Irish High Court strikes down "3 strikes" copyright rule

The Irish High Court has ruled that record labels cannot force ISPs to hand over the personal information of subscribers accused of violating copyright. However, the Court did leave the door open for new Irish legislation to be enacted allowing for a "three strikes" approach to copyright infringement, whereby any household that receives three unproven copyright accusations would have its network access terminated -- regardless of the fact that only one member (or no members!) of the household might have been guilty. The ISP that won the case is UPC:
In a statement, UPC said it would work to identify and address the main areas of concern in the file-sharing debate.

"UPC has repeatedly stressed that it does not condone piracy and has always taken a strong stance against illegal activity on its network. It takes all steps required by the law to combat specific infringements which are brought to its attention and will continue to co-operate with rights holders where they have obtained the necessary court orders for alleged copyright infringements," it said.

"Our whole premise and defence focused on the mere conduit principal which provides that an internet service provider cannot be held liable for content transmitted across its network and today's decision supports the principal that ISPs are not liable for the actions of internet subscribers."

Court finds against record labels in file-sharing case (Thanks, Colm and everyone else who submitted this!)


  1. IF this kind of legislation passes I look forward to spelling my name across Ireland in big block letters composed of homes I’ve removed from the Internet through spoofed copyright violation emails.

    Imagine the pleasure of sending a fake copyright violation notice to the ISP of a retirement home complaining that you were the copyright holder of Lemon Party and Two Girls One Cup and those geezers won’t quit seeding your intellectual property.

    Quite a denial of service attack.

  2. Bravo, UPC. I want to move to Ireland so I can subscribe to your service. I wish more ISPs took such a long view.

  3. Did anyone actually read this article?

    This is a temporary set-back for the record labels who wish for overreaching legal powers to stop the unstoppable.


    “…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.”


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