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!)