse.

That's the problem in the United states... Companies whine about letting competition use "their" wires, while ignoring the fact that they took Public money to build those wires. Corporations here like to believe that any public funds for telecommunications are a free gift to their shareholders.

Re:Economics (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33864156)

Zero choice huh? I live in the suburbs in the Northeast, I have MANY choices of broadband internet... Neighbor 1, neighbor 2, neighbor 3 and so on and so forth.

Re:Economics (1)

VocationalZero (1306233) | more than 3 years ago | (#33865292)

Corporations here like to believe that any public funds for telecommunications are a free gift to their shareholders.

I've always wonder why the government just gives the money away instead of exchanging it for stock. Its all the burden of an investment with none of the benefits.

Is any other type infrastructure ever considered a risky investment that needs to be publicly subsidized? Is it immoral to harass/vandalize a telco that has been jerking us around for years with poor customer service and spotty at best connectivity? How can we affect change if we can't even vote with our dollars?

Re:Economics (1)

robotito (460199) | more than 3 years ago | (#33861472)

Now they only need to fix the service, which is so shite.

Re:Economics (1)

kaini (1435765) | more than 3 years ago | (#33861504)

Now they only need to fix the service, which is so shite.

As a customer of this ISP, I have to disagree. Decent speeds, and I've only seen a few hours of downtime in the last couple of years.

Re:Economics (1)

jaggeh (1485669) | more than 3 years ago | (#33867320)

seconded, my only problem is a shoddy wireless network card i need to fix.

Re:Economics (2, Interesting)

erroneus (253617) | more than 3 years ago | (#33861516)

It's all a matter of where the incentive lies. In this case, the ISP probably doesn't get any money from the recording industry at all so they have no incentive to support their interests.

My first reaction was "well, technical users probably use their support services a LOT less often and so cost them less in terms of support and so the loss of their tech savvy customers is a big loss in terms of support costs per customer." That should factor into additional incentives to care about their tech savvy users but certainly not enough by itself.

Oh sure, let the market decide... (2, Interesting)

HeckRuler (1369601) | more than 3 years ago | (#33861952)

The problem with your assumption is that Eirecom is going to lose money off of this. Now, I'm not sure how it works in Ireland, but if this exact scenario went down in the USA, Eirecom would be congradulating themselves as they found a way to shluff off all the "band-width hogs". You know, those 'technical users' that actually use the connection they purchase. ISPs here make bank on mom and pop who check their email.

Re:Oh sure, let the market decide... (1)

Kjella (173770) | more than 3 years ago | (#33866372)

Well that's because there is no competition around the Mom & Pop users, it's more "do you want broadband or don't you?" and so the price is far higher than the service delivered.

I just checked and in my town there's at least 22 broadband providers. The four largest (2 dsl, 2 cable) are all within 20% of each other, roughly the same speed (1-2Mbit down, 0.5-1 Mbit up) and is probably a fair price given the cost of delivering service at all like modem including delivery/returns, line including maintenance, rack space, support, billing and so on. Bulk bandwidth costs as such are almost none, you might notice the complete lack of bullshit "up to X Mbit" claims, the specs aren't impressive but they're delivered.

Everybody on a higher plan pay their way for bandwidth, would they be offering my 25 Mbit line if they weren't making money on it? I doubt that. Sure, they might not make money on everyone in this class as you can reach pretty hefty downloads, but running off all their high speed users would be losing money. If you're trying to tell me we are some sort of loss leader subsidized by the Mom & Pops, I certainly don't believe you. It might be different in the US but there the fraudulent marketing puts mom & pops and high end users on the same "unlimited" line.

Re:Economics (2, Insightful)

frank_adrian314159 (469671) | more than 3 years ago | (#33862114)

... the economy doesn't fix itself when corporations do things consumers don't like.

Yeah. That's why there's ACTA.

Correlation != Causation (1)

mjwx (966435) | more than 3 years ago | (#33864758)

And people here say the economy doesn't fix itself when corporations do things consumers don't like.

This is a definite case of correlation not equalling causation. You assume that they sued the record companies because some users left, I'd be a great deal on the real reason being that filtering and logging software as well having a human go through the logs to find the answers to the deluge of piracy complaints was costing them way too much. ISP's operate on a shoestring profit, not a lot of fat in it so if a few heavy users leave, all the better (less international bandwidth being bought) but when they have to spend more to keep an eye on users that is a terrible thing from a business perspective.

So ISP greed vs movie studio greed, in Soviet Ireland ISP greed wins. Eircom is far from the worlds most altruistic ISP.

Re:Economics (1)

yukk (638002) | more than 3 years ago | (#33864820)

Well, a nice economic fightback tactic would be for the ISPs to say that after 1 "strike" (being caused by the user downloading music) the ISP then demands that since it's music causing the problem, the music companies must now strike that person off their own customer lists.
Therefore the person is no longer allowed into any music stores or to buy music from those companies by any means.
Once the labels can show that they are doing their part of the work, they may go ahead and serve more notices for downloading. Once they have shown all their paperwork proving that their culprit has been turned away from stores and the comprehensive list of "downloaders" is being enforced at every outlet, they may go on to strike two and, eventually, 3.
It is unfair that the ISPs are made to do all the work for the labels in this respect AND to cut off their own paying customers who may have paid for 50GB of bandwidth and used a measly 5MB of that (.1%) in order to infringe on the labels' copyrights.

Re:Economics (1)

Nidi62 (1525137) | more than 3 years ago | (#33864934)

It's scary when you go for Funny and end up with Insightful

Now why is it (4, Interesting)

Moryath (553296) | more than 3 years ago | (#33861184)

that the only sane people seem to be in other countries? In the US, the normal people get trodden on all over the place, the idea of a "choice" of ISP is a joke, and despite the prohibition on ex post facto laws, the Supreme Court ruled that a bought-off Congress could keep extending "copyright term" ad infinitum - even setting it to a "million bajillion" years if they felt like it.

 

Re:Now why is it (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33861544)

It's called corporate personhood. It extends the principles of the free market to government.

Re:Now why is it (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33861818)

It does nothing of the fucking sort.

Corporate personhood is a mockery of the very notion of personhood.

Re:Now why is it (1)

catmistake (814204) | more than 3 years ago | (#33861774)

that the only sane people seem to be in other countries? In the US, the normal people get trodden on all over the place, the idea of a "choice" of ISP is a joke, and despite the prohibition on ex post facto laws, the Supreme Court ruled that a bought-off Congress could keep extending "copyright term" ad infinitum - even setting it to a "million bajillion" years if they felt like it.

Wow... how the world has changed in only 60 years or so. You see, the irony here is, The United States used to be the enemy of nazis... the US was the nazi's worst nightmare, and nazis often traversed through neutral Ireland on their way to new identities. And now it seems the roles have reversed. (If my quip offends anyone, let me just say, to calm your pure hearts, that the independent ('indy') record companies are not nazis; they're more like the French Resistance).

Re:Now why is it (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33862326)

that the independent ('indy') record companies are not nazis; they're more like the French Resistance

So you are saying indie record companies are cowardly, ineffective, beret-wearing, cheese-eating surrender monkeys? Isn't that a bit harsh?

Re:Now why is it (1, Insightful)

Bigjeff5 (1143585) | more than 3 years ago | (#33863322)

That's only true if you only look back 60 years. If you go back 100+ years, you'll find there was an active marxist movement and an active fascist movement. The original Pledge of Allegiance was actually written written by the vice president of the Society of Christian Socialists a fascist group presenting itself as an alternative to the marxist groups. The original salute to be given during the pledge was the same as the German Nazi military salute. It was only after WW2 that the US was an enemy of Nazis.

These groups really only transformed - they never went away. The only reason the US was anti-Nazi is because we fought a war against them. The reason we hated the Communists was because Russia did not return what they had gained during the war to the people who it actually belonged to. It later grew into a strong cultural aversion to communism and fascism, but really you could drop the communist and fascist and say we were simply anti-oppression (at least at first).

Re:Now why is it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33863796)

Your country is and its legislation is owned by the companies in your country. Completely.
In other countries - not so much (yet).

Re:Now why is it (1)

gknoy (899301) | more than 3 years ago | (#33873960)

despite the prohibition on ex post facto laws, the Supreme Court ruled that a bought-off Congress could keep extending "copyright term" ad infinitum

A lawyer can correct me, but I believe you misunderstand "ex post facto" laws.

The prohibition is on laws which make illegal things which used to be legal, and then punish people for things they did in the past. (e.g., if they made abortion illegal, and then fined/imprisoned people that had gotten abortions last year.) The prohibition is NOT on making laws which legalize things which used to be illegal.

Monopolies (0, Redundant)

JoeKrueger (1154603) | more than 3 years ago | (#33861216)

Perhaps there people don't have a choice in ISPs?

economics? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33861258)

Whats special about record companies anyhow............shouldn't they be poor now? I haven't seen records anywhere in years.

Re:economics? (1)

Critical Facilities (850111) | more than 3 years ago | (#33861382)

I haven't seen records anywhere in years.

According to this [computerworld.com] that may change.

Re:economics? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33861884)

I haven't seen records anywhere in years.

According to this [computerworld.com] that may change.

Thanks I have always liked the albums as a younger lad.....glad they care coming back and now maybe the can make some money.

Good news/bad news (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33861336)

The good news is that Irish copyright violators don't lose their Internet access. The bad news is that Irish copyright violators get their whiskey taken away.

the users (1)

KevMar (471257) | more than 3 years ago | (#33861400)

It was nice to see the users take a stand and for the ISP to notice.

Re:the users (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33861474)

>> It was nice to see the users take a stand and for the ISP to notice.

This doesn't change anything. It's still illegal to download copyrighted files which you did not pay for.

Re:the users (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33861842)

No, it's illegal to distribute copyrighted material without consent.

Re:the users (1)

TENTH SHOW JAM (599239) | more than 3 years ago | (#33864088)

It's still illegal to upload copyrighted files which you do not have permission to.

Fixed that for ya.

Re:the users (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33867190)

It's still illegal to upload copyrighted files which you do not have permission to.

Fixed that for ya.

Nope, it's copyright infringement , copyright infringement != illegal

Fixed that for ya...

As a UPC customer (4, Interesting)

Gopher971 (219910) | more than 3 years ago | (#33861436)

I'm delighted with the stand they are taking. I was previously with Eircom and was one of the thousands who left when they caved into IMRO. While I woldn't case myself as purer than pure, I do frequently download iso's for various Linux distributions.

As an aside, I've found UPC to be a much superior ISP, with great customer service, not like the bad old days of NTL.

Re:As a UPC customer (1)

dewie (685736) | more than 3 years ago | (#33870586)

Yep, I'm with UPC too, and as long as they keep fighting this they have my guaranteed continued custom, as well as my positive word-of-mouth to anyone who asks me for ISP recommendations.

UPC... (5, Informative)

mariushm (1022195) | more than 3 years ago | (#33861452)

Just a note ... UPC is not an Irish ISP in particular ... they're also in other countries, like Romania where I am. In other countries it's called Chello but they're slowly re-branding in some: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chello [wikipedia.org]

Re:UPC... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33866546)

They are present in Hungary too, but this is a first time i hear something GOOD about UPC.
Their customer service in Hungary is famously crappy.

The real story (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33861666)

I think people missed the really interesting portion of this story -- a judge or panel of judges judiciated instead of legislated.

Don't claim victory just yet (2)

Adrian Lopez (2615) | more than 3 years ago | (#33861676)

If ACTA were law I suspect the court's decision would go the other way. Given the inaccuracy of DMCA accusations so far, any kind of three-strikes law that doesn't require three convictions would be disastrous. Heck, even a "three convictions" rule would be a problem given how important the Internet has become to our daily lives. Any law calling for a user's disconnection (except in cases of parole/probation) would doubtless constitute a curtailment of that person's freedom of speech and association (whether or not the law ends up recognizing it as such).

I don't think it's too much to ask for copyright holders to prove their case before penalizing users, and I don't think it's fair for such penalties to include disconnection once the term of conviction is up for those who are guilty.

Re:Don't claim victory just yet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33865606)

To forcefully disconnect someone from the internet or use of a computer is a humans rights issue today. You are putting them out of work. You can't take away peoples livelihood and force them into starvation. That is essentially what you are doing when every job requires Internet access today. I don't care if you are a farmer or a gas station attendant. At some point you end up having to connect to use a computer and connect to the Internet. Even if that means just clocking in for work. This is a human rights issue and nothing someone does criminally even parolees and probation shouldn't under any circumstances ever lock people out of computer or internet use. About the only time you might be able to keep someone off the Internet is if they are in prison and even that I'm going to argue is a human rights violation given failure to provide prisoners emails disconnects them from communications with family and friends and others who they should have fundamental rights to see and communicate with. Yes- rights are restricted in prison- but certain rights can never be taken away- even in prison.

Kudos to UPC (1)

xednieht (1117791) | more than 3 years ago | (#33861712)

May you live long and prosper

RTFA: Not a major victory -- not a victory at all (4, Informative)

hdon (1104251) | more than 3 years ago | (#33861912)

I saw this story covered at BoingBoing [boingboing.net] earlier and I have to say -- has anyone actually read this article?

This is not a major victory. This is a temporary set-back for the record labels who wish for overreaching legal powers to stop the unstoppable.

Here are some very meaningful excerpts from the same story covered by the Irish Times [irishtimes.com] :

"...the judge said laws were not in place in Ireland to enforce disconnections over illegal downloads... this gap in legislation meant Ireland was not complying with European law."

"The judge made it very clear that an injunction would be morally justified but that the Irish legislature had failed in its obligation to confer on the courts the right to grant such injunctions, unlike other EU states."

"Irish Recorded Music Association director-general Dick Doyle said his office would pressure the Government to reform the law in favour of record labels."

RTFA

Re:RTFA: Not a major victory -- not a victory at a (1)

ionix5891 (1228718) | more than 3 years ago | (#33862272)

You are correct, the spokesman on the radio (here in Ireland) was blabbing on about them putting pressure on the government now via lobbying.
government who in all honesty have better things to be worrying about such as getting the country of out the deepening depression we are still in (and one that they helped get us into!)

Re:RTFA: Not a major victory -- not a victory at a (1)

Zontar_Thing_From_Ve (949321) | more than 3 years ago | (#33862536)

I saw this story covered at BoingBoing [boingboing.net] earlier and I have to say -- has anyone actually read this article?

Welcome, friend. You must be new around here. Let me tell you how things work here.

You see, there's no real requirement for submitters to read or understand the articles they link to. That makes it very common for us to get submissions where the submitter says something like "The article says X. The article says X!" when the fact the article says "not X". I wish it was better around here, but it's not.

Proud tradition of piracy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33862064)

Sometimes I wonder if this anti-piracy thing isn't a marketing ploy. The fact is that legal free music is better than the mainstream crap.. and is er... free..

free legal music [last100.com]

and remember, if youre a woman like the music industry, then youre probably a whore.

Damages to ISP (1)

metalmonkey (1083851) | more than 3 years ago | (#33864548)

If droves of customers leave the ISP after implementing such a system, should the ISP be able to sue for loss of revenue?
I guess it would be difficult to quantify, maybe not as difficult to quantify as the loss of revenue due to copyright infringement.

Re:Damages to ISP (1)

Drakkenmensch (1255800) | more than 3 years ago | (#33869602)

All they need to do is just make up a number, some random amount of billions in lost revenue. It's what the recording industry does, and nobody ever seems to call bullshit on those numbers.

I say "good riddance"! (1)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 3 years ago | (#33865388)

Those "more technical" users' bittorent feeds were using up all the bandwidth anyway, and slowing down my porn downloads!

Shema Jisrael, Adonai Elohim will crush pirates! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33867408)

This news only reinforces the known fact that P2P movie and music pirates are antisemitic. Ireland has been a staunch german ally in both WWI and WWII.

Why should we protect the identity of P2P pirates? They are anti-semite, who want to rob the exclusively ethnic jewish movie and music industry investors of well-deserved revenue and due profits. Their aim is to collapse the Jewish State financially, so that arabs can exterminate the hebrew race.

Anti-semite have no rights, the Nurenberg Trials unambigiously condemned them. P2P users clearly need to be depicted and punished as active antisemites, which is among the most shameful crime that can be committed. The Mossad should hunt down the most active movie sharers for deterrent, because they are a worse threat than Iran!

A Victory? Perhaps not (1)

WindShadow (977308) | more than 3 years ago | (#33884224)

I am not a lawyer, but just because there is no precedent in law, doesn't mean a new law can't be binding, does it? If there was precedent that it was not allowed, that would be a strong argument, but a law requiring a remedy for a crime which didn't exist until recently is bound to have no precedent.

Perhaps some lawyer could explain this leap of logic. There's no precedent for fining or jailing people for sending spam, posting kiddie porn, or cyberbullying, either. Does that mean there can't be? Is this a quirk of Irish law or just a poorly written story?

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